Wait for the FFOF the plants will do better in the long run, my opinion
@OlyBoy98503 @Chasworks thanks guys, I’ll hold off on transplanting then. I should be getting the FFOF on Tuesday, so I may transplant as soon as Wednesday if you recommend not waiting any longer than that. Just want to avoid them being rootbound!
While the girls look green and healthy, and are developing second sets of spaded leaves, I am noticing some wavy leaves on most of them growing in intensity.
**Question: What do you think is causing these wavy leaves and how do you suggest I resolve it? **
I have read online that it is likely: overwatering, underwatering, too much fan air movement, a pH issue preventing nutrient intake such as zinc, a sign of rapid growth and warping to try to accommodate a growth rate beyond its current physical means, or a heat issue.
I thought I may have overwatered (def not underwatered) since I gave them half a glass of filtered tap water total amongst the 5 plants each day for the past 2 days (until I got some runoff). I am skeptical this is the issue because I heard it’s hard to overwater in coco coir, which is an element of my mixture. And the soil mix is dry on top today and moist about 1/2” down (even though I see the mixture condensing and moving away from the edges which I thought would indicate it’s watering time). I am refraining from watering today just in case…
I don’t think it’s a heat issue because the fluorescent lights barely give off any heat (even an inch away from my hand). Plus these girls are starting out in my basement which is air conditioned, probably sitting in about a 70 degree F environment.
It can’t be a fan issue because I don’t even have a fan on them. Once in a while I blow air on them just for a little action/CO2 but that’s it.
So maybe it’s a pH issue? I don’t have a pH tester but my coco coir mix was pH balanced and soil is supposed to maintain pH too right? So maybe it’s from the water… I’ll admit that yesterday I ran out of filtered tap water before reaching the half-glass amount amongst the 5 plants so I put ~1/4 cup max of some spring water in them. Maybe that threw off the pH? I didn’t think spring water would be thattt acidic or alkaline. Not sure… any ideas?
I definitely hope it’s just a growth rate that it can’t keep up with lol but either way Ive read online that sometimes seedlings do weird things like this and maybe just ignoring it and letting it do its thing is best… not sure but would love a 2nd opinion. Thanks for reading!
My guess is that it’s not a problem at all. The roots are just busy drinking water and the new leaves are just respiring…filling with water and then releasing the water and gasses from photosynthesis.
You’re just seeing newly formed leaves “inhale” and “exhale” in real time. Just like you see some leaves look big and flat and full, a few hours later they are folded and wrinkly. Over and over again.
So don’t do anything different and continue to be cognizant of moisture levels in the soil. Your plants are doing what they are supposed to be doing!
@OlyBoy98503 that is very relieving to hear! Thank you! This is the first time I’ve seen them wrinkle/twist and it’s my first grow so I thought something might be wrong. Appreciate the words of encouragement! Do you still recommend I transplant them as soon as possible (Wednesday morning) or do you think even more time developing roots in the starter container as you previously recommended would be beneficial?
None of the mistakes I made during my first grow were because I waited to do something a little longer. I was too eager and did things too soon.
When I make a mistake based on doing something from a timeline, I always make the mistake of doing it too early. When I think something will need to happen, I want to do it NOW.
I’m trying to learn patience.
That being said, I’m torn between giving them a few more days to get stronger to help avoid transplant shock…and wanting to get it into the FF.
But since they are your plants and dreams, I’m going to recommend waiting.
@OlyBoy98503 that is so insightful! I am a patient person but I overthink things so I will keep your words in mind when I feel like I have to do something ASAP that can probably wait. It’s interesting because this whole grow started out with an emergency transplant from garden soil to the starter mix. So of course some times the urgency is real but I’ll try to be especially patient when comparing to “typical” schedules, thanks!
Yeah. We can see that! Lol!
Have a nice night!
@OlyBoy98503 LOL thanks, same to you!
