Maximize Root Growth

I am beginning my second grow with 6 ILGM seeds in 5 gal buckets w/ FFOF soil. My question is about how to approach fertilizing etc. as it benefits root growth.
Is there any benefit to postponing fertilizer application in order to get the roots to grow to their maximum capacity as they search for nutrients? I was contemplating adding no nutes for the first month.
Last year my root balls were only about the size of a large softball and I assume they did not get bigger because they were getting all the nutrients they needed.
Can you please provide advice / feedback to this idea?
Obviously the nutrient suppliers say to start from day one.
Thanksin advance for any and all thoughts on the subject.

I usually hold off on nutes until they get bigger (5" or so) and even then I only give them 1/4 - 1/2 strength to see how they handle it.
As far as root growth from what I understand you want to let the medium dry out before watering again. What this does is forces the roots to grow outward in search of more moisture. If you were to keep the medium constantly wet the roots would not need to spread out in search of water as there would be an abundance at its disposal.
I have used a couple of products that help with healthy root systems. One called great white and the other is called photosynthesis plus. Both worked great for root growth.
But I think the best approach is to let the medium get dry so the roots will search out moisture.
Just my thoughts on the subject.

Happy growing!

Also to maximize root growth grow on a 14/10 veg cycle you’ll notice a huge difference in root mass


Thanks for the response. I have decided to go with General Hydroponics this
time around and have already purchased all their stuff.
I actually usually wait til I see a little drooping before I water thinking
that they must be in search of water when drooping occurs.
I think your approach regarding size sounds logical even though GH feeding
chart shows starting the first week. Of course, they are selling nutes.
Thanks again and i will try to keep you posted on progress.

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14/10 that’s interesting. Obviously that is less than most folks recommend
(18/6 or 16/8) but I think you know what you are talking about so I am
gonna follow your advise. Do you think CalMag is something you put on at
the beginning or regularly during the grow or should I just use it in
response to a nute issue?

Thanks for getting back to me, I value your opinion and input.

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Most of the nutrient company’s say to start feeding them right off. Usually the plants have enough food in the very first set of leafs that pop out of the soil to feed itself for a bit. Also a lot of the soils out there have some nutrients in them as well so the plant will use what is already in the soil. I have heard that the fox farm ocean has a descent amount of nutrients in it and I believe that is what you are using so I would recommend definitely starting with 1/4 strength nutrients so that the soil doesn’t become “hot”

I’ve actualy read in a few grow journals of a few grows that the grower used fox farm ocean mix and they didn’t add nutrients until flowering and had good luck. They had said they only added some micro nutrients that the soil was lacking (like a cal mag solution)
Maybe some others who have used fox farm ocean can comment on how strong the soil is.

Id use it once every other watering once in vegitative stage and yes I do i wouldn’t advise something if I had no experience you will actually see you plants grow twice as fast with roots twice as healthy that develop twice as fast

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I’ve had really good luck with the stuff even my 7 gallon pots are full of roots mykros I just sprinkle some on there and let it do it’s thing do it when I put the seeds in and I also do it during transplant

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you can see the bag of it behind the cup

On another subject… It seems to be the concensus that around 78 degrees
is optimal for veg and flower.
My question is where do I take the temperature. I used to hang it on a
string and keep it at the top of the leaves. Then I went to checking it at
the top of the soil, then I put a cover over the thermometer to protect it
from radiant energy???
Regardless of what I do I am still showing temps that are too high and I am
running my MH bulb at 400w with a 6" fan pulling air through from the floor
outside the room.
Please tell me how you monitor your temps? I’m hoping I am missing
something simple.

Have an oscillating fan in your room that will help for sure so strained like it a bit cooler

I do have an oscillating fan.
But where do you place your thermometer in relation to the plant?
I want to be sure I am looking at the right temp at the right place.
Thanks, as always!

I always keep it at plant canopy level

Thanks for the input. I think that I have determined that I can solve my
heat problem with a “cool tube”, duh!!!
Ordered a cool tube retrofit for my existing light. I have a funny feeling
this may solve my problem.

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My pleasure keep me updated

a good way to achieve this is by using warm water in a spray bottle on the dirt around the sprout not directly on it, it does not need a lot of water at this point enough to reach the roots basically but warm water produces great root growth

Well, it seems as though I have achieved my goal!
I bought 2 used MarsHydro II 700 LED fixtures.
Now I have 78 degrees, good humidity and lots of light.
I am very pleased.
So here is a question for you…

I have a 3.5’x3.5’ grow space.
These lights say they will cover 3’x3’ in flower mode.
I have plenty of vertical space.
What would you think about putting BOTH of these lights in my space.
I can keep the lights as far as I need from the plants.

Thanks again for your insight and input.

Yea I would add both lights, and my pleasure @Tarzan

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I’m glad we think alike on this matter. Last year I had a terrible time
controlling heat with a 4" fan and I had to run my HID light at 250w most
of the time. Now I have a 6" fan and LED lights and wow, my plants are
growing like weeds, literally.
So glad I am making progress on getting this program started cause I am
loving it and having so much fun!

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Awesome glad to hear your enjoying, and absolutely it always makes life easier when you have some one that thinks alike, welcome to our world my friend every step is a blast