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indoor Update and some problems in the grow tent, need some help.

Edit: short of anything else, because I know there is a whole lot more info on here than most people would feel like reading, if you could just take a look at the pics and post what you think is wrong with them, and the stuff in bold should mention something related to it usually. Thanks

Hi guys,

I figured I would give an update on the larger set of plants, I have 2 smaller trays of about 80 seedlings total in the shelf, and once I get the care package from Xtreme Growing I plan to plant up those, but I have some questions about the plants in the grow room. and just some background, they are all in 1 gallon pots (except for 1 of them) and I have a 600w HID Digilux MH bulb in there and the lumens are from 20-30,000 towards the sides to about 15-20,000 lumens right under it (I am guessing due to the hood and the "cool tube" reflecting the light from the bulb differently than I would expect).. point being, plenty of light. I also have 1 small 12" fan on all the time in the top left corner blowing air near the opening of the light tube whenever the light is on, I also have a big 18" fan osculating for about 15min once every hour when the light is on.. and then every other 15min when the lights are off.. I also have an inline vent fan that blows all the air out of the tent to recirculate the air a few times while the lights are on, but once every hour I think when the lights are off to keep the humidity down, so the humidity is around 70% usually based on the meter I have(maybe up to 80% sometimes, but not for long), I should check it with my dad's meter too just to make sure.

It seems that no matter what I do, there is always something up with these guys, I have a set of 14 plants that I planted a month earlier than the majority of these, so sometime around mid Dec. which I have been using as a kind of test group. They are growing well, the roots are really packed in there but when I potted up one of the Bulgarian Carrot plants into a 3 gallon bucket just because it had a lot of pods on it and I liked that one lol.. the root ball was good, but not crazy packed and no where close to root bound which was good to know. I will just lay out my issues I am having:

I will post the issue with info on it, and then the question in bold, with a pic under it of what I am talking about. The pics are not great right now because the lights are off, but I will see if I can get some better pics when the lights come on in 2 more hours, and with that said, most of the leaves look much more yellow than they do normally, due to the flash)

1.) While I am on the topic of the Bulgarian Carrot plant that I potted up, it has started to produce a little bit more growth but it's really slow, it's a small plant and I would say it is plenty mature by now, but I have had pods on the plant since... I think 2 months now.. or at least 1.5 months and they are just about fully grown, I figured I would be getting some ripe ones by now, but the plant has just held on to them and they are still green... My guess is that the plant just needs more light for it to really finish off and get those pods ripe.. the plant has about.. 20 fully grown pods and something like 10+ other pods, I don't really know, I haven't counted all of them.. but there are a lot of them.. the plant is still green, and is doing great.. my question being, am I right about it just needing more light? (the not so great looking leaf on the left side of the pic is from a different plant)

2.) My second issue is that the leaves are.. well they just don't look great, some of them are curling a little, especially towards the top of the plant, but they are green and look healthy (some of them I are not that great, I will address that below) My aji lemons especially are really a PITA because they curl like crazy, even the seedlings that I have in the shelf is curling a little.. what the heck is up?? I had water issues at first because I had just transplanted them and the soil is heavier than before, and the humidity was really high before... but now that the roots are established and the fans I explained up above so the humidity shouldn't be THAT bad.. it really doesn't seem very humid.. 60-70% shouldn't be a problem for a pepper plant I would think..and now the walls of the grow tent are always dry, where before they started building up moisture before the inline fan came on.. but like I said I corrected that.. for nutes, I have about 1/2 the recommended strength that they say of each: bone meal mixed into the bottom of the soil before I put the plant in while transplanting, Blood meal under a thin layer of the soil on the top, so just under the surface, and I also have a little bit of granulated Potash from muriate I think, they were 0-0-60, so I used like 4-5 grains sprinkled on there, which is wayy way lower than any recommended amount, I did the math to make sure the numbers were about even with the other 2 ferts.. and I don't plan on them breaking down very fast anyways because the grains are bigger than the blood meal and stuff.. but anyways I also have a little bit of sulfur pellets to just keep the pH around 6, and I need to check it again tonight after I water but it is usually pretty consistent, if not closer to 6.5pH

as far as watering goes, like I said I had waited about 3 weeks before watering the last time to wait until it dried out, because the 2 waterings I did before that I did within a week right after potting them up.. even though I used only about 1/3 solo cup of water those times, this last time I watered I used 1/2 solo cup of water to close to 3/4 a cup maybe, but almost all of the pots are really lite now and dry.. there are a few that are still heavy but I just won't water those.. and it has been 1 week.. I need to water them today later on when the lights come on.. so I know I am not over watering them, they just start to droop and like I said, the weight of the soil is less than when I transplanted them, (the soil was damp but not wet when I first transplanted them, so now they are really dry)

Here are some pics of the ones I am talking about, first one is Aji Lemon.. and also, the majority of the ones affected are annuums, there are a few chinese ones that are affected but not much.. and most of the superhots are looking great for the most part.

