Hooray! Your seedlings have become young plants!
You are now ready to move your mind from days to weeks. This stage should take about 2 weeks as the plants get over transplant shock and begins to push out those roots to gain a solid lock in the soil.
Here are the things to keep in mind as you guide you plants through this stage of growth.
1: BABY THEM
They’ve been through a lot!
In part 1, we talked about making the transplant process as painless as possible for your plants. No matter how good you are at transplanting, though, the plant is still going to have to endure a period of adjustment called transplant shock. During this time, the plant will be acclimating to the new environment and trying to move its roots through the soil.
Be very careful of how much light you give them, how much water they have, and how often they are touched or moved. The gentler you can be to your babies at this stage, the better!
2: OBSERVE AND ADJUST
Listen to your plants!
Your young plants will tell you pretty clearly if they are feeling stressed. If you see spotting or curling on the leaves, or if the plant looks a lighter green than usual, back your lights off a little bit to avoid sunburn. Your plants don’t tan as nicely as you do!
If you see your plants looking heavy, the stem gets dark and bendy, and the leaves start wilting, you are giving them too much water. Remember, the roots are just starting to grow, so they need room to expand. Heavily watered soil is very dense and the roots will have a hard time growing through it. It’s better to water around the edge of your pot to encourage those roots to stretch through the soil.
3: WATCH THE MOMENTUM
They should surprise you!
Every time you check on your plants, you should be surprised by how much they’ve grown, and as you get closer to the third week, that momentum should only increase.
If you are not seeing an increasing, robust rate of growth, go back to step two and make sure you aren’t doing anything to hurt your plants.
4: DON’T TOUCH
Give them a calm space!
Now is not the time to train your plants. Too much touching of the tender branches will bruise them, and they are too young right now to recover easily. Stress is a big factor in early veg, so the more you can just leave your plants alone to grow on their own, the better!
Moving your plants in this stage can be harmful, too. While your plants are trying to spread out their roots and get a grip on their new situation, jostling and moving around can cause the roots to shift in the soil, which will stress out the plant and slow down the growth process.
This is sort of the easiest and the hardest stage of growing, because you will want to be smothering your plants with care and attention, but really what they need is for you to just chill. Keep an eye out for signs of stress. If you can identify any stressors, fix the situation immediately then go back to doing nothing but watching.
As you move into the third week of veg, you’ll want to check out our next episode to see what to do in late veg. Click here to see!