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how deep do i plant my marijuana seeds

How Deep Do I Plant Pot Seeds?

First-time cannabis growers have a plethora of questions when it comes to the first phases of marijuana cultivation. Even though growing marijuana plants is not much different from growing other plants (since every plant needs soil, light, nutrients, and water in order to thrive), the difference is in how much of these factors the cannabis plant needs.

In order to end up with a good Sativa, Indica, or hybrid marijuana strain, growers need to take into consideration the unique requirements that each strain needs.

To help you become more confident and informed when you set out to start marijuana cultivation, we’ll get into the subject of germination and planting of cannabis seeds, providing you with everything you need to know in order to grow Marijuana.

Tips Before You Start With the Germination of Marijuana Seeds

There are a few things you’ll need before you begin germinating seeds:

  • Get high-quality seeds from a reputable seed bank.
  • Keep your marijuana seeds under a specific temperature for germination that should be about 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 °C).
  • Keep your germinating seeds away from direct sunlight (don’t keep them on your windowsill or near a heater since they will get dry, and seeds need moisture).
  • For the germination stage, you’ll need jiffy pellets or starter plugs that are designed specifically for germinating weed seeds.
  • For indoor cultivation, you’ll need grow lights that will be used after you plant the cannabis seeds in pots.

Guide for Planting Cannabis Seeds

In order for the marijuana cultivation process to result in a harvest, the marijuana plant needs to go through 4 stages: germination (3-10 days), seedling (2-3 weeks), vegetative stage (3-16 weeks), and flowering (8-11 weeks). The first and second stages are the most crucial when it comes to planting pot seeds.

Germinating (Sprouting)

The first stage (germination) begins when the dry cannabis seed is placed in water until it sprouts. Some seeds may germinate, while others may not, depending on the quality of the seeds. Good cannabis seeds should be brown in color and should feel hard and dry to the touch.

Transplanting (Planting the Seed)

Once your seed has sprouted, it’s ready to be placed in soil so that it can start growing. Its taproot will grow downwards, while the stem grows upwards. As the plant grows, two cotyledon leaves grow out of the stem these take in sunlight to help the plant grow healthy and stable.

Germination: The Wet Paper Towel Method

This germination method includes germinating your seeds with damp paper towels and has been a tried-and-tested method for germinating seeds. Two pieces of paper towels are soaked in tap water and the seeds are stored between the sheets. Additional water is added over the next few days to keep the seeds moist.

Sprouting times tend to vary, but the seeds will generally take between two and four days to sprout, and if they take longer it’s best to throw them away, as they probably aren’t viable. After a few days, tiny roots should appear, and that is an indication that the seed is ready for planting.

Germination: Soaking Seeds in Water

Another method for germinating cannabis seeds that works well with harder seeds is the soaking method. This method requires you to place the seeds at room temperature tap water and keep them soaked for 32 hours.

After you’ve put the seeds in water, some of them will sink to the bottom. These seeds are viable. The non-viable seeds will float, and they need to be thrown away. After 32 hours, you can use the paper towel method on the seeds that sank, and after they sprout, you can plant them.

Planting the Seeds Directly

This is a harder germinating technique and one that isn’t recommended for first-time growers. In order for it to work, growers need to be informed about the plants’ required nutrients, humidity levels, and the appropriate pH soil levels that are needed.

For this type of seed germination, you’ll need to plant the marijuana seeds in moist soil, about an inch deep. You’ll also need to have some additional heating system to keep the plants warm for the first few days. Even though planting the seeds directly may not be the best option for novice growers, it does have its benefits, like not risking breaking the taproot off when you’re transferring the plant to another pot.

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Transplantation of Germinated Marijuana Seeds

After germination, you can plant the germinated seeds in a pot. Remember that the cannabis seedlings and its taproots are fragile in this early stage and you need to handle them with care, so it might be good to use tweezers when you do this.

Fill small pots (2 inches) with potting soil that is loose and moist to the touch. The pots should be filled ¾ of the way. Make half-inch pre-drilled holes by using your finger, and carefully place one sprouted seed in each hole.

Cover the seed with soil, spray it with water, and refrain from pressing the soil. It will take about one more week for the germination process to conclude, after which a stem will surface, and the taproot will produce secondary roots.

The best soil for sprouting cannabis seeds is a seed starter with only a little bit of fertilizer, as cannabis seedlings need loose soil in order to grow easily. For hydroponic cultivation, you may want to germinate in rockwool cubes because they retain moisture better.

Replanting for Healthy Growth

Young plants need to be planted in smaller pots before they’re replanted into bigger containers, so that they can grow a stronger root system. That’s because small plants that are planted in bigger pots may find it harder to get oxygen when they’re surrounded with too much growing medium, which can result in stunted growth.