I think a Hottie Hybrid (hab) or Caribbean Red, can't remember

And a chocolate bhut just starting to curl today as of this morning, and the pot on this one is really light, so going to water tonight like I said


3.) Ok, so the third issue is that some of the lower leaves on them are falling off, a few of them start to turn a little yellow then fall off, but there are even a couple (but not as many) that are still a pretty green and they come off.. maybe when I bump them a little, but they shouldn't be that brittle.. all of the nodes where the leaves have come off have new leaves starting to grow from them, so I'm not really worried about this too much because I think it has more to do with them being tightely packed in there and maybe not enough light getting down there.. but it's still around 5,000 lumens.. so I don't know, any ideas. you can see what I am talking about in the pics above, but here are some pics of the whole tent, with the first one has the older ones in the back.. but actually I just remembered that I pruned all of those lower leaves off about 2 months ago, or a little less (part of the 14 I was kind of testing some things with).. I figured they would have new leaves growing great of of them by now, but they are really really slow to grow.. again I think it might be a mix of the pot size and lack of the huge amount of light the sun puts out....

oh and also a few of the older plants, mainly the ones in the pic below have a few yellow leaves, I might have been messing up the watering a little, but the soil drains really well and packed with roots, so I have to water them every 4-5 days about, and it drys completely out by then, so some of these leaves might be a little yellow still from when I screwed it up, and just haven't fallen off yet.. maybe?


Here are the annuums that I was talking about, I know they have a little bit of edema, but like I said I corrected the issue, and I only water when the soil is all dried up, but they still are being a PITA.. mainly the Tepins on this side, and the cherry peppers, but they are still growing and some have some pepper pods on them which are doing well..

Grow tent all together..


and sorry guys for the huge wright up,(and I don't know why some of these pics are flipped, when they are upright in photobucket, but oh well) but I wanted to get everything covered and reduce the number of people asking questions that I know will be asked if I leave it out.. and I would like to see what is going on, I have some ideas, but I want to see what everyone else thinks about it.. so if you guys could take a little time to at least go through one of the issues that would be very much appreciated, thanks (next year I will be sure to make a glog so I don't need huge posts like this one lol)


and just for kicks here are pics of the shelves with the seedlings, the top shelf has another 40 seedlings that I just planted, and some chocolate scorps on the right side that I planted a week after everything else.. and about 35 or so tomato plants as extras for the ones my mom planted back in January lol which are now flowering and a few have tomatoes on them.. and the bottom shelf are the seedling I planted I think about a month ago and will be putting them in party cups sometime soon.. the damn chocolate bhuts didn't come up, out of the 6 seeds I put in there.. I had about 2 in each cell, and did it 3 times over when they didn't come up.. so I don't know, the others were a pain to, maybe they will come up in a few weeks.. if not oh well, I already have 3 bigger ones in the tent.

lol I figured the super long ass post would scare a good amount of people away.. 37 views and no bites yet.. oh well, hopefully someone will post something soon about any of the problems in general, don't need to really go for all of them at once if it makes it any easier :think:
One thing I notice right away is that you never mention your temps. IME Chineses can handle higher temperatures than annums. You seem to really have the enviromentals nailed down though, so my guess would be you have temperatures in the right range?

