Hey everyone - joined up to see if I could find a solution to an interesting issue I am having.
I am not exactly a beginner, but definitely no expert. Apologies for the lack of brevity ahead!
I started an indoor>outdoor grow in an unconventional way due to the sun and rain exposure this time of the year up here (lots of rain, mostly cloudy, windy at times). I want to veg these indoors until June and move them out for flowering.
-10 plants from seed here in the PNW started back in late March
-germ’d in paper towel, moved to 4 inch pots, transplanted to 7in pots @ wk 4 or so
-soil mix: FFOF + additional worm castings (ratio roughly 10:1 since I figured the castings were probably
superfluous to the mix, but cant hurt.
-no nutes until week 5, light feeding with FF growbig
-2 tsp/gal water, fed every other watering
-allowing soil to get relatively dry between waterings - so watering is about once a week right now
-roots looking good, showing seekers around bottom at drain holes
-transplant went well, no shock, growth has sped up overall. will be potting up from here
-pH checked yesterday with digital meter, 6.0
I was initially moving the plants in an outside with 2 (cheapo amazon) blue LED array grow panels on 18/6 schedule, allowing them to be outside when it wasnt raining. This part is important, i think. My gut tells me this might have been my error. I am new to LED, so initially I had the lights set wayyyy too close to the plants and when I started to see some of this stuff happening around the 3rd week, I researched and raised them to about 18". There were days where they were placed outside and the weather cleared up, giving them a full-sun bath which I know can be damaging. I have kept them inside under the LEDs for the past 2 weeks.
The problem: Half of the plants show some sort of defect in growth that includes:
-wrinkled leaves, some deformation in shape and serration
-slight inter-vein discoloration (paleness)
-leaf pinching and folding downward (upside down taco)
-generally smaller leaf sizes
-new growth appears crinkled, edges turning up slightly
-puffy area around central vein in fan leaves
-leaves appear “wet” or “shiny” in spots of swelling/wrinkling
The other 5 are robust, have large healthy leaves and are generally looking great - however there are small areas where these issues have showed up. New growth on these all appear normal and robust.
The color, overall on all plants appears healthy, despite the deformations and obvious health issues.
What I have checked for:
-pH - appears to be right in the correct range. Watering from the tap (with open time, allowing for chlorine off-gassing)
-over/underwatering - drainage is good and soil is never waterlogged or overly dry
-nutrients - every plant is being fed the same, so having lockup or excess in half doesnt make sense (to me)
- pests - using a loupe I have not detected any foliar pets and the roots appear white and healthy at the drain holes ( just a few seekers peeking out)
-heat/humidity - basement area is a constant 60deg / 60% rel hum.
- lights are 18"+ above plants
-constant fan breeze
What I suspect
I think I have burned them with the LEDs and the sporadic full exposure to the sun. The pale streaks that occur between veins is not as dramatic as I have seen in other photos, but seem logical to the argument. It doesnt explain how the other half are as healthy as they are though. There are bits of damage here and there on the healthy plants but only a very small fraction of the unhealthy plants. If it is the problem, then I should see clear, healthy growth begin to take over as I have them inside with lights adjusted to a proper height, no?
The only other thing I can think and haven’t fully accounted for is nutrients (I will try a test today) or some type of virus or root disease.
Or is it super simple? Am i overwatering without knowing it?
Care to take a swing at whats going on here? Anything I left out that will help with clues? (i cant imagine)
Thanks so much for reading!