First grow, my plants died, help!

Discussion in 'Indoor Growing' started by eccentric, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. eccentric

    eccentric Registered+

    Hi all,

    My seedlings have died after almost 2 weeks. Just 2 days ago, they were looking fairly healthy, I left them alone, without water for one day (I'd read that leaving a day w/o water helps roots grow - searching for water), and today they are completely dead (completely wilted, most leaves look dead). It looks to me like I'll be restarting, but this time I want to give my exact setup online here, get specific advice, and do what it takes to make sure nothing can go wrong. I'm sure they simply needed water and didn't get enough, but it also might have been a nutrient problem (one leaf was just starting to get a yellow tip just before this happened), or even a CO2/air circulation problem for all I know (I'm not a gardener, this is my first grow).

    I am growing in a closet, 2 plants (ministry carnival) under my 1'x2' florescent lamp. I have a 4" duct fan pulling air through some air filters and out of the closet 24/7, it is rated at 80CPM i think, but seems a bit wimpy since it's pulling the air through 2 carbon filters and 1 electrostatic filter and then down a long tube and out.

    I had one 1'x2' floro lamp which is 10,000lum (6500k) hanging about 12" above my plants (probably too far away now that I think about it). I was using a 18/6 light cycle. The light seal around my closet is pretty okay, but I did have my room's light on somewhat often when they were in "night"; perhaps the night should be more perfectly dark than that ...i wouldn't know.

    I used Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil mixed with a little perlite. I figured this soil would have the nutrients I'd need through the veg phase and would be at a reasonable Ph. I did notice that one of the leaves on one of the plants was just starting to turn yellow at the tip the last time I saw them healthy. Also, my larger, step-up sized containers for the seedlings to move to, are slightly over 1 gallon, are these two small? If I plan to switch to flowering as soon as they get to 18-20", what sized containers should I be using? How many plants will fit under my 1'x2' lamp?

    I'm somewhat confident this was simply a problem of underwatering at a crucial point, but it could have been anything. Could I please get some concrete advise about watering amount and frequency? A lot of the advice i'd read online said, essentially, "Don't water every day; wait until the surface is crusty dry before watering again". This confused me though since the soil would be crusty dry again just 4-5 hours after watering! I mostly would water once a day, in the afternoon sometime, and skipped a few days as per some clearly problematic advice. Should I just be getting the surface wet when I water, or should the entire volume be soaked through at each watering?

    Please tell me what I need to be doing to make sure I don't kill my plants again! I can be relentless with following your instructions, but I am completely new at this.. so I probably shouldn't be winging it.

    Thanks! :jointsmile:
  2. canniwhatsis

    canniwhatsis Registered+

    I believe you may have hit the nail on the head with the under watering thing. The way I do it is to water until slight runoff. So add a small amount, wait a minuet, add a small amount, wait a minuet, add some,.... and so on until the soil is saturated and there's a small amount of runoff in the drip tray. You should not let the pot stand in water tho, so just a few drops of runoff is fine.

    I check and make sure the soil stay's partially moist by sticking my finger in it. If it's dry a knuckle deep it's time to water, others use the weight of the container as an indication. Water weighs a lot so a wet pot weighs quite a bit more than a dry pot.

    There's no specific amount, there's no magic number of day's between watering, as the plant grows it's water uptake increases, once you have to water to runoff daily because she's getting dry it's time for a new pot.

    What size containers were your plants in? for seeds and clones I start with .5L (little 4" square nursery pots) And they are fine in those pots until about 6" tall, then 1 gallon to about 1.5-2' tall, then 3-5 gallon for flowering.

    As for your light what is it? 1x2'? so 2 tube T-5?, Floro's lack penetration, so you need to have it close,... as far as how many plants you can flower under it? you could do a SOG style grow and flower all seedlings,.... 3 plants?

    Or you could train a single plant to fill up the whole area and get some fair yield.

    Good luck! and keep on reading, there's lots of info and lots of options.
  3. eccentric

    eccentric Registered+

    Thanks for your reply, your watering advice is clearer. I was using a mister bottle to water with, and perhaps I was only getting the top inch of the dirt wet before stopping, so i was just not watering enough each time.

    My seedlings were about 2-3" tall and were in little red plastic solo cups with a few holes punched in the bottom.

    Yes, my lamp is 1' x 2', with 2x 2' t5 double-bulbs (2G11 base) which are each 55w and put out 5000lum. I already bought two more bulbs which are identical except for being 3000k (for blooming).

    I'm very intrigued by your SOG suggestion, but I have no idea how this would work. I actually do have exactly 3 seeds left. Would this entail blooming them early, while they're still somewhat small, so I'd get lower yield per plant, but more plants? How large would I let them get before flowering (and in what sized container) if I were to try all 3 under my one lamp? Would this take less time overall as well? Produce less weed overall? more weed? (care to give me an estimate range in oz? :) )

    What about soil/nutrients? Also, do I need to get a Ph meter and worry about it the whole while, or can that be avoided?

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  4. canniwhatsis

    canniwhatsis Registered+

    I don't know your strain, so any kind of yield guess is just that a guess. Are they feminized seeds? If not you may get males, which are no good for flowering.

    But IF you got all 3 girls, put em to flower as soon as they are sexed. Yes, you'd have a quicker turn around, but less yield per plant,... so you do 3 plants in 3 months start to finish and get .5oz per, so 1.5oz total. Then start a new batch and get the same results another 3 months later.

    Or do a single plant, vege it for 2 months while bending it down and training it to keep all the resulting tops even with the light. flower it for the 2-3 months it's gonna take and pull 1.5-2 oz off of that single plant. Do some searches for SCROG (Screen Of Green) style growing.

    Yeah, get a way to monitor your PH, and keep inbound water 6-6.5 for the entire life cycle of the plant.

    I use Ocean Forest soil, but plenty of guy's get away with the MG soil fine.
  5. eccentric

    eccentric Registered+

    Yes, all 3 seeds are feminized, all 3 are the "carnival" strain (80% sativa/20% indica).

    All the inexpensive Ph meters on amazon have poor ratings or only 1-2 reviews. Is there a brand of meter you'd recommend? What would one do it improve the Ph if they discovered it had gone up or down?

    How does one buy 6-6.5ph water? I thought water was supposed to be neutral (7)?

    Could I mix my Miracle Grow 50/50 with some plain cheap "top soil" dirt and a little perlite to delute the nutes in the MG?
  6. canniwhatsis

    canniwhatsis Registered+

    Checked the strain, 9 weeks flowering time. Sativa dom, so it's gonna stretch 2-3x size when you switch to flower, "Haze mother" was listed,... so it's not gonna be a great yielder, but potent by what I've read. (no personal experience with a Haze phenotype)

    Waters neutral? My tap is 8.3! :eek: Not sure where if it's possible to BUY properly PH'd water.

    I adjust down using General Hydroponics PH DOWN (Phosphoric Acid) if needed I'd use PH UP to move the other way, but haven't had the need.

    The drop tests are fine and as long as your 5.0 to about 6.5 they seem fairly accurate. However many nutrient lines add dies to different nutes that will skew results of color based testing.

    Personally I use a Hanna,... it's not the best and requires frequent calibration. (tho if you read the fine print, they all do) So if you go for a electronic pen make sure you get calibrating buffers to go with it ;)

    Not sure if there's any tricks you can use with the MG soil, I opted out of MG after my first bag of it for my indoor vege garden had all kinds of bugs and I played hell balancing my nutrients. :(

    Look for Rusty Trichome to better answer questions there.

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