I have been letting my grow room get up into the low 90's due to having such hot weather this month but the bhut and scorps absolutely love it. I don't think I would risk my bell peppers in there though.
yeah I forgot to mention that, the temps have actually been pretty good, when the lights are off the temps are pretty solid at 70, 65 at the lowest if the temps drop back down to freezing outside, which I don't think it will anymore, and when the lights are on, the temps on the little thermometer/humidity meter from walmart which is sitting on the Bulgarian Carrot pot near the big fan.. I think my big issue is the humidity maybe, and the annuums just don't handle it as well, and my mom's tomato plants were in there before but I moved them outside now in the mini greenhouse, but they were doing OK, but they were pretty prone to edema..

my main concern is just making sure that nothing big is wrong, I figure the small things like humidity and light and stuff will be ok until I plant them out, since they seem to be growing still, and those Aji Lemons are a pain, I can't figure out why they would be the only plants that right off the bat, had curling and stuff.. but are also growing leaves and shoots out of everywhere.. again maybe they just don't like the humidity that much
Yes, I am always amazed to see the vast difference in reactions to environments between varieties of the same species. I have been dealing with similar issues, but with chinense varieties. I do get high humidity in the greenhouse during the night, but its really low during the day. My grow room has low humidity and the chinense look wonderful.

I have also had pest problems in the GH, but I would think if you had a pest problem you would know by now.

My 2nd year Douglahs and Butch T's looked very much like your plants about a month ago. I gave them a high dose of Epsom, followed by a light application of GH Micro and they snapped out of it after a couple of weeks. This week they are starting to show the same symptoms again. I will try the same thing next watering and see if it is repeatable.

All of the bhuts in the GH, that weren't attacked by thrips, look really great though.

I hope some of this helps you, I realize I am not giving you much in the way of actual answers.
thanks, I just finished watering most of them, I still have a few left, need to fill the bucket back up.. but I just noticed that the pots are crazy light.. like more so than when I potted them up in the beginning.. I didn't even really realize it could be that light.. and a bunch of leaves were coming off (1 or so from every other plant or so.. but with all those plants it is a lot still) so could under watering cause this? I noticed that when I first potted them up the water soaked right in and the soil held it really well.. which is where I came across the edema issue, but now the water runs out really fast, which is good, but I just never expected such a dramatic change.

I had talked to Dale from Baker's Peppers who had suggested the pine bark chips, which I used about 30% in this soil mixture, with about 30% perlite too (still playing around with it and will change the mix again for next time) but anyways with all the water running out the bottom, I guess the roots have really taken hold, and Dale was saying that the pine bark chips really are great because they hold water, but they also loose the water pretty quickly..

I have also been putting a super super low dose of ferts when watering.. like 4 drops of 10-10-10 indoor MG plant fertilizer, where it says use 7 drops per liter per plant for indoor plants.. I just didn't want to over do it since there were already some ferts in the soil when I mixed them up.. but I increased it a little bit last time, and also I have just started using Cal-Mag at recommended dose the last watering.. and I have already noticed a nice green from most of the leaves.. so I think I am kind of in a similar boat as you, I just was so worried about over watering them again and using too many ferts. that I think I am starving them, and they are aborting good leaves.. if that is the case I will find out in a few days to see how they respond to this watering, and the leaves should grow back pretty quick

these plants are really keeping me on my toes with the watering schedules haha, first too much, then too little, then back and forth and so on..

and with my older plants, that are in a lot of Perlite and MG soil, I assume those nutes from the MG have been LONG gone by now.. since they have filled up those 1 gallon buckets with roots about 3 months ago..and I need to water them every 3 days or so.. I just haven't thought about really adding more ferts to the water when I water them, since again.. I'm nervous about adding too much... so gonna give them some more love and see how it turns out.

thanks again for all the help!
Having 60% of your growing medium being pine bark chips and perlite, is it possible that not enough water is being retained, as you said that it runs out very fast? I'm just guessing!

Lumens are meaningless for plants, as green plants do not utilize green light for photosynthesis. A higher lumen rating at the same wattage often means greener light. Lumen is a rating weighted entirely towards human perception. It has little to do with the value of a light for either growing or viewing plants.

Saw the above in an article on lighting and growing. Is it possible that your lumen output may be having adverse consequences?
Having 60% of your growing medium being pine bark chips and perlite, is it possible that not enough water is being retained, as you said that it runs out very fast? I'm just guessing!

Lumens are meaningless for plants, as green plants do not utilize green light for photosynthesis. A higher lumen rating at the same wattage often means greener light. Lumen is a rating weighted entirely towards human perception. It has little to do with the value of a light for either growing or viewing plants.

