Setting up a grow in my workshop - Looking for input and advice.

Hey everyone! Due to unforeseen circumstances, I haven't been able to grow for a while. Now, finally, it's time to start up again, and I'm planning on trying something new.

The grow space is my old workshop; an 18x23 metal building with spray foam insulation, plenty of power, a mini-split, and hopefully soon some running water. I plan on starting off with three 4x4 spaces in one 4x12 row and expanding with another 4x12 row if my first harvest goes well.

One of the challenges with my space will be keeping the building heated come winter, as I live in a northern climate, but for now I am hoping I will be able to get through the summer/fall without spending too much on climate control. The building will be sealed as tightly as possible, so I will be running a co2 generator, though I am not sure if I'll be running the full 1300 ppm or if I will just keep it at 400.

For lights, I have 18 HLG QB96 elite v2's, and 10 HLG-320h-54a drivers. My original plan was to use 3 drivers, 6 QB96's per 4x4 and run co2, but I am also considering just 2 drivers per 4x4 and running co2 at 400.

For humidity control I was looking at a remanufactured Quest dual 165, which would eat up most of my budget but probably be worth it.

The plan is to run 6 plants per light in 2-3 gallon plastic pots filled with 80% coco 20% perlite. I'd have them on a drain table, and would set up an automated drip fed system with a 55 gal reservoir. I will be running Jack's 321, though I am still deciding on ratios. I was thinking of trying eric2028's mix on icmag using Jack's A and B at a 3 : 2.5 ratio, no epsom. My well water is around 0.2 EC, so I believe I can get by without an RO filter.

This will be my first hydroponic grow, and first time setting up a sealed space, so any advice or input would be greatly appreciated. I am a complete noob when it comes to synthetics, but with the right guidance and enough caffeine I believe I can learn to grow in coco successfully, and finally end my dispensary dependency!

My first question is this; Does this sound like a good idea?
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
One of the challenges with my space will be keeping the building heated come winter, as I live in a northern climate

hydroponic grow
These two factors are dangerous combination.

I am doing/ have done, the same thing you are proposing.

Dont buy the de-huey just yet.

I don't have time at this exact minute, but there are many things I would like to share with you about Igloo growing.
 
Thank you both for replying!
Sounds great, but I wouldn't drop the mag from the Epsom, the ladies will gobble it up under those leds for sure, and I'd definitely run some hydroguard in your main rez as the tap water may have nasties in it, sounds like a dream setup to me πŸ‘πŸ‘βœŒβœŒπŸ––πŸ––
So just the 321 ratio with jacks, some hydroguard and pH'd water? Sounds simple enough.

These two factors are dangerous combination.

I am doing/ have done, the same thing you are proposing.

Dont buy the de-huey just yet.

I don't have time at this exact minute, but there are many things I would like to share with you about Igloo growing.
I look forward to hearing what you have to say on the matter. Please get back to me when you can!
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
I grow in a detached garage, without central heat.
During my first winter I grew potted plants side by side my hydroponics.

When one is setting up at an aquarium, or a Hydroponics grow , they have to keep asking them self 100 times ,,, a 1000 times , " where will this water go during an emergency?
what will happen when this DOES eventually flood ?
What happens if I trip a breaker?
What happens if my timer goes amok ?
what happens when the power goes out ?

Old man winter is waiting , right outside your door.
Without power, in the dead of winter , my room will lose 10 C per hour.
You can put all of your time hopes dreams and aspirations into that Garden -but remember ,at any given time, you are only 4 hours away from fucked.
Proper.
Done.

You need a back up plan.
Your back up plan needs a back up plan.
In pots , you can bail. Hydro is locked in. Once you light the fuse, you are relying on uninterrupted sailing.

Compartments rule.
My garden is a bubble inside three lungs.
The R value of a draft is a negative number.
Insulation is your friend.

Have you purchased lights ? You have a large area. Are you going to need supplemental heat 24/7 ? They say HID is inefficient, but by the same indictment it becomes very efficient at producing heat,,, which you will need.

