Poppin Seeds

I often get asked about the way I germinate my seeds. This is mainly due to the fact that I have a lot of experience and good results. In all modesty I will leave writing about how I go through the process for last. Being able to test most germination methods I must say that, if executed well, they all work and have a similar success rate. In other words, what technique you use is solely up to you. The important thing is to provide the germinating seeds with the proper environmental conditions. In my experience they are key to quick and healthy seed sprouting. 

There are three key aspects you have to take into consideration. This is no misery, these are the same variables that impact the entire grow process. Temperature, Relative humidity and light. The first one, I consider most important and most commonly looked over. Ideal temperatures for cannabis seed germination are between 22 and 25 degrees Celsius. When I am going through the process and I keep a stable 22 degrees I notice that the seeds sprout quicker. These are ideal temps but that does not mean that seeds will not come out in others. The general rule is that around 15 degrees you are already have a big risk of the seed not coming out. Below 13, there is very small chance of germination. When going above 25 I notices that the higher you go the slower the start (and this is a big impact that can extend the process by a couple of days), but I have not noticed a decrease in the number of seeds that sprouted. Personally I have not gone above 30 degrees to see what happens with seed germination. Relative humidity is also important for proper sprouting. Most of the times we start, when we intend to and we do this by the introduction of moisture to the seed. When it comes to humidity it is very simple. It is best to keep it between 70 and 90%. Above and below that you are at risk. I also urge people to use water with the correct Ph level. This is crucial if you want to get done as quick as possible. The third condition is light. Here is is also very easy, all you need to do is keep the seeds in darkness during the whole process. So to recap, while germinating your seeds, you need to keep them wet, warm and well covered.

There are several different techniques to Cannabis seed germination. Every grower chooses the one (or ones, because some people I know combine different elements) he likes the most. When it comes to me, the method I use depends on the amount of seeds I am sprouting. If I am doing above 20 seeds, I buy a seed starter tray and fill it up with some soil or soil based cubes. I water them with ph correct water, also making sure the temperature is OK as well and put the seeds directly into the medium. I cover the tray and set it in a warm, dark and humid grow box. When the seedlings come out of the medium, I transplant them into growing pots and give them light. On the other hand, if I am working with a small quantity of seeds I use a different method. I buy special, tight pressed cotton pads. I soak them in water and drain the excess. I put one layer on a small plate and then put the seeds on them. I cover them with another layer to soaked pads and cover the plate with kitchen foil in order to prevent moisture evaporation. I put the plate in a warm dark place and after the seeds have sprouted I put them into the medium in the vegetation pots. A very important element that I use is that I just before putting the seeds into the trays or on the cotton pads I always soak the seeds in a mix of water and hydrogen dioxide to eliminate chances of infections. I always tell people to keep this process as sterile and clean as possible. I also like to stress to people to be really delicate while handling seeds. It helps to be fully concentrated in the moment you are doing anything with the seed itself. 

Another technique, that is very popular, is to use a container (preferably glass or ceramic) with water and soaking the seeds in it, until they let out small roots. Then depending on the grower they put it in a paper towel for one or two days or they put the seedlings directly into the medium. If the put them out on a towel it is usually just after the seeds crack and the root is barely visible. If they put it directly into the medium usually the root is a little longer. I personally don’t use this technique at all due the the fact, that the moisture level can go over 90% and that to me is a small risk. Having said that I must add the all these methods (including the ones I use) have an element of risk in them as germination is a fragile stage. 

Rock wool (and other material) germination cubes are another popular method of germination, especially among people who grow in hydroponics or in coco or rock wool medium. In general the principals are the same but I urge those people to keep the ph between 5,8 and 6,2 (where in soil I recommend 6,4 do 6,6 as ideal). I have also met with enthusiasts of the Jiffy plug peat discs as a comfortable form of germination. I personally am not a fan and I have some bad experience with them, so I returned the the classic methods, but I do not discourage anyone from using them. I think everyone should use the methods that work for them. 

In my experience if I pop my seeds using cotton pads, they have around 1cm roots after between 24 and 48 hours. After I put them in the soil it takes no longer than another 24 hours for them to come out of the soil. Thus giving us a 3 day process. It is a similar time frame, if I put them into the starter tray (or any other method in general) I like to put the seedlings 1 to 1,5cm deep into the soil and cover them properly. If you put the seed in at the right depth and cover it well (do not press the soil to hard) the seed will always come out without the shell. This eliminates the risk of hurting the plant while trying to take it of by hand later.  

One thing worth mentioning here is seed viability. The quality, age and storing method have a huge impact on whether the seed will germinate. Here I would like to refer you to the article on our blog about properly storing seeds. An important thing to remember is that if you store seeds in the fridge, bring them up to room temperature before adding moisture. 

I hope this info helps you get great germination rates, have fun. 


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