Learn How to Germinate Weed Seeds Properly
Properly germinating marijuana seeds is essential for the healthy development of your plants.
It is very important that you familiarize yourself with this important process because the needs of the germ and seeds are vital.
Like every type of flower or plant, the marijuana starts from a tiny seed. This tiny seed houses the marijuana plant and will survive the first few days off a reservoir of food within.
During the germination process, the seed will then turn that reservoir of food into the sugars that it needs to grow.
Let’s talk about what your marijuana seeds are going to need from you in order to germinate properly:
What Marijuana Seeds Need to Properly Germinate
In order to achieve the best germination rates, your marijuana seeds will need the following:
Warmth – To maintain the best possible germination rates, the seeds need to be kept in a warm location. When creating their environment, think spring, not summer!
Although the seeds could germinate in cooler temperatures, the process will take longer. Whether inside or out, maintain that spring like atmosphere for optimal growth.
Peace – While you are anxiously waiting for the taproot to appear, the best thing that you can do for the marijuana seeds is to simply leave them alone.
The less you disturb them during this phase, the better chance they will properly germinate. Water them, check the temps, put do not disturb them.
Moisture – The ideal condition for the seeds while they germinate is for them to be moist. Keeping them moist is ideal, soaking, however, is not.
Hard seeds could be soaked for 24 hours, but never leave the seeds in the water for longer. The seeds will absorb all the moisture it needs in that 24 hour period.
Gentle – When you check on the seeds, take extra precautions to be extremely careful as you move them.
Take every precaution to not touching the white taproot when checking your seeds because it is very fragile and will snap off with the slightest touch. If possible, use tweezers to gently move the seeds.
Root Down – Once you are ready to plant the germinated seeds, make sure the white taproot is facing down to help prevent the seed from needing to reorient itself.
If they are planted upside-down, it takes longer and requires more effort for the seed to orient itself.
Understanding the Germination Process
Before we dive into all the different ways on how to germinate weed seeds, it is time to understand how this process works. The cannabis seed is no different that the seed for any plant or flower, it needs water to grow.
That little seed houses everything the plant will need to survive for the first few days, and while germinating, the seed will turn that food to sugar and begin growing.
As the plant outgrows the shell casing of the seed, it breaks open and a germ forms. The root grows downward while the stem upward, despite the position of the seed.
The following information will show you several techniques on how to germinate weed seeds as well as learning how to protect and perfect the condition of all those young seedlings.
The following list of different methods of germinating those marijuana seeds will cover both the advantages and disadvantages of both.
1. Water & Soil Germination
By far the most popular way to germinate weed seeds, all that is needed is water, soil, light, and your seeds.
Begin by submerging the seeds in water and allow them to soak 24 hours. In that time they will get all the moisture they need to properly germinate.
As long as you remove them in 24 hours, they will not absorb too much water.
Seed starter or mildly fertilized potting soil will work best for planting, then use a pencil to make a hole in the soil around a quarter-inch deep.
Before placing the seeds in the holes, look to see if a root has sprung out of the casing. If yes, plant the root downward.
Gently fill each hole with potting soil, then add water each day to the point you see if coming out the bottom of the pot. The majority of the water will evaporate before the seed gets it, so be sure to repeat this daily.
To maximize the growth of the plant, try to maintain a consistent room temperature and lighting both day and night.
Fluorescent lighting works best because they do not emit excessive heat and they do not draw too much power to run day and night.
The ideal growing temperature is 73 degrees, and in about 3 – 7 days, you should see the plants popping up from the soil.
2. Germinating Seeds in Peat Pellets
A very popular method for germinating weed seeds is using peat pellets. The peat pellets are basically compressed peat that comes in a bag and is made from mesh.
As you add water to the peat, it enlarges and creates one of the ideal growing environments for marijuana seeds.
The peat has a TDS of 625 and a 5.5 pH level, and while these are ideal growing conditions for the fragile marijuana seeds, the biggest benefit of using the peat pellets is that once you add water, it turns into the perfect container to house the seeds.
So as the seeds are germinating in this enclosed environment, they have safely tucked away until the root sprouts.
Rather than have to pick up each seed by hand, because they are safely enclosed in the peat, you can drop the entire bag in the soil to avoid any damage to the fragile root system.
With less root damage, you will yield the biggest crops using the peat pellets.
The only real downside is the additional cost to purchase the peat, so weight that compared to the loss of seeds from moving them by hand.
3. Germinate Seeds in Water
While soaking the marijuana seeds in water for the first day, is ideal for getting them ready for the germination process.
Many growers have found that using the water to gets the seeds to sprout is a not only a safe environment, it allows they to ensure each root is properly developing during this process.
Once the root system breaks free of the seed casing, the grower can view the roots easily while in the water all the while the seeds are getting plenty of moisture for their germination process.
The only drawback to pre-sprouting the seeds in water as opposed to dropping them in the soil after 24 hours, you have to touch each seed with the fragile root exposed.
If the roots are damaged by your fingers while moving, or broken when place in the soil, this will be detrimental towards the overall development of the plant.
