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Hi, total noob first time grower with some questions and a problem or two.

Darkmatter

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Hi, I'm growing for the first time and have run into some problems, plus I have some general questions.

First, in case it matters, I'm growing 5 Alive and Star Killer from seeds. I admittedly, started late, partly due to it being a cold spring, and being busy dealing with the pandemic, so I expect that I'll end up with smaller plants.

All that being said, I've run into a problem or 2.

First problem, my plants got hit with Spider Mites.
:(
I first used a home solution I found online of mostly bottled spring water, a bit of gentle soap, and a bit of vegetable oil. I now only can see dark specs on the bottoms of 1 of my plants, and I destroyed all the webbing to see if any new webbing is made today to know if the mites are alive or dead. I later went out and bought some "BugBgoneEco by Ortho, which it says is a medicated soap. I don't know how often I can spray for mites without hurting my plants. Second, I don't know how long it takes for the white speckled spots on the leaves to vanish.

2nd, I have a couple yellowing leaves and 1 that looks worse than that, and I wasn't sure if it was from over watering or the mites. I have a general "soil moisture" meter but I don't know what these strains prefer.
Right now they are in pots, but I'll have to plant them outdoors soon, but for now, since they are small, I didn't know if a small grow light for 24h light would be beneficial or harmful to them at this stage.
I also don't know if I should prune the one leaf that looks a lot worse for ware then the others.

Lastly, but probably most critically, I didn't know what sort of nutrients I should be putting in the soil (plane potting soil) at their current growth stage.

Some are growing faster than others, and I'm not entirely sure why, but these pots are a size up from the ones I started with. One issue I am having is a few of them seem to be just barely strong enough for their height, and other then supporting them with a stick, I wasn't sure what else I could do.

Hopefully it will let me upload a coupe photos. Sorry the one isn't very good, but you'll get the idea.

[Edit: The bad, blurry leaf in the 2nd photo fell off at the stem, so that answers that question.]

Edit2: Oh, I forgot to ask, I should I be watering these guys (while they're in a pot) in a sink, bottom up, or is watering them from the top fine?]

Thanks!
 

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WeedHopper

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1st off the white specks will not go away. Thats leaf damage from the mites. As small as those plants are you can spray them down with water especially under the leaves where the mites are. Spray they down good and the water pressure will knock them off your plants. Also the mixture you used should of had alcohol in it. I use 50% alcohol and 50% water with a little dish soap. The alcohol kills them on contact. Do not use that method once they start to flower. The alcohol will screw up the trichs.
As for nutrients. What kind of soil are you using. Does it have Ferts already in it? At this stage they need Nitrogen.
And they need all the light they can get. I notice they look like they are stretching trying to get more light. They need a slight breeze on them to build up the stalk strength.
When you water make sure your solution has been PHed where they can uptake nutrients properly.
Also water from the top untill you have runoff and then Do Not water again untill the soil is pretty much dry. They need oxygen,, if they stay wet constantly they will drown.
 

Oldbay

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Bubbletrouble is spot on, try and find some nutrients that are geared towards cannabis and right now they should be getting grow/nitrogen. Cannot overstate enough about letting them dry out between watering a, loving them to death with nutes and water is a mistake most of us made when we were getting started. I’ve been lucky to date with never having mites so I have nothing for you there
 

Darkmatter

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Thanks, the dirt is potting soil. The guide I got with the seeds said not to use fert for the first few weeks because of how fragile they are. I'll put a fan on them to help strengthen them up. I'll keep checking for mites, but I think the first spray got them all or almost all of them. I wiped down all their webbing and I've used a bright LED light to look for new webbing and I haven't seen any.

Thanks for the watering tip. I was both afraid to over water them, and to under water them. heh

I heard something called "bloodmeal" is good for cannabis plants, but I'm not sure if I can buy that around where I live or not. If I have to go with a more "generic" nitrogen boosting fert or solution, do you guys have any recommendations?

