By: Mel the Bumbling Gardener
Hello to all my loyal NUG readers and hydro friends in San Diego.Â It has now been 1 year of â€œGrowing with Mel the Bumbling Gardnerâ€ and I have to tell you, Iâ€™ve had a blast with this project and feel very lucky to have been able to sample so many great but very different â€œturn-keyâ€ growing chambers (The Spinner, Phototron, and Quick Grow Q-9). I wonder how many other gardeners in the world got a chance like thisâ€¦Thank you NUG!
If you remember last monthâ€™s NUG, I had just cut and trimmed â€œRow 1â€ of a 50-day grow using Heavy 16 nutrientsâ€¦Really only 50 days from 7-inch clone to finished bud.Â You should also understand that I am not trying to grow a record harvest. What I am trying to do is find a way to plant, grow, and harvest each and every month all year long. What I am looking for is a gravy train of meds that never stops. Isnâ€™t that what we are all looking for? â€“ Iâ€™m just saying.
Now that my â€œRow 1â€ harvest was all cut and trimmed, it was time to dry things out. Question; How do you â€œdryâ€ your crop? Iâ€™ll bet many of you will answer, â€œI hang it up to dry.â€ Some of you will say, â€œI put it in the toaster oven because I canâ€™t wait. It just takes too long for it to hang dry; it just takes too much time.â€ Now go on, I know youâ€™ve used that little oven. Donâ€™t try to fool old Mel, Iâ€™ve been there and done that myself. If you remember last month, I let you know I had found another box with my pro-model Q-9 from Quick Grow. I have to tell you, the guys at Quick Grow really had the grower in mind when they put this package together because they send a very complete growing unit; remember, all you have to do is add water, nutrients, and the crop you like and the Q-9 will do the rest.
I was surprised at first when I opened that box. What I found inside was a â€œFlower & Herb Dryer.â€Â What I thought was just a big box turned out to be a well thought-out air-dryer. No one tried to reinvent the wheel; they just put all the best parts together to make a very handy accessory tool that you will use after every harvest.Â Quick Growâ€™s Herb Dryer is the perfect addition to your list of must have tools. Drying time is decreased (2-6 days is normal depending on your drying room air temp) while the air flow is handled by a 3â€ ball bearing fan. The matching coco carbon filter air system gently moves fresh air through the box while effectively killing all odors and growing smells. The dryer bin has 2 removable mesh shelves that will hold ample amounts of flowers and herbs. All you have to do is plug it in, lay your crop on one of the mesh shelves, snap the lid down, and away you go to dry herb town. I gave it the old â€œsmellâ€ test: I let it run in a closed garage all day, brought the wife in and asked her what she thought about the new herb dryer. She said, â€œIt looks great, but does it work?â€ All I had to do was pop off the lidâ€¦Yea, it really works.
So here I am, just about where I wanted to be. I think Iâ€™ve found a way to clone, veg, and flower all at the same time while still enjoying a great harvest every 30 days or so.Â For those of you who havenâ€™t read along last year, I think a quick review might help. First up, The Spinnerâ€¦If what you are looking for is a system that eats new clones for every grow, and you want that 12 plant at a time kind of harvest, then the Spinner is hard to beat. With its 600W bulb and never-ending spinning approach to growing, itâ€™s a real performer.Â With a footprint less than 45 inches, this circle-shaped chamber is easy on the eye until you open the doors and let the full force of the Spinner hit you in the face.
If what you are looking for is smaller, less expensive, and easy on the pocketbook to run each month, then the Phototron just might be for you. After selling over 150 thousand units worldwide in the last 20 years, you know it is a product that works. If growing 3 plants at a time (3 feet tall) will make you happy, or if space is a problem, then a Phototron should be the perfect unit to fill your needs. You will be amazed at how much you can produce with this veteran grow chamber.Â I bought my first Phototron in the mid â€˜80s; ya Iâ€™m that old.Â You get a 3-plant harvest of very close spaced buds every 90 days. Everyone can grow good herbs in a Phototron. So, did I save the best for last? I canâ€™t really say one system is any better than the other. Each one has its place and will do a great job. But for the way I wanted to grow, the Quick Grow Q-9 rang all my bells.Â The Q-9 greenhouse with its â€œDual Chamberâ€ growing system was my answer to that harvest every month, all year long lifestyle I was looking for.
After all is said and done, what I wanted to do was help control the cost, quality, and availability of my meds.Â Now instead of looking for that next kind of overpriced top shelf strain, I find myself looking for that exotic new clone, or a friend from the past that I can bring back to life with my new growing skills. Ask any contractor; ask your mechanic or plumber; itâ€™s the tools that make the job so easy. With the right growing tools, you too can grow your own. Yes, it has been a year. What have you grown? Or did you just sit on the fence.Â I still say, â€œGet off that fence, itâ€™s time to grow!â€