HELP: Over or Under watering? or something else?

  • Thread starter Palgoo
  • Start date
  • Tagged users None
Palgoo

Palgoo

Hi everyone - I'm a first-timer and have been trying really hard to stick to instructions as best as I can given the circumstances, but now my 3-week old seedlings are showing some curling down and consistently first leaves starting to turn yellow. I've used happy frog in small seedling bags (so I know it's not nutrient related), and trying to let the soil dry out before watering again (but it seems to dry rather quickly). On average I think I've been watering about 2-3 tablespoons of water every 1.5 days, or whenever the soil looks quite dry (sometimes I mist the top with 2-3 small sprays once or twice a day) trying to keep humidifier on (I have no grow tent), but probably not being consistent (humidity reads anywhere from 40%-70%).

I've seen so many pictures online and read so much about over and under watering and I'm wracking my brain because I really can't seem to figure out whether I'm over or under watering. I've never given water to the extent that the bottom gets wet - and these fabric bags are probably making them dryer than it should be. (picture was taken just after a misted the top - so it looks moist but 10m ago it wasn't). I feel like it's underwatering (reading so much about how overwatering can kill them), but when I do water them, they don't really perk up or anything)... I don't have a ph gauge, but with happy frog soil and filtered water, I figure I'm not doing anything unusual.

I've been giving it LED blue, and set up 2 9W CF lamps about 20cm away on a 19.5on-4.5h off schedule. sometimes when its sunny and let them out for a few hours.

Please advise!
 
Palgoo

Palgoo

Actually scratch that about lighting: they're individual LED growlight bulbs, not CFL. I'v been giving blue LED light (25W 450-460nm) and 2 LED GE 9W grow lights (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NN6SVG6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1) - which a friend used with success, so I figured I'd start cheap and light.

I've been keeping these three lights about 15-20cm from the canopy (See additional picture). Maybe this is too close? too much light? maybe chuck the blue led? I'm keeping the temperature around 20C-25C (68-77F), and humidity (more difficult, in the range of 45-70%). I also got a 600W mars hydro light, but afraid to use it on seedlings.
They seemed to be doing great until just a few days ago, when I noticed the baby leaves (now withered away) and the first set started turning slight yellow.

here is my setup (with and without blue light turned on.

IMG_9031.jpg
IMG_9032.jpg
 
quirk

quirk

Get a feel for the dry weight, water slowly until a slight runoff ( a few drops is fine), get a feel for that weight. When bags feel light, water again to a slight runoff. Rinse and repeat as needed. Probably every 3-4 days. Provide air circulation and a lot more light. I'm talking minimum actual 150 watt at 18-24 inches. Those plants are way behind the power curve due to lack of light.
Yellowing and browning of the cotyledons is fairly standard.
 
Palgoo

Palgoo

Thank you so much for your reply! air circulation I've been doing on and off - and maybe I've been watering too little at a time and having to do so too often then. The tiny bags don't seem to hold moist, so maybe I should switch to a plastic pot? Also, if I use the 600W mars hydro (no idea if it is actual 600W, but the box says so) - how far/close should I keep the light?

the cotyledons, I understand, but worried about the first set of serrated leaves starting to turn a little yellow, and one plant is curling down pretty hard. I'll let them stay dry for 2-3 more days and see how they are holding up.
 
Palgoo

Palgoo

Get a feel for the dry weight, water slowly until a slight runoff ( a few drops is fine), get a feel for that weight. When bags feel light, water again to a slight runoff. Rinse and repeat as needed. Probably every 3-4 days. Provide air circulation and a lot more light. I'm talking minimum actual 150 watt at 18-24 inches. Those plants are way behind the power curve due to lack of light.
Yellowing and browning of the cotyledons is fairly standard.
WOW. it seems like fabric pots for seedlings are no bueno! I took the worst curling seedling, carefully repotted into a plastic one, watered slowly to a slight runoff - then whipped out the 600w mars hydro and placed it 20inches, and just left it overnight. It's a brand new plant now within 20h! It seems like technically the seedlings in the bag were not getting enough moisture by retaining water - plastic pot is still very much moist (in the fabric pot, they dry out within 6-10hours). I guess I'll be replanting all of these!!! Thank you for your suggestions (watering+light), and hopefully the new light will help them catch up once they've been repotted. and will wait 3-4 days until the plastic pot dries out before watering again. THANK YOU!
seedling-pot.jpg


worst one recovered overnight after being planted into plastic pot - the others are still suffering...
IMG_9038.jpg
 
quirk

quirk

Looks like you've isolated the problem. Might as well get the others in 3-5 gal. pots and they will take off as well.
You're gonna need more light. That Mars is a true 100W actual, which is not sufficient for your 5 plants. It will get you
a harvest but at a much reduced yield and quality.
 
