Heath Robinson Vertical Grow Using Rockwool Slabs

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Heath Robinson Vertical cannabis Grow Using Rockwool Slabs

Archived grow from 5th October 2005, 06:08 PM on the HG420 Forums and Overgrow.com originally entitled

Heath goes Vertical (again!)

“I thought I would show my new vertical grow which is under construction. For those of you who don’t know about a year ago, I made a vertical system which turned out fairly well. So I thought I would try again with a new easy-to-make run and clean system. “

my latest Vertical using 2 x 600w Hps in Cooltubes and 18 Aqua trays holding Rockwool slabs. Fed from the top by a dripper. The slabs drain to waste from guttering running around the bottom of the slabs. I hope to have this up and running within a week or two, I have all the cuttings and am just waiting for them to root.

heath robinson vertical wooden frame
heath Robinson vertical wooden frame
Heath Robinson guttering for run off from rockwool slabs
Heath Robinson guttering for run off from rockwool slabs
Heath Robinson Aqua trays fastened to frame
Heath Robinson Aqua trays fastened to the frame

Heath Robinson View from outside the vert
View from outside the vert

10th October 2005, 06:51 PM

Hi all,

Thanks to you all for stopping by, well it’s back to business, I have nearly finished building the vertical and I am just waiting for the cuttings to root and we will be away.

The latest set of pics will probably give a better idea of what the system is about, if there are any questions, fire away

Heath Robinson assembled vertical system
assembled vertical system
Heath Robinson twin Cooltubes vertical grow system
twin Cooltubes vertical grow system

Heath Robinson Cool tube vertical extraction
Cool tube vertical extraction

Cool tube extraction

Heath Robinson vertical slabs drain into guttering
vertical slabs drain into the guttering
Heath Robinson vertical slabs drain into guttering outlet to rez
vertical slabs drain into guttering outlet to rez

slabs drain into the guttering and out to the rez

Heath Robinson feed pipe into top of vertical slabs
feed pipe into the top of vertical slabs

feed pipes into the top of the slab

Heath Robinson feed pipes into top of vertical slabs

Close-up of the feed pipes

14th October 2005, 01:03 PM

Hey Cone,

No real veg in these systems, if I had rooted these as I would have liked, they would have a day and then 12/12. As it is they will probably need about a week before I can go on 12/12.

The screwdriver bit is now back in my drill thanks for finding it for me

Welcome ms right

I reckon a nice grow in soil could be done vertically in pots, so I will look forward to an ms right vertical grow in the future
I don’t like to use seedlings for any grow because they aren’t the best representation of what you get when they are cloned, especially so for grows where space is a concern as they tend to be leggier than cuttings. I am not going to top these either unless they are about to hit the bulbs

Hey Black,

Life just keeps on getting better

There are 6 clones to each slab so hopefully, in a few weeks there should be no gaps, I tend to prune the plants in flower to remove any growth I don’t want.

I have built the system using a light meter so all the plants should receive plenty of light, this should reduce the stretch in the first 3 weeks 12/12.

I have included a few pics of the plants so you can see how the plants grow outwards and upwards. The fan in the old system was set on slow revs so it was a steady flow past the plants, I will put one in this system if I think that the Cooltubes aren’t moving enough air.

The pipes to supply air to your plants are a better idea than using fans as I find fans are a bit harsh on the plants and I don’t really like using them.

Latest pics:

Heath Robinson clones in place on vertical rockwool slabs
clones in place on vertical Rockwool slabs

clones in place

Heath Robinson clones in slabs

21st October 2005, 04:56 PM

Hi nowhere man,

The verticals are great but you are right to wait and polish your growing skills before you attempt one as things can go wrong very quickly when you have a limited amount of room to grow and its a totally new system. But if you get it right they really produce the goods

Cheers NoRm,

Let’s hope I manage to amaze you at the end of the grow

Nice to have you onboard Bov

Here are the latest pics, not too much change to look at but they have put out some nice roots and I think they are just right for turning to 12/12, things will really start to happen in the next couple of weeks :

Heath Robinson vertical grow with cuttings in place

9th November 2005, 03:34 PM

Nowthen Cone,

I have done a Stadium type grow using 2 x 600w on a light rail, the system was 8′ long and yielded very well, the only downside for you would be plant no’s and the number of cuttings you have to keep.