It’s best to replant your cannabis plant as it outgrows its pot. Avoid leaving your plant in a small pot for too long as that can result in you having a “root-bound” plant (the roots grow too large for the pot and the plant can asphyxiate and die.)

Some growers will directly plant the seedlings in the final container. However, this is not recommended because it will be harder for the plant to get oxygen when it is surrounded by too much growing medium. On the other hand, if you find that your plant absorbs water within a day, it might be time for a bigger pot.

If the thought of transplanting your weed seeds sounds tiresome and challenging for you, then you can always plant directly in the final container. But do expect slightly slower growth, and make sure you are careful when watering the plant so as not to give it too much water.

Conclusion

Cannabis plants require specific conditions in order to thrive and produce a good harvest. However, taking care of marijuana seeds isn’t as hard as you may initially think. Planting these seeds is similar to planting any other seeds when you’re gardening fruits and vegetables. All you need to know is how to properly germinate and transplant your young plants. With a bit of knowledge and practice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a seasoned cannabis grower.

How Do Plants Know Which Way Is Up And Which Way Is Down?

It’s dark down there in the potting soil. There’s no light, no sunshine. So how does it know which way is up and which way is down? It does know. Seeds routinely send shoots up toward the sky, and roots the other way. Darkness doesn’t confuse them. Somehow, they get it right.

More intriguing, if you turn a seedling (or a whole bunch of seedlings) upside down, as Thomas Andrew Knight of the British Royal Society did around 200 years ago, the tips and roots of the plant will sense, “Hey, I’m upside down,” and will wiggle their way to the right direction, doing a double U-turn, like this:

How do they know? According to botanist Daniel Chamovitz, Thomas Knight 200 years ago assumed that plants must sense gravity. They feel the pull of the Earth. Knight proved it with a crazy experiment involving a spinning plate.

He attached a bunch of plant seedlings onto a disc (think of a 78 rpm record made of wood). The plate was then turned by a water wheel powered by a local stream, “at a nauseating speed of 150 revolutions per minute for several days.”

If you’ve ever been at amusement park in a spinning tea cup, you know that because of centrifugal force you get pushed away from the center of the spinning object toward the outside.

Knight wondered, would the plants respond to the centrifugal pull of gravity and point their roots to the outside of the spinning plate? When he looked.

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. that’s what they’d done. Every plant on the disc had responded to the pull of gravity, and pointed its roots to the outside. The roots pointed out, the shoots pointed in. So Thomas Knight proved that plants can and do sense gravitational pull.

But he couldn’t explain how.

We humans have teeny crystalline stones floating in our ear cavities that literally sink in response to gravity, telling us what’s up and what’s down. What do plants have?

Strangely, this is a real puzzle. We still don’t know for sure how plants do it. There is a team of botanists, John Kiss and his colleagues at Miami University in Ohio, who have a promising idea, but at the moment it’s just a very educated guess.

Plants have special cells right down at the tip — the very bottom — of their roots. And if you look closely, inside these cells there are dense, little ball like structures called “statoliths” which comes from the Greek, meaning “stationary stone.” You can see them here.

I think of them as pebbles inside a jar. If the jar is upright, the pebbles, naturally, fall to the bottom.

If I put the jar on its side, the pebbles will roll to the side of the jar, the new bottom, and lie there.

If I turn the jar upside down, the pebbles will drop into the cap, which used to be the top but is now the bottom.

Basically these little pebbly things respond to gravity. In a plant cell, gravity pulls them to the “bottom,” and once they find a resting place, they can send signals to neighboring cells in the plant essentially saying, “OK guys! We now know where Down is. Those of you that need to go down (root cells), go this way! Those of you who need to go up (the shoot on top), go the other way!”

This, suggests Professor Kiss, is how plants figure out where “down” is. They use little statolith balls as gravity receptors.

His idea got a boost when he sent some seedlings into space (to the space station) where the pull of gravity is close to zero, figuring if the statoliths just float randomly and don’t drop to the bottom of their cells, the plants won’t know which way is down. And sure enough, he reported that plants growing in space did not send their roots in any specific direction. The roots just went every which way.

So the next time you pass a tree, a flower, a grape vine, grasses, bushes, vegetables any plant that seems to be reaching for the sky, that plant may be going up not just because it wants to be kissed by the sun, but also because down at its bottom, in cells rooted in the Earth, it’s got itty bitty rocks telling it, “go thattaway!”

Daniel Chamovitz’s account of how plants tell up from down comes from his new book, What A Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses. The drawings are my own, and are based on Professor Chamovitz’s descriptions. If there’s something wrong with them, the fault is mine, not his.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are grown for eating fresh or preserved as pickles. They mature quickly and are best suited to larger gardens. However, they can be grown in small areas if the plants are caged or trellised.