Just another opinion, they are auto’s correct. I mean no rush but i would lean towards getting her in her final home when the fox farms arrives. As in no rush but i would want the transplant behind me. But your dream your choice. Stay lit
@Chasworks thanks for the second opinion! Def agree that it’s best to wait a little more to transplant. I just got my FFOF (only purchased 24 quarts/6 gals to continue a similar ratio as my starter mix including the coco coir based seedling starter mix and perlite/vermiculite). Also found that waiting longer can be beneficial for root growth/strength to better survive the final home so I’m feeling much more comfortable! Looks like storms are rolling through tomorrow so I think Thursday might be transplant day. Gonna avoid watering tomorrow in anticipation of this!
All 5 plants are showing their third sets of noded leaves or more!
I think they’re ready for transplant now and I finally got my 6 gals of Fox farms ocean forest to incorporate over 5 x (5 gal) planting mixes, looking to accomplish a similar ratio as the starter mix combining:
Coco coir seed starter mix: 33%
Soil: 30% (previously only used garden soil but will now incorporate FF OF or both for this portion)
After reading up on other Illinois outdoor medical grows, it has occurred to me that my initial plan of 3 plants in isolated ~5gal containers and 2 plants in the vegetable garden mayyyy be a bit risky in terms of extreme/unpredictable weather and of course the unlikely passerbyer spotting the grow in an enclosed space.
Today’s Main Question: If possible, would it be smarter to transplant all 5 plants into 4.5-5gal containers each for an outdoor grow instead of transplanting 3 into containers and 2 into a gated ground garden?
With transplant day around the corner I’m having second thoughts but I may only have three 5gal containers sooo I’m wondering if it reallly came down to it would a 10gal plastic trash can still be better than the garden? And would it be stupid to plant two in that same trash can? I’m really hesitant to try this but just want the best for my girls. And then will come the process of drilling proper drainage holes in the containers haha
As always I appreciate any and all input and thanks for reading!
I used to live down in Belleville, IL and I remember the sudden summer showers almost every afternoon. I’m not sure what it’s like in your part of IL for weather.
I know that cannabis growers would grow weed in between the rows of cornfields and would time their harvest with the corn harvest. You should be okay.
And there is always a chance that someone will see your grow. That’s one reason I use the tomato cages and have fauxmatoes on one of my plants. If someone glances and sees them, they’ll look like tomato plants. I hung fake peppers on one plant. If they’re not looking for weed, they won’t see weed.
I think you should stick with your plan to stick two in your gated garden with a little camouflage. And your other three in 5gal pots.
I would not place two plants in the same 10 gallon container. Their roots would be intertwined so quickly. Any issue you might have resulting in one plant dying would be too difficult to segregate from the other. I’m already second guessing my plan of sticking two plants in that straw bale. I might go with just one plant.
Your plants are looking really nice. I think they look ready for transplant. Is the plant in picture 2 the same plant from your Day 7 update with twisty leaves? If it is, then it turned out looking great! It looks like it just had a few wonky leaves.
Good luck with the transplant! We can’t wait for the update!
@HellaLoaded Here’s another beginner outdoor how you might want to start following. Sweets is a little behind where you are now, but it’ll be great chance to see how someone else is doing the same thing you are. Also…Sweets takes great notes and asks some really good questions. You probably already have a few answers to questions she doesn’t know she has yet.
Quick update today, life’s been busy.
Here’s the best and worst of the girls today:
^^ that one has gotten progressively droopy over the last 30 hours and I think I just overwatered it. I also happened to notice that this was the container with the highest soil content of them all! Starting to think watering it the same way as the others that had a higher coco coir mix is beginning to show the differences in water retention/drainage of each medium. Not watering any of them today as previously planned.
Soo in big news I decided to follow my gut and aim to transplant all 5 plants into large containers instead of only 3 in containers with 2 in the garden. I managed to secure 2 extra containers for this so I am now planning on transplanting to final plastic containers that are 4.5gal, 4.5gal, 5gal, 5gal, and 10gal. I drilled a good 15-20 evenly distributed pencil sized holes on bottoms and near-bottom sides on each of them today.