Hi dc105,

There is quite a lot of extraction in this room so normally I can’t smell a thing, but I clean the cool tubes once a week and when the extractors are off it gets a bit whiffy! although its nothing compared to the GG/AK grow I have that really stinks

Nice grow thread you have going, there should be some nice buds in a couple of weeks

Hey growguyuk

The spending never stops does it? even on systems, I have run for a while I’m continually tweaking to improve them.

I could have vegged these for a little while longer with hindsight but it’s better that they are small rather than too big for the system, with a couple of runs to get used to the plant and the system I think these systems will rock.

Hi Peasofmind

I always thought it was a bit dodgy sitting on an old bloke’s knee and asking him for a present lol the letter sounds like a better approach

Ok, 18 days of 12/12 and the buds are forming up nicely and the gaps are closing!

day 18 12/12

Heath Robinson Vertical day 18 12/12
Vertical day 18 12/12

Heath Robinson  day 18 12/12

Heath Robinson  day 18 12/12

cannablissUK, Cone, HOG, king ghoul, and NoRm,

Thanks to you all for stopping by its much appreciated

Hi lavatera

I’m pleased the hash 47’s are doing well I will give them a whirl sometime down the line, mould is an occupational hazard once you become more successful at growing, when you have crap airy buds there is no problem but as soon as you get big fat buds then it strikes! lol.

Hey ivangrozny,

Your system sounds great, the only thing to watch out for with a system that allows you to move close to the lamps is the tubes containing the substrate do not get too warm this can happen when the plants are little and too small to act as a shade.

On my first run with the Cage type system the water returned to the rez through a pipe filled with Hydroton which was colonized with beneficial bacteria which helped to keep the water sweet.

When you get up and running show us a few pics as I love to see different styles of growing

Cheers stonediggaz

Its a bit nerve-wracking using alternative methods especially when you post the grow in real-time and not just show the grow if it turns out well, but I have “turned the corner” with this grow and fingers crossed It should just cruise to the end of the grow.

Day 25 0f 12/12

Heath Robinson vertical grow Day 25 0f 12/12
vertical grow Day 25 0f 12/12

Heath Robinson  vertical grow Day 25 0f 12/12

Heath Robinson  vertical grow Day 25 0f 12/12.

Hi Growguy,

I have only seen the pics of the Octagro, and I agree it’s a good idea but overpriced. I bet you could build one for a couple of hundred quid.

I will look forward to your vertical, shoot me a Pm when you start, just in case I miss it.

update on day 30 0f 12/12

Heath Robinson Vertical grow update on day 30 0f 12/12
Heath Robinson Vertical grow update on day 30 0f 12/12

Heath Robinson Vertical grow day 30 0f 12/12

27th November 2005, 04:42 PM

Welcome hiwaystar,

Thanks for the comments it’s always nice when someone appreciates your grow, so thank you!

Hi Ivan,

This is going to give a decent yield this time around but as with all things new there is a learning curve, with hindsight I would have probably been able to fit another 30 or so plants in the vertical or vegged them for a couple of days extra.

I think it’s a good idea to stagger the plants, I thought about doing it after my last vertical grow, I must have had brain fade when I put these in! lol.

Hey growguyuk ,

I have had a cunning plan!  about 12/12 seed to harvest and I think it would be a great technique to try in a vertical grow. So I will give the idea a try in the Aeroflo and if things look good I will give it a try in the Vertical

Latest pics on day 36 of 12/12

Heath Robinson Vertical grow day 36 of 12/12
Vertical grow day 36 of 12/12

Heath Robinson Vertical grow day 36 of 12/12 day 30 0f 12/12

9th December 2005, 08:30 PM

Cheers Easy,

Its been a really easy grow, with no problems for a change

Nowthen Cone,

Yes its the same one, it’s a really good Sog pheno and as you can see she frosts up nicely


Don’t worry I’m not above constructive criticism

I have learned a lot from this grow, with hindsight I should have put more clones in or vegged the clones I had for longer. The trouble is I have a fine line between the clones being too small or too large. With experience I will sort out the numbers and size, the worst thing is to let them get too large and the crop is ruined.

