2016-2017 Winter Grow: 11-23-16

Things are cookin’ now, boys and girls. Well, some things are cookin’.

Finding myself with a little free time the other day, I decided it’d be a good idea to pot up my seedlings from their little starter plugs to their new homes in red plastic cups (I didn’t splurge for the name brand because the savings were off the chart).  At this point, everything in soil is doing really well, but my hydro plants have definitely fallen behind, despite having a really strong start. The problem I’m facing with the hydroponic plants is that the coco coir is holding far too much moisture. I don’t want to over-water the plants in coco, but I need to feed them their nutrients so I sort of have to! I did the transplant this weekend and it feels as if the coco cups are just as wet as when I started them.

Hopefully the nutes turn the hydro plants around and they take off. Otherwise, it might be all soil this time!

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Drilling out the RED VALUE CUPS en masse for drainage.

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Expanding the coco brick. It tasted just as delicious as it looks.

Almost...

Almost…

Success!

Success!

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A whimpy little chive coco puck

The finished coco plants.

The finished coco plants.

Prepping the soil cups. Note the vacuum in close proximity - I actually accidentally sucked an entire plant out of one of the cups.

Prepping the soil cups. Note the vacuum in close proximity – I actually accidentally sucked an entire plant out of one of the cups. Whatever, I’ve got lettuce for days.

Pre-transplant.

Pre-transplant.

Making the switch.

Making the switch.

Done!

Done!

Soil cups done.

Soil cups done.

The rosemary survivor. This little slugger just won't quit.

The rosemary survivor. This little slugger just won’t quit.

Peppers are moving slowly and weren't ready for transplant just yet. Get your shit together, peppers!

Peppers are moving slowly and weren’t ready for transplant just yet. Get your shit together, peppers!

Now, for those of you that have grown in coco before, any tips? Perhaps I’m missing something important here. Leave a comment if you’ve got some advice, please!

That’s all for now – I’ll continue to update this grow every Wednesday.

8 Comments

  1. While I have not yet grown with coco, I have seen others mix it with some perlite to add more air space to it. Some brands of coco I’ve heard are not pre rinsed and contain salt, that could be some of your issues.

    • LEDGardener

      November 23, 2016 at 11:30 pm

      Ah, perlite would probably help – I’ll see if I can track some down. I rinsed this coco out fairly well when I hydrated it but have not yet tested runoff for pH or anything.

      • I want to try coco but it’s so expensive, would like to do coco and convert my outdoor system over to drain to waste. It comes from so far away thats probably why the high price. I do all perlite and it works out good, can get huge bags for 16 bucks from the greenhouse supply store, I’m going to reuse last years to keep costs down. You will probably be ok with the coco I would imagine, you just have to water it less often, when I transplant I water it in and don’t water it again till it gets good and dry, makes the roots search out into the cup better. Over the last few years at least with masterblend I have been not so afraid to give the young seedlings a good amount of fetilized early on, have not burnt an seedlings yet.

        • LEDGardener

          November 25, 2016 at 6:35 pm

          The brick of coco I got expanded out to about 1.5 gallons and costed about $2.50. I used perlite last year to mix into my Pro Mix plants that were drain-to-waste, but I’ve got none left – I think I saw some at the seed store I visited recently though.

          I was very excited last year when my seedlings sprouted and wanted to give them nutes right away. I waited until the first set of true leaves came in, followed GH’s recommendation for seedling dilution, but still managed to burn some of them a little. This year I definitely waited too long to feed them.

          • I usually go half strength at the first true leaves, around 650ish ppm. My dutch bucket system is around 40 gallons of media so I’ll probably be sticking with perlite. The first time I sprouted lettuce I thought it was going to get to leggy but once I dropped the starter cubes in the net cups and back filled around the stem with stones it turned out ok. I’m a little late on my start, only got a few sprouts popping up so far, fired up the 3070 over them. Still waiting on my heat sinks to get here anyways and might have to get longer screws than 1/8″ that I have due to I’m going with bjb holders instead of mounting the chips bare.

          • LEDGardener

            November 25, 2016 at 8:00 pm

            Nice. What CCT is that 3070 again? Also I’m curious about the heat sinks you ordered, do you have a link?

  2. It’s a cxb3070 (3500k) driven with a 50 watt ebay driver mounted to a heatsink out of an xbox360, It’s the highest bin, one of the reasons I went with citizens because I could not find any place that had 3 more of that same chip and bin. Heat sinks I’m waiting on are these http://www.ebay.com/itm/322269726618?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT They come out to being able to disipate 36 watts of heat using the 75 sqcm per heat watt figure for passive, for 33 bucks its a decent deal just have to wait a month for them. I don’t think they are as big as the ones you use but they should work, just couldn’t find four big used heatsinks at a good price

    • LEDGardener

      November 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Cool. A true DIY build! That’s a great price on those heat sinks. I’m going to order some of those Citizen COBs when I have a little extra cash and give them a go. I’m sooo close to pulling the trigger on an Apogee SQ-500 sensor so I can get some real, quantifiable results. Might have to cut a deal with the wife and make it my birthday, Christmas, and Valentine’s day present.

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