Need to find resources on indoor HID growing!

jon205587May 31, 2008

Hey everyone,

I'm just getting into indoor container gardening (soil), using a 400w HPS/MH Conversion bulb. I've got the light on a wood structure I built and its hanging about 18-20" above teh canopy with a fan on a shelf blowing over the bulb on high power for cooling out into my apartment. I also have mylar coating the walls of a 3'x4'closet grow area. The temps range from about 70 to 90 based on the ambient temp of the apartment with humidity in the range of 15-35% usually. I spray the plants a couple times a day with a hairspray bottle. For watering, I usually just stick my finger in the soil and if its dry about an inch down I'll water till it comes out the bottom.

I was wondering if anyone knows of any good books, internet forums, or other resources besides this specific forum for finding out info on this subject?

I'm trying to grow herbs like rosemary, oregano, basil (italian and purple varieties), parsley, chives, thyme, and mint. Also, I have pickling cucumbers, a couple habeneros, bell peppers, cayenne seedlings, some cacti seedlings, jalepeno seedlings (seeds are from store-bought peppers). I also have some various tropical cuttings such as elephant ear and purple passion than I've planted and am misting daily.

I'm not sure if all of these can grow together successfully (some are thriving while others are not) in the same area. I would also like some advice on fertilizers and soil mixtures (I've been using standard Miracle Grow stuff). I'm having some trouble with my peppers especially, with the new leaves being deformed with some holes in them (overwatering or nute deficientcy i think?). Also my habenero plant I bought from home depot turned a yellowish hue and is flowering and dropping with no fruit production. I think it may be from the drastic increase in light levels...

Any recommendations would be appreciated on my situation or on resources I could use (especially forums or books) would be greatly appreciated. I can't seem to find any except for this forum. Also, if anything jumped out at you please, please reply with any advice you may have, as I'm a complete beginner.

Please help me as I don't want to see all my plants fail!

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Hi Jon,

It sounds like you're doing fine. Try and keep temperatures between 68 ~ 78 degrees. Habaneros can be somewhat finky. I've found lightly watering hte top but pouring water into the bottom and let the drainage holes absorb the water.

If I do anything but this my pepper plants tend to turn lime green/yellow and begin to drop leaves. Also, when they put off flowers make sure to lightly tap them or rub a art brush into the flower lightly. most of the time they'll self pollinate, but without any bugs or a little shaking it's possible your flowers aren't getting pollenated.

As for fertilizers i just use a 5-5-5 on everything and i put a light amount of fertilizer every day in the water so i don't leech out nutrients.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 12:37AM
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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

I have looked high and low for books about HID. There is one, but it is probably more helpful if you are in the thinking about it/in the process of buying a light/setting up a grow area. There are also lots of pages of highly technical graphs that most people probably don't need. The book is:

Gardening Indoors with H.I.D. Lights (Paperback)
by George F. Van Patten (Author), Alyssa F. Bust (Author)

How far are your plants from the light? I don't grow the same types as you do under lights, so I can't be much help.

Personally, I don't like MiracleGro potting mix. Are you aware that most MiracleGro potting mix already has time-released fertilizer in it, so check the bag and see how many months until you should fertilize.

If you can find it, try ProMix or Fafard's soilless potting mix. You'll probably need to look at a large nursery, not your home store.

Watch that elephant ear for spider mites.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:31PM
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The Only really good HPS lamps that I recommend are either the Hortilux, or a good ol' reflectorized Gavita type lamp from HTG supply. Your link of Bulbamerica is no good for decent growing HPS lamps. I would not buy any of the lamps from your link. For growing, go to a shop that specialized in growing lights, like HTG supply, and their prices are the best, or which also runs and also has excellent prices on anything of your hearts content, EXCEPT FOR CERAMIC METAL HALIDE, and if you give us a link to CMH, then we would be really happy to read it, otherwise, YOU ARE JUST SPAMMING THIS SITE!!! Sativa. :(

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 7:15PM
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Jon didn't make clear what type of bulb he is using.
If the ballast is an S-51 (400w HPS) then I recommend a
CMH (ceramic metal halide) full-spectrum for all stages.

Hortilux is probably the best horticultural HPS bulb.
However I believe Philips has something similar.
I recommend HPS only when the plants are over 2.5' tall,
because the blue spectrum doesn't bounce or penetrate
the canopy very well.

George Cervantes has a DVD on growing. None of the lights
he talks about do I recommend, and none of the lights I
recommend about does he talk about. Here is a good article on basic plant lighting:

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 5:44PM
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