Secret grow room - white widow

Discussion in 'Grow Journals' started by ital farmer, Apr 11, 2018.

    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone! Been about seven years since my last grow. Left my house with a yard and moved into a townhouse. Figured I would never grow again but I decided to make it happen.

    Crop King seeds
    White widow autoflower fem
    I planted two Trainwreck auto fems but one never grew and the other has been a puny mutant since day one
    Fox farms ocean forest soil with extra perlite
    Fox farm liquid nutes
    3 gallon plastic pots
    Viparspectra 300w LED (I have two but using one for now)

    I decided to just have a couple small autoflowers on a second story balcony with some other plants. But my whole first week after germination was cold and cloudy. I dusted off my old DIY CFL lighting rig and emptied a cabinet in my garage that I used once for growing. Just to get the seedlings going. Then I did some research and discovered LED lights have come into their own since I was last in the game. So I threw one of those in there and decided to just grow in the cabinet. The only problem is that the garage will be above 90 degrees here shortly so it's not a long term solution.

    That leads me to the closet. When the house was constructed this was a hall closet under the stairs. The previous owner ripped out one of the walls to expose more storage area under the stairs. I've attached a picture showing the exposed storage area.

    It's about 4' tall so it's kind of short but manageable with some LST or other techniques. So I designed a set of built-in cubbies that would also serve as a secret entrance to this area. Some wood, drywall, trim, plaster, and paint and we're in business! Pics of the cubbies are attached, both closed and open.
    IMG_20180312_223446310.jpg IMG_20180311_184352692.jpg

    Once the cubbies and wall were constructed I was able to work on the inside. Put up some drywall and wired a new dedicated electrical outlet.

    I moved the girls into their new home and all is good. I've battled smell, heat, and noise but I'm getting close to having everything dialed in.

    I'll be back to add some plant photos and give some more details about the grow. Comments and questions welcome.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    Nice stealthy installation. :)

    Have you got decent ventilation sneakily tucked away too?

    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Im happy with the installation and surprised at how well it turned out.

    Ugh.Ventilation has probably been my biggest hurdle. I planned to have my 4" duct coming out of one of the cubby holes but the swinging nature of the cabinet makes that hard. For now I have a blanket hanging to kind of seal off the grow area, mainly for light purposes. I vent the hot air to between the blanket and the cubbies hoping the air will push through the gaps around the cubbies. I cut a hole in the far wall which goes to my living room. Put an AC vent/register on the outside. I currently have a computer fan pulling cool air in this way. Once this grow is done I plan to switch and vent out through the register to the living room but that is going to require some more construction. House temp is around 75 and grow room stays in the low 80s. I tried adding my second light but it soon got up to 90. Hopefully the new ventilation setup will allow two lights and temps around 80. The noise of the inline fan is less than ideal but better than the house smelling like herb.
    OldMedUser likes this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    With summer coming it's not going to get any better. Hard to think of summer when there's still 4ft of snow in my yard. :)

    I was thinking if you replaced the back of the cubbies with peg board the air could come in to the grow space thru all the little holes or drill a bunch of holes in the back of what you have on there now. I'd cover that on the back with window screen or something like furnace filter to keep bugs out.

    Still gonna get hot in there but plants can handle up to 90F in pots. Just going to need to water with lower levels of nutrients more often. I have really low humidity and was burning my plants badly feeding them at half strength so have gone to a quarter now.

    Tito#1 likes this.
    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input. I was worried about the back of the cubbies looking weird if someone looked in them but that's not a bad idea. Good to know about the nutes. I've heard people say extra co2 may ne needed in high temps but haven't heard about it affecting nute requirements.

    Here's a shot of the plants at about 9 weeks from seed.

    Attached Files:

    Tito#1, OldMedUser and Bowtieguy77 like this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    They're looking good after such a rocky start!

    They should be finished before heat becomes too big an issue. How's the smell?

    You starting any new ones to take their place?

    Crop King seems to be hit and miss with some of their seeds. Last summer at the hydro store in Chillawack, BC where I bought almost $1000 worth of grow goodies I bought 3 strains of CK seeds. I grew out 3 each of the BlueBerry and Original Skunk but haven't used any of the Afghani yet. One BB never sprouted and all 3 of the Skunk were pathetic scrawny things that I decided to get rid of. Sprouted an extra BB and one is male so will be making a bunch of free BB seeds with him. Will cross him with my Otto#1 hemp girl too and maybe the 2 - AK47 fems I have growing from Canuk Seeds that I got off a buddy.

