“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.” – Doug Larson
While many of us yearn to see our beloved plants grow and flourish, it takes hours of dedicated effort and attention to detail to get these delicate babies to bloom into majestic and mature things of beauty.
Green Smoke Room is dedicated to helping all the newbie growers out there in ensuring the best quality strains and seeds are available to them at the best price. But getting from seed to strain can sometimes prove to be quite a problematic process. Yes, we are talking about germination, and you’d be quite surprised at how vital this phase is.
The germination of cannabis seeds is generally straight-forward although it is crucial to note a series of important factors that could affect your overall germination rate. We want the seeds to sprout as quickly as possible, to avoid infections and/or total failures and while there are many different ways to propagate seeds for an endless array of different plant types, not all of these will be suited to cannabis.
Cannabis seeds are known to thrive in relatively high and humid temperatures (about 26-28 degrees C and 70% humidity). Some seasons of the year may require you to use a heat source in order to reach and maintain these levels. Lower levels will result in slower and less successful gemination while higher levels can bring about rotting and/or infections. Many growers are now turning to seed mats – an electric heat pad that sits under the seedling tray, speeding up germination and producing healthier seeds.
Green Smoke Room recommends the following steps for simple germination:
Step 1: Place seeds in DAMP/WET cotton wool.
Step 2: Place the cotton wool with seeds into a zip-lock bag.
Step 3: Place the zip-lock bag on a window-sill in the sun (this will provide the necessary humidity for the seeds to germinate)
It is, however, important to note…
4 Common Mistakes People Make
- Letting the Germination Medium Dry Out – Whatever substrate you may choose for germination, make sure it is ALWAYS moist! (Especially if a heat source is used to speed try and speed things up) This ensures that the series of reactions that leads to the seed sprouting, continue to take place. If the seed stops absorbing moisture at any point, this activity will end, and it is likely to fail.
- Leaving Seeds to Germinate Too Long – Another common mistake (especially when using the cotton wool method) is allowing the root to grow too long before transplanting it, which can then prove difficult and could damage the root in the process. In addition, the longer the root is exposed to air and light, the more damage will result so to avoid problems it is best to plant the seeds when the tap-root measures 1cm-2cm maximum.
- Direct Germination in Soil – The most common mistake that results in total failure, particularly if the soil has not been watered beforehand. By planting the seed directly in the soil, you run the risk of burying it too deep and only made worse by watering it post-planting.
- Planting Several Seeds in the Same Pot – While it may be tempting, having several seeds in the same container isn’t usually successful. If they do in fact germinate, their roots will compete for the limited space available. Restricted root growth does not suit cannabis plants. The plants will also compete for the light which is not ideal if we want to get the most out of each plant, with lots of lateral branching and thick, resinous buds.
So, don’t just go throwing your old ‘pips’ into pots or the ground in the hope that they might ‘pop’.