After sizing up my grow destinations I realized I farrrr underestimated how much soil i needed (by 10-15 gallons), as I once thought I’d only need to fulfill a handful of 4.5 gal containers but now I’m looking at 29 gallons of containers to fill with only 14 gallons of mixture materials (excluding what I thought would just be minimal filler garden soil). Yikes! I decided to run to Menards as they finally had top soil in stock. I bought 11 gallons of cheap soil and on impulse decided to buy 12 lbs (which I believe equates to about 2.5 gal) of earthworm castings. I worried that my mixture and a side of calmag may not be enough for my girls and I still haven’t found the will to purchase full on nutrient regimens so I figured maybe the worm castings would be the perfect middle man.
I calculated what my current materials would break down as if evenly distributed amongst the 28.5 gallons needed (excluding the 0.5 gallons of starter mix used on my seedling containers) - and yes I subtracted the respective amounts used in the seedling mix from the total materials available. I am way too much a perfectionist some times!
Anyways, I’ll spare you the funky math but this is what my final home mix should break down as approximately in composition, which I’m not elated about but I hope it will work:
FFOF Soil Mix: 21%
Top Soil: 38.5%
Encap worm castings: 8.77%
Coco coir mix: 13.45%
Garden Soil: 4.9% or whatever remains
Question: Given the fact that I may have already overwatered one of my seedlings in a starter mixture with more perlite/vermiculite/coco coir (which aerate the soil) than my future mix will have - do you think I’ll be okay to distribute this future final home mix evenly amongst the containers in prep for transplant or am I preparing for disaster by not preparing further for better aeration such as buying more perlite or perhaps (controversially) placing rocks at the bottom of the final containers?
I just notice that the plant with droopiest leaves has the highest soil ratio of all and I am starting to fear if my watering pace will end up drowning my girls i definitely struggle to not give them attention/water. But maybe that’s all I need to work on and the mediums fine? Hahah please let me know any thoughts or advice! Tomorrow I’m gonna just mix all this stuff up and evenly distribute amongst the containers in prep for a transplant on Friday.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to your words! Oh and @OlyBoy98503 don’t think I forgot about you - I want to properly respond when I finally find the time!
I think you’ll be okay with exactly what you have. I wouldn’t add any rocks to the bottom of the containers. There’s no value added. Load your containers with your mix and give them a good, slow soaking, but not enough to produce runoff. I know that my 3 gallon containers filed with my mix, will also hold an entire gallon of water. And I know how they feel when they need water and when they don’t. I never have to give the 3 gallon plants more than a half gallon of water on their watering days. If you know how much they weigh dry and how much hey weigh watered, you won’t have to play the “stick my finger down 2 inches in the soil” game which is sketchy (at best).
One thing I learned this past week is that hardly any water makes it to the soil when it rains. If the canopy of the plants hangs over the edges of your pots, all the rain water ends up going over the side. After four days of on-again-off-again rain, I had to water the upstairs girls twice because their pots kept getting lighter and not heavier. I didn’t water Memory (the bigger plant in a 6.5 gal pot) the whole time and she was super light. Just FYI…
@OlyBoy98503 thank you so much for your prompt suggestions and input - they help so much! I thought the distractor fruits was a genius idea and I’ll probably use that if I ever do decide to grow in the garden.
In regards to your question the other day, no - the plant with twisty leaves on day 7 was actually plant 5! And plant 5 is the one that earned best-looking-plant on day 10 hahah I think the twisting may have been a sign of rapid growth! Plant 2 ended up being the one with the droopiest leaves (hoping they recover a little since I didn’t water yesterday and won’t water today either in prep for tomorrow’s transplant.
I appreciate the input on not putting two plants on one container - I feel better knowing I have individual containers for each plant!
