I’ve purchased The Growing Autoflowers book I’m confused about the fertilizer dosages of 20-20-20. In all of my other readings the dosages are sooooo much lower such as 3-0-0 of liquid nutrients. As well as stating to reduce even that amount by 3/4. I’m afraid to use that high dosage do to the fact I’m losing so many seeds. Anything that you can tell me will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your question.
We aren’t hard and fast on the fertilizer ratios, as a lot depends on your soil and other growing conditions. AutoFlowers don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but they do need some. That’s why we recommend only using a quarter of what your fertilizer bottle says to use.
If using good soil and good (not hard) water, we have seen good success with 20-20-20, but we recommend only using a quarter of the recommended amount on the bottle. We have also seen good results with 18-10-10 (again, using a quarter of the recommended dosage on the bottle.)
Since you have been losing seeds, it could be due to your water and/or soil. If the pH is off, or if the water is hard, it could cause your seeds not to grow. It also could be the seeds themselves.
We have a few questions to see if we can help you:
1. What type of soil are you using? Does it already have nutrients added? Is it organic?
2. If starting with rock wool, have you been correcting the pH first?
3. Do you have hard water?
4. Have you checked the pH of your soil and water?
5. If using tap water, do you allow your water to sit out for 24 hours to release the chlorine before watering you plants with it?
6. Are you leaving excess water in the drainage trays after watering or are you pouring that excess water off?
7. Are you allowing the soil to dry a little between waterings or are you keeping it saturated?
8. Are your seeds from a good reliable source, or from a friend?
9. Have you been able to successfully grow any of your seeds yet?
If you can answer these questions, maybe we can help you figure out why you are losing seeds. No guarantee, but we’ll be glad to give more information that might help you.