How to Speed up Seed Germination Some seeds grow easily, but others do better when they start out in controlled conditions that mimic their natural environments. Here are some tips to help you Should you germinate cannabis seeds in moist or soaked conditions? Watch our new test video and find out which method delivers the best germination rates. Soaking Weed Seeds Thank you for choosing Green Source Gardens genetics! All of our seeds are bred outdoors in the natural light cycle (we do not use grow lights of any sort) and are selected for
How to Speed up Seed Germination
Some seeds grow easily, but others do better when they start out in controlled conditions that mimic their natural environments. Here are some tips to help you create the right conditions so that your seeds will sprout faster.
The best way to find out the optimal conditions for your plants is to read the information on the seed packet. It will tell you the best planting date, time until bloom, instructions, and any special needs.
One easy way to make seeds germinate faster is to presoak them for 24 hours in a shallow container filled with hot tap water. Water will penetrate the seed coat and cause the embryos inside to plump up. Don’t soak them for longer than 24 hours because they could rot. Plant the seeds immediately in moist soil.
Stratification is the practice of using a period of moist cold to trick seeds into thinking they are experiencing winter. If you are sowing seeds indoors in the spring, soak the seeds and then place them in a zip-top sandwich bag filled halfway with moist, seed-starting medium and then cover them with another inch of medium. Keep the bag in the refrigerator. When the seeds sprout roots, transfer them to pots.
You can also keep seeds that need to be exposed to the cold in pots outdoors in the fall and winter. Spread a thin layer of very fine gravel, such as natural-colored aquarium gravel, over the tops of the pots. Keep the pots close together and bury them to their rims to protect them from severe cold and prevent them from spilling. After the seeds have started to germinate, move the pots to a sheltered nursery area.
Scarification is a process of nicking a seed’s coat with a knife or sandpaper so that moisture can reach the seed’s embryo. You can use a small pocketknife or rat-tail file to remove a very small slice or section of seed coat, or line a jar with a sheet of sandpaper, put the seeds inside, screw on the lid, and shake it. Scarify the seeds just before you are ready to plant them.
It is easy to care for seeds planted in pots. Many gardeners recommend planting seeds thickly in a flat or tray and then repotting individual seedlings in large containers. You can eliminate the need for transplanting by starting a few seeds in 2 ¼-inch or larger pots and then thinning them with scissors or planting them all in your garden.
You can prevent seedling disease by using a commercial “soilless” seed-starting mix. Pour most of the mix into a large bowl and moisten it with water, fill the container to ½ inch below the rim, pack the medium down to eliminate air pockets, pour three or four seeds into the pot, and press them down into the soilless mix. Cover them if you expect them to germinate in a few days or weeks. Keep the medium moist by watering from above with a fine mist or pouring water onto a tray and letting the pots soak it up from the bottom.
Place seedlings in pots on south- or east-facing windowsills so they will get plenty of light. If you don’t have enough space, you can put them indoors under fluorescent lights mounted on chains that can be moved up and down. Seedlings will need 12 to 16 hours of artificial light per day.
After the seedlings begin to emerge, use a water-soluble fertilizer weekly to encourage growth. Follow recommendations for indoor plants or container plants.
Before you plant your seedlings outdoors, they need to be “hardened off” to prevent them from being damaged by sun, wind, and harsh weather. Move the seedlings to a shady area shielded from harsh wind. Leave them there for a couple of hours on the first day and for gradually longer periods of time. After about a week, they will be ready to plant in the ground. It is best to plant them on a drizzly, gray day or in the late afternoon. Water the seedlings before and after planting them.
Moist vs Soaked cannabis seed germination test
What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds? Let’s pursue our germination test series with another critical matter: should the seeds be placed in moist conditions, or is it better to completely soak the seeds to ensure the highest germination rates and the fastest germination speed? The answer may surprise you!
Moist vs Soaked cannabis seed germination video
To assess moist vs soaked germination conditions, Dutch Passion made a side-by-side germination test. 15 cannabis seeds were attempted to be germinated in soaked conditions and 15 seeds germinated in moist conditions. Does adding too much water to your cannabis seed germination help improve germination rates, or does it have a dramatically negative effect? The video, below, shows exactly what happened.
