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2018 - The Farm


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#41 TrentL

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 02:25 PM

Pearlite, vermiculite, spaghum peat moss, powdered lime to quick-fix the peat moss, azonite all on the way. I'll do a couple test mixes of the peat & lime to figure out what's gonna work for that batch of peat after a week. Azonite is an experiment. ;)

 

Should have enough on the way for about 120 cu feet for sprouting the first batch. 

 

Going to start with the chinense, get them going and about the time I'm potting them up I'll start the annuums.

 



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#42 TrentL

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 03:19 PM

Grr peat moss supplier canceled on me, screw it, going to order a truck load of Coir bricks.

 



#43 TrentL

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 03:52 PM

Ordered 7,000 pounds of coir bricks. Will have some to spare if any local central IL growers want to buy some.

 

 



#44 Chilidude

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 02:37 AM

Ordered 7,000 pounds of coir bricks. Will have some to spare if any local central IL growers want to buy some.

 

 

 

I like your thinking..Coco coir is very slow to compost( it takes something like 8 years to totally compost) and keeps the roots happy much longer, because it doesnt just become hard as rock when there is no moisture around, like peat does. The initial cost of coco coir may be much higher than peat, but in the long run, you could end up saving some serious money because of the longer time it takes for the coco to lose it's benefits in the soil vs peat.

 

Coco coir can also be used again in the next year by itself in the pots, if you sift it from most of the dead plant material like leaves or roots, removing all dead material is not really needed, as the dead material will compost given some time.. I was thinking of making my last year coco coir like new again by adding some perlite to it.


Edited by Chilidude, 23 January 2018 - 02:55 AM.


#45 TrentL

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:10 AM

It's not that expensive when you order it in these volumes. I'm getting 7,500 pounds on the way, 3 pallets of compressed bricks at 2500 lbs each. I need a bit over two pallets (if I did my math correctly) which will leave me over 2k pounds extra. Shipping was the same for a partial pallet or full pallet, via truck, so this leverages the shipping costs out over more. 

 

Figure I can sell the excess. 

 

My cost comes out to about 37 cents a pound - when I'm seeing it sold retail for $6-7 a pound, that's a pretty big difference. :)

 

Having peat moss trucked in from Canada was going to be more costly, so it's good that it worked out this way.

 


Edited by TrentL, 23 January 2018 - 11:11 AM.


#46 Chilidude

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:30 AM

It's not that expensive when you order it in these volumes. I'm getting 7,500 pounds on the way, 3 pallets of compressed bricks at 2500 lbs each. I need a bit over two pallets (if I did my math correctly) which will leave me over 2k pounds extra. Shipping was the same for a partial pallet or full pallet, via truck, so this leverages the shipping costs out over more. 

 

Figure I can sell the excess. 

 

My cost comes out to about 37 cents a pound - when I'm seeing it sold retail for $6-7 a pound, that's a pretty big difference. :)

 

Having peat moss trucked in from Canada was going to be more costly, so it's good that it worked out this way.

 

 

Ha, it seems that Biolan, one largest soil making company in Finland have noticed this coco coir interest..They are now manufacturing coco coir like very coarse composted peatmoss, that they only collect from the surface of the wet lands, leaving the many hundred years old peat intact and thus creating something, that is more environmentally friendly and sustainable choice. :party:

 

They now believe, that this stuff will be the future growing soil in commercial greenhouses etc...I have seen this Biolan composted peatmoss myself and it is very much like coco coir, very coarse stuff.

 

Picture of the stuff in the link:

https://1.bp.blogspo...A4hikuvassa.jpg


Edited by Chilidude, 23 January 2018 - 11:48 AM.


#47 TrentL

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:51 AM

Have to be careful about harvesting peat from the surface. The pH of surface peat moss is very different from the older, lower stuff. Canadian peat moss has been the staple in N. America for a long time. In recent years a lot of folks have been switching to imported coir as it's a renewable source. It's waste material from the coconut industry. 

