Before you even start thinking of the seedling, vegetative, or even flowering stages of your plants, you will first need to tackle the germination process that they will go through. Although many people have decided to forego this, how to germinate seeds is widely considered as an essential step in the cannabis cultivation process! It is undoubtedly a very beneficial step and the difference that it makes it truly invaluable.
Now, how exactly should growers approach their seed germination? Because it is the very first step of your cannabis cultivation process, you will need to make sure to do it in exactly the right way! Germination, although somewhat confusing at first, is a very simple and convenient thing to do. Let’s get things going!
What is Germination?
Germination, put simply, is the process of your seeds subsequently turning into plant organisms. It begins the cannabis plant’s life and converts a seed into a formed plant structure! When growers start off their growing adventures, they are often told that the vegetative or flowering stages are the most crucial parts of a plant’s life. However, the germination process plays just as important a part in the overall output of your gardens as other stages of growing.
Everything that you will end up with will all start with germinating your seeds. Also, it honestly doesn’t take up much time as you will have fully germinated and sprouted seeds within a week! But if this is so, then why don’t all growers do it? Germination really is a delicate process. Just like handling a baby, your seeds and eventual plant structures may be very fragile to deal with at the start. If done incorrectly, then it might spell out dangers and destruction for your seeds! Learning how to germinate seeds the proper way is a sure way of boosting your garden’s quality.
What are germination rates?
When you are shopping for marijuana seeds in local weed dispensaries or through online cannabis seed banks, you may come across the term “germination rates”. What exactly does this mean? Is a high germination rate a good thing? Yes, it is. This refers to the chances in which your seeds will sprout up and develop without floundering.
Many of the top marijuana shops and local weed distributors will offer germination rates of up to 80% to 90%. This is one of the main features that you will have to consider before buying weed seeds! Of course, a high germination rate does mean that your weed seeds are immune to failure. There are several factors that come into play when learning how to germinate seeds, regardless of the germination rates that they come with.
Factors to Consider When Germinating Weed Seeds
Just like all the other different stages of a cannabis plant’s life cycle, studying how to germinate seeds will also need you to keep a close eye on the climates and environment conditions of the area! In fact, germinating seeds is a direct result of the seeds reacting to the conditions that they are placed under.
The main factors that will affect your weed seed’s germination are heat, moisture, and darkness. Controlling these three is key in having your weed seeds stay healthy and robust while they break through their shells! So how do these factors translate to the germination process? Let’s take a look:
- HEAT – It is important to keep a nice, warm climate around your germinating seeds. Doing so helps stimulate the seed’s systems and gives them a more active process. Cold climates tend to cause your seeds to remain stagnant and shrivelled which, in turn, won’t allow them to break through the seed’s layers. Warmth also provides a faster germination process. Keep your germination areas at around 67 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
- MOISTURE – Even during germination, your cannabis seeds will start absorbing different nutrients and minerals from the natural elements around it. This is made possible through keeping a constant level of moisture in your seeds. Whether you choose to moisten the soil or towels in which you are germinating them, sprinkling a few mL of water should do the trick! This keeps them hydrated to avoid drying up, which also softens the seed’s layers. Use water with pH levels of 5.5 to 6.5.
- DARKNESS – Light is essential for the growth of cannabis plants. However, during germination, it is recommended to expose your seeds to as little light sources as possible! Keep your germinating seeds in a dark and sealed space that provides little to no light leaks. This helps your weed seeds germinate easier as unwarranted light may cause adverse reactions around the area. Light tends to seep away the oxygen, which may stunt the germination of your seeds.
In addition to these, it is also important to avoid any breaks or damages in your weed seeds! These will obviously cause stress levels to the seeds and might put an abrupt stop to the development that they achieve.
Importance of Germination
Now that we have discussed the what of germination, let us try to understand the why of it. Why exactly should growers invest time in germinating their weed seeds? It is possible to get your weed seeds to grow without germination (direct sowing). However, the benefits that come with doing so far outweigh the drawbacks (if any) that come with it!
Here are some of the important features that you can get from germination:
- Germinating seeds will give them an ample amount of time to get accustomed to the environment before being introduced into the growing medium! Getting an early feel of the conditions will surely help the seedlings develop faster and produce stronger structures.
- Your cannabis seeds will be able to make full use of their growing potential and fully develop without any restrictions in their early stages. Try thinking of it as sticking through the process instead of taking a short cut.
- Because the weed seeds develop under ideal climates and sprout tiny seedlings, the chances of ending up with a much healthier and robust set of roots increases!
- Germination, from start to finish, is a very quick and easy process to do. Learning how to germinate seeds isn’t rocket science. It is literally a “set and forget” process that will require minimal maintenance!
The Paper Towel Method: Simple yet Effective!
The only thing left to do is actually learn how to germinate seeds! Now, there are many ways in which you can do it. Some people prefer germinating them directly into soil while others go ahead and submerge them in water! One method that practically combines the two is the Paper Towel method. While it is highly regarded as the easiest way to sprout your seeds, it has also brought some of the highest number of positive reviews based on effectiveness!
For this method, you will need some simple everyday things that you can find in your own homes. These are:
- Clean spring or mineral water (pH level = 5.5 to 6.5)
- Plastic cup or transparent bowl
- Heavy (ceramic) plate
- Sheets of thick paper towels
- Marijuana seeds
- The first thing to do is take your water and fill up around ¾ of your bowl or cup. Make sure that the water is set at room temperature to avoid shocking the seeds! Next, take the seeds and carefully submerge them to the bottom using your fingers. After a while, the water will begin making their way into the openings of your seeds, eventually giving them enough weight to stay down. Floating seeds may be normal so just leave them there. Submerge these seeds in the water for 16 to 18 hours.
- The next thing to do is prepare your plate and paper towels. Take a few sheets of the paper towels and lay them onto the plate. Make sure that you have enough paper towels to lay on the plate and place on top of the seeds.
- After the seeds have been submerged, gently scoop them out and place them onto the paper towels in the plate. You can take a few scoops of the water and drizzle it onto the paper towels! This gives them a nice level of moisture. Just make sure to remove any excess to avoid drowning the seeds. Then, take another sheet of paper towel and place on top of the seeds, fully covering them.
- You will now have to find an ample germinating area to place your seeds in. Give them a space that is warm, dry, and dark. The lesser the light levels, the better! You should also keep in mind that the paper towels will need regular moisturizing every 5 hours or so. Periodically check them and sprinkle a few drops of water to keep them hydrated. The ideal climate and temperature for germination is found above.
- All you will really have to do now is wait. Be patient as the germination time will vary! While some seeds will sprout in 2 days, others might take a little over a week! Don’t worry as this is normal. Just make sure to keep the right conditions in the germination area!
Once you start to spot tiny seedlings sprout from your seeds, then you have done it! You have successfully germinated your batch of weed seeds. While the next thing to do is transport them into your growing medium, we recommend leaving them for another week or so. This is called the seedling stage. However, it will depend on what the climates are like outdoors.
Knowing how to germinate seeds is crucial in making sure you end up with the best marijuana buds possible. Before looking into the harvests of your plants, make sure to familiarize yourself with germination first! It is a convenient step that will offer a much better growing experience to beginners and long-time growers alike.