Saw the above in an article on lighting and growing. Is it possible that your lumen output may be having adverse consequences?

yeah, I read a whole lot about the lighting and everything, but I was just posting that because it just means that there is plently of light there, where as people on this site generally recommend 3,000 lumens per square foot, and the DigiLux MH light is actually really good, I had a regular 400w MH light before I switched to the 600w set up and it was good, but I have noticed a nice increase when going to the Digilux bulb (at first I had kept the watts down to around 450 for a while...

but anyways the light should be fine, a lot of people have been using the same/similar set up, I just use the little light meter that I have to figure out how far above the plants I set the hood at, so that I I can set it low enough, without loosing light off in the corners of the grow tent... and for kicks a bright sunny day is suppose to be around 100,000 lumens, and I went out the other day when there wasn't a single cloud and measured it at 126-136,000 lumens, which was pretty cool.. but point being that the spectrum on the DigiLux bulb is great for plants too.. here..I posted this on one of the light threads on here (or actually "Grow Room Heating" when we were talking about light and bulbs and all that stuff

oh and with that stuff said, I was thinking before when I went back down to water the rest of them.. that a couple of the plants that are in the back corner (from the older plants that I have, where their soil is really really packed with roots) but one of them that is in the back not getting as much direct light.. but still like 10,000 lumens, is doing pretty good, not really growing much or doing anything, but still green.. I think that with the light, the plants are trying to grow and don't have the water and available nutrients to do it, so they are aborting some of their leaves, and almost like they are running themselves dry.. and I just need to water them a little more often and with some soluble nutrients so that they can actually grow their own speed... and I think the slow release nutrients from the bone and blood meal are not dissolving into the soil as fast as the plants need them.. so hopefully by next week they will start to look better after giving them a little more nutrients this watering

600w Digilux MH bulb

and as far as the soil not holding water, I was thinking about that.. but at first I thought it was wayy too heavy, but now it seems really good... but anyways I know it holds the water because it is really heavy for a while after.. I just mean it runs out of the bottom really fast just because I was so surprised that it did, where as 3 weeks prior when the roots were not developed after potting up.. no water would come out at all.. but now it does, but the pot is still really heavy after watering.. it just dries up in a little less than a week rather than the 2.5 weeks it took to dry up before lol

oh and the pine bark is actually shredded, I mean to get actual pine bark chips next time I mix a soil, in addition to the shredded pine bark.. the shredded pine bark is.. well shredded and really fine, where there really are not many chips, if any, so it's just like a composted pine bark.. my next mixture I want a good amount less perlite, but with a mixture of pine bark chips and shredded pine bark, should work better.. but that is for the 5 gallon buckets and eventually the small peppers once I pot those up in a week or 2
So, you're concerned about WHERE the water is going, i.e. drying up? The pot is still heavy after watering but the water is drying up, right? Could the pine bark be absorbing too much water and not allowing adequate water for the root system?
no, sorry lol, I'm not really so much concerned about where it is going, that was more of a side note about how much of a difference there is between 3 weeks after the roots have been established, even with a heavier soil, it still drains well.. so I just need to water them more often, my main concern is just why the leaves are dropping when they are good leaves, some of them turn a little yellow but some are just dropping, and why the leaves are curling, and actually after seeing my chocolate bhut start to curl when the other ones and even that one looked great yesterday, I think it is just from under watering and letting them dry out a lot.. I just didn't expect to have to water them for another week or 2, but it has only been 1 week since last time I watered them

and the pine bark should be able to hold onto some of the water, the pine bark on top just keeps the very top of the soil from drying out really fast, but the little bit of pine bark in the soil should be able to help hold some water in the soil, which is good... so, I'm not really worried about the water so much, it was just something that changed since last time, I've been trying to figure out a good watering pattern and everything, and since they are growing pretty fast, it is just hard to nail one schedule down.. the leaves, the yellowing, and the curling are my main concerns and I just wanted to make a point about the soil so that people wouldn't automatically assume that I am over watering them, which the yellowing and curling is typical of over watering, but with them drying out within a week and having good soil drainage.. I am very certain that it isn't from over watering

