Back in the summer of 2002 , an article was published in CC Mag (#37) http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/2411.html
, that changed the way that I look at growing. The big surprise , is that more folks havent jumped on this by now. I'm talking about the Cannabis Cage , and it's spin off , the Cannabis Coliseum . The principle is relatively simple .The bulbs hang in the middle , with the plants growing up the sides of the "room". This way, almost every lumen reaches plant material before bouncing off of a reflector or wall. When I started calculating the actual square feet of plant material in direct light versus the actual square feet of floor space used , I was amazed . The next 4 years were spent in frustration, as I knew what I wanted to build , but had nowhere to do it . That changed last summer, and since then I have been hard at work , building my dream grow room.
My goal , is to produce as much AAA product , using the least square feet of floor space , and the least KW hours . This is especially relevant, now that power rates, and enforcement are both rising .
Basically, the room is 8x8x8 , with 2 shelves around the perimeter. One shelf is just high enough off of the floor to allow slope for drainage, and the second shelf is at about 36. The shelves are 12 wide with 9 high sides , to keep the pots from toppling over into the light , and to protect against spills during watering . The top shelf, drains down to the lower shelf, and then out into existing plumbing. Shelves are built like a cabinet, sealed to allow easy flushing with no water leaks. The bare 1000 W HPS bulbs are suspended in the middle, approximately 18 down from the ceiling , and 18 up from the floor. Lower branches on the lower shelf plants are bent and trained to reach right down to the floor , while the tops reach up to the bottom of the plants above. Lower branches from the upper plants are bent down to hang between the tops of the lower plants, that way , I have an almost 8 foot high wall of plants .
I water out of a 45 gallon plastic food grade barrel, using a 1200 GPH sump pump, and a watering wand. I feed with Advanced Nutrients 3 part, using the old school General Hydroponics mix ratio of 4-2-1 (G-M-B) for veg , and 1-2-4 (Grow Micro Bloom) for flower . I feed at every watering with 1000 PPM, and then fresh water every 4th watering. Flushing a bit , with each feeding keeps nutrient buildup from occuring.
My first crop had several fuck ups, mostly exacerbated by growing 3 different varieties , each with different heights and requirements. Even with less than optimal conditions, I yielded 4.25 pounds of AAA coinsure grade buds.
I am presently harvesting my 2nd crop, and as you can see by the attached pictures , everything has run smoothly this time around .
I will follow with some selected pictures , taken at 8 weeks.