“The right seed produces the right weed”[To get sorted with some killer seeds, browse the Pachamama Seeds’ Online Store to see what sounds good to you and then put in your order.]
Germination from seed is the first step on your journey to growing cannabis.
The aim of the germination process is to turn a healthy seed into a seedling that in turn will be nurtured into a blossoming plant. [aka Babies, Ladies, Mary Jane and sisters]
Popular Methods for Germinating Cannabis Seeds:
- The Pre-soak (Dunk) Method
- The Medium Method
- The Paper Towel Method
- The Plugs and Jiffies Method
1. The Pre-soak (Dunk) Method
- Maintain an ambient temperature of at least 20 °C, otherwise the seeds will not or at least not optimally germinate.
- Fill a cup with water and put the cannabis seeds in it. After 3 to 5 days, the seeds should pop open and a tiny root should come out.
- As soon as the sprout is 2 to 3 mm, you can carefully get the seeds out of the water and plant them in the soil.
- Put them 0.5 to 1 cm in the soil with the root down. This way, the root will more easily grow downwards.
2. The Medium method
(This most closely resembles what happens in nature)
- Plant seeds into a small starter pot or a seedling tray filled with (the medium) soil, perlite, coconut coir or a combination of these. As the plant becomes a strapping cannabis seedling in need of more shoulder space and root room, re-pot into a bigger container.
- You could opt to plant the seed directly into a large container straight away to avoid any risk of transplant shock later. The ideal container should hold about 20 litres. Go with either a deep gardening pot, a fabric pot, or a sturdy bucket with holes drilled into the bottom. Plant your seed about 1cm down in the centre of the pot of moistened medium. Fill over the seed and water into place.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages:
- Potting on from a smaller pot runs the risk of root damage, transplant shock and more uncommonly root infections. The upside being the plants are easier to manage in the early stages of its life cycle.
- Germinating in the larger container runs the risk of overwatering and soil saturation in the bottom of the pot causing moulds and algae. The benefit being up to an extra week of undisturbed growth.
3. The Paper Towel method
- You will need 2 dinner plates, unbleached paper towel, clean water and a warm dark place.
- Take a dinner plate and lay 2-3 sheets of kitchen towel on top of it. Moisten the kitchen towels making sure to drain off any excess water (wet, but not swimming).
- Place your seeds in the middle of the moist kitchen towel and cover with 2-3 additional sheets of moist kitchen towel. Place an additional plate on top and place in a warm, dark place.
- The ideal temperature would be between 21-28C. Ensure the seeds remain evenly moist. After around 5-6 days (could be longer depending on your strain) your seeds should have developed tap roots.
- Using the MEDIUM method, pot your seeds as they sprout, with the white tap root facing down. (Generally, you can see an outline of the root-shoot through the paper towel.)
4. The Plugs and Jiffies method
- Grow plugs have the advantage in that they are ready to go, already moistened straight out of the bag and are made with the cannabis grower in mind. They also come in handy pre-prepared trays.
- Jiffy pots or similar are easily stored dehydrated peat pots and need to be soaked before using.
- Both products come with handy pre-made holes, so simply drop your seed into the pre-bored hole and cover it with soil.
- Once the first roots are visible gently repot using the MEDIUM method.
Reasons why germination may fail and some handy safety measures:
- Too cold – Seeds need warmth to germinate. It’s best practice to germinate indoors at room temperature.
- Too hot – It’s important to maintain an even temperature.
- Too wet – Ensure your soil is well drained to prevent water logging.
- Too dry – your seeds need to be damp, too dry and the seeds will shrivel and die.
- Planting too deep – Plant 1cm deep and lightly cover with soil for the best results.
- Soil too firm – this prevents oxygen from getting to your seeds.
- Non-viable seeds – seeds that aren’t stored correctly or that are old have less chance of germinating. Look for dark brown seeds that feel firm to the pinch.
Remember – don’t rush things and let nature take its course!
After 10-14 days all seedlings should have leaves. Happy Days!!!