Here is a start to finish log of the first grow in a 1sq ft CFL test cab I made.
I created the box as a play toy to try to grow 9 plants in one square foot with CFLs.
Here's the box.
The front door 'pushes' in and is held in place by the foam padding that is glued to the board. There is a dayton blower and a homemade scrubber on the top. The blower is a lot stronger than computer fans or cheap inline home depot type bathroom fans and keeps the cab nice and cool.
The first run I decided to use 70w of CFLs (5 x 14w). The CFL's are arranged in the following way.
The above pics are showing the CFLs for my next run, they are 23w CFLs.
While DrBud's 20oz mountain dew bottles work for him. I didn't really want to deal with the day to day involvement needed with such small sized containers. I also didn't like the wasted space between bottles (since they are round), so I looked around to see what I could find.
The answer I came up with was half gallon plastic milk jugs. I liked that they were square, thus maximizing usuable rooting area. I also liked that they had a handle and wanted to be able to use that to move/carry the plants.
My first 'design' was partially cutting the top open. This gave me enough open area so I could actually plant the clone, and it left the handle sturdily connected.
After the third week in flowering, I was seeing that my cutting design wasn't working as well as I thought it would, so I slightly modified the design of how I cut down the top.
Here's the original and modified design.
Here's what one with a plant in it looked like before and after changing the design.
NOTES ON GROWING METHOD
I've been re-using my soil for 2 yrs now. After chopping a plant, I run the soil/rootball through a 1/2" hardware cloth screen, then add ammendments; add a bit of guano, plantone, alfalfa meal, sometimes a little of kelp meal, lots of bone meal, a touch of pickling lime, compost, etc. Then I moisten it, stir it up and let it sit until I use it. This is the soil I used in this grow.
In my regular cab, I've taped up the drain holes on all the 3gal container I use, and my homemade growbags don't have them. For this grow I just didn't make any drain holes in the milk containers. I only had to water once a week for this whole grow.
I also only water all my plants with straight tap water the whole grow.
END NOTES ON GROWING METHOD
I ran 4 different strains in this test run; Chesaw, Lady G1, PBSxSDIBL (pbs is purple bagseed), and Sour Creek.
The plants were transplanted to the milk containers and placed in the cab in a 3x3 arrangement.
Every week I would pull a row 'forward'. The front row would go to the back of the cab, the middle row would become the front row and the old back row would become the middle row. I did this to 'rotate' the plants under the lights.
Due to extraneous circumstances, the plants ended up going into the cab about a month later than I had planned, so they were a lot taller than a couple inches when they went in.
I don't plan on doing any vegging in this cab, so the plants were immediately under 12/12 once they went in the cab.
I didn't take a lineup shot of the plants the day they went into the cab, but here's a shot of all of them on the day they went inside the cab.
There was very litle stretching since the plants were so old when they went into the cab. Once they reached their maximum height, I had to place things under plants to raise them up so the canopy was even and up in and very close to the lights.
Here's a compilation of the rows, week by week, from week 1 to week 10.
Here's a shot of the cab on day 70
The plants were all chopped on day 70 (end of week 10).
Here's the stems/compost trim/sugar trim and buds.
Some closeups of the sugar trim. This is the sugar trim from all 9 plants.
Here are the wet weights.
Here's what it dried to
I can't complain about the results, but I believe I can do a lot better by getting the plants in earlier and bumping up the wattage. While 70w/sqft of CFLs will produce decent buds, I think it definately needs more to maximize production.