Thanks for the suggestion to give the loaded containers a fresh soaking without any runoff before transplanting - I’ll do that tonight! And I’ll pay attention to the weight before and after watering to get a gauge of that for future watering consideration. May I ask - when you say you never have to give your 3 gallon plants more than a half gallon of water on their watering days, you mean no more than half a gallon of water TOTAL amongst all your plants right? And how many plants are you watering? For me, I’ve been watering half a glass of water total amongst the 5 plants in their starter containers on watering days (every 1-2 days). I plan to follow a similar amount once transplanted but spacing it out ever 2-3 days instead due to more soil content in both a ratio sense and a sheer overall amount relative to the small plant but I’ll adjust if necessary.
An additional question that occurred to me as well is that ever since my seedlings started stretching on day 3, i brought them closer to the fluorescent lights and began a 24 hour light cycle instead of 18/6. They’ve been under lights 24 hours a day since then so going to be 8 days straight by tonight. In anticipation of transplant into the outdoors tomorrow - should I brace them for the outdoor light cycle a bit by leaving them in the dark for 6 hours tonight? Don’t want to shock them! Def gonna be a learning curve as they adjust to the hotter, more humid, and less consistent light cycle of the outdoors. I’ll keep the rain thing in mind too and not assume they’re watered just because it rains. Weight-gauging by lifting the containers seems to be the move no matter what! Thanks!
- Here are the fauxmatoes I’m using.
“And plant 5 is the one that earned best-looking-plant on day 10”
- That’s pretty cool. So maybe they were twisty for a bit just because of their growth spurt. I learned something new!
“I have individual containers for each plant!”
- Here some cool pictures of what the root systems will do if they’re not contained. I don’t think a 10 gal container would have the appropriate amount of top surface area to give each plant’s root system their own space to grow and spread.
"when you say you never have to give your 3 gallon plants more than a half gallon of water on their watering days, you mean no more than half a gallon of water TOTAL amongst all your plants right? And how many plants are you watering? "
- I am currently feeding/watering 2 plants in 3 gal pots (the upstairs girls). And I pick each plant up at least twice each day (usually 6-8 times), so I’m usually cognizant of how they feel when I pick them up. I usually water/feed them ~3 times per week. Due to the plant’s size and green volume, and the cooler weather (usually overcast), they don’t need much water now. On their feeding days, they’ll each get 1/4 gal of drank once they are in direct sunlight and another 1/4 gal of the same stuff an hour or two later. That’s what I mean by 1/2 gal of water. The downstairs girls (100% outdoors) are in 6.5 gal pots. They weigh a lot more with the add’l soil and water, but I can still tell when they feel light enough to water. On their watering days, they’ll get more water But it hasn’t been sunny or hot enough yet to need more than a full gallon so far.
“should I brace them for the outdoor light cycle a bit by leaving them in the dark for 6 hours tonight?”
Personally, I don’t think I’d be concerned with shock. I’d just put them outside. Even if they do spaz out and start to flower, they’ll re-veg when they realize the sun is still shining for almost 16 hours a day. Even if they’ve been exposed to light for 24 hours per day. Give them the darkness. Everybody else will probably tell you to back it off slowly. They way they describe how to do it totally makes sense. I totally planned on doing it also. But today when I put 3 more plants outside, I just moved 'em out. None of them are getting special timing for getting used to nature’s light cycle. They’ll figure it out.
I hope that the “feel how heavy it is” method of determining when to water works for you!
This day was dedicated to preparing for transplant the following day. Here are all of the ingredients I used for my final home potting soil (literally needed 29 gallons total for all my containers so it took me hours to mix and distribute).
Some of my math was slightly off so my final mix ended up being closer to this:
FFOF Soil Mix: 22.5%
Top Soil: 37.5%
Encap worm castings: 8.5%
Coco coir mix: 13.75%
Garden Soil: 4.75%
FFOF Soil Mix: 27.7%
Top Soil: 29.4%
Encap worm castings: 6.7%
Coco coir mix: 17.15%
Garden Soil: 4.8%
Here are the girls before I went to sleep last night:
You can see plant 4 had her leaves curl in on themselves and also had emboldened some golden brown spots that faintly started up 2 nights ago. After being left to dry for the past couple nights, the leaves were raised up a little higher at least so I figured my guess that she was overwatered was correct, especially since I hear that can prevent roots from intaking nutrients (hence the brown spots probably indicating a deficiency). And the new growth looks healthy so I hope it’s on its way to healing. Would you agree that the problem was most likely overwatering? And if this little plant is deficient of nutrients, perhaps as a result of previous overwatering, is it too young to be given CalMag? My gut says it’s too early and it’s probably best to watch the new growth closer before acting.