As shown by the video, perfect germination occurred when the cannabis seeds were germinated between lightly sprayed (i.e. moist) cotton pads. All 15 seeds germinated perfectly. However, of the 15 seeds that were placed between soaked (saturated) cotton pads, only 3 seeds were able to survive. The others showed brown coloration on the embryonic root, this is a sign that the root had started to rot in the waterlogged conditions.
How much water should you use to germinate cannabis seeds?
In the Dutch Passion ‘moist vs soaked’ cannabis seed germination experiment, some simple cotton pads were used. This is usually a reliable way to germinate seeds, whether you are using feminised seeds, regular seeds or autoflower seeds. Note that for the successfully germinated seeds in moist conditions, a minimum amount of water was used and delivered the best results. Just 3 light water mist sprays were given to each cotton pad.
The advantages and logic of germinating cannabis seeds in moist conditions
For the 15 cannabis seeds that successfully germinated in moist conditions, we ensured that the cotton pads were lightly sprayed (3 times for the lower cotton pad, 3 times for the upper pad).
The key principle is that cannabis seeds need only a small amount of moisture to soften the shell casing and allow a root to emerge into a moist, oxygenated environment. Once the root has emerged, access to oxygen is just as important as access to moisture. The root needs very little moisture at this stage.
|Cannabis roots, healthy cannabis roots ensure a healthy cannabis plant|
The disadvantages and problems caused by trying to germinate cannabis seeds in soaked conditions
Of the 15 cannabis seeds that attempted to germinate in soaked cotton pads, only 3 survived. That’s because the waterlogged conditions simply didn’t provide enough oxygen for the root to grow.
Both the upper and lower cotton pads were soaked in water and the seeds were placed in-between. The soaked conditions allowed the shell casing to soften and open. However, as soon as the roots started to emerge, most of them simply started to rot and die. The easiest way to spot this is via the brown discolouration the root tip.
This is usually a sign of root damage, and for freshly germinated seeds this is often fatal. Even if the seedling survives, with root damage the plant may be permanently stunted only allowing a small, poor yielding plant to grow.
Soaking cannabis seeds during germination causes them to stagnate.
Dutch Passion advice on cannabis seed germination
There are many different ways to germinate cannabis seeds. We should also remember that cannabis seeds have found ways to germinate for thousands of years without human intervention.
But since cannabis home growing became so widely adopted, many growers want to aim for the very highest germination rates that they can achieve. If you are buying the best cannabis seeds at premium prices, you may want to get your seed germination rates as high as you can possibly get them.
For that reason, the Dutch Passion team recommend the cotton pad seed germination method. Remember to lightly spray the upper and lower cotton pads only 3 times each to create moist conditions. Adding more water, and soaking the cotton pads will only decrease your germination rates.
|How to germinate cannabis seeds in cotton pads?
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If you are serious about giving your cannabis seeds and seedlings the best possible start in life then the following blog is essential reading. It explains how to avoid the top-10 mistakes made by growers with seeds and seedlings.
Germinating cannabis seeds in moist cotton pads results
In the Dutch Passion cotton pad seed germination video 5 cannabis seeds were placed in-between 2 cotton pads. Each cotton pad had been lightly sprayed with 3 squirts from a simple water mist spray bottle. To evaluate the seed germination test properly, a total of 15 seeds were germinated with 100% germination rates.
Note that the moist cotton pads were placed on a dinner plate and the plate was sealed with transparent kitchen film. This ensured that the moist cotton pads didn’t dry out. If this happened, the germinated seeds would eventually die. The experiment took 4 days, though many home growers would perhaps inspect after the germination after a couple of days and re-plant the germinated seedlings into a grow container.
