“Captain Style” isn’t simply using a certain media or a specific grow method. It’s a technique, from start to finish which entails:
1. VERY low plant counts. You can produce a pound of premium bud per month, with only 5 plants (2 different strains). No “mother” plants are needed.
2. Simplicity; If you can follow a recipe, you can grow the dankness. Low margin for error. Little chance of root disease.
3. Inexpensive; No fancy environment controllers, no air conditioners, no CO2… no expensive equipment is needed. Let’s face it… the more equipment you have that could fail, it will. We don’t want our grow to rely on problematic or unstable equipment.
For this article, we will go over what we need to do, to grow a pound per plant, per month with only 4-5 plants on hand at a time. If you’re following along at home, you can do the same, by scaling up or down, appropriately. For example, if you have twice the space, you can grow 2lbs a month.
So let’s get started with the equipment you will need, and our grow room layout.
Equipment list for grow room:
1. 12×36″ Can Carbon Filter.
2. UV-80H Uvonaire Ozone Generator / scrubber (optional for ultimate odor control).
3. TWO, 6″ can fan (or equivalent) inline fans, plus one additional duct booster fan (from veg to flower).
4. THREE, 600W ballasts, three hoods, 2 HPS bulbs for flower, 1MH bulb for vegetative growth.
As you can see from the diagram below, we will cool our lights separately. The fan PUSHES air through the light duct and out the living area (in the winter time), or outside (during the summer months). It is true that PUSHING air is not as efficient as pulling, but in this case, we don’t want to suck any stinky air into our living area. Hoods are not always sealed well (even the $200 magnums I just bought). This fan will be set to come on, only when the lights are on. It should be strong, and little to no heat should radiate from the hoods. An additional fan will suck the warm, humid air from the flower room and blow it outdoors. This air will need to be replenished from somewhere. You can cut intake holes in both veg and flower rooms. The small fan from veg to flower may not be necessary, but a light proof vent IS needed. This air flow provides enough CO2 for the plants.
The dude and Scotty are not lying when they say, light, is the single biggest factor to high yield. Don’t skimp here. Lights are cheap. If you need to save money, start with $60 ebay cool tubes, $100 used digital ballasts, and $25 Apollo bulbs. But don’t use anything less than 600W lights. If you want to spend 10 times more on LED lighting, that’s fine, just make sure it is 600W of LED light (not equivalent), and don’t expect to get a pound per plant.
Our flower room is 4′ x 8′, and veg is 4′ x 4′. You can grow a one pounder in each 4′ x 4′ space in the flower room. I won’t get into how to build your room. That’s up to you. Your flower room should be 100% light proof.
This room set up is simple and effective. No air conditioner or dehumidifier is needed. It is slightly inefficient as it pulls air out of your living space and pumps it outdoors. However, you’re not running a separate air conditioner, so there is a trade off. Best of all, your room is not reliant on it.
NOTE: The lighting duct from veg to flower may leak light. Painting the inside of the duct black, and looping the duct will prevent this.
Now let’s get to the green stuff!
I can’t cover cloning and germinating seeds in this article. But I will say this… germinating seeds and phenotype hunting is a huge waste of time. If you can get a known, well producing strain (clone) from a friend, do it. Give them at least $100 donation for it. It is worth hundreds more. I’ve started dozens of different (well known) strains, only to be disappointed over and over again. Trust me on this! Get your clones and go with it. Resist the temptation to buy the “coolest” advertised strain. Seeds are pretty expensive anyway.
This will be a perpetual grow.
A perpetual grow means…. we will have 5 plants, all at different stages of growth, all spaced 30 days apart.
1. The most mature plant is in the 8th-9th week of flower and is nearly ready to be chopped down.
2. The next plant has been in flower for a month, and has another month to go.
3. The next biggest plant is in vegetative growth, and is getting ready to go into flower.
4. The next biggest plant has only been growing for a month.
5. Lastly, the smallest plant is still being cloned (starting roots).
A perpetual grow is, in most cases, the best way to grow. Even the pros do it. By doing this, you can have a new crop coming out of the flower room on a regular basis, rather than waiting 2 months in between harvests. In addition, when one plant it done, you can chop it in a single day, and replace it with the next biggest plant from veg, thereby wasting no real estate in the flower room.
During the life of the plant, we will need one of each size pot (regular, cheap nursery pots will do fine). Tiny pot, #1, #2, #5, #7. The number 7 pot will be the final flowering pot.
The #5 pot is missing from this picture. Sorry, it was IN USE!
The Capn uses Grodan GrowCubes (cubes, not chunks). You can get these at most garden stores. If they don’t carry them, ask. They cost about the same as a high quality soil / coco mix, and are much lighter too.
