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Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Seedling Stage; Taking Care Of Your Seedlings

Since you have selected the best seeds for germination, germinated and planted your germinated seeds, you now have plants in the seedling stage. This is the most crucial stage of your plants life. They are small and very fragile and are just starting to build a root system.

Since your seeds have just pushed themselves above ground and shed there jacket all they will need is a little light and water to help them grow. A CFL light will work great for seedlings and small vegging plants. They give off little heat and can be placed very close to the plant so it gets optimal lighting and won't stretch towards the light. Seedlings usually stretch when lights are to far away and have to much of a red spectrum. During the seedling and veg stage its best to use a light with mostly blue spectrum. So when using a CFL light for your seedlings look for ones that have a majority of blue spectrum. I believe cool white and soft white are the ones you want to look for.


Your seedlings wont need any nutrients. They will use the cotyledons (the embryo leaves) to provide it with the energy to grow a root system and the first set of true leaves. Once it has grown a root system the nutrients in your soil will be enough to feed it (adding nutrients could fry your seedling) So when you water your seedlings make sure its plain water that has an ideal ph range (that range should be 6.3 - 6.5 for soil). If your using tap water allow it to sit out for at least 48hrs to make sure any chlorine and other chemicals evaporate from the water. There are things you can add to the water you give to your seedlings but because this is growing 101 we will leave that for the Advanced Growing articles.

So all you really need to do for seedlings is provide the basics. Make sure the grow area is not too hott. A temperature of 78F while lights are on is ideal. You can also use a small fan on low to circulate your air and gently blow on your seedlings. Remember they are seedlings so you want the air to be very gentle but enough for it to move air around. This will strengthen your seedlings, also encouraging them to grow thicker stalks. As your seedlings move into the vegetation stage you can increase the speed of the fan to allow better airflow and give the plants a little more resistance to further strengthen the plant.

Once you notice steady growth and the roots start trying to grow out of the holes you know its time to transplant and get them ready for the vegetation stage and rapid growth.

Learn how to properly transplant your cannabis plant here


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27 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot, very helpful. What do you think about light exposure times? Should I follow a time-schedule? (I'm using a soft-white CFL @ 10 inches from the seedlings). For watering I use tap, but no idea how to measure HP levels or the proper amounts of water to supply.

    Greetings.

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    1. If your in the seedling stage/veg stage I would stick with the 18hrs on 6hrs off schedule. Some growers do 24/0 but I wouldn't recommend that. Many beneficial things happen at night, during rest. If you feel you need to do more than 18hrs on, you can do 20 on and 4 off. But honestly 18/6 does me fine.

      Thank you for your comment/question.

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    2. i have been doing a 12/12 schedule and its growing lik, well, a weed. is there any downfall to my schedule?

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    3. Are you doing 12/12 from the start? If you are then don't expect fantastic yields and a big plant. You need some vegging times. There are some strains that do good in a full 12/12 grow but most likely your strain is not one of them. I would suggest giving it 18hrs of light until its ready to flower.

      Thanks for your question and stop bye again.

      Delete
  2. ive tried time and again but everytime my seedling stem goes crazy and grows about 5 inches while only popping 2 flowers on top, and small tiny ones at that. do you know what im doing wrong? id love any feedback!

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    1. I know I am late on replying to this (I had some terrible things go down in life and could not continue writing) But it sounds like you don't have your lights close enough. Its the classic stretch to the light situation you are experiencing. If you are using CFL light you can put them very close almost touching the plant. Just make sure they are not touching at all. If your using a HID light, use your hand as a marker, when its too hott for your hand, its too hott for your plants. But you always want to get the light as close as possible to prevent that stretch. Sorry I was not able to resolve your problem sooner. But I do thank you for stopping bye.

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  3. if I am growing indoor and outdoor, bringin in at night outdoor for the day, growing in pots, how much water does my baby need? anyway to speed this process? they are probably about 3 inches high at the moment

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    1. Sorry for the late reply. Sounds like your plants are just starting the veg stage. I really can't tell you exactly how often to water them but there is a trick. Don't just go the the top of the soil. The top could look try, but inches down could still be wett. Stick your finger in the dirt about 3 inches in. If it feels moist, your good to go another day. If its still dry, its time to water.

      What process are you trying to speed up? I am not clear on what your asking.

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  4. Hello, I'm doing a small grow (1 plant) and was wondering if Im using the right amount of light I got 4 23 watts 100 watt equivalent(Soft white), my plant is only in seedling atm and I'm only using 2 bulbs atm, will this be enough for veg and flowering?

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    1. Hello, thanks for your comment/question.

      If your only growing one plant those 2 bulbs will be good for seedling and vegging depending on how long you veg for. Once your plant gets to a certain size you will see that your plant is not getting enough light coverage.

