Posted on by Jason Gibson

What is week one of feeding? How to feed new seedlings

What is week one of feeding? Great question, there are many tutorials online suggesting waiting until the 5th or 6th node blah blah blah... Rubbish.

I want to share my thoughts on what I believe is actually week one.

A lot of feeding charts don’t actually indicate when week one is, and a lot of customers and enquiring gardeners are just as confused.

 

Most week 1 feeding charts look overwhelming. Why is that?

Well, I believe most growers within the industry have been practising growing from clones for quite some time.

Technically before we can start taking cuttings/clones the plant has to be grown until “sexual maturity”, which would take approx. 6-8 weeks after germination.

 

Now, once that clone is rooted. Is that week one?

If I were to look at the feed chart and all the products supposed to be supplemented in week one, I would assume that a majority of feed charts are actually based on feeding sexually mature clones, so yes for rooted clones being transitioned from propagation to vegetation I would consider this week one.

If they are not, let’s examine a few things:

Once a seed has germinated it has the ability to sustain itself for approx. 7 days before intervention.

So, from here our seedling would be 8 days old let’s say. Is this week one? No. 

A seedling takes around 2-4 weeks before it is considered a young plant, during this period its main purpose is, metabolic chlorophyll formation.

Basically, when we do start feeding it should be relative to the plants overall size. If our seedling is only 10cms in height, it’s not going to be able to distribute full strength nutrition at a dose we would give to a full sized plant.

If you do go ahead and follow the chart, and you have started from seed you most likely will encounter nutrient burn/overfeeding.

The dosage suggested for week one on most feeding charts is far too high for growers who choose to grow from seed.

I would suggest to grow the seedling for approx. 3-4 weeks using a weak nutrient solution and adding a root booster in conjunction to stimulate the roots, this will help the plant lay out its “foundations or Anchor” far quicker, the growers focus needs to shift from plant to root-zone in the early stages.

To assist in chlorophyll production, we can feed small amounts of magnesium & nitrogen. Personally I use an all-in-one additive that also contains calcium and iron, this is approach is mostly preventative. By doing this you will have extremely healthy seedlings!

Once we have grown the seedling for 3-4 weeks the root zone should be as large as the plant ~ As above, so below. 

There are EC/PPM meters that growers can purchase, this helps the grower understand the strength of their nutrient solution.

PPM/EC Pens and Meters

 

EC REQUIREMENTS: 

Seedlings: 0.2-0.6 EC (200-500 PPM) for approx. 2-4 weeks

THIS IS WEEK ONE Young Plants: 0.6-1.2 EC (500-800 PPM) for approx. 2-4 weeks

Flowering Plants: 1.2-2.4 (800-1680 PPM) for approx. 6-12 weeks

Maturation: 0.0-0.4 EC (0-300 PPM) 5-10 days