so at this point I think they were "starving" and just needed some ferts, especially if last year I was dumping a TON of slow release grainuals on them all year long in the garden lol, they just didn't produce pods till later in the year, but were really bushy lol.. and before with my first set of plants in the MG soil with some added ferts of my own grew great.. but with everyone on here talking about not over fertilizing them.. I think I just let them go too long without any liquid ferts while the slow release ferts break down eventually
Is Dale using the bark mix with his indoor plants and seedlings? He definitely knows what he is doing with his soil cause his plants look outstanding. I know my mixes have always different performance inside vs outside. Last year my soil was outstanding in the grow room, I had a very consistent watering schedule. I used the same mix when they went outdoors and struggled constantly with moisture control. I think you are definitely on the right track with slowly changing the variables, drastic measures always end badly for me it seems.
Dale is using that with the.. well outdoor plants I guess.. it is the same mixture from inside under the shade cloth, then completely outside in the bigger buckets, he also has enough room to keep them potted up nice a big, like right now I could probably pot them up again, or maybe in another week or 2.. but I don't have the room so I don't know.. with this being my first year starting so early from seed I am being thrown around with the differences in soil mixes that I have been trying out (which I have changed pretty much every time I have potted something up lol with each batch) so from going from what I thought was a really heavy soil mix, and not needing to water it for 3 weeks when the roots were still developing, and then needing to water it after just 1 week or less when the roots seemed to have expanded like crazy (had tons of thick white roots coming out of the bottom at the end of the 3 weeks, it's great) it just threw me off..

and even a few hours after watering them tonight they seem happier.. I just need to stay on top of the watering and increase the ferts a little more.. I always Wayyy over did the ferts before, but it was outside in the ground so it wasn't bad.. it just made the plants veg like crazy.. but even in pots I did it more than usual and they seemed to be OK, but now that I am watching it more.. I think I just went too conservative, so once I find that middle ground which should be pretty easy, things should be pretty good.. seeing a few new stems pop out of nodes where leaves use to be is pretty cool.. can't wait to get them growing nice and fast again!
Haven't had time to read your essay, but after seeing your pix on the other thread, I would suspect Fungus Gnats are eating your roots.
Haven't had time to read your essay, but after seeing your pix on the other thread, I would suspect Fungus Gnats are eating your roots.
yeah, I cut back on them a lot, some of those traps have been sitting around for a while, but even so, it is a lot, I need to come back hard on them to start killing them more, I had not used the dunks in a little while. I need to also change that trap out because I don't even think there is more room on there for more gnats lol, and I can see how bad it is now.

Another possibility is cal/mag deficiency.

I think that is part of the problem, I have noticed the last 2 times I watered them with the Cal-Mag, they have been much greener and looking happier after.. I also just opened the top zipper on the tent of the door so there is a nice large vent in there.. I think it was getting a little warmer than I thought, and the humidity was really high.. and even after a few days of that the annuums looks a TON better so far, the other ones are taking a little longer, but they look pretty good, I think it is a combo of things, but they are getting better and not worse right now, so hopefully they continue to get better

Edit: quick update, so far the plants are looking even better, which is awesome, I think the humidity was wayy to high, and with the increase in heat, it was too much, the annuums are starting to flatten out and look better too, and with the Cal-Mag there, the chocolate bhut is flattening out as well, and everything is looking a little more of a dark green like they use to be
Update again, so the plants are looking really really good, I had a quick picture of them on my phone.. enh, I will just go down and take a pic now.. but anyways, I have kept the top zippers on the "doors" open so there is a nice gap of constant air flow in the tent to keep the humidity down, the heat is slightly lower but it still stays between 75-80ish which is great.. AND the best part, they are doing well enough where a couple of them are starting to ripen, the big Bulgarian Carrot plant has about 5-6 turning orange, and I picked 2 that were pretty ripe, could have left them on there for another 2 days but I hadn't even noticed them until I went to water them today, they were packed behind all the foliage.. and I have another BC plant with 1 pepper turning orange, and I had a Cherry Bomb Hybrid pepper that was all ripe, it's a little guy, but the plant is still small, and I have been picking the buds off when I can, but there are just so many of them, that I just end up letting the lower ones go, and just picking the ones on the top to hopefully promote some new growth on the top.. it doesn't seem to be making a huge difference right now.. there is still a month till they go outside, and they are all about 18"+ tall, so I figure they are fine.

wow, so I was planning on a quick update, but can't help rambling.. so anyways here is the pic of the peppers, and I will go take a pic of the grow room plants really quick... OH, and I attribute them doing so well to the lower humidity (it was really high before, now it's in the 60%-75% or so with new/fresh air flow all the time.. and a lot to adding ferts since I guess the organic ferts have been taking a long time to break down, a lot of the plants have boosted their growth a lot, and the Cal-Mag is awesome! the leaves are much thicker and a nice deep green, and the leaves are not falling off anymore (I think a lot of that was the humidity, but the ferts are helping)