      If you intend to stick with CFL's through the whole grow I suggest you get a 2 Y splitters. This way you can run all your lights. When its ready to flower the 2 cfl's just wont cut it. Will you grow buds, sure. Will you get any weight, probably not. But if you use those Y splitters and get all 4 bulbs going it will be enough for your plant through flowering. You might only get a quarter ounce but its better than just a few grams. You might even do better than a quarter if you run all 4 under the one plant.

      If you could afford it, I would suggest getting a HPS light. If your worried about electricity and heat you can go with a 150 watt. That 150 watt will be enough to grow a few small plants through flowering and you can get much better yields. But if your sticking with CFL go with the Y splitter and use all 4 lights during flowering, you will need it.

      Hope this helps.

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  5. This is my first grow. I planted 3 seeds in 3 different pots of soil at different times. 2 have sprouted an the other one has just popped the seed. I have one cfl 100w. An I'm wondering what more do I need to get an do to increase my yield?? I'm on a 18/6 lighting but not sure how to water my little seedlings. Don't wanna kill them off. Thanks in advance.

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    1. Hello Monica,

      Beautiful name btw. Always said if I had a girl Monica would be at the top of the list when it comes to considering names. Anyways, to answer your question...

      Unfortunately your 1 cfl will not be enough. It will get you through the seedling stage but when it comes to vegging your going to need more light than that. However CFL's are fine for vegging, I would just add a few more. What I would do is get two Y splitters, and turn 2 sockets into 4. So you would have 2 separate light sockets hanging, each with a Y splitter. This way you can run 4 CFL lights which will be fine for your 3 plants. Since you are vegging I would use a blue spectrum light, like soft white, cool white. Stay away from using red spectrum (usually called warm) in the vegging stage. Its okay to use one red spec light but you want the rest blue. Also keep the lights as close to the plants as possible. They don't give off much heat so you can keep very close to the top, just not touching.

      Your lighting schedule is perfect. As for watering, the seedlings wont need to be watered as often as bigger plants. Water until you see a few drops coming out of the holes (make sure the pots have holes in the bottom for drainage) Once you see a few drops of water coming out you know its watered well. To check when it needs to be watered, stick a finger in the soil about a quarter of a inch down, if the soil is still moist/wett you don't need to water. If its dry, its time to water. You can also pick the pots up and judge the weight, when they are watered they are heavy, you will notice they will be a lot lighter when they need watering.

      There are many things you can do to increase yield. I would suggest giving me a e-mail to go into more detail. Contact me at CannabisCountry420@gmail.com To briefly touch on what can help yield, you can top your plants, you can also do low stress training, and veg them for a good 6 weeks.

      In the flowering stage you might want to get a high pressure sodium light. If you don't have a lot of money to spend you can get a 150W HPS for under 100.00. Should find them for 80.00. Having a HPS light for flowering over CFL's will greatly improve your yield and quality.

      I would also suggest you read all my growing 101 articles regarding the growing process. Start from the beginning and use the links at the bottom of each post to bring you to the next step.

      Send me a e-mail and I would be happy to help you learn a little more. Thank you for visiting Cannabis Country and check back often for great content and useful information.

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  6. Hi.I am very happy I can find here to ask couple questions. My first grow. It's a 4*4 tent. 400w hm light. 5 buckets now. Mixing soil. My friends mixed garden soil and cow manure. I pit the light on the top of tent at first 3 weeks. I saw some videos. So adjust light about one and half feet tall. So far just water. They grow really slow and all leaves shows very light green color.but Looks healthy. Not regular dark green like the video shows. Is that because the soil with manure ? Too much for baby plants ?

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    1. Sorry for the late reply. It sounds like you are doing everything right. It could just be the strain, or if your growing the same strain the phenotype. As long as they look healthy don't worry. They may just be off to a slow start. They might take off when they are in full veg stage.

      Your friends soil could just be better than yours. If he is using his own special soil with the added cow manure it could just be providing the plants with everything they need. However a darker color leaf does not mean a healthier leaf. Actually often a really dark green leaf can be a sign of a problem.

      Don't worry to much. Keep growing and watch they changes. I think your plants will end up growing fine. Since your past the 3 weeks I bet they start picking up on the growth.

      Hope this helps

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  7. I have a T5 flourescent light tha'ts 4 feet long with 6 bulbs. All the bulbs are 6400K How close should the lights be to my seedlings.

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    1. Because they are T5 Flourecents they give off very little heat. As long as your plants are not touching the lights they will not burn. You should get the lights as close as possible without the lights touching the plants. To be safe you could leaf a inch of space. This would allow sufficient space if the plant happens to grow while the lights are on.

      I always put my CFL lights extremely close to my vegging plants. As long as the light never touches my plants, I have no problems. Do this and you will notice your plants get bushier. Your will see your secondary branches start to grow.

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  8. What kind of light setup would I need to start off 15 seedlings indoors before transplanting them outdoors? Also, how many weeks should I keep them inside before transplanting?