    Flipping to flower any day now. Still need to repot the one Critical Mass that will flower with the crowd too. Today for sure!

    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Ok kind of going backwards here but this was the old grow cabinet. It's a hazmat/flammable storage locker. All metal, adjustable shelves, and built-in threaded vent holes on top and bottom. It really is a great grow cabinet, especially since it was free. But it's in the hot garage. The plants were at about 5-6 weeks old so they were a couple of weeks into flower at this point.
    I need to keep them short. So I tied branches down with string. I don't have pics but I topped the strongest plant (one on the right) when it had about 4 or 5 nodes. I know this isn't recommended with autoflowers but I wanted to give it a try. The plant on the left is the train wreck which always had goofy leaves and weird growth. All three plants were stunted by 100 degree temps. I didn't know it was that high until I installed a thermometer. Once I lowered temps with a bigger exhaust the plants exploded.
    Screenshot_20180416-124936~2.png Screenshot_20180416-124945~2.png
    OldMedUser likes this.
    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Just saw your last comment. They are inside the house now so I'm not worried about temps outside. I'm happy with the white widow from crop king but not the train wreck. I went to germinate some more seeds for my next round and I can't find them! I am leaving my house for maybe two weeks at the end of July so I'm really crunched for time. I went ahead and ordered from crop king again just because they ship so fast. Ordered Friday and I should be soaking seeds tonight!

    I started going through your grow journal but haven't had time to get all the way through it yet. Looking good though!
    OldMedUser likes this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    I'm using an upstairs bedroom for vegging in now but it gets pretty warm in there. Don't want to be cutting holes and installing outside vents as it's on the front of the house which is a mobile home. No close neighbours but would look odd sticking out there. Was planning to build an 8x4 addition to my current grow room in the basement and still may but I do have an 8x4 grow tent that I could set up down there or just knock together a 4x4 plywood box to use for veg and overflow in the summer.

    I should just apply to grow legally. With my 8g/day doctor's recommendation I could grow 39 plants indoors and not have to worry about the cops. Rippers concern me more.

    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Here's a closer look at how I lock the cabinet door. I installed a basic sliding latch/deadbolt on the inside that is accessed through one of the cubbies.

    Here is the view from inside the grow room when the cubbies are shut.

    One of the cubbies has a false back. I reach into this cubby, push the door open, then reach over and unlock it.

    A closer look at the latch. The placement had to be perfect to put a little tension on the cubbies to keep them from wiggling if the cubbies are touched. I added some heat shrink tubing around the metal slide to further reduce wiggle room and to get rid of the metal on metal sound made if someone pulled on the cubbies.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
    OldMedUser and lokie like this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member


    Got a locking door at the top of the stairs and bought a locking door knob for the bedroom. That's about all I need. No kids in the house but my wife's daughter and she's 26 and knows all about my gardening.

    Neither the wife or her use pot tho the kid accidentally ate one of my fresh baked keif cookies a few years back and had a pretty rough trip. She got over it tho. :)

    ital farmer

    ital farmer Well-Known Member

    Almost 9 weeks in when this pic was taken.

    I know you're not supposed to top autoflowers but I tried anyway.

    The plant that was topped actually grew bigger with larger colas but they are more airy than the other plant. The plant on the right in the below photo was topped. I realized how leafy it was so I defoliated both plants a little. Should've done that much sooner when the buds were just starting to develop.

    Here is a bud from the topped plant. Nice size but airy. This plant is also foxtailing a lot.

    Lower branches on this plant produced these worthless buds that are all leaves. I cut them off but should've done it sooner. Screenshot_20180419-112727~2.png

    Here is the main cola on the LST plant. OK size but nice and dense.
    lokie and OldMedUser like this.

    OldMedUser Well-Known Member

    Those kind of useless, airy buds are great for dusting with pollen if you have it to make seeds on. Great for cutting from regular plants too.

    If not doing that it is best to cut them off early so they aren't taking energy away from the main colas.

    Should have a decent crop soon. :)


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