How much water to give planted germinated seeds?

Hey all,

I’m a complete beginner here and I’m doing my first grow. I ordered some seeds a couple weeks ago and I was worried that the germination process would be difficult and annoying, but to my surprise in my first time germinating, EVERY seed I tried to germinate popped out a tap root. Both the 48 hr water cup method and the 18 hr water cup to 48 hr damp paper towel method had a 100% success rate. I was very pleased with that. I transported them to my soil medium (fox farms ocean forest) via tweezers, lightly covered it, watered it and now giving 10 hrs of light and 14 hrs of dark under my LED lights per the manufacturer instructions for the “acclimation period”. I’m growing it my closet and I have a fan in there the circulate air as well. It’s been 2 days now and no sprout.

I’m trying to find information regarding this, particularly the amount I’m supposed to water (thinking maybe it’s a watering problem) but it’s driving me crazy because every time I try to look up information all I get it people talking about their germination methods and/or how much you’re supposed to water when the plant has already sprouted leaves. I just want to know how much I’m supposed to water them now that the germinated seeds have been planted and can’t seem to get an answer.

I’ve heard that you’re supposed to give the entire medium a generous amount of water at first and then not to water it for another 2-3 days, but my soil keeps drying out to the point where if I stick my finger knuckle deep it doesn’t feel that damp or it depends where in the soil I do it because some areas are dry and some are damp. So, I’ve been lightly spraying it with a spray bottle (pH balanced water) a few times a day whenever it looks dry because otherwise they just keep drying out. But I’ve heard that this is overwatering because it apparently doesn’t matter how much water you give it in a single sitting but moreso the amount of times you water it per day. This is driving me crazy because it’s making me feel like I didn’t give it enough water initially and so now I have to keep spraying it multiple times a day to keep it damp but that’s apparently overwatering.

In addition to this I have another question. Do you think over/under watering at this stage (like the dilemma I’m in) will cause a germinated seed to not sprout when in soil? Or are there other factors that make or break this stage of development? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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You could really benefit from my journal. All the answers to your questions await you there.

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I was juts fixing to give him the ole 4 oz of water every 4 days method. I had the same problems you had and when I started doing that my plants started booming. You should definitely go read @Hellraiser journal he is very informative and detailed​:call_me_hand::+1:

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I got to the part in your journal where I’m at and you basically just said the same thing everyone else says, give it a generous amount of water at first and then don’t water for another 3-4 days. I’m asking what I can do in my situation since I probably didn’t initially give it enough water since the soil is drying out pretty much every day, and I want to know if by misting it with a spray bottle a couple times a day if I’m preventing the seed from sprouting, and if so should I just start over.

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Does not sound like something I would ever say. but let’s move on.

Need to know more about your situation.

What size containers/pots are your seeds in?

How much water did you initially put into the soil?

What temperatures are you getting in your closet?

What light are you using and how high above the pot?

Why are you running a fan? It’s just drying out your soil at this point with no sprouts.

You say you planted the seeds 2 days ago, they may still sprout unless they dried out and died (under watering) or rotted and died (over watering).

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I was going to ask if he read the right journal, I’ve read it since you started it, and you didn’t say that.

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Sorry bro I smoke way too much I read 3-4 oz as 3-4 days lmao. But you did mention that after watering you shouldn’t water it any more until it spouts. Does that mean I shouldn’t water even if the soil looks dry?

I initially put about a cup of water in the pot. Maybe a little less. Then sprayed it with a sprayer to make sure the top layer looked damp. I’m not sure the size of the pot because it doesn’t say but it’s a decent size. Not huge but obviously substantially bigger than a regular party cup.

I agree that the fan might be the reason why the soil is drying out, do you think I shouldn’t use it at all? The only reason I’m using it is because they say the plant needs fresh circulated air to prevent a lack of oxygen from water and I didn’t wanna leave it in my closet with stagnant air. Unless that’s fine for this stage of growth.

I’m using full spectrum 600W LED lights, hung above at around 35" above the plants. Giving it light for 10 hours a day and dark for 14 hours per the manufacturer instructions.

I really appreciate your help btw!

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No problem, we’re all a bunch of stoners here LOL.

I’d turn the fan off until you actually have plants above ground otherwise you’re just making the soil dry up faster than necessary.

Light is far enough away, that’s good.

Chances are, you given enough water with the initial watering and sprayings, I’d give them a couple more days and see if they sprout without adding any more water at this point. It’s ok for the top of the soil to be dry, as long as it’s moist under the surface, if your pot has some weight to it, then theres still some water in there, if very light, then it’s dry.

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Sounds good man. I’ll turn the fan off for now. I’m just worried that I ruined it by misting it a couple times a day after the initial watering. I guess only time will tell.

