Here we go:
Part 3 – Spring
Mid February, saw the completion of phase 1 of the flower room. We filled the room with cuttings we were familiar with, in order to make accurate comparisons to what we had seen and were used to in England, where both of our set-ups were dialled in. We also grew out some new plants from seed, some crosses that I was itching to test out, but hadn't the space/time previously.
Anyone who has built a room from scratch, or even just moved to another area to grow, knows how much of a nervy time it can be, and the process to get an environment dialled in, and wrinkles ironed out begins.
We were confident in the quality of our build, the materials we used, and the theory and concise planning that went into it, but until you flick that switch and observe you can never be 100%.
Despite general teething problems as noted in Part 2, all in all, we had a productive time in the tents over Autumn and Winter.
Also, as we are growing for seed and not sensi, growing many strains is no easy task, to see them all flourish, but it's a must when sorting through a mountain of seeds, and is definitely worthwhile to uncover some real beauties.
One bonus to growing for seed = A lot of nice kief
It does take several hundred plants to spot those illusive diamonds sparkling in the rough (relatively speaking here of course, everything we dedicate space and time to is top notch, but I'm just extra fussy).
After what felt like a never ending Winter, we were being teased by the Sun, there was a day in late February that had the smell of Spring in the air, flowers were emerging, the sun getting a little higher and out for longer each day. I actually got my only sunburn of the year back in early March.
However, as our luck would have it, this happened to be (I was informed) the wettest and coldest Spring here since the 1890's I believe, but it wasn't so bad for us, England was having snow drifts in March, and a whole shit storm of problems because of it.
I must admit, it's a slightly evil pleasure of ours, and a very British obsession to check the weather between our home city and Spain.
Back to the flowering room, we flipped our girls in to flower in the 3rd week of Feb, to encounter a problem... we had added several new circuits to the basement and divided the spaces up. The tent room was on it's own circuit, the flower room was split into 2 circuits, one per side, and lastly we have a general basement circuit for fans, tools and miscellaneous electrical items.
In theory this should have been all good. But we were experiencing voltage drops. We opted for adjustable ballasts, and whilst everything would hold on 400w per light, when making the switch up to 600w or 'super lumens' certain lights would flicker or turn off, to turn back on after a reset, or one fan would be off whilst the other would be on full power no problems.
In the winter we had gathered all items inside the house, and noted down the watts/amps of each, and step by step turned them on until we found where the cut off point was for the circuits tripping.
We had carried out some remedial electrical work which cured the problems inside the house before the expansion and turn on of the flower room.
We after some head-scratching and a lot of research, we got down the bare bones of it. We have 3 phase power, however the way it was previously configured, everything was running from one of those phases. Now each circuit is tied to a different phase, so we have 66% of our total power left to play with!
So during week two, as the initial stress had settled down, and the weather was becoming fairer, we set our attention to outdoor preparation to capitalise on the Sunshine Spain has to offer.
A new friend popped in to check the progress – Jorge Cervantes.
Our property is one hectare+, however due to us being in the mountains, much of the land is well, mountainous, hence without heavy plant machinery, at present there are only a few areas we can safely exploit and utilise.
There was one spot we had originally had in mind, a clearing deep in the woods that was flat, and just the right balance between accessible and stealthy.
One problem was at that time it was heavily shaded by some big trees.
We first downloaded some apps to check the path of the sun and how it would affect that area later on in the year, then with a tape measure, a pen and pad, and later some 3d CAD design work (Uni did have some benefits afterall) we put together a plan.
We costed up the price for the greenhouses, and once OK'd the next item on the shopping list was a chainsaw.
So, 2 boys, 1 4x4, 1 chainsaw, 1 Rope, 1 Axe, 2 shovels and we got to work.
This meant A LOT of hard graft, felling some big big trees in order to open up the area ( don't worry, we didn't set about willy nilly with a chainsaw hacking down everything in sight). We tackled the area strategically and thoughtfully, taking only what needed to be taken, whilst leaving what did not. My hat goes of to any lumberjacks out there, it's punishing work!
With the area now less shaded, we set about excavating some banks surrounding the clearing in order to free-up extra precious square footage and then levelling areas by hand. We could build greenhouses, to which we have 4 now, with another one planned for that site.
There are secondary sites to further investigate and begin to plan and expand our outdoor adventures next year.
Here's a picture to give you guys a better idea.
After construction of the G'houses was complete, we concentrated on getting power up to them, the distribution and conservation of our water resources, and implementing methods to save labour. Efficiency is key to a smooth OP no doubt.
I will get on to the next instalment soon!