Germinating cannabis seeds in soaked cotton pads results
Experienced cannabis growers know the dangers presented by soaked/saturated seed germination conditions. That’s why many of them avoid using e.g. toilet tissue, which can hold a lot of water and not drain well. In the Dutch Passion moist vs soaked seed germination video, only 3 of the seeds just about survived the waterlogged conditions. All the rest were ruined by the soaked/saturated germination conditions.
Once the root emerges from the seed, it needs a certain level of aeration in order to survive. Leaving cannabis roots in waterlogged conditions inevitably results in root rot. That’s why so many growers find that they achieve superior results when using grow containers (e.g. air pots or felt sacks) that offer superior root aeration levels. Experienced growers know that overwatering plants or seedlings can stunt growth, and in worst cases kill the plant.
The main message for growers is that it is very easy to get low germination rates even from perfectly viable cannabis seed simply by using germination conditions that are too wet/soaked. To get the best germination rates, use moist conditions. Never use soaking wet conditions for cannabis seed germination. If the root emerges and spends too long in these saturated conditions the seed/seedling will die.
Soaking Weed Seeds
Thank you for choosing Green Source Gardens genetics! All of our seeds are bred outdoors in the natural light cycle (we do not use grow lights of any sort) and are selected for finishing traits tailored to Oregon’s growing climate.
How to Care for Your Seeds
***We recommend starting seeds during the second quarter/waxing moon in April***
Mix water and aloe with a little saliva to form a germination soak! Amylase in your spit helps kick start the germination process by acting as an enzyme to begin the breakdown of the germ. It also provides your DNA to the seeds, so they can get to know you. Soak seeds overnight (8-12 hours) in this solution at 65-70 degrees F°. This soaking gives the seeds adequate water penetration and encourages easy germination. After the soak, plant your seeds just below the surface of your soil and water in. Keep moist and expect seeds to emerge from the soil in 3-10 days, some seeds take a little longer to emerge then others.
For direct seeding: plant seeds outside during the second quarter waxing moon (the week before the full moon) in May or June.
For transplanting: plant seeds in a 4”x 4” soil pot, when roots begin to appear at the bottom of the container (two – three weeks), up pot into a one gallon soil pot.
Sexing: 2 months after germination (early June if you started your seeds in April) plants will generally begin to show their sex.
It is best to wait until you have clearly sexed female plant before transplanting out into the garden.
We practice many styles of breeding. Depending on which seeds you have purchased from us, here is some extra information about how they were created and for what purpose.
IBLs (inbred lines) are generally more stable as they have been selected over several generations for particular traits. IBLs are generally not as productive or resilient as hybrids. However, IBLs are ideal for breeding to other genetics lines in order to introduce stabilized traits into hybrids of their own.
Poly-Hybrids are seeds of mixed genetic background, therefore less genetically stable and present more potential phenotypes. They are generally vigorous, hardy and less predictable. Poly-hybrids will vary in finishing times within the different phenotype expressions.
F1 hybrids have two stable IBLs (from different genetic backgrounds) as parents. Crossing one IBL to a different IBL is how true F1 Hybrids are created. The resulting offspring of F1 hybrids are stable and productive. F1 hybrids are ideal for commercial production seed lines, pairing stability with hybrid vigor.
F2 Generation Breeding F1s within the same line (sibling crosses) will result in less stable F2 offspring. These offspring show more recessive traits. F2s are great to select for further inbreeding but less reliable from a production standpoint due to the variance in phenotype expression.
We love all seeds. We believe they all have value. The price difference in our seeds is based on the amount of time and energy that has gone into breeding them.
Poly-hybrids are the easiest to create, therefore will be the least expensive option.
IBLs take much more time and selection to create, therefore will be more expensive
F1s will generally be the most expensive. This is because in order to create true F1s you need to have created 2 IBLs of different genetic backgrounds and cross them to create a new stable expression.
*Often in cannabis people make a cross and regardless of parental lineage call it an F1 even though the parental lineage are polyhybrid crosses. This does not result in true F1’s and creates offspring that expresses many phenotypes and are less stable. In this common scenario they are actually polyhybrids not true F1s. Make sure when you are buying seeds to understand these terms and what they mean to best fit your growing needs.*