As for light, I've kept them inside under the grow light for the past 4 days because I didn't want them to get reinfected with mites right away. I've since sprayed down everything in the area, so hopefully a lot of mites died this week. :) They're now back out in the sun during the day instead of under the grow light, but since you said they need as much light as possible I'll bring them in and under the grow light at night.

[Edit for things I don't think of... lol]

What PH level do I want, and do I need to keep using bottled spring water, and is bottled spring water the right PH level? If not, or if it varies by brand, how much is a "thingy" that will tell me the PH of the water, and if it's off, how do I change it?

Regarding my grow light, how close should the plants be to it? It isn't a super strong one, it's just a flourecent tube type grow light for indoor plants. I just am using it for extra light at night, and when I had the plants indoors due to the Mites.

Thanks!
 
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2broke2smoke

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Seeds have everything they need for the first couple weeks in the shell. As for mites, how you approach that is prolly one of the most controversial subjects in the mj 🌎. About 15 years ago I had some cali mites gifted to me on some cuts that I could not get rid of, I tried neem oil, Avid, and Floramite. Nothing seemed to be dying. I took my pocket microscope out and saw the mites drinking the floramite in mugs and flipping me off. I was in danger of losing all my coveted strains when I discovered Forbid 4F. Forbid completely eradicated my problem. The downside of forbid is you can only use it during veg. We tested plants in the Michigan State Tissue sample lab, (one of my best friends was an intern in the lab to the head chemist as a student) sprayed in veg and sprayed in flower. No residual from the veg , but there was residual with the plants sprayed in flower.

So what to do if your plants are on 🌼? 1tbls non antibiotic dish soap 3 tbls janitorial strength ammonia to 1 gallon water. They will die on contact spray every 3 days up to harvest no worries. The Forbid is not a contact killer and usually takes about 14 days to kill everything:D

2b2s
 
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Darkmatter

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Small update. (Not so small...)

So, I got some fertilizer that you dissolve in water, as that's all I could find mid summer in my town, and some new pots and that's where things took an ugly turn...

These pots I bought had these 2 "holes" in them that, from the bottom, all you could see was black, so I thought they were drainage holes. So, using the method mentioned here I soaked one, but nothing came out the bottom... So I took a flashlight and looked, and they weren't holes, they were just indented "pegs." These pots had no holes at all! I didn't even know you could buy pots without holes! So, I drained as much water out as I could and tried to dry it out. Luckily I only did this with 1 plant. Unfortunately the soil I was using wasn't drying out at the bottom of the newer new pots I bought that did have holes in them, so I was limited as to how often I could water them. I managed to get some actual dirt that has some amount of fertilizer in it, but it turned out to be to "spongy" when wet and also held water to much.

At least my plants were getting nitrogen now, but I ended up having to re-pot all the plants, add in later, some of the old dirt that was just plain potting soil since it wasn't as spongy as the 2nd dirt I bought, but they still were holding to much water... So, I ended up adding some sand to the soil to improve their drainage, which seems to have helped quite a bit. Sadly, I lost 3 plants in all of this, but luckily 3 have (so far) survived this huge mess, but not without some serious scars.

I'm throwing up some new photos to ask what I should do from here. I'm not sure what to do about the leaves that are dead at the tips. Do I nip the dead parts? Do I leave it alone? Also, as you'll see in a few of the shots, the inner part of the top leaves on 1 of the plants has turned quite dark green, and I don't know if this is nitrogen toxicity, or just the leaves returning to the color they should have been from the start.

I've gone back to using regular spring water instead of the fertilizer water in case this is nitrogen toxicity.

Thankfully I don't use much, so 3 plants should do me just fine, but what a nightmare this has been. ><

Thanks for any additional advice you can give. Note: Next year I'll be buying specific soil and nutrients for these buggers... :/

Plant 01.jpg

Plant 01b.jpg

Plant 02.jpg


Plant 02c.jpg
 

WeedHopper

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Its all about making mistakes and learning. It's also great to have a place like The Passion to call home and have peeps that will help you.👍
 

Darkmatter

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So is the darker green in the centre of the leaf that's in focus in the last photo normal or to much nitrogen? Also, do I leave the leaves with the dead parts alone or if not, what do I do? :)

Thanks!