Site selection

Although cucumbers do best in loose sandy loam soil, they can be grown in any well-drained soil.

Cucumbers must be grown in full sunlight. Because their roots reach 36 to 48 inches deep, do not plant them where tree roots will rob them of water and nutrients.

Soil preparation

Remove rocks, large sticks, and trash before preparing the soil. Leave fine pieces of plant material such as dead grass and small weeds because they will help enrich the soil when turned under.

Spade the soil to 8 to 12 inches deep (Fig. 1). This is about the depth reached by most shovels or spading forks. Turn each shovel of soil completely over to cover all plant materials with soil.

Figure 1. When preparing the soil, turn over the soil to a depth of 8 to 12 inches and add fertilizer and organic matter.

Work the soil into beds 4 to 6 inches high and at least 36 inches apart (Fig. 2). Ridges are especially important in heavy soils and poorly drained areas because cucumbers must have good drainage.

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Figure 2. Work the soil into beds 4 to 6 inches high and at least 36 inches apart.

Varieties

Cucumbers are grown for slicing or for pickling. The cucumbers best suited for slicing are 6 to 8 inches long and 1 inch or more in diameter when mature. Cucumbers grown for pickling are 3 to 4 inches long and up to 1 inch in diameter at maturity. Either type can be used for pickling if picked when small.

Varieties to grow in Texas for pickling include Calypso, Carolina, Fancypak, Multipik, and National Pickling.

For slicing, varieties include Burpless, Dasher II, Poinsett, Pointsett 76, Slice Master, Straight 8, Sweet Slice, and Sweet Success.

Planting

Cucumbers require warm temperatures and cannot survive frost. Do not plant cucumbers until all danger of frost has passed and the soil begins to warm.

Cucumbers are a vine crop requiring a lot of space. The vines can reach 6 to 8 feet long or more. In large gardens, cucumbers can spread out on the ground. Plant them in rows on the ridges prepared earlier. Use a hoe or stick to make a small furrow about 1 inch deep down the center of each ridge.

Drop three or four seeds in groups every 12 to 14 inches down the row (Fig. 3). By planting several seeds, you are more likely to get a stand. Remove extra plants soon after emergence.

Figure 3. When planting cucumbers, drop three or four seeds in groups every 12 to 14 inches in the row.

Cover the seeds with about 1 inch of fine soil. Use the flat side of a hoe to firm the soil over the seeds, but do not pack it.

In small gardens, you can train cucumbers on a fence, trellis or cage if wire is available (Figs. 4 and 5). Plant three or four seeds in hills 4 to 6 inches high along the trellis or cage.

You can plant fast-maturing crops such as lettuce and radishes between the cucumber hills to save space. These will be harvested before the cucumber vines get too large.

Figure 4. In a small garden, cucumbers can be trained along a wire attached to a wall.
Figure 5. If a wire cage is used, plant three or four seeds in hills 4 to 6 inches high along the cage.

Fertilizing

Cucumbers require plenty of fertilizer. Scatter 1 cup of a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 10-20-10 for each 10 feet of row; then work the fertilizer into the soil and leave the surface smooth.

When the vines are about 10 to 12 inches long, apply about ½ cup of fertilizer for each 10 feet of row or 1 tablespoon per plant.

Watering

Soak the plants well with water weekly if it does not rain.

Care during the season

Keep the cucumbers as weed free as possible. Do not plow or hoe the soil deeper than about 1 inch because you may cut the feeder roots and slow the plant’s growth. Cucumbers produce two kinds of flowers, male and female. Male flowers (Fig. 6) open first and always drop off. Female flowers (Fig. 7) form the cucumber and should not drop off.

Figure 6. Male cucumber flowers open first and always drop off.

Figure 7. Female cucumber flowers form the cucumbers.

If the female flowers do begin to drop off, touch the inside of each male and female flower with a soft brush or cotton swab. This will pollinate the flowers and help them develop into fruit.

Insects

Many insecticides are available at garden centers for homeowner use. Sevin is a synthetic insecticide; organic options include Bt-based insecticides and sulfur. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps control many diseases.

Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings, and directions.

Diseases

Several diseases attack cucumbers. Most of these diseases show up as spots on the upper or lower sides of leaves or on fruit. Check the plants daily, and spray them with an approved fungicide if diseases appear. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides are available for use. Always follow label directions.

Harvesting

Harvest cucumbers when they reach the desired size and are green in color. Do not wait until they turn yellow. Yellow cucumbers are over mature and will have a strong flavor.

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