You will need to invest in a few pieces of unique equipment, but by using stone wool blocks, you can create a perfect utopia for germinating cannabis seeds. Soak the stone wool blocks in the same way you would a soil medium. The wool will retain the moisture and prevent the need to water during the early stages of germination. After the wool blocks are soaked, stick them in a plastic tray that also has a lid. Large cake tubs are ideal.
Often overlooked, it is all too easy to assume that the vegetative and flowering stages of cannabis growth are the most critical parts of the plant’s life cycle. However, with the chance of failure high unless you know what you’re doing, poor planning when it comes to germination can make or break your next grow. Giving your cannabis seeds the best possible start on their journey to bulging buds is a surefire way to encourage a healthy and robust plant.
If you don’t like the idea of pre-soaking your soil, you can use a spray to moisten the holes before you plant each seed. With enough moisture surrounding your seeds, you can still encourage a root to develop.
PLANTING DIRECTLY INTO SOIL
Before you can be met with bountiful hauls of dank buds, there are several stages of cannabis growing that take precedence. Unless you can successfully germinate cannabis seeds, you won’t have a plant to harvest. Give your seeds the best possible start in life by reading our definitive guide to germination.
Maintaining the ideal temperature (between 22–25°C/71–77°F) and moisture for germination is tricky. Leaving seeds out in the open environment or on a windowsill is far from ideal; a DIY climate-controlled cupboard would do a much better service. A warming mat is perfect for maintaining a constant temperature, but it doesn’t tackle the issue of moisture.
Arguably one of the least effective methods, but it is still viable. Incredibly simple to facilitate, beginner growers may opt to germinate their seeds in a glass of water. Half-fill a glass or bowl with water that is approximately 22°C (71°F).
Planting directly into your growing medium prevents having to move seeds when they are at their most fragile. That first root tip is covered with microscopic filaments that are easily damaged. Given that both a cup full of water and moist paper towels are more prone to temperature fluctuations from their environment, planting in soil is a much safer option.
Start by filling a small pot with soil, no more than half a liter. Water it before even thinking about planting your seed. Once the soil is damp enough to weigh down the plant pot, use the tip of your finger to create a small 0.5-0.1cm hole in the middle of the soil, and deposit the seed in the hole with the root facing downwards. Then, cover the seed with a little soil so that it’s just under the surface. The last step in this process is to put your plant pot in the sun or under your lamps (wherever you’re planning on growing it). Within a couple of days you should see that first sprout, that will keep on growing right until the end. In some cases, it may even take a matter of hours.
While your seeds are soaking, you’ll need to prepare your paper towel and plates (or opaque Tupperware). Make a makeshift “bed” on the bottom plate with damp kitchen paper, but make sure it isn’t soaking. We tend to use 3 layers of kitchen paper; wet the paper and let it dry without wrinkling it, hanging it out kind of like a t-shirt so that all of the excess water can easily drain out. No need to worry about drying it, as you want the kitchen paper to be damp.
This method is more reliable than others, and they make germinating quite easy. All you have to do is place your seed carefully in your seed plug and follow the instructions when watering; different brands and models have different watering instructions.
Step 8: Moving to soil
Once you’ve finished covering your seeds with paper towel, cover them with another plate or put the lid on your container; if doing this in a container, the paper shouldn’t dry out as fast. A mistake made by many growers is that they add too much water to their paper towels if they’ve dried up, but by using a spray bottle you can moisten it some more without overdoing it. If your container is transparent, all you have to do is line the inside so that absolutely no light can get in.
Germinating cannabis seeds isn’t a complicated process, although it does require a few specific parameters in order to happen successfully. If you’re reading up on how to germinate weed seeds, you’re in the right place; it’s a relatively easy process, you just need to have some patience on hand. The first thing to keep in mind is that your seeds are going to need water, heat and air in order to germinate.
One of the downsides to using starter cubes is that they’re not very handy if you only want to germinate one or two seeds, because they’re usually sold in packs of 50 or more, and once they’ve been opened most cubes tend to dry out within a couple of weeks. Another downside to Rockwool specific cubes is that they’re bad for the environment, can be bad for your health when inhaled, and they’re not the best method for new growers.
Now that your seeds have officially germinated, you need to move them to the medium in which they will remain for the rest of the growing process. Germinated seeds are generally moved to soil, but they can also be planted in rockwool for hydro growing, or in a coco jiffy if you want to cultivate in coco coir. In this article we’ll be dealing with the most common method: planting seeds in soil.
Hardening plants is easy. Just take them outside in Spring for a couple of hours each day, then a bit longer each day after that. Eventually the wind will “harden” them to the wind and cold, at which point you’ll be able to plant them in the ground. Just don’t forget about them and leave them out overnight during their first day, or all of the work you did up above will be for nothing!
If you get your seeds in the fall and can actually make use of the natural cold outside, you can overwinter them in your garden. The problem with this is recovering the seeds later, because locating them can be difficult. The best way to find this is the put them in pots and bury the pots themselves, then dig them up and transfer to them wherever you want them when they start to sprout.
There’s not much easier advice than this! All you have to do is pre-soak the seeds in hot tap water for 24 hours. The water penetrates the seed coat and allows the insides of the plant to break from the seed more easily. Usually this occurs naturally in the soil, but it can take a much longer time.
Don’t Forget to Harden Them Off
Plants that are started indoor have it pretty easy. After all, you soaked the seeds and scarred them so that the plant itself could emerge. Then you told them that winter was over and warmed them up considerably!
If you live in a colder part of the nation and are an avid gardener, you’re probably champing at the bit to get some seeds in the ground. If you have a greenhouse, that might only be a few months away. If you’re a gardener in a colder state like Colorado, you’re going to have longer to wait. And no matter how long your growing season is, you’re likely to want to get to harvest faster once you plant your seeds. Which leads to a topic that often comes up here at our nursery supply company: how to speed up seed germination.
Scarification is another physical means of speeding up seed germination. The purpose of a seed is to protect what’s inside and then provide initial nutrition to the plant. Because of this, the seed coat is quite hard and fairly good at protecting its interior. Scarring the seeds will remove a bit of this seed coat in order to let water in, which starts the germination process.
Since they didn’t have to work hard in order to get out of the seeds, seedlings haven’t been hardened by the world yet. They aren’t used to being cold or being whipped around by the wind, so seedlings that have been raised indoors are more likely to die than those that have been grown directly in the garden, even if they look identical.