My current grows both are running HPS. Why? If you know me at all then you know I like to experiment but things dont always work out as planned so I am going back to basics.
I love LED lights. They save energy and produce a lot of light but I have been having problems with foxtailing and lower yields so I have started running HPS again.
Also I have been experimenting with SIPs or sub irrigated planters using coco and smart pots. While they do a great job of watering I have not been able to keep pH stable and yields have suffered. So until I can figure out why I will go back to tried and true drain to waste watering.
In one grow I replaced a HLG 550 with a 1000w HPS. The strains I chose have all been grown before but only under LEDs. In another grow I have a 600w HPS along side a HLG 550 dimmed to 300w with a strain that likes to foxtail so I should have a better idea if light spectrum or intensity are factors.
When things start going south it is a good idea to stop and retrace your steps. Go back to what is proven and known to work. So I am going back to basics. “Old fashioned” HPS for lighting and DTW (drain to waste) for watering.
HPS Vs LED Early Observations
A few things I noticed right of the bat are that my HLG quantum boards are much brighter even at lower wattage. Of course the spectrum on the HPS at 2200k is more orange and the LEDs are more white at 3000k.
Although the HLG has a more balanced spectrum which is closer to natural sunlight the plants really seem to like the HPS spectrum and seem stronger and healthier even with this narrow spectrum.
The HPS gives off more heat but even in a closet it is manageable with good ventilation. I think I am starting to see better and earlier trichome development too. Here are a few pics of a GG4 and she has nice frost starting already.
Reset On My 1000w HPS Grow
OK so I have reset this grow with new plants but still am running HPS lighting. Plants were not growing that well. Flowering was delayed and bud size was small so I decided it was better to cut my losses early and start with new plants. I am running the same strains with the exception of replacing the GG4 with a Black Banana.
Solving A PH Problem
Dropping pH has been a problem for me the past few grows. I believe it is why my SIP grows did not do well and it was happening here too and resulting in a poor grow.
Turns out something was growing in my reservoir. Not pythium but whatever it was would cause pH to drop like a stone. Even with frequent resets with pH up it would soon drop again.
The results would be small buds and low yield and because it was in the coco I reused and vegged with too I brought it into this grow. Now it is fixed and my pH is remaining stable!
The House Is Rocking Day 7
Really glad I reset this grow and it is doing way better than the one I replaced. 1000w HPS with top feed drip and multiple daily feedings.
The DTW set up is the reason I think things are going so well. A bit more labor intensive than recirculating nutrients but I think the results are definitely worth the effort.
Day 14 Flowering Begins
My plants have begun to flower on day 14. Everything is going well and the drain to waste system is producing nice results.
The plants received a leaf stripping starting on day 10. Mostly lower leaves and some small side shoots were removed. I did not do it all at once but over about 3 days hoping this would not slow the plants down like a full leaf strip do9es. So far it seems to have worked.
GAVITA PRO 6/750e DE FLEX HPS RESET DAY 21
I just replaced a 1000w single ended bulb in an air cooled Block Buster reflector with this light 3 days ago. Plants are loving it and temps are actually lower.
Side Lighting Test
I have a lot of lower branches as you can see from the above video. Since I can not find a definitive answer to how well this will work I decided to try it and test it out for myself.
I am using a HLG 300for this and have dimmed it down to 200w.
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I dont expect huge buds from this. I think the top buds will always be bigger due to apical dominance. But I am hoping they turn out to be decent sized. Normally I would prune off most of these lower branches. So it will be cool if I can save some labor on pruning and increase my yield at the same time.
Running HPS Day 28
Everything is doing well on day 28. Because the plants are tall I have dimmed the Gavita to 500w and raised the HLG 300 side light up a bit to compensate.
I have decided to try flowering smaller plants so I can run the Gavita at its full 825 watts. Right now some plants are less than a foot away from the light. They are warm but not hot and I dimmed things from 600 to 500w just to be safe.
So I will probably be trying a SOG grow soon. If the plants are flipped at 12 inches I will end up with a canopy between 2-3 feet. This will easily give me enough room to run my Gavita at full power.
Not yet sure how many plants I will run. I will need more to fill the canopy and compensate for the lower individual yield.