Help, I'm a seedling serial killer!

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by SuperBowlPackers, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. #1 SuperBowlPackers, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    Well, I believe I've managed to kill 8 (expensive ILGM) auto seedlings in my first attempted tent grow. I successfully germinated 4 seeds using the paper towel method, gently placed them 1/8-1/4 inch below the surface in 3 gallon smart pots filled with FFHF and 25% perlite added, brushed soil back over without tamping, and lightly misted the surface 2-3 times a day for 5 days. The seeds seemed to germinate vigorously, the taproots on all 4 were 3/4 inch after 36 hours in the paper towels, but nothing came up after 5 days in soil. I carefully dug around them and found the taproots were dry and brittle and didn't appear to have grown at all after being planted, so I tossed them. I realized the temp I was germinating at was over 10F higher than the soil temp and that the soil was extremely dry despite the misting. So I tried again with 4 new seeds using nearly the same methods, and again they germinated quickly. For planting, the only thing I did differently the second time was I watered the soil a day before planting and made sure the soil temp was very close to the temp that the seeds were germinating at to avoid any shock. I've been very careful to make sure the soil was only slightly moist to dry around the seed as everything I've read says over watering is a bigger concern than under watering at this stage. Four days later and again nothing is sprouting up through the soil. I'm dealing with cold, dry winter conditions. The temp in the tent varies between 74-80F and humidity is sitting around 27-32%, 45-50% after I prewatered the soil. I've been watering with just RO water for now. I've been reading from online sources as much as possible over the last few months in preparation for my first grow, but I need help from an expert. Am I making a mistake using smart pots with extra perlite in such dry conditions? Should I consider a dome or plastic over the pot, or adding a humidifier in the room near the tent? Any help would be much appreciated.
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  2. a dome would help. When starting new seeds try to keep a close eye on them. Check soil humidity an RH at least twice a day. Give them a few teaspoons of water. To help raise RH you can hang wet towels in your grow area next to a fan. (or get a small humidifier). If its too cold use a heatmat.
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  3. I started 6 and all of them grew into nice plants, its my first grow.
    If you grow in soil anyways, try this.

    Use party cups and make 4 or 5 holes in the bottom. Fill with soil which is not so hot, try the Happy frog from Fox farm for the seedlings if you can. Water the cups until runoff so you know its all moist. Put seeds in with pointy end down, just barely under the surface. Cover with a tiny bit of soil, they should not be very deep, maybe 1/2 inch.

    Spray with a bottle 1 or 2 times that day and leave alone after that. Mine popped through after 3 days

    Good luck.
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  4. Get solo cups. Red plastic cups. Poke holes in bottom
    Fill with soil. Just soil.
    Don't mist
    No paper towels.
    Place seeds 1 pinky nail deep.
    No RO water, tap is fine
    Put the plastic cups on your kitchen counter. Bathroom. Indoors room temp.
    Water daily.
    Don't mess with them. You can sing to them if you want.

    There shouldn't be any problems sprouting this way. Then it comes to the grow.
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  5. You’ll prob get 100 suggestions on how to do this the right way. This is how I do it every time no fail. How far was the shell buried ? Try solo cup after paper towel method next time.
    1. Soak seed for 12-24 hrs in warm water until seed cracks.
    2. Place in wet paper towel between two plates in dark cupboard.
    3.let the seed get a 1/4 inch long tail on it
    4. make a hole the same length of tail and place seed in hole. Wish I had a pick but my plants are 4 weeks old right now, but I can almost see shell under the surface the dirt is so thin over it.
    5. place a ziplock over the pot
    6. Place light as close to ziplock as possible
    7. Spray with spray bottle 2-3x a day
    8.when plant breaks surface and is standing up strait remove bag.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Whoa, thanks for the immediate help!
  7. Thank you, will do. I bought a soil pH, light, and moisture meter but it doesn't seem to be working unfortunately.
  8. You'd recommend starting in solo cups even though they're autos? I've read doing that could stunt them, which could hit yield pretty hard given the short veg period.
  9. Thank you! I will give this a shot. The seed shell was only a few millimeters below the surface
  10. That doesn't make any sense. Solo cup, plastic holds water, same as a plastic pot. It's simple, cheap, and easy. Only dif with autos is photosensitivity, they're not. You don't even need to put them under light (the unsprouted cup of dirt), just put them near a kitchen or bathroom window. Yes, put right under the light when they pop up out of the soil, but keeping them indoors is going to be easier for humidity and temp.

    There are a lot of ways to slice an onion, but I find that it's best just to cut the fucking thing and move on and grow some marijuana.
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  11. Thank you. I'm using Happy Frog, but avoided using small cups because my understanding was transplanting could shock auto flowers during the short veg period and hit yield.
  12. I see what you mean now. Transplant them before they sex. You will have enough time for it to sprout and develop some, then you can put it in its final resting place.

    Like I was saying, this will help you turn your seed into seedling. Afterwards the grow is a whole 'nother project. There still should be no problem sprouting them in a smaller container, even being autos. You could of course put them in a three gallon pot and never transplant. If it was nice and warm out I don't see why not. But here you're contending with some environmental conditions that require you to alter things a bit.

    * adding just a little perlite to the happy frog will be okay as well. It shouldn't look like it's snowing though.
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  13. I got you, thanks! I'm going to give that a shot. Makes sense, should be a lot easier to keep the soil around the seed moist in a smaller pot.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Root riots for the win.
    No germing seeds, nutes or ph’ing anything.
    Just stick the seed in and get them wet.
    If your tap waters undrinkable use a bottle of Evian or something.
    100% full proof. I’ve even managed to get them to pop without water when they’re fresh from the packet.
    Once the plants are up and there’s a few roots poking out they’re ready to be planted into whatever.
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  15. The 24 hr soak
    24hr paper towel
    I start my autos in peat cups with happy frog ,
    When the tap root is showing out the bottom i rip the bottom off and bury the bottomless peat cup in 5 gal tall pots ,
    Mixed soil and pearlite
    Ocean forest , happy frog , roots organic original
    [​IMG]day 51

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
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  16. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I'm intrigued by these peat cups and might have to check them out.
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  17. No brainer......been using them over 25 years.
    Rapid Rooters.jpg
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  18. I bought a bag last night, going to give them a shot based on the recommendations here.
  19. My go too as well. Get the propagator as well with humidity dome


    Sent from my iPhone using Grasscity Forum
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  20. Maybe I was impatient and too quick to declare failure. This morning, after about 6 days in soil, my first Northern Lights auto peeked its head out! For most people, it sounds like 1-3 days is typical. Maybe mine are just a little bit slower in the big pot with the low RH? Good news anyways, and I think the Root Riot cups will help speed this along in the future.
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