Edit: BTW, I have no idea how these things ever survived evolution. Their like delicate little princesses that die at the drop of a hat. lol
 
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Darkmatter

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Do I just cut the dead part of the leaf or the whole leaf?

It's just a basic soil with some fert in it. I also have fert crystals I can mix with water that has more nutrients in it but I think the soil is doing the job. The soil with the fert in it was to spongy, as I said, so I mixed it with the potting soil to make it drain better. That still wasn't enough so I added in some sand and now it drains much better. I water them and then wait until they dry up before watering again.

I'll check how much magnesium is in the fert soil and water. BTW I've been using bottled spring water.

Thanks

Edit: What's the easiest way to add just magnesium?
 

putembk

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That is your ptoblem. You need a call mag suppliment. Frankly , I am surprised you don't have rusty looking spots on the leaves. Pinch the dead stuff off at the main stem.
 

Darkmatter

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I wasn't able to get ph strips in town atm, so I had to order a digital one online. It just came it but it seems I have to calibrate it first. I'll be doing that tomorrow. I also got a soil ph meter but it showed up DOA, so I have to send it back. I do have a working soil moisture meter and have been using that to gauge when to water.

As for the mag, the soil I'm now using does have some mag in it, so that's probably why.

Edit: I just tried to post this and I'm getting a "waiting for mod approval" message. I never got that before, so why am I getting it now?

Edit2: Do I have to get rid of the whole leaf if just the tip at the end is dead??

Thanks
 

WeedHopper

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Yep,,because soil can change your PH,,so always check your runoff to make sure that solution is making it to the roots at the PH you need which is between 6.5 and 6.8
 

2broke2smoke

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I cannot stress this enough, when it comes to fertilizer less is more. You cannot feed your plants into huge yields. Huge yields require huge lights. You have a nitrogen burn on the tips of your leaves, not an alarming issue. IMHO you are watering too much with fertilizers. Doing this will contribute to nute lock as the excess salts build up locking out other salts. Spring water is probably fine by itself. I would run straight water for awhile and see what the new growth looks like. Whenever you encounter nute related issues, first move should be to flush, not chasing the deficiency. Doing the latter usually ends up causing more nute deficiencies. soil is slow, do not expect to see nearly immediate results like in a soilless (hydroponic) grow op, it is just not going to happen. Patience is a virtue here, often new growers end up loving these gurls to death:D

2b2s
 

2broke2smoke

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btw, do not expect the damaged leaves to get better, they won't. concentrate on the new growth:D

2b2s
 

Darkmatter

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Thanks for the advice. I'd already stopped with the nut water and went back to spring water, which seems to have helped. I'm going to calibrate the ph tester this afternoon. Thanks for the tip about testing the water that runs out. I wouldn't have thought of that. Also, I'm still waiting for my replacement soil ph tester.

I'm not sure if the damage at the tips of the leaves is nitrogen burn. I only say that because that damage happened before I added some fert soil to the potting soil I was using at the beginning. Now, maybe the tips were already weak from lack of nitrogen and to much nitrogen and not enough magnesium finished them off, I don't know, but I do know that the tips died before I added fert soil or fert water to the equation.

I do have compost in a bin. I'll try adding a bit of that to the soil. It should have magnesium in it, and I'll back off on the watering (spring water) and test it for it's ph.

I do have a couple questions about the damaged leaves. I've circled some leaves in different colors and numbers so you'll know what my questions are specifically asking about.

First, the photo,

Plant 01b2.jpg


So, the worst leaves, circled in yellow with the "1" beside them. I don't know if you want me to clip them at the red circle "3a" or clip the whole thing off at the stem at 3b.

And second, for the leaves circled in orange, with the "2" next to them, they only have a small amount of damage, so I wasn't sure if I should do the same with them as well. (whichever the correct answer is from question 1. :)

Thanks again!
 

2broke2smoke

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Thats nitrogen burn, don't care when it happened, its nitrogen burn. You also have the nitrogen claw going:D

2b2s
 

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