Palgoo

Palgoo

Noted!!! should I change to Mars hydro 1000 then, or is that not enough either? two? I have 3 more seedlings coming along -- but some of these might be male and/or hermaphrodite. (not feminized seeds, as far as i know). anyway, let's say 5-6 plants - what product do you recommend in terms of light? (and how do I know or where can i find info about "true wattage"?

and you recommend I go straight to 3-5gal pots? I was going to transplant them to a 4 inch pot first like the one i just did, until they get their bearings, but sounds like you recommend going straight to a larger pot?

Thanks again
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
It's not the pots it's the height of the media... this will explain it. Next time fill the pots up.

 
Palgoo

Palgoo

It's not the pots it's the height of the media... this will explain it. Next time fill the pots up.

Aqua Man, thanks so much for this post. I read it and it does make sense. If you saw me watering it would have driven you crazy.... I was giving it tiny bits enough to soak probably 1/4 of the medium from the top - so it never got water in the "saturation zone". when I transplanted these to slightly bigger and deeper pots, the roots were nowhere near the bottom, and all the dirt around just crumbled and fell - it never grew out because there was no water to reach! after about 1.5 day after transplant (and watered slowly till slight run-off) they already look better, the curling and spindly leaves have flattened out and they already look healthier. thank you!
before:
IMG_9036.jpg


after:
IMG_9064.jpg
 
Aqua Man

Aqua Man

Staff member
Supporter
Aqua Man, thanks so much for this post. I read it and it does make sense. If you saw me watering it would have driven you crazy.... I was giving it tiny bits enough to soak probably 1/4 of the medium from the top - so it never got water in the "saturation zone". when I transplanted these to slightly bigger and deeper pots, the roots were nowhere near the bottom, and all the dirt around just crumbled and fell - it never grew out because there was no water to reach! after about 1.5 day after transplant (and watered slowly till slight run-off) they already look better, the curling and spindly leaves have flattened out and they already look healthier. thank you!
before: View attachment 1123780

after:
View attachment 1123779
Good stuff brother 👍👍👍
 
Rooke

Rooke

We are a tuff bunch of folks but great hearted. -20c and we are out ice fishing sitting on 5 gal pails grilling on our tailgates smokin doobies all day long! Welcome Sis!!!!
 
Palgoo

Palgoo

Looks like you've isolated the problem. Might as well get the others in 3-5 gal. pots and they will take off as well.
You're gonna need more light. That Mars is a true 100W actual, which is not sufficient for your 5 plants. It will get you
a harvest but at a much reduced yield and quality.
Just wanted to thank you for saving me: they did take off! I take them outside when its sunny, then when no direct sun I switch them back to the mars - I'm guessing I need the 1000 model at least? should I use the 600 I have side by side with the 1000?
 
quirk

quirk

Good looking plants. The more watts you can throw at them, the more quality buds they'll produce, so most definitely use both lights. That will get your total up to 250 true watts. You double your pleasure so to speak. I use a Mars TS 1000, adjusting the height, in conjunction with a 235-350 watt Solar Storm, then at week 3-4 replace the Mars with another Storm to get them to the finish line.
 
Palgoo

Palgoo

Good looking plants. The more watts you can throw at them, the more quality buds they'll produce, so most definitely use both lights. That will get your total up to 250 true watts. You double your pleasure so to speak. I use a Mars TS 1000, adjusting the height, in conjunction with a 235-350 watt Solar Storm, then at week 3-4 replace the Mars with another Storm to get them to the finish line.
Thank you! will do - they do look juicy! They don't look very tall and wider - do you cut the tops off at some point to make them spread sideways?
 
Top Bottom