DD's scrog thread
Posted 27 June 2009 - 09:48 PM
Posted 28 June 2009 - 01:42 PM
I'm always looking for new ways to improve, of course there are still many improvements that could and hopefully will be made in due course.
So please, any suggestions - don't hold back !
What follows is a comilation of some random musings on how I maintain my hydro setup, which may or may not be of interest to those considering building something along similar lines. For those that aren't, this might help when comparing between various types of setups, as they all have their own unique set of advantages/disadvanges.
Thus far, I've neglected to mention the importance of the header tank valve that each grow is fitted with between the header tank and DWC bubblers, although its fairly obvious to most of us here, for any newcomers I'll explain why I insist on using one.
This valve is essential, the header tanks are kept topped up to the brim with tap water (plain tap water, not pH adjusted) this allows time for residual chlorine to gas off overnight, thus protecting the plants. The reason I don't adjust the pH in the header tank is because (in my area at least), adding solubles (i.e. nitric acid & in situ formed calcium/magnesium nitrate) causes the hardness/limescale to precipitate in the tank, gradually creating a flaky mess that requires the use of a fish scoop net to scoop out the flaky deposits at regular intervals, otherwise the deposits accumulate until they (at least) partially block up the 15mm plumbing ! Back in the days when I was still pH adjusting the header tank water, the pipes never did completely block up with scale, but the flow (when topping up or draining the tanks) did seem noticably reduced with all the accumulated sediments. Besides, having an on-tap supply of tap water is handy for increasing the pH should the nutes be a little on the high side causing the pH to drop, or if you overdo with the pH down.
As the level drops in the tanks from day to day, the valve is opened for as long as needed to raise the DWC tank level up the max, about an inch from the top of each netpot. Only then is the header tank topped up with fresh tap water. Since the header tanks are maintained at their maximum level, the extra hydrostatic pressure (i.e head pressure) speeds up the top up water flow into the tanks, rather than not having the valve and merely topping up the header tank, with the header tank and DWC tank at the same level - which would take forever. Its only when the tank level has completely stabilised that the pH can be adjusted, otherwise (obviously) the pH will continue to increase until there is no longer any tap water overflow. Thus by having the valve in place and maintaining the header tank at a higher level than than the DWC tanks gives you total control of exactly when top up water is added and it also saves a lot of time. A rather useful $5 component.
If you're reading this then you've no doubt noticed that the vertical drain pipe situated between the DWC bubblers/tanks has an approx 10" section of clear hose at the end, this is fitted so it can be used to check the DWC tank level by pivoting it 45 degrees or so, a bit like a sight-glass.
It also helps with draining too (directing the flow into the drain bucket), but the main reason is for level checking.
This little ritual is repeated daily, and the pH adjusted as needed. It takes about 20 minutes or so to adjust the level and pH for all 5 scrog-o-ponic grows each day, which isn't much work really, all considering.
I haven't yet mentioned how the nutes are managed, its important so here's a quick run by... Over the course of the grow, the tanks get drained & nutes replenished 2 to 3 times. Each tank has 20 litres capacity.
For the first 2 weeks or so during the cutting/seedling stage, the nutes are maintained at half strength (in ml, 10/10/10 grow/micra/bloom, respectively). After which, the EC is checked every few days, and is maintained at around 1.6-1.8 EC. The first drain is usually about 4 weeks into the grow, depending on the plant's vital signs, any leaf yellowing and the tanks get drained. Instead of hitting them with straight flowering nutes, I use a mixture of veg/flowering nutes to help ward off potential nitrogen deficiency during the stretch phase. This is done by dosing as much (GH 10/10/10) solution is needed to adjust the EC to 1.6-1.8. As the nutes are topped up, straight flowering ratios are used (in the case of GH Hydroponics nutes, by volume - thats 10/20/30, grow/micra/bloom, respectively). The last drain, is about 2 weeks before finish when the GH Ripen is added. However, occassionally its been necessary to drain the tanks at about 8 weeks or so if the leaves are showing signs of yellowing, in which case there are 2 tank drains, and then the final drain before GH Ripen (pH adjusted water, 80 to 100 ml) is added in place of the normal flowering nutes.
