We have our germination method and growing medium and have our seeds sprouting out. Now we need to put the seedling under Lighting.
**BEFORE CHOOSING LIGHTING MAKE SURE YOU READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS AND SAFETY ISSUES TO INSURE SAFETY**
Now we have lots of choices to make here.
We have fluro tubes that work very well for seedlings. The pros to using fluro tubes for seedlings is you can put them about 2 cm away from the seedlings and they will not burn! Therefore getting max amount of lumens possible., cons on doing this is there is many types of fluros that do different jobs for how you want your plant to grow! Sneakatokes Fluro Guide is a excellent example of what kinda of fluros grow what kind of plants!
Compact Fluros (CFL):
Another Lighting you can use for seedling Stages is Compact fluros…
These are another excellent choice for people who are on cash flow problems and want the best lighting for the buck! Again Sneakatoke’s Compact Fluro guide is excellent for this topic!
Metal Halide (MH):
Another lighting people use for seedlings vegging and flowering is what’s called. A Metal Halide or MH. MH is great also for vegging but also used for seedlings. The pros to using a MH during seedling stage is it makes a very strong stem and makes the plant grow bushy and not so tall.
The con to using it is the amount of heat it produces and I recommend it not being used for seedling stage. Its really great for being used as a Veg and flowering lighting!
High Pressure Sodium (HPS):
These are awesome lighting and are the most popular for growing in flowering.(use of a reflector comes recommended for new growers)
People also tend to use these for veg growth, but I have seen that you grow bigger plants with compact fluros, because HPS tends to be the incorrect spectrum. Vegging plants like the blue spectrum then the orange spectrum like the HPS gives off for flowering (budding).
When your plants get into the flowering stage there need for different color spectrum changes to Orange to. But its best to use an HPS for flowering as it gives off the most lumens. You can use a mix spectrum where you use MH HPS combo. Or you can use HPS and compact fluros! Compact fluros work great with HPS! I myself use compact fluros and a HPS for flowering. The cons of using an HPS is they run VERY HOT!!! You can’t keep them as close as you would compact fluros or fluro tubes. And having a ventilation system is a must! You want your grow to be under 80 degrees F if you find yourself having difficulty keeping them.. then maybe you should invest in compact fluros for now or beef up your cooling in your grow room.
Alright, Now we have our lighting we want and medium and now is ready to grow!
Okay, we now have our seedling and lighting. Now this is one of the most important things you could ever remember: For the first 2 weeks of your seedlings life you NEVER want to give it nutrients at all. For it will burn the plants leaf structure very easily. Just giving it water is enough along with your medium you are using whether it is in the form of Rockwool cubes to peat pellets.
Also make sure your pH stays normal, don’t let it go past 0.2 of where you have it, because it can cause problems with your seedlings and will lock out much needed nutrients your seedling needs for the first 2 weeks.
For the first 2 weeks you also want your lighting on 18/6 or 24/0. After that then you can choose your lighting period, most people will argue 24/0 is best the whole time. I say that is only true for the first 2 weeks, Why? If your plant was outdoors… there would be a dark period regardless, not only that your plant only absorbs so much energy and then shuts down for a few hours… so its better if you can take on the 20/4 period after the first 2 weeks. Say you want to have your plant veg for 5 weeks during the last week of veg stage you would want to cut the lighting down to 18/6 and then after that week go into 12/12. I have seen this and have experienced this.
By going from a 24/0,20/4 and 18/6 periods your plant gets ready as if it is going to flower soon therefore getting your plant ready for 12/12. Also, I say not getting your plant ready for flowering can stress the plants. What ever photo period you want to choose, its all up to you, but, giving your plants down time will let them grow in the dark period and save on lighting! It Also makes it faster for your plants to show sex! I am right now growing ‘Blueberry’ and this time I changed the photo period from 24/0 from my last grow to 20/4 and all 4 showed sex compared with my first grow where I kept lights on 24/0 they didn’t show sex. So in my honest opinion give your plants a break, we all need one!