How an experienced grower killed his baby Autos

I had never grown Autos before, nor had I ever once started plants in their final containers (I used to up-pot 3 or 4 times with photo-period plants). Nor had I used fabric container before. I made the mistake of soaking the entire container (5 gallon fabric bags), and, with teeny-tiny plants, they took forever to get back down to a reasonable moisture level. I let the top few inches get dry as dust, trying desperately not to over-water, and this killed the root structure. However, the darned things never drooped one iota, which is what fooled me the most. Still puzzling to me.
I can’t find the reference at this moment, but I read an article wherein the author suggested starting the seedlings in a party cup (think College kegger) with the bottom cut out. Set this atop your larger container filled with dry medium, fill the cup with medium, and for the first two weeks, water only inside the little cup. This will allow you to keep your babies feet moist, while not soaking the larger container’s medium. His contention was that this method will cause the tap root to shoot down quicker, and result in more early branching of the root system, and the bottom works it’s way through the drier (the dry medium will slowly get more moisture as you keep the cup moist with waterings) medium, searching for the water that the plant thinks must be deeper. Also, it seems to me that this method makes it more difficult to over-water, as the cup will drain easily into the larger container.
I learned -

  1. I was dealing with too many unknowns.  It would be better to try one new thing at a time.
  2. Newbie mistake - I did the same thing to all plants. Ergo, I killed them all, at the same time.

Wishing all a happy, safe grow!

Sounds weird without any drooping at all. Sorry to hear that but thanks for sharing and hopefully someone will be able to use this information to help them in their grow.

Sounds like you figured it out. Start little and water little; Increase as plant demands more…

No worries, no hurries. Learn by doing. The cup-inside-the-larger-container looks like a winner technique. My White Widow Autos look lovely at 4 days. Makes perfect sense - it directs water to, and over, the existing root structure. Tempting the bottom roots to reach deeper. I’m having the time of my life, because Autos are all new to me, and learning new stuff is cool, and exciting.

I’m thinking it might easily be applied to regular photo-period cannabis. Not practical in an industrial situation, as I am sure you know. But for the small time, growing your own person, it would eliminate any transplant shock whatsoever.

Hey - I’m going to visit one of my Daughter’s in San Francisco end of July, and I plan on heading up to Humboldt/Golden Triangle for the harvest season. Dick, my friend who was my mentor, was originally from Humboldt, as was my very first strain, the original Northern Lights, that he gave me. I had those genetics for 20 years. So it will be a kind of pilgrimage for me. Is this cool, or what?? :wink:

Glad to see that you spirit has not diminished one bit :smiley:

I’m headin’ down to San Fransisco…

Well; I plan to study Robert’s tutorials on Autos, so I can be of more help. Yupper; I do not have enough to do :roll: :twisted: