Last Updated on by Aardvark
Once your seed pops it takes a few days before it starts reaching up which is the perfect time to take action to stop and prevent leggy weed seedlings.
For future reference, when germinating my weed seeds I use Jiffy Peat rings. In a nutshell I only want to touch the seed one time; when I place it in the peat ring. When the seedling is ready to transplant it’s easy to pick up the peat ring and move it to its new pot.
First off is your light source. You’re much better off using low wattage CFL bulbs during the first 2 or 3 weeks of growth than any other light. They are cool so you can place them closer to your plants which helps prevent stretching.
Second is supplying a constant low breeze to the seedlings. You want just enough air moving to keep the stems moving. In this stage of growth your seedlings will spend more time strengthening the stem than stretching for light if they have a constant stimulus like a breeze.
Because of differences in strains I can’t say for sure how long you should go with the low watt lights before switching to 1,000 watt LED’s but it should be at least 2 weeks. Because the price of LED grow lights is so cheap, everyone should be using at least 1000 watts. I’ve used the Mars 1000 watt light for a few years now and you can’t beat it.
This is how I do it. I hang both the CFL bulbs in clamp light holders and the 1,000 watt LED’s from the ceiling. During the seedling stage I lower the CFL’s has close as I can get to the seedlings. When the time comes I move the CFL’s out and run the LED’s at 50% power for a few days. I increase that to 75% power for a few more days before ramping up to 100%.
I place them as close to the plants as I can. My rule is if my hand is comfortable under the lights so will the plants at the same distance.
I’ve grown seedlings with full light power from the get go several times but IMO using the step approach will give you better plants. Be patient, before you know it you’ll have a nice crop of weed for way under a buck per gram.
What if your seedlings are leggy already and even falling over? Not much you can do other than transplant them as soon as you can. I bury any leggy seedling I get up to about an inch from the first set of leaves. Just be careful you don’t drown the short plants or accidentally knock them over. It will start growing taller before you know it.
If your room or grow tent is too small for 1000 watt lights because of heat or intensity than you should use a lower watt light instead of moving them farther away from the plants.