Stunted Gelato autoflower

From a fellow grower: My biggest concern with my first grow ever using Gelato auto flower is stunted growth, not sure if it was due to over watering as the leaves look pale green to almost yellow. It’s been 20 days since seedlings popped and plants are still only about two inches high with a few leaves. I

made an organic soil mix consisting of

1 bag organic soil

4 quarts mushroom compost

2 1/2 quarts worm castings

1 1/8 cup organic fertilizer (Dr. Earth)

2 1/2 quarts perlite

1/4 cup Epson salt

2X4 grow tent

4 inch inline ventilation exhaust fan

Two small fans

2 spider farmer SF1000 grow lights

July 3rd seeds had an 1/8-inch tail and were placed into solo cups.

July 5th seedlings were popping through soil.

July 7th is where my first mistake might have been, I pulled the shells off as the leaf had popped through thinking the shell was to hard for the leaf to lose it on its own.

July 12 still only one leaf popping through as the cotyledon leaves were stuck together on both plants. I carefully separated them.

July 20 Transplanted one plant to 5 gallon pot.

July 22 Transplant looks to be in shock and withering a bit.

July 26 Transplanted second plant due to roots exiting the bottom of the solo cup

July 27 is date of pictures

I’m seeing some lagging growth for some reason. Could be the root system is have problems with the soil organics.
My opinion is I would have started them with some beneficial microbes and root stimulator from day one.
It may take a couple of weeks after the seeds pop before I see enough roots to go onto my DWC setup.
I think your roots needs some TLC.

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Thanks for your thoughts, LateNight. I did germinate the seeds in Myco Supreme Mycorrhizal, but failed to put it on the root ball when I transplanted one of them.
Your plants roots are insane! That a hydro system you’re working with?

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Thanks @Bene.
Yes it’s a DWC hydroponic setup. Got tired of fighting bugs and switched. Still has issues and is more work but the growth rate is explosive and well worth the additional work.

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Those are some good-looking plants my guy. Very clean set up, I like what you’re doing there. I don’t think I’ve seen the additional lighting in all four corners before. How much do you think it helps in yield?

I am trying the 5-gallon auto watering utilizing a wicking action. Trying this method because I know I have a tendency to want to over water. So far its kept soil moist up to 3 inches from the surface of the soil. When the plants get more mature, I’ll add in some compost tea to the fill reservoir.

Just trying to find my way as this is my very first grow ever…lol

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Thank you @Bene. I think it has help a bit. I have only used this method for one season. And only been seriously growing for four seasons. Back in the day, a long time ago, I free some haphazardly. I did some research but because I was on the road 4-5 days a week couldn’t keep my plants wet enough throughout the grow. As you’ll find out, during flower your maturing plants will use twice if not as much water.
With soil I kept having bugs invading so I learned to use Capt Jack neem oil spray and too my plants with an inch of sand so the buggers had very light organic material to consume. After adding a bug zapper and leading not to bring outside plants inside I pretty much eliminated most pest.
Once I went to hydroponic DWC my only worries have been fungus and bud rot.
The additional lighting came about my last couple of seasons. Last season was a more fine tuned approach. Still working on timing my lights to get the proper effect.

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10 minutes before and 10 minute after lights lights on during flower.