Need Help! (Ammonia smelling soil)

Discussion in 'Sick Plants & Problems' started by RastafariMan, Jun 16, 2019.

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Should I put seeds/seedlings into new pots new soil?

  1. Yes definitely

  2. No way

  3. Just wait

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  1. Jun 16, 2019 #1

    RastafariMan

    RastafariMan

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    Hello everyone,

    I’m currently having some trouble with the soil I just recently planted my seeds into.
    The soil is giving off a very strong smell of ammonia which can be smelled from inside the house with the fan on. I believe I overwatered the first day(only time I watered) and that there isn’t enough outflow from the pots. The soil is much dryer now but smells stronger. Will it go away with constant airflow and no watering or should I just remove the seeds (which haven’t broken the surface yet) and replant into pots with new soil.

    Any questions or answers please respond!
     
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  2. Jun 16, 2019 #2

    The Hemp Goddess

    The Hemp Goddess

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    When soil smells like ammonia it generally means it is going anaerobic..which means that it does not have good drainage properties and does not let any air into the soil. If it is possible, I would remove the seeds and plant in a seed starting soil mix.

    What soil are your using? Your soil mixture is very important. Unless you are using a higher end soil formulated for cannabis, you generally need to add some amendments to the soil you buy. So, tell us about your soil mixture and what it has in it. What kind of pots are you using? Do they have drainage holes?
     
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  3. Jun 16, 2019 #3

    RastafariMan

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    Hemp Goddess,

    I greatly greatly appreciate your reply. Upon reading it I went and pulled up the seeds, sterilized the pots with hydrogen peroxide water mixture, drilled holes into the pots(they had zero), and replanted into the other much more light soil I have. The original was an All-purpose soil from Walmart which was very thick and doesn’t seem suitable for seeds. The new soil is a better home and garden soil with total nitrogen .1%(ammoniacal Nitrogen .05%, Nitrate Nitrogen .05%), available phosphate .05%, and soluble potash .12%. About half of the 10 seeds had what looked to be dying taproots. Can you provide me with information on how far gone a taproot needs to look for it to be too far gone.

    Thank you so much.
     

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  4. Jun 16, 2019 #4

    The Hemp Goddess

    The Hemp Goddess

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    I am amazed sometimes how cannabis can heal itself. I had a seedling that I broke the tap root and didn't think it would survive...but it did. We'll just hope for the best.

    Most store bought soils need to be amended. I got a great looking organic soil by Whitney Farms, but it needed perlite and peat moss added to be suitable for cannabis. In general, it is better to plant seeds into soil with NO added nutrients. Seeds are easily burned by planting into hot soil. Seeds usually do not need any food until the 2nd or 3rd week and can die if fed too soon or too much. Start seeds in small containers so that you know the amount of water they are getting. Always make sure that pots have drainage holes and the soil drains well. It is the water draining that pulls air into the soil and keeps it healthy. With large pots it is hard to know exactly how much water the roots are getting.

    We'll keep our fingers crossed for successful germination. Remember, overwatering is usually more of a problem for beginners than underwatering.
     
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  5. Jun 16, 2019 #5

    RastafariMan

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    Hello Hemp Goddess,

    I thank you for your informative replies! In general how long does it take for a seedling to spring out of the surface of the soil? I ordered more seeds to replace about half of what I have just Incase they do not make it. I believe the new soil to be a much better medium to start a seed in based on how light and airy it is. Also when the seed is below the surface how much light should they be receiving per day. I have 4 LEDs and one CFL bulb that I have been keeping on them about 18 hours on. Should I keep it on 24 hours? Also would you recommend spraying the new soil with H2O2/H2O mixture even though some taproots seem to be dying or dead or should I leave medium how it is(semi moist from out of bag?)

    Thank you so much for your information it is valuable!
     
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  6. Jun 16, 2019 #6

    Aksarben

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    Good idea of small pot. I use a small peat pot and after soil "is" added and tamped in slightly I usually rip that bottom hole open a lot more. Nice thing about peat pots for starting is 1. You will know which actually took off and are growing. 2. Plant the seedling that is growing pot and all and it will be fine a larger pot. BTW I went on Amazon and bought cloth pots. No worries about over water in the soil and provide great soil aeration.
     
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  7. Jun 16, 2019 #7

    Aksarben

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    Seeds below the soil don't need any light to germinate. You'll want plenty of light on them when they do sprout though, but it looks like you are keeping close eye on them. Heat is what they can use during germination and once the stem opens up it can use light.
     
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  8. Jun 16, 2019 #8

    RastafariMan

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    Thank you for your information Aksarben!
     
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  9. Jun 16, 2019 #9

    RastafariMan

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    Generally how long until a germinated seed breaks the souls surface just as reference. 3-7 days?

    Thank You all!
     
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  10. Jun 17, 2019 #10

    Aksarben

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    A germinated seed should pop through the soil in about 3 to 7 days as you say. Depends on genetics, strain, and warmth. I say genetics and strain as with seeds there is some genetic variability even with the same strain. IE Zkittlez may pop though at 3 days and others that are germinated may take a bit longer.
     
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  11. Jun 17, 2019 #11

    The Hemp Goddess

    The Hemp Goddess

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    I actually use rapid rooters to sprout most seeds. When I was growing hydro, I needed some kind of medium to start plants in that I could move to hydro. The rapid rooters worked great and I generally continue to use them. I still recommend a seed starter mix to start seeds if you do not use something like rapid rooters or peat pots (for some reason I don't have very good luck with peat pots).

    As Aksarben said, seeds that have not germinated yet do not need light, but most of us use a light to help maintain a warm environment. However this year, I just had my seedlings in a bright sunny window sill and did not put them under the light until they sprouted.
     

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