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    1. If your only keeping them indoors for the seedling stage you can get away with just using Florescent lighting. Make sure to use ones with more of a blue spectrum. It will say something like Soft White. If you see Warm that means it has more of a red spectrum.

      Normally I would say regular CFL bulbs would do the job, however since you are doing 15 seeds you might want to purchase a T-5 Light. They are the big long lights. 2 of them should get you through the seedling stage. They are even great for vegging.

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    2. I forgot to answer your other question. You want your plants to be established before you put them outdoors. Once they enter the veg stage is perfect. You will start to notice the plant growing more. You will see the secondary branches start to grow. I usually wait until my plants have about 6 or more nodes. I also top them early on at about the third node.

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    3. Thanks for the reply! I'll make sure to pick them up when I go by home depot today.

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    4. Not a problem. The t-5's may cost a little more than the other options or regular CFL bulbs but they are great. I am not sure if it would be cheaper to buy the light and other stuff separate and put it together yourself, but I get the ones that are ready and just need to be plugged in.

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  9. Hello, I've got two clones (one hybrid, one indica) and they're both about 4 inches tall. Can I put them in direct sunlight? (The temp.during the day here is 75 degrees).When I bring the plant inside for the night what kind of lights should it be getting? What temperature would be too hot for my 4" plant outdoors? When can I start feeding it nutrients? How often would I need to feed it nutrients? Would the brand of soil Super Soil mixed with perlite be a good enough mixture when I transplant my plant in a few days? Or what would be a good soil mixture for my soon to be 6" plant? Thanks in advance :)

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    1. Hello, I will try and answer all of your questions as best as I can. Your plants should be established enough to put them in direct sunlight. Since its still spring and temps don't get so high you shouldn't have to worry about heat stress. I am not sure where you live but here in Mass its the perfect time to start putting your plants outdoors.

      Since your plant is vegging you want 18 hours of light. So keep track of how many hours they been outside, then when you bring them inside for the night (if you choose to do that, you could just leave them as long as there is no frost warning) make sure you put them under lights until they have had 18hrs. It should be getting lights with a mostly blue spectrum. Since they are small and you only have 2 plants you could just buy 4 100W equivelant CFL bulbs. Make sure they have a mostly blue spectrum. you will see a description like soft white. If you see it say Warm, that light will have a mostly red spectrum. You can even notice a difference in the lights color. The blue spectrum will have more of a blueish light and the red spectrum has a redish light.

      You can start feeding them nutrients when they are finished the seedling stage and in veg stage. You will notice rapid growth of vegetation when it is in the veg stage. You could feed your plants nutrients a few times a week.

      Yeah a supersoil and perlite will do you fine. Just make sure the soil you use doesn't have time released nutrients. Reason being when you start feeding it nutrients you don't want the soil releasing additional nutrients, which could cause nute burn.

      If you purchase pre-made soil foxfarm makes great soil. Fox farm ocean forest is great. And it will keep your plants fed through a few weeks of the veg stage. If you use the soil with seedlings be careful because its pretty hott. Hott meaning the nutes will be to strong for seedlings. Fox farm light warrior is great for seedlings.

      I would suggest waiting to transplant until your plants are entering the veg stage. As seedlings you don't want to subject them to too much stress.

      Hope this helps

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  10. Oh and when should I start topping? (My plant is about 4"). Is topping necessary? Does it make the plant shorter? Any negatives to topping? Should I cut the lower branches off to direct energy? Any other tips for my plant in the seedling vegetative state? THANKS

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    1. You don't need to top your plant but I recommend it. Keep in mind some strains respond to topping better than others. Some strains do best without topping keeping one main cola.

      Topping will help control the plants height, but it will help bush your plant out. When you top your plant the 2 branches below will then become main tops, giving you more colas. Topping triggers your lower branches to start growing, giving you a bushy plant.

      I wouldn't remove any branches yet. However when your plants are more established, if you see lowest branches not really growing much, you can remove them. This does help because the plant will put its energy into the other branches.

      A tip would be to KISS. If you seen my post about the kiss method of growing you would know it means to Keep It Simple Stupid. No I am not calling you stupid, its just the name of the method. When the plants are in the beginning stages of life you really don't want to mess with them to much. Its best to just let them grow.

      The only thing I really do in the begging stage is to top my plant. When its on its fourth or so node I top the plant. I do this really early because in the end it pays off. It will start to bush out early giving you a bushier plant with several tops

      Some people top their plants right before flowering or in the middle of veg. I avoid this because the plant can become very top heavy, Also doing it right before flowering can actually hinder the start of flowering.

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  11. Hi, I'm growing in rockwool then planting in soil how do I tell when I should put them in.

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    1. When you see the roots growing out of the bottom of the rockwool cube, its time to plant in soil. Look for a few roots coming out of the bottom.

      Thank you for the question, and visit us often!

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