Allowing the roots to break free from the seed allows the grower to see which seeds are ready for growing, allowing them to weed out any seeds that are not performing.
Use tweezers to move the seeds safely from the water to soil does require more work and a steady hand.
4. Germinate in Rockwool Cubes
The Rockwool cubes are mineral wool derived from basalt, limestone, and volcanic rock. These cubes are the ideal growing environment for the fragile marijuana seeds and the germination of the plants.
It is important to add some fertilizer to the Rockwool because it does not contain the natural nutrients found in soil.
Potting soil has the ideal TDS and pH levels to get your cannabis seeds germinating properly.
By placing the Rockwool cubes in water for a day, the lower pH pf the water will help to create the ideal growing environment for the seeds.
One of the biggest advantages to using the Rockwool to germinate cannabis seeds is they provide the perfect protection from root damage.
The hard casing will be able to be easily transported without having any harmful effects on the seed or roots.
5. Germination with Cotton Pads
Cotton pads is another safe and effective way to germinate the cannabis seeds. The best way to get the seeds to sprout safely is to moisten both cotton pads, then place the seeds in between the two pads and set aside in an ideal environment.
The pads will retain plenty of moisture that the seeds will draw upon as they begin the germination process.
The first day or two the seeds will be completely protected, the only real issue is when the time comes to remove the seeds from the pads and dropped in a soil.
The roots are extremely fragile and the seeds will need to be picked up by hand which puts the fragile white root in danger of breaking off.
To reduce the risk to the roots, use a pair of tweezers to pick up the seeds and gently drop them in the soil with the roots facing down.
Use caution when covering with soil and the plants should sprout through in a few days. Gently moisten the pads and the seeds will draw out just the right amount of water they need to sprout.
6. Germinating Seeds Outdoors
While germinating your marijuana seeds outdoors is not recommended, there are situations where growing them indoors or in grow tent is not possible.
The reasons for not germinating your seeds outdoors are numerous, from large fluctuations in temperature, excessive light, excessive darkness, and moisture, but if the situation can not be avoided then here is some advice to make the best of these less than ideal growing conditions.
While rain, clouds, and temperatures can negatively affect germination of your marijuana seeds, you can make the most of this situation by planting after the final frost has occurred.
One of the advantages to growing outside is the location you choose to germinate will be where they grow, so no moving of the fragile root system will occur.
Dig 6x6x6″ holes in the ground around three feet apart, and fill with potting soil. Now dig a small quarter-inch hole in the potting soil and drop in the seeds.
Soak with water, then be sure to water again in a few days, especially if there is abundant sunshine and warmer than normal conditions.
Speeding up the Germination Process
Speeding up the germination process can be ideal in certain situations because it can kill off any infectious agents that could harm the seeds.
Soak the seeds in the mix of compost tea and 1% hydrogen peroxide to begin.
Next, position the marijuana seeds in the planting mix, Rockwool, soil, or planting pellets, a quarter-inch deep. Water the seeds with some added bloom fertilizer at 25% strength.
Cover the location if possible with a dome to ensure a steady humidity, while keeping out of direct sunlight for the first few days.
The seeds should germinate faster and allow you to get harvesting your crops in less time.
How NOT to Germinate Weed Seeds
Now that you know how to germinate weed seeds, it is important that you understand all about some of the things that you should not be doing that could inhibit the growth of the seeds.
The following list of things to not do when germinating your seeds will help you to get the best possible growth:
Avoid using heating mats to speed up the germination process because they have extreme heat settings that could destroy the seeds before they have the chance for the roots to sprout.
Even if they have a thermostat, they should not be used in the rare chance something were to malfunction.
Never use hot or high NPK soil for the seeds because they are unsuitable for the seedlings growth. The best type soil is potting soil with a 7 pH because it will give the seedlings all the nutrients they need during the germination process.
Do not plant the seeds outside before the final frost, regardless what month it may be. mother nature does not follow a calendar, and despite it being April, it is not uncommon for a frost to hit any part of the country and destroy the seedlings on the ground.
Just because there were two weeks of hot temps in early April, it is not uncommon for a snow storm to hit later in the month across most of the country.
Never deprive the seeds of light during the first week. This is not the time to hide them in a dark closet or in a room where there is no sunlight.
Purchase a fluorescent lamp and allow the plant to get the same light day and night that important first week. After the first week, you can go dark 6 hours a day.
Never use pesticides on the seeds in that first week to protect them from insects outside or inside. In fact, avoid spraying anything except pH balanced water on those seedlings those first days.
These chemicals will enter the seedlings and kill off any chance of a successful yield this year.
Avoid touching the seeds with your bare hands because the oils on your fingers can actually prevent the water from being able to soak into the casing of the seedlings and stop growth. When handling marijuana seeds, use tweezers whenever possible.
Related Article: Does Weed Go Bad?
Now you have been presented with many different processes on how to germinate weed seeds that should allow them to explode with growth in no time at all.
By taking extra precautions these first seven days, you will provide your seeds the light, moisture, and care they need to sprout roots and stems and begin their long journey to large potent buds.