Assessment of surviving seedlings - plan to move forward

Hey everyone,

I’m a first-time grower with a primitive indoor set up - I’m starting indoors before moving everything outside once the threat of frost is gone. I’m in northern Vermont… this oughtta be late May/early June.

The setup…

2, 4 foot T5s (6500 k). Germ’d 5 blue cheese seeds from ILGM in water - all successfully sprouted. Planted in quart-sized yogurt tubs filled with Black Gold Organic Potting Soil w/Fertilizer - a Dixie-cup sized area was dug out in the middle and filled with Ferry Morse seed starter. Lights were on a straight 24. Basement temp is around 64’ F. I was watering 2x/day with a mister (about 50 sprays each time).

My first sprout popped up at 4 days, the last at 6. Within a couple days, 3 of the 5 had fallen over and lost a leaf or 2. I showed pics to a local grow shop, who thought they looked dry - thought this was odd with all the watering I was doing.

I did some reading/asking and learned a little bit - some good folks on these forums introduced me to the idea of mist domes, educating me on how seedlings uptake water via humidity when they’re so young. The domes have been on since Monday (4 days) - 3 mists into each, 2x per day. In addition, bought a timer and have the lights set on a 18/6 cycle.

I gave up on one seedling and 2 of the other ones are list causes, I’m affraid, but I’m hoping for an assessment of where thing stand, what I could improve upon and my plan going forward.

I have 5 White Widow seeds coming this weekend - I plan on germinating them the same way, but planting them straight into the Black Gold - no seed starter - going to water once, with an ounce of water at planting and then straight to the domes, watering only with 2-3 mists 2x/day until the growth outgrows the dome.

I’m going to post some pics below. Construcrive criticism is always welcome - I have a lot to learn, but please be gentle… I’m new and doing this for fun!

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The set up, from a distance


The largest of my 2 that might live - 12 days old not e the browning

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The smaller of my 2 - this one is actually a day older, but 2/3 the size

Laslty, I have 2 that look like this. They went south late last week, a couple days after sprouting. I tried to revive them with the doming, but no real change. Be done with them and focus on the 2 I have (and a fresh start with my new seeds?)

looking at the leaves I’m guessing a nutrient deficiency.

Thanks for the feedback - I really appreciate it.

I had been told I really didn’t need to worry about nutrients, so much, until they were a little bigger - that the Black Gold would have enough to last a few weeks?

Is it possible that, due to me initially mishandling the watering, that they haven’t grown enough to make it through the seed starter and in to the Balck Gold yet (they look small for their age, right?) When I plant my White Widow, I’m going to forgo the seed starter and just use straight BG.

Especially since these are really the only 2 viable plants I have, I’d really lile for them to pull through.

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Seedlings have all of the nutrients they need in the cotyledon (little round) leaves. A deficiency isn’t possible at this stage of growth.


I’m also a Northern basement grower…that’s too cold.

You’ll need more heat… A heater maybe a heat mat underneath.

Also, not sure you need the extra fertilizer in the soil yet, and not sure how “hot” the soil you are using is. Hopefully someone else will inform on that.

I use Roots Organics Original and rapid rooters… I don’t usually feed nutes until a few weeks into veg after they’ve been transplanted from solo to 1 gallon pots then to 7 gallon fabric pots… Then a few weeks… Depending on run off ppm… And how the plant looks… I’ll feed nutes.

Did u poke drainage holes in those plastic housing cups? Seedling dont need much watering as there roots arent developed enough to uptake it. Humidity is more important here. Some advice would be to make sure you have drainage, dont water everyday space out your waterings your going to rot your roots or stem if its constantly to wet, i usually have my light around 40% power with about 12in to 24in depending if i need it to heat the tent a bit. Lastly, i would be cautious using soil that comes preloaded with nutes ad you run the risk of burning/stunting/hindering your plants. Best of luck growmie you got this. Also i forgot to mention your temps id bring that up to the mid 70s if possible

Thank you so much to everyone weighing in. Please bear with me whole I ask a whole bunch of newb follow-up questions


Cool - that’s kinda what I was thinking, but my knowledge base is pretty thin. In general, was my approach to using the seed starter core, surrounded by the potting mix, a flawed one? Would it be OK to plant the germ’d seeds straight in the BG? Admittedly, not too educated on how “hot” various mixes are

I was kinda worried about the temp, too.

I figured that doming them, with the light over them HAD to increase the temo, at least a couple degrees.

Provided I don’t address the heat issue… am I better off starting my new seeds later in the season, once it warms, naturally?

In the north, how late is too late for starting plants inside (that would eventually be moved outside)?

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Yup, holes drilled in the bottom of each container. Before I committed to scaling back the watering and using the domes, I had a grow shop,owner suggest I try bottom watering (which I now realize is something you could do with more mature plants).

I certainly think I was overwatering, which probably killed off my other 3. Soil too wet… Air too dry. It’s still pretty dry where I am this time of year, so the domes sounded like a great idea.

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I can put plants out mid May to I dont know. For me first of June best. July worked. Guessing August is late cuz thats when flowering is near.
Do everything ya can to help the off-season. Keep plants high off cold floor. Low ceiling over your seedlings. Small closet or enclosure to trap heat…


As always, thanks for the help, Jay.

The heating in my basement is radiant, so I’m thinkiing the floor might be warmer than the 64’ F read at my thermostat. I was thinking that, combined with the lughts/domes might get me close to an acceptable range.

I’m not looking to set the world on fire - just wanted to be able to grow my own supply for the year.


I don’t grow outside… But my wife starts veggies and others inside and most successful transplanting outside May-June where we live.

Same here - I thought it would make sense to take the same approach.

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I have had a couple awesome folks weigh in on potting soil to start in. I’d hate to waste the bag of BG I just opened, but can switch if need be.

Anyone have a story with Black Gold Organic Potting Soil Plus Fertilizer?

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ground temp is mid 50’s so the floor is being pulled both ways, heating the room, and the earth below trying to balance. The heat sink will win. sit them on some dense foam insulation or on a plant dolly. Side benefit, they’re easier to trim when you can spin them around (only works before you scrog).