 

It's not the end-all of growing stuff, though. The pH is usually in the right range (unlike peat, that has to be carefully adjusted and monitored). But available nutrients are scarce on the washed stuff, so you've got to amend it with various stuff to make it work well as a component of potting soil. 

 

My plants will only live in it for a few months before hitting the dirt so shouldn't be too big of a deal. I've got a sample on the way so I can start testing what I'll need to add to it. Only have a few weeks before I've got to get things sprouted though so not much time to mess around. :)

 



#48 Chilidude

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 11:54 AM

Have to be careful about harvesting peat from the surface. The pH of surface peat moss is very different from the older, lower stuff. Canadian peat moss has been the staple in N. America for a long time. In recent years a lot of folks have been switching to imported coir as it's a renewable source. It's waste material from the coconut industry. 

 

It's not the end-all of growing stuff, though. The pH is usually in the right range (unlike peat, that has to be carefully adjusted and monitored). But available nutrients are scarce on the washed stuff, so you've got to amend it with various stuff to make it work well as a component of potting soil. 

 

My plants will only live in it for a few months before hitting the dirt so shouldn't be too big of a deal. I've got a sample on the way so I can start testing what I'll need to add to it. Only have a few weeks before I've got to get things sprouted though so not much time to mess around. :)

 

 

The biolan stuff seem to be fertilized and some calc is added to the mix, so maybe they found a way to adjust the ph.


Edited by Chilidude, 23 January 2018 - 11:55 AM.


#49 TrentL

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:21 PM

 

The biolan stuff seem to be fertilized and some calc is added to the mix, so maybe they found a way to adjust the ph.

 

Most potting soil mixes add dolomitic limestone to peat-based soils to balance it out over time while it's bagged up waiting to get used. Although the moisture content in the bagged soil means it might take some more adjusting before or after you use it.

 

I ran in to pH problems on pre-mixed peat soils in the past. Some seemed to have it down pretty good, others were way the hell off. And the dolomitic lime acts over time, and changes over time, so it's something that you've gotta test and keep an eye on. It also generally is high in magnesium which can cause some nutrient issues on peppers. 

 

PH issues from peat based pre-mixed store bought soil causing nutrient availability issues in an older grow of mine:

 

fuppoUQ.jpg

 

Magnesium / iron issues in another;

 

ozJJOXA.jpg

 

 

The well water I was using was stupid high in iron (as I learned in a later lab test) and combined with the calcium / mag issues from the soil, it caused some early issues for some of the grow.

 

That's why I want to mix my own this time around, not only will I have a very large sample size (~3000+ plants) but I also will have control over every aspect of what they see along the way. This will allow me to do some experimenting. Working on a barcode system to track them.



#50 Chilidude

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:27 PM

I will stay with the coco coir, it plain works for me without much issues.


Edited by Chilidude, 23 January 2018 - 12:28 PM.


#51 TrentL

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 12:43 PM

I will stay with the coco coir, it plain works for me without much issues.

Yeah that's what I have heard, it's good for a base. This will be my first time using coir.

 

I'll be using a basic mix of it + vermiculite + pearlite for sprouting then I hope to have a better mix developed for the grow out once they get their first true leaves.


Edited by TrentL, 23 January 2018 - 12:43 PM.


#52 Chilidude

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Posted 23 January 2018 - 02:00 PM

Yeah that's what I have heard, it's good for a base. This will be my first time using coir.

 

I'll be using a basic mix of it + vermiculite + pearlite for sprouting then I hope to have a better mix developed for the grow out once they get their first true leaves.

 

I have always used pure coco coir for all chilis, all the way from small plant to full grown chili.



#53 TrentL

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:27 PM

Still working on getting the seedling room ready. Ran 3x 20 amp circuits in there for lights. Waiting on more lights to show up, and growing medium.

 

A pair of 4' T5 lights from growace.com are MIA. Never got shipping information from them, ordered 9 days ago. Opened a ticket with them to find out where the hell they are at.

 

Took delivery of 40 cu ft. of vermiculite and 40cu ft of pearlite yesterday. State is slow getting sales tax forms ready though. Got the ID # this week but 7-10 days for the paper copy to arrive that the vendors need.

