This is my first year growing from seed (ILGM purchased). It’s practically springtime already here in Southern California with temps somewhere in the 70s during the day and high 40s at night. I’ve got 3 Jack Herer autoflower sprouts going. Below is the timeline of the process so far.
Feb 23- soaked them in water
Feb 24- noticed right before sundown they had all cracked and had taproots; put them in a moist paper towel between two plates and placed on the water heater over night
Feb 25- planted them in Kellog Garden Organics Raised Bed & Potting Mix at sunrise; Two tips I followed: To spare them of future transplant shock, I planted them directly in their final pots (5 gal fabric pots); Pre-soaked the soil to ease integration into the medium (#1 with over a gallon of purified water; #2 with about 3/4 of a gallon; and #3 with about a 1/2 gallon); Domed them all with bottomless Powerade bottles, taking them off a few times to let the soil dry
The first few days, I moved the pots around the garden to keep them in direct sunlight as long as possible and brought them in at night. During this time, I had no lights but a panel heater set at 72 degrees about a foot away all night long.
Feb 28- They had all sprouted; domes removed; Another tip I followed: To encourage sprawling roots, I’ve been watering them 5ml at a time (3 or 4 times a day) with an oral syringe and circling the plant about an inch out from the stem; They spent that night in darkness next to the panel heater
Mar 1- There was already some yellowing of the leaves with #1 having it the worst; I assumed it had to do with the pre-soak as it took 3 days for #1 to dry out, but #2 was the only one that wasn’t yellow at all; Had more trouble than I thought I would finding 6500K CFLs in the area and ended up with a Feit 60w incandescent grow light; Put that in a lamp and grouped the plants with the light centered above them most of the night
Mar 3- They were all getting taller, but the leaves weren’t growing; #1 was looking like a lost cause; Rushed some Philips 100w (23w) 6500K CFLs to the house
Mar 4- the bulbs arrived; Each sprout had their own light about 6” above them all night (about 4 or 5 hours of darkness between dusk and bedtime)
Mar 5- this morning each sprout was sticking straight up with their little leaves canopied outward; #1’s leaves seemed to almost double in size overnight with the yellowing now only on the outer tips; #1 and #2 are about an inch tall; #3 is about an inch and a half
I’ve been continually reminding myself that life is resilient, but am concerned I didn’t have everything together enough before dropping those seeds in the water. Would any seasoned growers be willing to provide their insight?
- How do these look 9 days from seed soaking and 5 days from sprouting?
- I’ve read the short life span of autos leaves little room for error. How do you think #1’s yellowing leaves and the days without sufficient nighttime lighting will affect the final product?
- I have some Fox Farms nutrients left over from last year, but read that good soil (which I think I have based on last year’s clone success) has enough to feed an autoflower for its 8-10 weeks of life. Is that true? Should I bypass feeding concerns and focus solely on proper watering, light, and maintenance?
- Lastly, the water seems to stay pooled on top of the surface longer and longer before soaking into the soil. It’s only about 5 seconds, but is that a sign of a problem that will worsen over time? Is the concentration of water, as little as it is, effecting the breathability of the soil? If the water is having more trouble moving down into the soil, does that mean the roots are having to work harder as well?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.