I want to try the pot lifting method but I lift so many weights that both a damp pot and a dry pot feel like a feather to me. it sucks LOL

Last question (for now): how long should I wait before I either check the tap root to see what’s going on, or I just give up and throw out the plants altogether? I have more seeds so it’s not an issue to start over but I guess I’d just rather not give up on 4 perfectly germinated seeds.

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I always expect my seeds to sprout and break ground 4-5 days after planting so yours may still be working on it. Give them a few more days and if nothing shows up, you can carefully dig down and see whats up with them.

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Thanks again. I’ll probably post an update here once it’s been past 5 days. I guess I gotta remember that I’m a beginner and there’s gonna be a lot of learning experiences.

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Yep, and seed sprouting is the first hurdle to get over, it’s just a balancing act, can’t keep it too wet, or let it get too dry.

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Another thing to do would be placing a dome over the seed. Get a clear cup or cut a 16oz water bottle in half give a couple squirts to the dome place over seed don’t lift unless there is no condensation on dome or your sprout is an inch tall. If dry, another couple of squirts. If sprouting wean it off the dome by removing it for an hour increasing every day.

It’s pretty humid where I live so I just been keeping the window open to let the humidity in. I might try this though if I still have issues with my plants getting dry too quick.

Also, update: it’s day 3 and I woke up to check on my plants, I didn’t see any sprouts. So I got impatient and took one of the plants where the soil is close to bone dry and tried to take a look at the root. I careful dug and found the root slightly raised, it’s not green but it’s clearly a little stem that’s growing. Because of how dry it is, I sprayed it with a spray bottle again. Again, I’ve been spraying most of my plants 2-3 times a day because they just won’t stay damp. Even after doing the knuckle test the soil is always still mostly dry when I test it.

However, I took a better look at one of the pots in the back, and to my surprise, it already looks like a seedling has sprouted. It’s got green leaves and everything. Thing I noticed is, this is the pot that seemed to stay the most damp. I didn’t really need to water it as much as the others and that maybe had to do with how much I initially watered it or how far it was away from the fan.

From this, can I draw the conclusion that my other plants need more water? I’m starting to think I really shouldn’t be worried about over watering and I should just use common sense. Maybe all the other beginner growers are leaving puddles in their plant pots and that’s why they’re over watering.

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Water them some if you feel it is too dry, they can’t grow in bone dry conditions so go with your common sense. Just don’t want to keep them too wet either.

There is a disease called dampen off where the moisture causes fungus growth that chokes the seedlings to death. The dome keeps moisture next to the seed but allows Pot to dry. If it is as humidity as you say you will need a dehumidifier later. Yes your success is from being farthest from fan.

one little trick is to dump a shot glass of water on the soil where the seed is and place a clear glass over it. Once the seed breaks ground remove the glass. Do not spray the seedling with water, simply water very sparingly around its base with 10 ml at a time. Do NOT overwater a seedling. Also, a seed does not require a light to germinate so long as its reasonably warm, thats fine. Mid 70s to 80 max! Once the seed breaks ground the light should be on.

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I wish I would have read this sooner lol. For one of the pots I have a seedling that popped out but looked pretty dry at its base. So I sprayed it with a spray bottle about 10 times. Oh well we’ll see what happens :0

So the other one that sprouted better than the rest I haven’t touched since it sprouted. Soil still looks nice and damp at the base. I won’t touch that one, but when the soil dries up how much should I water it with the spray bottle?

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Day 4: 6 out of 7 plants sprouted. I dug up the seed that didn’t sprout to see what was going on. Looks like it just died and the tap root wasn’t even attached to the soil. Not sure what happened here but I was pretty sad to see it and now I’m doubting myself again.

As far as the seedlings that have sprouted, I’m just unsure of how much water to give them. I honestly don’t know whether my soil is damp or not even when I check so if it’s not noticeably damp I’m giving it water, and I’ve been watering them 1-2 times a day. Just using a spray bottle over the base because I tried pouring 10 mL out of a cup and the water just stuck to the cup and I couldn’t aim it around the base.

What the signs I should look out for with my seedlings when it comes to over/under watering?

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I’d stop with the multiple daily sprayings, keeping the soil and sprout stem moist constantly is a sure way to slow down and stunt the growth of sprouts or even kill them off, causes damping off, a fungal infection. Be better off to give it give it 4 oz of water, then give it 4-5 days to dry up and repeat. Just getting the top of the soil wet but not getting enough water down to the roots will be a problem. Wet/dry cycles is what the plant needs for healthy growth. Marijuana does not grow in swamps. Judging the dryness/wetness of soil is a critical skill you will need to acquire to be successful. Perhaps you could pick up a moisture meter, they can help with that.

Signs of over-watering is droopy leaves, slow stunted growth, yellow tips on leaves. uneven coloring on leaves.

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