1st time - NEED HELP - ROOT/SOIL QUESTIONS AND PEST PROBLEMS

1st-time grower here. Any advice and wisdom from others is greatly appreciated.

I have four plants right now still in veg. They are about 3 months old. I don’t know too much about any of this stuff and my plants look real sick, so I’m looking for help to keep them alive.

The plants are fed usually every 1-2 days depending on the temp. and soil moisture. They receive the following:

Foxfarm Big Bloom (diluted in 1 gallon of RO water) every other watering
Molasses (diluted in 1 gallon of RO water) given 1x/week
Liquified Kelp (diluted in 1 gallon of RO water) given every 3 weeks
Pure H20 every other watering

They are potted in Rootpouch grow bags (5 gallon). I’m wondering if this size is too small for these plants?

I have some fungus gnats, but not very many. I also put a layer of sand on top of the soil to try to discourage them, but it doesn’t seem to get ride of them completely. I don’t know what is considered too much of an infestation, or if it’s ok to have a few gnats here and there.

For one of my plants, some of the roots seem to be popping out of the soil and are brown which indicates to me some type of fungus issue, but again I’m just guessing.

any help??? Thank you in advance!

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Forgot to mention that the plants are under a 600 watt Aglex LED light and a 100 watt LED that I picked up at Ace hardware. They are given 18 hours of light and 6 hours of dark.
I also use:

Perlite mixed in the soil and given at each transplant
Alfalfa meal mixed in the soil and given at each transplant

Even in late flower my plants only need watering every 2nd or 3rd day. So you may have some wet feet issues.

The roots being brown is likely because they’re exposed to open air and are air pruning.

If you’re only feeding big bloom, that’s not enough. There is not a lot of nutrients in big bloom

Molasses isn’t necessarily plant food. It is used to feed your microbial life.

I don’t see anything about PH’ing your nutrient mix. Are you ph’ing? Next watering I’d water to runoff and measure what your runoff ph and ppms are

What are ppms? I’ve heard of it, but haven’t read into it yet. How do I measure them? I have tested the ph of the soil only twice. But each time it gives me a 6.5 level

I usually give them only about 1 cup of water. How much do you give yours? I just have a basic watering can. If they seem really dry, I will give them almost 2 cups. The grow bags that I have are advertised as saying that any excess water that isn’t absorbed by the roots is pushed out through the bags are supposed to prevent overwatering, but I never use more than 1-2 cups.

What other nutrients do you suggest I should feed it?

Should be getting a full gallon per watering at this point. The excess water that comes out of the pot is the runoff. You can measure this with a ph probe and tds (ppm) meter to gather what your soil ph and nutrient level (measured in ppm) is.

PPM(parts per million)/ TDS (total dissolved solids) meters are cheap

RO and distilled water will measure close to 0ppm because there’s nothing in it . When you start adding nutrients to it, the ppms will rise because you’re adding dissolved solids to your water. This is a basic ppm level per age of plant:

  • Seedlings: 100-250 (nutrients aren’t needed here, hence there’s not a lot of particles needed)

  • First Half of Vegging Cycle: 300-400 (this is usually after you transplant, which still doesn’t require many nutrients)

  • Second Half of Vegging: 450-700 (you’ll start giving your plants more nutrients at this stage)

  • First Half of Flowering: 750-950 (your plants will be eating more as they grow, so they’ll be taking in more nutrients)

  • Second Half of Flowering: 1000-1600 (this is when your plant’s eating the most, especially if you give it additives)

  • End of Flower, Entering Harvest: As close to 0 as possible (this is when you’ll be flushing your plants, so you don’t want there to be a lot of particles leftover)

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A full gallon per plant at each watering!!!

Won’t that drown them? And that’s supposed to be every 3 days?

I feel like I might be missing something in trying to understand. But I appreciate the help anyway!

I’m watering with a full gallon by 1 month of veg. You don’t go by a schedule for watering. You only water once the pot completely dries out. Could be 3 days, could be 6.

BobbyD! Thank you so much for this quick breakdown… and link!

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