so many views and nobody has any advice?
help a gal out, whydoncha?
I currently grow a couple plants at a time in a small grow box that I purchased a couple years ago. I'm looking to increase my operation in the basement of a home that I own and live in with my girfriend. If some of you experienced growers out there would take the time to look over my plans, answer my questions, and provide any other valuable feedback, I would be SO appreciative. Here's what I got...
My basement is divided into an upper level and sub-basement area. Other houses in my neighborhood don't include the lower sub-basement area. It was a special feature that builder did for the original owners of the home. I intend to wall-off the sub-basement portion from the rest of the basement and create a secret entry, possibly through the back of a storage closet. It would not be obvious to a guest in my home that the sub-basement area existed, except for one window in the sub-basement area that looks to my backyard. I intend to plant shrubs in front of that window, to obstruct any evidence that the window exists from the outside. Of course, I intend to also black the window out, so I can completely control the light in my grow area. Here is a possible hidden entrance option, by passing through a closet behind a bar. I'm not totally set on this option, but it is one of many different ideas I am considering for keeping the room hidden to visitors.
Hopefully that link works. I'm not so confident... EEEk.
So, the hidden sub-basement area on the other side of the wall will be divided into 5 main areas: there is a closet for mothers, a closet for clones/seedlings, an area for drying, the flowering room (actually 2 rooms), and a utility room. Here is a basic outline of the different areas. The next image will show more how the flowering area is divided out, but this will give you a basic idea of the areas of different purposes:
The flowering area will be divided into 3 rooms. Two flowering rooms and one utility room. The utility room serves a couple main purposes. First, the two separate flower rooms will be on alternating light cycles, so the utility room separation allows me to be able to access the dark room, without opening it to the light coming from the lit room. The utility room is also where the hose faucet is located. This location allows us to easily get water to both grow rooms. Lastly, the basement window is in the utility room, so I will be able to vent fresh air to both flowering rooms through the utility room. Here's the general plan for dividing the flowering area:
Each flowering room will have 3 tables, approx 4x4 feet each. I intend to grow 12 plants on each of the tables. For lighting, I would like to use one HPS light positioned over each table, so 3 lights per grow room. My first question is, what is the minimum wattage you would recommend for each of these lights? I have read suggestions for light given for the number of plants and the number of square feet. If I use three 1000 watt HPS lights (one over each table) per grow room, that will be a total of 3500 lumens per square foot of total space, including the space in the room not occupied by plants - the walking aisle. Alternatively, it would be 1000 watts per 12 plants. If, when determining the number of lumens per square you should NOT include the non-plant-occupied areas of the room, it would be 8,750 lumen per square foot of plant-occupied space. Obviously, if i could get an acceptable yield with a 400 or 600 watt hps over each table, I would rather get by with as little as possible. The walls will be painted white and covered with mylar where possible.
Ventilation and temperature will be regulated through fresh air via a window in the utility room. I will use ducts and fans to push cool, fresh air from outside into each of the flowering rooms. Vents to allow for air to exit will be feed from both rooms into a common carbon filter (stored in the drying area of the basement) and out through vents in the wall behind the bar area of the non-hidden part of the basement. The vents will look like regular air-conditioning vents, so I'm not worried about the look. I am a little concerned about the odor, though. All the air that is vented from the flowering rooms into the main part of the house will have gone through a carbon filter. Will this be enough to control odor? Of course, we can use other masking methods in the bar area, too... candles, incense, etc...
Last technical question: How do I need to divide the lights and fans over the circuit breakers? Currently, the total area of the basement is served by 3 separate breakers. You'll have to excuse my electrical ignorance. I hope to find someone to help with the electrical work when the time comes. Anyway, the area is served by 3 breakers... one was originally purposed for a bathroom that used to be in the basement, so it is the kind of circuit that trips if it thinks there is water damage. The second circuit is just a standard circuit and the last one is high-capacity. It originally serviced a sauna that was in the basement. I planned to use compact fluorescents for my mothers and clones, and like I said, a total of six (wattage undetermined) HPS for the flowering rooms. Lastly, there will be two fans and possibly a small air-conditioning unit during the warmest part of summer. How many breakers would this need to be distributed on?
So, as far as yield goes... I was thinking about keeping 3 mothers. I would like to take 6-8 clone cuttings every week. Is that an acceptable amount of cutting to distribute between 3 healthy mothers? Also, is there any reason that my mothers need to be separated from my clones? They're on the same light cycle, right? So, it doesn't matter? I've never grown using clones, as I've never had the resources to maintain separate rooms with different light cycles. If I am taking 6-8 clones every week, once they mature enough to be moved into the flowering room, I plan to also move about 6 plants into the flower room every week, and subsequently move about 6 plants into the drying phase every week, too. This would give the clones as long as needed in the vegetative phase and up to 12 weeks in the flowering phase. If I've done my math right, this will yield me about 3 pounds per month. I grow white widow, btw.
What am I doing wrong? What can I do better? Do you see any potential problems? Remember, I have grown, but not in a multi-room rotation like this. I appreciate your feedback -- thanks in advance!
so many views and nobody has any advice?
help a gal out, whydoncha?
I agree. Your lucky to have all that space to grow.
"A nation of herb is a nation of construction, a nation of alcohol is a nation of destruction." - the one, the only Bob Marley
Get a Harvest Every 2 Weeks
You should consider getting light movers with this big a setup. They greatly improve efficiency and save on electrical/lighting needs. A 4'x8' space can technically be lit with 1 1000w light on a light mover. Check out a post in the following thread by Hobbes with his harvest results.
POLL: What is your grams/watt production?
Air control is your number 1 concern with an indoor op; it is the most likely thing to get you busted. Make sure your plans are "air-tight" before you start
This is all stuff I've picked up from simply reading these forums and watching/reading a few grow videos/books. Jorge Cervantes is an invaluable partner to have in any grow operation and I highly suggest you pick up one of his books. The books go into way more detail than the vids. I would actually just recommend the books for knowledge, the vids for entertainment. Check out:
Also, read this article on how the big commerical indoor ops are run up in British Columbia. They may be much larger in scale compared to your setup, but all of the techniques can be applied on a smaller scale. If the big ones get away with it on those scales, there's no reason why you can't on your scale.
It's a two part article, read both.
Hope this helps. I've never grown myself but everything here is simple common sense so no reason why it cannot lead to improvements.
"It was wonderful, to see how, after only a few turns, the colors became mixed, apparently in random fashion. It was tremendously satisfying to watch this color parade. Like after a nice walk when you have seen many lovely sights you decide to go home, after a while I decided it was time to go home, let us put the cubes back in order. And it was at that moment that I came face to face with the Big Challenge: What is the way home?"