Tips to Germinate Marijuana Seeds
We offer many decades of valuable information. Make sure you read all our tips and tricks, they will save you money and get you more female marijuana plants in your medical grow room.
Here are some basic rules many of you with common sense, may not know:
- Do Not handle Seeds/Sprouts with bare hands, use gloves.
- Use distilled water only. NEVER USE TAP WATER OR WELL WATER. Even if you boil your water, DO NOT USE IT. USE DISTILLED WATER ONLY OR Bottled Water will work fine.
- DO NOT TRY TO GERMINATE YOUR SEEDS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE. YOU WILL HAVE A MUCH LOWER GERMINATION RATE.
- ****** RAISE THE TEMPERATURE ONLY A FEW DEGREES ABOVE ROOM TEMPERATURE (78 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT, 25 CELSIUS, AND WATCH THEM ALL SPROUT. *********
NOTE: SATIVA STRAINS LIKE IT WARMER.
- ******* DO NOT TRY TO GERMINATE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, LET THEM DRY OUT, THEN TRY AGAIN A FEW DEGREES HIGHERS. DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME AND AVOID COSTLY MISTAKES. ********
- DO NOT USE HUMIDITY DOMES, They PREVENT VITAL AIR EXCHANGE AND CAUSE MOLD TO GROW AND KILL YOUR SEEDLINGS. They only have one use, for CLONING.
Often, you acquire seeds in the mail. In this case :
- In Hot Weather : Make sure you do not leave them sitting inside a mailbox in direct sunlight. This can raise the temperatures and actually “cook” your seeds, making your seed non-viable or drastically decreasing their germination rates.
- In Cold Weather : Bring your seeds inside from the mailbox, and let them “defrost” for 3 days (72 Hours) before germinating. Do Not take any short cuts, wait a full 72 hours. Seeds are frozen during the winter in their native environment, and freezing during travel will not harm them.
STORAGE: How to properly store marijuana seeds
Freezing and Thawing repeatedly will lower your germ rates. Each time you bring your seeds out of the freezer, moisture from inside condensates through the shell of the seed and evaporates. Repeated multiple times, will eventually dry out the inside and kill your seeds.
Another issue is MOLD. Every time your seeds are wet on the outside from thawing condensation, you increase the risk for mold when you do decide to germinate. So do not store seeds in the freezer unless you plan on not using them for 1 or more years.
Most quality seedbanks will deliver your seeds in an airtight container with a few grains of rice, just large enough to fit the contents with no spare room. The rice is used to stabilize moisture/humidity levels and fill up the remaining space so only the smallest amount of air is part of the container. You can store them at room temperature like this for about 6 months. If you plan on storing them longer than 6 months, and less than a year, place them in the refrigerator in their sealed container.
TIP : Even if you don’t un-thaw your seeds from freezer storage, you cannot go into the freezer, open your container of seeds to take a couple seeds out, and then refreeze the rest immediately. Just by opening the container, you allow new moisture filled air into the container. This moisture and can damage your seeds and cause mold problems when germinated.
Room Temperature Storage : DO NOT store your seeds in direct sunlight, in a cabinet above your fridge, or dishwasher or a cabinet with lights built in below. Do not store near a radiator, fireplace, or heat vent. For example, a dark and cool spot in the basement works great.
You have a seed with a shell. Inside this shell is your root and food storage. The idea is to allow enough water to soak into the shell, so the seed is no longer dormant. The water will force the root inside to expand and bust out of it’s shell, at which time it will need a food source to continue growth.
PROS and CONS
Germinating marijuana seeds directly in your Growing Medium is a wonderful way to germinate most strains
POSITIVES : It will prevent any harm from touching the sprout and transfering it to it’s medium. Even professionals can kill sprouting seeds from mishandling them during transplant.
TIP: Because you hands carry billions of bacteria, you should never touch your seeds or sprouts without using sterile gloves or tweezers.
CONS: Planting directly in your Rock wool or Soil can cause problems. Soil can harbor bacteria that will kill your seeds, make sure you use a sterile soil with minimum nutrients. Big Block stores carry seedling soil which has the right amount of nutrients and is sterilized. Soil also dries out too quickly or grows mold if too wet.
I prefer to use a larger sized pot so it does not dry out too fast. And I don’t have to over water from fear of it drying out too fast.
Rock wool can have a higher than optimal PH level for seedlings, and using PH up and PH down can kill your seeds, because PH up and down are acids and bases. Seedlings cannot tolerate Acid or fertilizer (high nutrients) without dying. Seedling should only get a 5% nutrient mix.
The paper towel method is not a very good way to germinate seeds. It’s OK, and will give OK results, but it is not the best way. Paper Towels are not sterile, and can cause problems.
The Cup Method is good if you can transplant without damaging the sprouted seedling. You take a sterile plastic cup (that has never been washed, to avoid any soap residue) Take a disposable plastic beer cup, fill about 2 inches deep with distilled water. Drop in your seeds using gloves, never your bare hands (you don’t want to transfer anything to the sterile cup and water)
Now you have to wait and watch carefully. You do not want the sprouted seeds to stay in the water longer than they have too. As soon as you see that the sprout is 1/4″, carefully transplant to your medium. The seeds CAN EASILY BE DAMAGED, so be very careful, I use sterile tweezers to carry them, but you must not squeeze too hard, or you will kill your seedling. It’s safest to transplant before the seed shell falls off, using sterile gloves to pick it up using the opened shell, being very careful not to touch the root, or squeeze too much, cutting the root with it’s own sharp shell.
How to Use a Heating Pad When Germinating Seeds
Gardeners in most of the United States who wish to grow warm-weather plants such as tomatoes and peppers must start the seeds indoors weeks before the ground begins to warm. Many people keep their thermostats low to save on heating costs, but this isn’t very welcoming to seeds trying to germinate. Create your own mini environment by using an inexpensive seed heating pad as a heat source for the soil and growing seedlings. These pads are specially made for use with growing seeds, giving the correct temperature while avoiding the danger of using a home heating pad with damp soil and spilled water.
Read the back of the seed packet to find the correct timing for planting the seeds. Each variety of seeds will need a certain number of weeks indoors before being transplanted into the garden. Find the average last frost date for your area and count back the weeks to find the date to start the seeds indoors.
Fill the seed cells with fresh potting soil. Never use garden soil for starting seeds indoors. Garden soil carries weed seeds and microorganisms that can cause disease in young seedlings. Potting soil is sterile and safer for seed germination.
Plant the seeds according to the packet directions. Each variety of seeds has to be buried a certain depth below the surface for germination; usually the depth is one to one and a half times the thickness of the seed. Bury the seeds at the proper depth and pat the potting soil over the seeds so that it makes good contact.
Place a plant heating pad, also known as a seedling heat mat, in a spot where it won’t be disturbed, near an electrical outlet. Place a drip tray on top of the heating pad and set the planted seed cells onto the tray. Plug the heating pad into the outlet. Most heating mats do not have variable heat settings; simply plug them in to get the correct temperature. If your mat has a temperature dial, set it for 70 degrees unless your seed packet specifies a warmer or cooler temperature. Cover the cells loosely with plastic wrap to retain moisture until the seeds germinate.