As for humidity, I never see it.
I run low or no tech.
Just not a issue. I regularly hit 35rh and never seen plus 60% in my flower room, with 30 plants in a 8x6.
Forced air heating during lights off eats humidity like mad. I seal up tight at night and the heater coils eat water in darkness.
Oil/radiant is passive, Electric coil, aka 'milk house heater' is the way to go.
Cool air is always free at night, and around here, usually dry. I straight vent hot air all while the lights are on. My lights are making enough heat , I am responsible for carbureting its exit. Cooling air is passively drawn through the lungs to replace what is vented.

Trouble with extremes is a guy is always full throttle. There is 2800 watts of HID in my room tonight. The venting fan fails, all those ladies fry before I get out of bed.
Conversely, the heat fails and those plants are frozen solid, before the sun goes down.
Lotsa care and attention. Redundancy is a luxury and you will pay out the nose for it.
If you can literally keep your finger on the pulse of the garden, at all times, without fail, then all you need is a light , and a fan. πŸ˜„
 
Thanks, you've given me much to think about. I used to have a wood stove in there for backup heat but I gave it to my dad so he could make syrup. I suppose I could use a propane heater for backup.

For flood protection, I'll just have to leave a spot under the garage door unsealed so it can run out there. I've already made the mistake of letting weeds grow up around the concrete and allowing rain water to pool, which flooded the shop, but I haven't had that problem since I cleaned out the weeds.

I have already purchased the lights and drivers mentioned, but also have two 1k hps with raptor hoods I'm trying to sell. I have considered going with a hybrid LED/HID room, which I may end up doing, but during the summer I was thinking I'd just run LEDs. I can definitely see the advantage to running HID's in the winter though.

Regarding ventilation, I already have a 6" hole in the wall from the wood stove, and it would be difficult to cut a bigger one since it's a metal building, but I believe a 6" vortex power fan will be sufficient to ventilate a 12x12x8 space, which would be enough for my two 4x12 rows and a walkway. You think I should build out a room with 2x4s and insulation within the shop? Only downside to that is that I may be moving in a year...

Based on an online calculator, I would require from 5000 to 7000 watts to keep the whole building heated in the winter, more if temps go below 0ΒΊF. That would be tough to afford, so I can see where a room in a room setup would help.

Either way I will be looking into some sort of environmental monitoring system with smartphone compatibility, and I am home most of the time, so that should help.
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
Dude, thats a big canopy.

If you are making syrup, you have a lot more humidity to deal with than I. Also means you get more icestorms than on the prairie.

In a garden that large, you will need to dump and preheat (exchange) piles of air.

Moving sucks.
Consider tents within a bubble. This would allow staggered lighting periods in order to produce constant heat. Keep the bubble proper and the tents will follow.
When you end up moving , your gear is compartmentalised and good to go.

Propane heat is also boss. CO2 rules.

Unless you're hurting for that hundred bucks, hang onto your HID. Imagine their worth if you really needed them. Back up is always good.

I dump heat like crazy, in dead winter, running 50 w / square foot.
Exchanging heat, I bet that lit room would heat another room in darkness.
By that math , a guy could allocate 25 watts a footsquare, out the wall, to maintain proper temps.

I am making sense ?
If I had another identical garden, I ( am kinda guessing I) could run 100 square feet of total canopy with 2400 Watts running alternating light cycles.

2.4 kw/h x 24h
,,, final answer
100 square feet burns 57 Kwhrs per day.
+20lb of propane per week at -35 C. πŸ˜’
 

WillieP

In Bloom
Fluffy,
I'm not going to be able to help with the setup, but I can comment on the Jacks 321. I have used nothing but dry nutrients since I started growing a bit over a year ago. I started with Masterblend (thought it was a little high in K for vegging) and then switched to Jacks.
I've been really happy with the results. I usually use a modified Ebb & Flow, and have been trying Hempy buckets this round too.
As mentioned, I would suggest sticking with the three parts, (Epsom salt is cheap as hell)
I started with using bennies, similar to hydroguard, but have changed over to a sterile reservoir since then. (pool shock) That's just personal preference, but you will definitely need one or the other.
Good luck with your adventure!
Cheers,
WillieP
 
Put enough chickens in the coup, and they will keep each other warm.
Our chickens needed a lamp to stay warm in the winter, but I guess we didn't have more than 8 at once. All my chickens died years ago, but some of the mallards we raised along side them have been coming back each spring for over a decade, so that's been fun.