To use, soak for 5 minutes in the same water as you would use for vegetative growth. Prepare your water at 5.8-6.2 PH, and add your nutrients to suit. THEN, add your grow cubes. Despite what you’ve read before, it’s NOT necessary to soak these for more than 5 minutes.
You will grow your plant in the growcubes, just as if it were any other growing media. However with rockwool, we will irrigate every day. You can continue to use the same water and manually recirculate, or you can water to waste. You can also set up an automated watering system on a timer.
Why does TheCapn use rockwool?
1. It is almost IMPOSSIBLE to over water. Rockwool holds so much oxygen, you will get near DWC growth rates, with less chance of root disease. For beginner (or experienced) growers who want the maximum growth rates without fear of over watering, rockwool is the ticket.
2. When using rockwool, you don’t have to worry about the PH or PPM changing in the root zone. No fear of salty build up. Every irrigation is a flush, and equalizes the grow media parameters.
3. Flushing is quick and easy. At the end of flower, you can take the PPM in the medium down to ZERO, just by flushing once, with no worry of making a soggy mess of the root zone. After just 4-6 days, you’ll see your leaves start turning yellow, and then you’ll know it’s ok to harvest. Not possible with other grow medias. There are more reasons as well. Keep reading.
And look how easy it is to transplant! Just pull it right out and into the next sized pot.
When you’re doing it CapnStyle, we’re going BIG. Before flower, your root mass should look like this. Try that with dirt! Impossible! In this nutrient mix, I’m using floralicious, florablend, and liquid seaweed, yet the roots are still pearly white, thanks to RECHARGE.
Transplanting to the final #7 pot. This root mass was grown, thanks to RECHARGE beneficial bacteria.
As TheCapn, TheDude, and TheScotty have all said before… the key to high yield, is big light. But the second biggest key is SIZE. If you want a pound of bud, your plant should be at least a 3 foot ball, with many many thick branches. In Part 3, I’ll talk about HOW we achieve plants that looks like these:
Plants ready for flower. I let them get as bushy as possible, topping the tallest branches early and often. Leave your fan leaves on for now, no matter what the other stoners tell you. We will get into topping, defoliation and pruning in part 3.
These monsters are ready for flower!
Let’s make our CapnStyle Flowering machine. You’ll need:
14-15 gallon tote with recessed lid. I like to use the 14gal brute from Lows for $19. It is low profile.
150-220GPH water pump. I use the ecoplus 185. $17
Hydro Halo or Hydro Hat drip ring. $10.
1/2″ Black Water hose. 3′ = $3
Drill or cut one 6″ hole for pump access, and a smaller hole for cord / tube access.
Or you can go with the classic, 15 gallon tote (Available at THE WALL). Sling and I call this the “Wittbag” tote.
Wittbag = What it takes to be a grower. Term coined by SUB LBC.
The water pump recirculates for 15 minutes at a time. Once or twice a day. The 6″ net pot you see does nothing but block light from getting in the reservoir. Yes, each plant has it’s own watering system. Each plant is it’s own “crop”.
A CapnStyle Growing system. No airstone is required inside the reservoir. A water pump runs for 15 minutes on a timer, once or twice a day. In this picture, you’ll see a “Superoots airpot”. This is optional.
FAQ about the capn style grow system:
1. No airstone is needed in the reservoir.
2. A DIY drip ring is fine, as long as you have good flow.
3. You MUST run the water pump for 15 minutes at a time. This allows the rockwool to completely flush every time, leaving no margin for PPM or PH fluctuations in the media.
4. Yes you can use other containers, just make sure they are sturdy, and water won’t run over the sides. Notice how these lids are recessed so water doesn’t over flow.
5. DO NOT drill holes under the plant. You don’t want roots dangling down into the water.
6. You can fill up the reservoir with 15 gallons of water, which should let you leave on vacation for 5 days. However, start with a low PPM, since the PPM will rise as water evaporates.
7. Top off every few days with plain water. I use only RO water, which doesn’t kill beneficial bacteria.
8. Once a week, pump out as much water as you can, leaving a few gallons behind, then mix up new nutrients and refill.
8. This system should cost you no more than $3 per week in nutrients.
Now let’s take a look at the results:
If you wanna SCROG it, then SCROG IT!
Scrogging is not necessary, and some strains do better without it (use yoyos).
You can do this too. I’ve gone through it all quickly. In the final part of this article, part 3, I’ll go into more detail about nutrients, irrigation, topping, pruning, and other grow techniques, that allow us get big yields without touching the ceiling.