As far as I’m concerned the vertical grows are here to stay but the experience I have of the technique is so new to me that I am on a steep learning curve, so in a way, it’s like turning the clock back for me too when I first started growing and every day I learned something new, so for me, these are exciting times. I am really after achieving over 2gpw, it won’t happen for a few grows but when I get it dialed in I think it will be there

Ps, I bet you didn’t think your question would get such a long and boring answer lol.

Hi, sysprog,

I think you are right to wait until you have mastered flat growing before going vertical. The reason I say this is because although this has been a trouble-free grow there are lots of extra problems to cope with on the vertical, such as making sure the plants don’t get too large and burn, alternatively not turning them on 12/12 too small, and ruining your yield.

Hi DJ,

These vertical systems I have built are continually evolving and I would like to design one which works on an NFT system that requires hardly any substrate, so the answer is yes the next vertical I build from scratch I will document fully so growers can take the best bits of information and apply it to their build

Time for a little update, I have harvested the GG’s and had 105 healthy plants which I have hung up to dry, as soon as I know I will post the final yield

Heath Robinson Vertical grow harvest
Heath Robinson Vertical grow harvest

Heath Robinson Vertical grow harvest

Heath Robinson Vertical grow harvest

Heath Robinson Vertical grow harvest 1491g or  just over 52 Oz  1.24 gpw
Heath Robinson Vertical grow harvest 1491g or just over 52 Oz 1.24 gpw

OK here is the yield 1491g or in English just over 52 Oz and for all you gram per watt types 1.24 gpw so a long way short of 2 gpw but I’m sure it will come!

thanks to all of you who followed the grow it makes it these grow diaries worthwhile …


  1. Hi medMuser,

    Sorry I missed your post, I am a member of the canna cabana among others but haven’t been on the forums for a few years now.

    If you are growing a high density vertical or sog then you really only want a single stem, strip off everything from the bottom third of the plant and nip out most of the shoots above this will leave a plant which will grow one large “bud on a stick”


  2. Hello JJ

    I find that 15 mins every three hours works well throughout the grow, Just remember to try use rockwool slabs that are designed to be hung vertically (some rockwool slabs have the “grain” of the rockwool going horizontally instead of vertically.

  3. Hi Heath, can you tell me how often you water the slabs and for how long? Do you change the length of watering depending on the size of the plants throughout the grow?



  4. No worries. Really good idea. More plants in the space. I am going to try the vertical pot method. Later, I am gonna do an areoponic set up going vertical.

    How many sets of branches do you go for the flower stage 12/12?

    I know I have seen you on one of the sites I am a member of. Canna Cabana maybe? I am ZZ there. You have a rep as a good grower & breeder.

    Thanks for sharing your work. Got me old wheels turning you did. 🙂


  5. Hello Meduser,

    These vertical grows tend to do better with lots of smaller single stem plants, rather than larger ones with side branches.

    When you grow the plants vertically it seems to change the characteristics of the plant, making it sturdier with tighter buds.

    thanks for your kind words I appreciate it.


  6. Now that’s what I call innovation. Very good idea. The only vertical growing I have ever done is to stake a plant horizontally. Works great. Side branches are usually bigger than the central cola stalk & look like a row of individual ladies side by side.

    Your method will give a lot of buddage it looks like. Are you going to do some side branches or just central colas?

    Going octagon is a great idea. A friend of mine did a small octagon that worked very well. He had to take it down do the wife not liking him growing. I bet this works even better. My friends plants, the short time he had them, were straight up in regular pots.

    Wowser! I am impressed!


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