If I had more money and experience I'd probably start off with two rooms on a flip flop relay, or insulated tents, something of that nature. If I was running more than a 4x12 in the summer, I'd do it that way too. But as it is I will barely have enough cash to get this going, so I'm going to try to keep it simple. I sometimes think my plans may be a bit too ambitious as they are, but then I remember how much weed costs at the dispensary and that motivates me to give it my best effort.

The only way I'm going to be able to set up the second 4x12 area is if my first harvest is a complete success. If I end up screwing up the first one, I won't be able to afford to set up the second area, and I'll have to go back to buying weed until after I move. If the harvest is a success, I'll spend the money I save on weed on electricity, and ideally trade some of the harvest for used equipment for the second round.

I think I've decided on a lighting setup for winter as well. It would be a mix of dimmable 1k DE HPS and QB96's, arranged with one row of three QB96's on either end of and between 2 1k DE HPS, for a total of 2000 watts of HID, and 1050 watts of LED. With this much light I would have to run co2 at higher levels, but if I'm running a sealed room anyways I might as well.

I was thinking of ways to heat up the outside air as it comes into the building during vent cycles. I could get an inline heater, but I might just set up my 4x8 tent with some space heaters and vent through that. With a 6" hole, the best fan I could find was just under 500 cfm, so the vent cycles would take ~7.5 minutes to complete. With several space heaters, this might work well enough. My goal being to keep the day/night temperature differential in the room to 10ΒΊ or less, which might be difficult if the outside temps are in the negatives and I need to vent co2 at night.

Fluffy,
I'm not going to be able to help with the setup, but I can comment on the Jacks 321. I have used nothing but dry nutrients since I started growing a bit over a year ago. I started with Masterblend (thought it was a little high in K for vegging) and then switched to Jacks.
I've been really happy with the results. I usually use a modified Ebb & Flow, and have been trying Hempy buckets this round too.
As mentioned, I would suggest sticking with the three parts, (Epsom salt is cheap as hell)
I started with using bennies, similar to hydroguard, but have changed over to a sterile reservoir since then. (pool shock) That's just personal preference, but you will definitely need one or the other.
Good luck with your adventure!
Cheers,
WillieP
Thanks, I picked up a 5 lb bag of the epsom, it really is cheap! Is the ratio you use exactly 321 by mass?

Regarding sterile vs bennies; did you notice any build up in the res or lines running bennies? I have to assume running a sterile system would be cleaner.

Also, does the res pH drift much with the bennies?
 

WillieP

In Bloom
Thanks, I picked up a 5 lb bag of the epsom, it really is cheap! Is the ratio you use exactly 321 by mass?

Regarding sterile vs bennies; did you notice any build up in the res or lines running bennies? I have to assume running a sterile system would be cleaner.

Also, does the res pH drift much with the bennies?
Fluffy Butt,
Yes is the short answer. You can vary it, is the long answer.
I use a 3 part Jack's, 2.5-2.25 part Cal/Ni, and a 1 part Epsom salt when I am in veg. (all measured by weight)
In flower, I change that to a straight 3-2-1, and will even reduce the Cal/Ni further the last couple of weeks as the plants fade.
I am not a believer in the need to flush, I prefer to fade. (reduce the PPM level gradually towards the end of flower)

I used a product call Southern Ag:
Amazon.com : Southern Ag - 05171 - Garden Friendly Fungicide - Fungicide - 8oz : Garden & Outdoor
Tons stronger and lots cheaper than hydroguard.
Never noticed any build up of any kind.
After switching over to the sterile res, I have to say I prefer using the pool shock.

As far as PH drift goes, I don't recall any difference between bennies and sterile.
Both seem to drift up at the same rate. (just guessing)

Hope this info helps,
WillieP
 

Jewels

Tilts at Tables
Every garden will be different,,,
When I shut off the lights , I seal it up, tight.
At -30 , heater duty cycle is 70%- on.
The longer the heater runs the lower the humidity gets.
True. The colder it gets, the dryer my flower is. When that heater runs all night when I open up the tent in the morning it is down to 35% RH

During the heat of Summer, during lights off, I have to force in fresh air in order to dissipate humidity.
 
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