hydro VS soil grow experiment

Spongey600August 27, 2011

OK, i know for a true experiment i would have to sprout seeds in soil and Hydro but due to lack of space/time i decided to just sprout seeds in solo cups and once they get big enough i will move them. my subjects are douglahs and Brain strain. i just had 3 of 5 BS sprout a couple days ago and the douglah showed up yesterday! so now just waiting for the first couple sets of leaves to move them. i will be using DWC buckets for hydro and for the soil i will be using Sunshine growers mix#4. my plan is to use the same ratio of nutrients for each one all through the experiment. i will be using FP 9-3-6 to start then GH flora Nova Bloom once they start to push flowers and use the bloom from then on out. this will be fun i foresee the DWC out performing the soil in the long run but we shall see! here are pics of the sprouts!!

douglah, they are now upright

brain strain

i will probably update weekly or so

Eric

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Excellent!
How long did they take to germinate this time of year?

Once they have a true set of leaves, fertilize them 1/4 teaspoon Foliage Pro per gallon
to get them started. I start slow, then go full strength (1 teaspoon per gallon) for vegging.
Now that my plants have pods, I've backed down to 1/2 a teaspoon per gallon, once a week.

Have you been using Foliage Pro, or will this be a new experiment?

Josh

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 3:28PM
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Spongey600

well i have a bunch of seeds on a seedling mat but no sprouts. i decided to put a few in soil and kept them next to the slider and well in about 7-10 days they sprouted! its been really humid down here and we had temps in the low 80's the last few days and that is when they sprouted.

for this experiment i will be using FP till they get bigger and start to flower, then switch to Flora nova bloom its 4-8-7 with all micro nutes.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:04PM
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willardb3

I can predict the resulte of your experiment:

Hydro will come to fruit 20-30% faster than soil and the fruit will be better. Yo will have less pests in hydro.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:19AM
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romy6(9)

Eric, I look forward to your experiment. Being old school I am partial to the old fashion method but Willard knows a bit more than me! I guess time will tell!

Your sprouts look sweet:)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 11:25AM
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Spongey600

Thanks guys! i can see how the Hydro will out perform soil, i put a stunted devils tongue that would not hold flowers or grow, put it in the bucket while i sprouted the seeds and in 8 days i havea pod and new growth! it will be fun to see just how big of plants i will get in the buckets!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 12:22PM
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JoppaRich(7b)

I'm surprised you're doing well with it.

I tried about a dozen peppers in DWC this summer, and they did fantastic, until it got really hot. Then they looked terrible. The pepper plants in the DWC just seemed to be much more prone to heat damage than the plants in 5-1-1. I ended up reportting them a couple weeks ago into 5-1-1.

Are you doing anything to control water temperature?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 3:37PM
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Spongey600

well i am in SD right on the coast so they are getting direct sun from about 2-sunset. and as far as water temp no, not doing anything i think that the amount of sun they get does not allow the water to get too hot as the plants i have in there now are really thriving, the little bhut that i thoguht i would see what happens does show a little sun wilt but once the shade comes it pops right back up!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:11PM
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capoman(5a)

Been there done that. Hydro far outperforms soil(less), at least under artificial light, with less pest problems.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 4:45PM
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Spongey600

well, this will be a 100% outdoor experiment, i forsee hydro winning but i want to document week by week comparisons of the grow!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2011 at 7:12PM
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capoman(5a)

I suspect outdoor, hydro will even have more of an advantage, as light is really the limiting factor indoors. Just make sure everything is light tight, and ph is not allowed to rise to avoid buildup of algae. Looking forward to seeing your results.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 9:01AM
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Spongey600

thanks Capoman, everything is blacked out so no light can get in, i had the current solution in for 10days with no algea so i think i am good. i will be changing 7-10 days. Ph has been holding under 6.5 started between5-6 7 days ago.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 3:40PM
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capoman(5a)

6.5 pH is too high. Try to maintain about 5.8 for the least amount of problems. Hydroponic requires much lower pH then soil. Also if plants are young, ramp up the pph slowly.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 4:15PM
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Spongey600

i dont have a digital PH meter(cannot afford one that is accurate) just the paper scale so hard to say exactly where it is, but when i make the soloution it is below 6. and i test it every day to every other day and once it gets to the 6.5 range or so i lower it back down. i am going to start the PPM at about 400 and slowly raise the ppm each week.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 4:49PM
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spice8(6)

Hydro can grow some monster plants. I have a Fatalii that is about 3ft high and 3ft wide on a DWC 2 gal. bucket and a White Habanero that is about 3ft high, 2ft wide. Only problem is getting them to flower. Does anyone have any tips? I cut down the grow to 1/4 about 3 weeks ago and totally left out the grow and Im only using micro and bloom.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 9:37PM
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Spongey600

what brand of Nutes are you using?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 9:21AM
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capoman(5a)

Spice: Likely too much nitrogen. Hopefully your switch from grow to bloom will help, since it should have less N. Are you growing indoors or out, as there are other factors you may be able to adjust. Also, how old are your plants? Age, not size, seems to be the strongest factor on when they bloom.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 4:47PM
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Spongey600

ok on wed i moved the seedlings to the DWC and so far still alive! LOL
Douglah

Brain strain

Douglahs in solo cup

Brain strain in Solo cup

i ma using Sept 7th as the first day of the experiment as that is the first day they made it to the DWC. we were having nice warm weather and today it dropped 20 degrees! that is once the darn power came back on! LOL

Eric

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:08PM
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romy6(9)

Looking good Eric :) You are not giving the soil a chance though! LOL

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 11:53PM
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Spongey600

alright, here are some updated pics of the kids
brain strain DWC

Brain strain Soil

Douglah DWC

Douglah in SOIL

this is fun! as of right now they are growing at about the same pace. the soil is a little further along as they were no moved and did not have any shock, as the DWC guys did not show much signs of shock either since i learned from all you to keep them out of the sun for a few days at first! and these little guys are already hardened off too!

Eric

    Bookmark   September 18, 2011 at 2:43PM
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Spongey600

here is the Douglah in soil, not sure why the picture did not come up!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 5:44PM
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