Handling weed seedlings should be handled with care. Beginners may find it tricky but it’s not complicated at all. You only need to gather information about their needs and what they need to grow.
It’s best to start knowing the weed seedling stages and the proper provision. Once you make the seedlings healthy, they will turn into reliable plants. They will let you achieve your goal of high yield.
Seeds should be germinated first. You must provide the things that would make it sprout and grow. Darkness, moisture, warmth, and time are what it takes to make the seedlings grow well. You can choose from the following techniques:
1. Paper Towel Method
Place a few pieces of paper towel to moisten. Let your seeds lay between the sheets. Put them all together in a container with a lid. It must be kept in a dark, warm place with an ideal temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Fresh air is also needed so leave a bit of opening on the lid.
2. The Glass of Water Method
It’s simple as you only need to drop the seeds into a glass filled with water. Put it in a cupboard and let it sit for 24 to 48 hours. The required temperature is around 20 to 35 degrees Celsius.
They are ready to be planted when you see some taproots sprouting from the seeds. If you don’t see this sign, you can instead do the paper towel method. It’s not good to allow the seeds submerged in water for 48 hours as they’ll rot.
You can plant the seeds once they have cracked with white taproots which should be faced down. Germinated seeds should be planted 3 to 5 millimeters deep in the soil. It is a manner that won’t need your seeds to reorient.
3. RQS Starter Kits
The kits contain starter pots, perlite, good bacteria, lights, and propagator to inject life into your seeds.
Knowing the Weed Seedling Stages
1. Seed Germination
You can follow the methods above on germination. Before doing so, you have to make sure that you have seeds in good quality. The right candidates should be dry and hard with colors from light to dark brown. Undeveloped ones are usually in a white or green hue. They are squishy so the chance to grow is low.
Once you place the seeds with the taproot in its growing medium, the taproot will go downwards while the growth of the stem goes upwards. Once they’re free from the protective casing, the cotyledon will spring up.
These small leaves will search for the sunlight which is needed by the plant to grow further. They will become sturdy and healthy plants. The roots need to grow more so you can see the first fan leaves. So you will have the proper seedling and you need 5 to 10 days for it to happen.
This stage takes effect in a matter of 2 to 3 weeks. Once your seed turns into a seedling, more leaves will pop up. It is now a sprout and it’s capable of producing one-ridged blade leaves. When new growth arises, expect the leaves to have more than one ridge. The grown-up Cannabis plant has leaves with five to seven blades but some can grow more.
It remains a seedling when they don’t grow leaves with the typical number of blades. The color should be a vibrant green. Overwatering is not good for it as the roots are still tiny. Seedlings are also vulnerable to molds and diseases. They don’t need much water and you have to set an ideal environment for them.
Necessary Things for the Seedlings to Thrive
Seedlings have particular needs that you should pay attention to. Missing to attend one of those needs can have a fatal effect on them. Remember you have to give them a perfect environment to thrive well. A propagator can help you with it but still, you have to be consistent in providing the following things.
Weed seedlings prefer a daytime temperature of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. They are fine with night time temperature which is 4 to 5 degrees Celsius. It’s best to observe this temperature as higher ones will only stress them out. It will curl the edges of their leaves and can stunt their development.
Heat can cause a lot of unwanted signs. Pale foliage is one of them. Stems may also turn red or purple. The leaves will wilt and face downwards as the tips fold. All of these are signs of weak seedlings.
Cold temperatures are not good for them either. The freezing point does affect the transportation and use of water, nutrients, and oxygen. It delays growth and would lead to death upon improper handling. Low-temperature results in slow growth, poor plant turgor, and wilting foliage.
Seedlings absorb water through osmosis and leaves. To optimize this step, you have to maintain the humidity into 40 to 60 percent. If it goes down below 20 percent, the seedling will show symptoms like nutrient deficiencies. Leaves will turn yellow or spotted while growth is stunted.
When the humidity is over 60 percent, wet spots will rot or wilt the foliage. This situation will also attract pathogens, fungi, and pests.
Know that seedlings are sensitive to light. They will burn when placed under a strong LED or HID. Crinkles will also come up. On the other hand, they will grow tall and lanky when they don’t receive enough light.
CFL bulbs can be used to provide the light needed by the seedlings with the 18/6 light cycle. Lights with a blue spectrum can be used for the first 10 to 14 days of their lives. You can use LED or HID once they have grown two to three nodes.
The Right Practice of Watering During Weed Seedling Stages
It’s already mentioned that seedlings absorb water through osmosis that takes place on the leaves. The roots are delicate in this stage. You have to observe the plants and the growing medium to know when to water them.
Sticking your finger about an inch into the soil will help you determine if your plants need watering or not. When the soil is dry, it needs to be watered. You have to let the water flow near the stem to reach the roots. Drainage holes are necessary for the excess water to come out.
Watering the seedlings regularly leads to overwatering. It’s done easily as some would think that they don’t want to make their plants thirsty. Roots will drown in this case and the plants lack oxygen. Therefore, you will see the seedlings drooping.
Another cause of overwatering is the inappropriate size of the pot or container. When you place small seeds in a big pot, the extra soil would hold water in areas that are not reached by the roots. You will end up having a big pot filled with wet soil. It won’t only deprive your plants with oxygen but it attracts bacteria, pests, and fungi.
Underpotting causes unnecessary results too. When the seedlings are root-bound, they take up water quickly. So you will be obliged to water them regularly than necessary.
It’s not common compared to overwatering but beginners can encounter overwatering. The consequence is transpiration which is losing moisture. Seedlings mustn’t run out of the water as the vital functions can slow down.
If the roots dry out, the plants may die. The symptoms are the same as overwatering which are wilting and drooping.
Prevention of Damping Off
Some experienced healthy seedlings suddenly turned shriveled or even the worst thing happened, they died. It’s called damping off that happens because of Botrytis, Fusarium, and Pythium.
Fungi may be still dormant in the soil but they grow in super wet conditions. It should be blamed for high humidity and overwatering. Once you see your seedlings become limp and with a discolored stem, you have to move them to a propagator.
It’s much better to prevent it from happening so be cautious enough not to overwater your plants. Always check if the temperature and humidity are on the right level. A propagator can sometimes not save your seedlings.
Afterthoughts and Let the Seedlings Grow Healthy
The right temperature, light, and humidity are all crucial in the entire weed seedling stages. You should realize that excess and lack of provision can harm your seedlings. A perfect environment that all their needs are provided adequately.