Another point I neglected to mention earlier, is that the platform upon which the tents rest also serves to raise the scrog screen to a more comfortable level; an added ergonomic feature. Without the platform, day to day training of the branches/budsites becomes more awkward as its necessary to kneel down to reach under the screen. 1 minute is fine, but 15 minutes at a time is a real pain. If you're contemplating using a grow tent with a SCROG, I would thoroughly advise spending a few hours constructing, or otherwise obtaining, a suitable platform that will elevate the grow by at least 12", the effort spent in doing this is an investment which pays regular dividends for the lifetime of the grow tent !
Posted 05 July 2009 - 10:49 PM
If you don't mind, a question or two regarding scrogg manipulation:
- in the above pic, as the plant stretches do you tie it to the screen or weave it back thru?
- Do you find a need to top at all after this point?
- Approximately how far is the bottom of the light from the top of the screen? Does it move during the grow?
Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:01 AM
sorry for the delay, been away a few days.
1) As the plant stretches, I do not allow it to penetrate the screen. It will just push up against it, producing some tension, and occasionally lifting the screen a little. Every few days or so, I'll reposition the budsites as the plant stretches. I'll aim to allow the branches to penetrate during the last week of the stretch. This ensures the growing tips have penetrated about 6 inches or so when the strech phase is complete.
2) No need to top after this point.
3) The light does not move. This particular light isn't aircooled, its just a fixed 400 watter, however since it has no aircooling its maintained about 18 inches from the screen. The other (aircooled) lamps are kept much closer.
Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:12 AM
Posted 09 July 2009 - 01:05 PM
Ahh, there you go, thanks. Under the screen you say, what a marvelous concept.
1) As the plant stretches, I do not allow it to penetrate the screen . . .
I've wasted too much time tying things down from the top.
Still going flood and drain though, since I feel the stress caused by the cycle creates a better end result.
Though I do have bubblers that go on during the fill cycle for a little added air.
Thanks again, let you know how it works out . . . :bow:
Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:28 PM
I have the final yield, so if you don't wanna see 34 oz of bud, please look away now:
I've included a tub of 10 oz of EQ for scale. The height of the pile didn't show up well in these pics - taken too close.
I'm quite pleased with that yield, I was merely expecting 25 and hoping for 30.
- Frequency likes this
Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:38 PM
Great Job Dan! :eusa_clap
Can we hang out?
Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:54 PM
Posted 21 July 2009 - 02:12 PM
The single plant cubby grow yielded 15 oz, which has been curing for a couple months now (in blue tub):
The slightly higher yield per plant in this grow is at least in part due to the greater wattage (500w per plant vs 400w for the single plant cubby grow)
Grow#3 will be coming off in about 7-10 days time, I'm expecting not too dissimilar yields from these gals also:
I still have a couple bags of frozen bud trimmings that soon will get turned into bubble hash ! I'll post the update once I dig out the bubble bags.
Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:09 PM
And I wanted to jump through my computer screen when I saw that pic of 34oz of dank and 10oz of caps! :loveeyes:
Posted 22 July 2009 - 12:20 AM
Top notch grow and grow diary you have going.
I see liquid lumens in your future :D
Posted 24 July 2009 - 07:34 PM
I come requesting guidance;
Greetings O Sultan of the Scroggggggggg,
The plant in the pics was veged for 3 months, cut, pruned, bent, to keep it at 2 feet.
(Pictured at 18 days 12/12).
In your opinion, should the net be moved down to the level of the secondary growth or is it at a good level there?
Posted 25 July 2009 - 09:17 AM
Hi Procell mate,
if it were me yes I would definitely lower the screen, at 18 days the stretch phase should be just about complete. In scrogs in the days gone by, I've had to be ruthless with the gals. I've had scrogs which have become quite overgrown, and then I've gone in and dropped the screen by several inches and completely rearranged the bud sites. This has saved the grow from becoming an overgrown low yielding jungle.
To do this, the screen must allow the mobility of the budsites to other mesh squares without causing much (if any) damage to the newly formed buds. You'll have noticed that the screen I use is made from straight twine, the strands can be moved from side to side (to temporarily enlarge a 2" by 2" hole to whatever is required) so that buds can be pulled under without getting damaged. To do this with a fixed screen, as with the type you're using - you might consider enlarging the holes.
Its not absolutely necessary, but you could cut out 4 squares from your fixed squares by snipping out a cross, throughout the entirety of the screen - that way you'll have a screen that has approx 2" by 2" holes that will allow easier mobility for your bud sites when it comes time to rearrange them a little.