Little family shot of their last night indoors:
Day 12 - Transplant Day
The plants hadn’t been watered in 3 days as I read online to avoid watering a couple days prior. I gave them the lightesttttt misting in their starter containers right before transplanting. Turns out they were all pretty dried out and I experienced some crumbling during transplant. Much harder than anticipated! Word to the wise - you’re gonna wanna water your plants 1-2 days prior to transplant so it sticks together better!
I think I may have torn or lost one or two root segments during transplant even being as gentle as I could, especially on Plant 4 (the one I overwatered whose leaves were super droopy n started curling in on themselves) - the soil was so loose I could see the roots just dangling freely outside of the mix when transplanting (but maybe that’s a good thing so they grow deep and not stuck in a circle like a rootbound plant). Felt weird to just softly plop the plant with its starter mix right on top of those dangling roots into the final container (I hear the roots are very sensitive). But yeah I just hope I didn’t damage any of the roots enough to kill any of the girls! Really holding my breath about Plant 4 given her long history of setback after setback (seed helmet needing surgery, overwatered with leaf drooping/curling, and now possible damage to roots).
Anyways, after all the planning and efforts, all of them have reached their final home containers outside, transplanted at 9AM. Here is where each one will live the rest of their lives:
Plant 1 (Harriet) = white round bucket (5gal)
Plant 2 = Small Blue Bin to the left (4.5gal)
Plant 3= Large Recycle Bin (10gal)
Plant 4 (cripple) = Small Blue Bin to the right (4.5gal)
Plant 5 = Gray round bucket (5gal)
Plants 5 & 1 respectively
Plants 2&3 respectively
Once they were softly nestled in with extra soil mixture (which I set up like a hill to provide a little support to the stretched stems), I watered an inner ring at the transition point to the new mix, as well as an outer ring to incentivize the roots to grow outward. I only gave them about 40 fl oz of filtered tap water total, with the big container getting a little more than the rest. It doesn’t seem like much water at all for containers this size and there was no runoff, plus it’s been sunny and dry for most of the day at 75 degrees F. Got me wondering -
In general, do you think they will need more water than this at a time given the smallest container is 4.5gal or am I starting out at a good amount given the fact that they’re only 12 days old?
Turns out later in the early evening, it started to get just a little bit windy and drizzled lightly for a brief period. I checked on them because they’ve never experienced the outside nor have they ever experienced wind (I never had a fan on, I’ve only occasionally blown on them). When I revisited, i found them all standing but a couple were leaning prettttyyy heavy so I buried my hand deep down below/away from the transplanted section and readjusted the whole chunk to better align the plant vertically again and then put some more soil up against its stem to protect against the wind. I’m hoping this leads to stronger stems and isn’t too intense for them! the weather didn’t even indicate rain.
Here’s what they looked like later this evening (sorry for blurry photos due to wind):
Plant 1 (Harriet)
Plant 4 (Cripple)
Gonna be interesting to see how they adapt to the outside and how much stress they may experience from the transplant but I am so happy to have the transfer behind me and now begins the true journey of growth for these young girls!
Any advice on what to prepare for or to look out for in the coming weeks would also be appreciated! As previously mentioned I did purchase a CalMag bottle just in case, but that’s all I have in terms of nutes. Don’t think ill need to use it until later but any input on that would be appreciated as well!
Thanks for reading!
Did you say this is the first time outside? If so, find a shady spot for them and do some reading up on “hardening off”. Firts time out direct sun will scorch them.