 

jdnYF9p.jpg

 

Yv7kNaB.jpg

 

Weights are to hold the grow mats flat while they get used to being un-curled.

 

yRrHAfK.jpg

 

40,000 lumens per 4', 10,000 lumens per 1020 tray. Light works out to 54w per tray. Should be enough. :)

 

When this room is done it will have 2,592 sprouting cells occupied.

 

Gotta get working on the loft at the farm, that's where 4" transplants will be done as first true leaves emerge.

 

Will require a LOT more square footage at that point. (288 sq foot for each 'leg" of the grow). While I can fit 576 seedlings on an 8' table, I can only fit 180 4" pots per 8' table. Each "leg" of the grow transplant will require 15 tables (well, 14 1/2 tables, anyway). 

 

If I double up the tables I can make more efficient use of lights (which I need to do as the building I'm doing that in only has 100 amp service right now; and my initial calcs for lights were 122 amps continuous.. which isn't gonna fly). 

 

So plan is two rows of tables down the middle of this; 15 in all (skipping one for the stairs)

 

HYVOyF0.jpg

 

The problem is this constrains me to about 2600 plants, which is about half of what I wanted to plant out. 

But it is what it is. 

 

Electrical will go down as follows with that in mind;

 

For lights there I'll have a limitation of 80% of my 100 amp 240v service entry, or 19200 watts. Each 8x54w T5 high output bank of lights is 432 watts. I have to use 20 amp 120v circuits as 30 amp are disallowed per code for lighting w/ T5's. I can't exceed 1,920 watts per 20 amp circuit using the 80% rule. This puts me at 4 lights per circuit (1728 watts each circuit). I can have a max of 44 lights (19,008), split on 11 circuits. 

 

With 15 tables planned, 2x lights per table would be 30 lights. I could do this on 8 circuits, but 10 circuits would be safer (each circuit would be loaded to 1,296 watts, or 10.8 amps, just over 50% rated limit, instead of pushing them to 80%...).

 

So lights will be mounted (generally) cross section, with 4 lights per 2 tables like this;

 

EECla35.png

 

 

 



#54 Chilidude

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:32 PM

Have you considered the newer kind of professional led grow lights, they may cost more than the usual systems but the overall electric bill reduction may save a lot of money in the long run.



#55 Edmick

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:49 PM

Nice seedling setup. Thats exactly what I'm trying to do in the 3rd car section of my garage.

#56 Walchit

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:49 PM

44 t-5's you should write a rap song about that

#57 TrentL

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:57 PM

Have you considered the newer kind of professional led grow lights, they may cost more than the usual systems but the overall electric bill reduction may save a lot of money in the long run.

 

I'm only using that loft one year - I'll be building greenhouses later this year, so next year this will be a lot more straightforward.  Natural sunlight is cheap.

 

Something like the S900 Advance Spectrum MAX would cover the same area, at 4.5x the setup cost, and it draws 200 watts more than a 4' T5 8 light array.

 

Something like the Kind Led K5 Series XL1000  draws 630 watts, covers about what 2 of the T5 arrays cover, but costs 9x as much. 

 

They just aren't cost effective.

 

The big advantage to the LED arrays is you can switch from grow to bloom mode light spectrums with a flip of a switch. 

 

But I can swap half of my 6500k bulbs for 2700k bulbs and accomplish the same thing, and I'd still be coming in a lot lower on price.

 

As far as efficiency goes, it's hard to beat high output T5's.

 

That room I drafted above will have 1.2 million lumens of light focused on the tables at a cost only 6k.



#58 Edmick

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

44 t-5's you should write a rap song about that


Slipped my girl a 44 and she crept in the back do' (of the barn)

#59 TrentL

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:58 PM

(Grow to bloom is irrelevant anyway, as these are getting planted out in to a field. If I were growing pot, would be a different story lol.)

 



#60 Chilidude

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 02:01 PM

If you use the place for such a short time, then the T5 system is overall more cost effective.


Edited by Chilidude, 25 January 2018 - 02:02 PM.





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