Growing conditions and setups

Salvia Divinorum Mass Distribution Project.

Growing conditions and setups

Postby kcarlson » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:55 pm

To some people, growing Salvia, or even plants in general, is a new experience. Myself, when I became interested in botany last year, I was faced with a difficult conundrum: how to setup a grow space in a small two-bedroom apartment, without taking up living space or causing difficulties for my roommate. If any other members out there are facing this conundrum, or if you have faced this problem before and wish to share a setup, I would like to create this topic to help others find a way to create a space where plants can thrive.

In my case, I initially decided to modify a bookshelf placed within my closet to create some compact grow shelves. After doing much research, I began by how to find sheets of reflective mylar to line the space I would use. Mylar is an excellent insulator, not only because it reflects heat AND retains light, but also because it is thin and easy to line a space with. It is the same material that emergency blankets are made from. This is exactly how I bought it! I bought several emergency blankets (generally around $3.50 USD), and trimmed them to line the spaces within the shelves. I was faced with a new problem though: mylar tears VERY easily! How to attach it securely without tearing it? Nails didn't secure it, because the hole they created simply tore. A good choice is spray adhesive, but I didn't want to destroy the shelves. The other good choice is a staple gun. A cheap staple gun is very helpful to have around, so I bought one. Next, was the lighting problem. I couldn't use something hot in the confined space, so what could I use? I decided on compact florescent bulbs. Many compact fluorescents list the light spectrum they produce on the box. An ideal light for vegetative growth is 6400K, and an ideal light for blooming is 2700K. I bought both types.
Note: I am not advocating any particular brand. This is my particular setup, and I want to provide examples of products that might work, especially for spatially confined areas!
This is the 2700 I use: http://www.amazon.com/Earthmate-EP4052A ... 099&sr=8-1
This is the 6400 I use: http://www.amazon.com/GE-Watt-Energy-Sm ... =8-2-fkmr0
The next problem: how ON EARTH am I going to get fixtures into the shelf? It's a limited space, so I couldn't put a lamp in there or some such thing. I have plenty of extension cords, so I plugged one of these into one extension cord.
http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-Socket-Ou ... 458&sr=8-1
You can also use one of these (I had one on hand, so I used one as well):
http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10175810

That was my initial set up. I soon decided that I needed to control the humidity, so I moved my setup out into our outdoor storage closet. I stapled mylar to each wall, installed shelves on top of that, plugged in all my lights and secured them, and moved a humidifier and heater in. I cannot necessarily advocate this particular setup, because there are (of course) safety concerns for mixing humidity and electrical devices, but I have never had this sort of problem in 8 months of continuous use. If choosing this, any humidifier will do, and I particularly like oil heaters because of their dependability (plus they are more or less designed for continuous use).
My current setup is much easier to control, and I have a wireless temperature gauge that displays the temperature on my bedside clock. There is also a standard outdoor thermometer in the room. I check on my room 1-2 times a day to monitor everything, refill the humidifier, and check for any safety issues.

As for conditions, this site ( http://www.entheology.org/edoto/anmviewer.asp?a=100&z=8 ) seems helpful because it discusses appropriate photoperiods and growing conditions.

I hope this topic can be a place to discuss people's logistical issues for grow setups, and to get creative!

-Kate
Attachments
grow room.jpg
Some of the shelving in my grow closet. It ain't pretty, but it definitely works!
kcarlson
 
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Re: Growing conditions and setups

Postby shambhu » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:21 pm

very nice setup!

have you considered leds ? they are purported to be very efficient, energy-wise.
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Re: Growing conditions and setups

Postby kcarlson » Sun Jan 02, 2011 12:08 am

shambhu wrote:very nice setup!

have you considered leds ? they are purported to be very efficient, energy-wise.



I did consider that, since it is very efficient and cool! However, I decided on the compact fluorescents because they're readily available at the hardware store, and are quite cheap. They're also pretty energy efficient. I've notice a $3-5 dollar increase per month (maximum) running this setup, and that includes heat and humidity! The heat issue from the bulbs doesn't matter anymore, since it's a room and not a bookcase! :lol:
Also, I like the idea of the cfl's because it's easy to find all of the output spectrum information, and the wattage output. It's easier to fill a room with light if it's a few high wattage cfl's.
I do admit, it's kind of blinding in there, though! I'm sure LEDs would make it look much more... groovy? :mrgreen:
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Re: Growing conditions and setups

Postby Ulmdorgr » Sun Jan 02, 2011 4:23 am

I am interested to see how your plants do. We haven't had anyone in your region with plants yet, so this is definitely a first others can take note of. I will reply with more when I get a chance to read everything. Time constraints!
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Re: Growing conditions and setups

Postby DanG » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:07 am

Nice job! It looks cozy in there.
Do you leave the light on at all times?
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Re: Growing conditions and setups

Postby kcarlson » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:57 pm

DanG wrote:Nice job! It looks cozy in there.
Do you leave the light on at all times?


Currently (while I was propagating seeds), yes, but I will set the timer for 16-hour days, as Saliva tends to like. The temperature in the room is a fairly steady 78'F, while outside weather conditions are appx 35-40'F daytime, 30-32'F nighttime.
I would estimate the current humidity at 30-40% for the whole room. The humidifier just spits out vapor! :mrgreen:

Ulmdorgr wrote:I am interested to see how your plants do. We haven't had anyone in your region with plants yet, so this is definitely a first others can take note of. I will reply with more when I get a chance to read everything. Time constraints!


Great! I'm glad I can be of some help. I'll start a grow log, but I'm going to have to just estimate the humidity until I get a proper sensor.
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