Since this grow is nearing the end of the stretch phase, you could get away with leaving it as is, just pull under all the budsites - then drop the screen by a few inches, then carefully re-insert the bud sites at screen locations that will bring as many buds (underlying bud sites) to the surface as possible. This way, you'll fill in more of the screen - and the more screen area that is filled - the greater the eventual yield. Once flowering is well under way (say a month or so) there is little you can do with regards to rearranging the bud sites without damaging and shocking your plants. But I would suggest for the next grow, using larger holes as mentioned above.
The advantage to allowing the plants to penetrate the screen (only a little) early on, is that this ensures less resources are used by the plant to build up the stems, instead they will use the screen for support, and then every week or so (during the stretch phase), just pull under the bud sites and expand them to fill more of the screen, thus preventing them from penetrating too far above the screen - otherwise you'll end up with only the middle of the screen filled, but extending about a foot above the screen ! This will drastically reduce the yield and in some cases will cause the top buds to get burned from the lamp(s).
I realise much of the above you probably already know, but I just thought I'd mention it in case its any help.
If you decide to drop the screen and rearrange the gals, the plant might look a bit scabby (leaves all pointing in different directions, etc), you may even have some split base stems. Don't be alarmed, these plants can take it. I nearly always get some splits, but I just splint them up with a bit of velcro tape (or any tape is fine), they will heal fine and as a bonus, often the stem base will enlarge (as it heals the split) and even increase the yield of that branch, similar to supercropping !
Within a few days to a week, the plant will be looking good, so don't be shy - be ruthless ! For maximum yields, its soooo important to ensure that entire screen is filled by the end of the strech phase, as after which - the music stops so-to-speak and all you can do is wait until harvest - its frustrating having huge gaps in the screen of green that you know will reduce the final yield.
Timing is everything, and it does take some experience to get it just right. Just as the perfect formula 1 racing car has an engine that falls to pieces the moment it crosses the finish line, the perfect scrog is the one which has the entire screen filled ONLY just as the stretch phase is finished. After this point, every bud site under the screen gets the chop, it goes against instinct to do this, but any buds remaining under the filled screen will never fully ripen, and will greatly reduce the overall ripe yield above the screen.
Apologies for rambling on a bit (lol!) but I hope the above answers your question, if not let me know and I'll do what I can to assist :).
Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:14 AM
These pics were taken over an hour or so, and you can see the difference the branch/budsite rearrangement made.
Unfortunately, I didn't take a pic of the original mess it was in. However the branches had penetrated quite far beyond the screen, were literally inches from the lamp and hadn't properly filled the screen. This is an extreme example though.
From a single 600 watter, it eventually yielded circa 20 oz due to the above rearrangement.
Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:29 AM
Hi Procell mate, if it were me yes I would definitely lower the screen, at 18 days the stretch phase should be just about complete. To do this with a fixed screen, as with the type you're using - you might consider enlarging the holes.
Ahhh yes, excellent. The screen did seem too high after looking at your posts. In all past grows the plant grew thru the screen and was then tied down to it, this method is faaaaaar better.
The holes in the screen were thought to be too small but it's inexpensive and easy to cut so the holes can be enlarged at any time. Since this was only to be a test the next itteration will be refined as needed.
I realise much of the above you probably already know, but I just thought I'd mention it in case its any help.
Nope, have the broad strokes down, need the finer points.
Timing is everything, and it does take some experience to get it just right.
Past grows were looked at but still can't pin down when this strain finishes stretching. It does seem to stretch more like 4 weeks but we'll see . . .
After this point, every bud site under the screen gets the chop, it goes against instinct to do this, but any buds remaining under the filled screen will never fully ripen, and will greatly reduce the overall ripe yield above the screen.
Now that's one I wouldn't have thought to do
Thanks for your help, crackin good info.
Going for radio silence for 2 weeks but I'll post went I'm back.
P.s. In the post following with the pics, have you given up on the v screen and just use flat now?
Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:39 AM
I look forward to hearing how you get on, and you're doing pretty darned good, in the mean time - best of luck mate !
Posted 25 July 2009 - 11:47 AM
Once flowering is well under way (say a month or so) there is little you can do with regards to rearranging the bud sites without damaging and shocking your plants. But I would suggest for the next grow, using larger holes as mentioned above.
That's another one I wouldn't have thought about.
How does the shock and stress show itself? Just a lower yield overall?
PS here's a pic of the strain, last week's harvest