Starting from seed is a remarkable journey. Understanding the biology is one thing, but comprehending how a little miracle bean can turn into a gigantic tree that can affect your body and mind is nothing short of an evolutionary miracle. Or rather a co-evolutionary story of plant and human.
Seedlings require a medium amount of light in which it has enough to grow but not too much light that it gets burned. Leaving your seedling in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to curl, while too little light will cause the seedling to stretch. If growing outside, seedlings want to see a direct light source to stop them stretching. If inside, a sunny windowsill with more than half a day of sunlight works wonders. Otherwise, 18 in away from a growing light works excellently. Your seedling should not stretch more than 6 in at most. We’ll cover lighting in more depth in a later blog.
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
Perhaps the most exciting stage, your baby will typically come above ground in 1-2 weeks. As your seedling comes above the soil, its shell might take a few days to fall off. It’s best to leave it alone, nature has the job covered. If it does not come above ground after about two weeks, the chance of success is dramatically reduced, and it’s best to try again. Even the best seeds have an 85% germination rate. When your seedling comes above ground, it is going to want to see a direct light source.
We like to use seedling pellets that are made of a mix of compressed peat moss and coco husk. To expand, soak it in water for 10 minutes. Once your seedling pellet has absorbed enough water and has expanded to its maximum size, drain off any excess water. The growing medium should be like a damp sponge that would not leave streaks on the table. Dig a small hole about 1/4 in deep for your seed. Use a spoon to lift the seed out of its bath. If it has popped out a taproot be careful not to damage it. Gently place the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with dirt from the pellet. Now that you have started the germination process, your seedling will come above ground within two weeks. The older the seed, the longer it takes for it to germinate.
To accelerate germination, you are going to want to soak your seed in a small container with lukewarm water and place it in a dark and warm place for 12-24 hours, but no longer. By drenching the seed, it absorbs the water thoroughly, activating the germination process. Doing this also helps to loosen the shell as it becomes a little softer making it easier for the embryo to crack it open. When your seed sinks to the bottom it is ready to be planted, and sometimes the seed will pop out a small taproot. A seed can still be planted though if it does not sink.
Correct pH levels
Fill a glass halfway with lukewarm (22°C) water and drop in your seeds. After about 3–5 days, the seeds should have sprouted, and you can now transfer them (carefully!) into your prepared soil pots.
Some grows fail before seeds even have a chance to sprout, as growers tend to make mistakes when germinating seeds.
8. NOT HAVING PROPER VENTILATION
Your planting pots need to provide good drainage. Usually, there will already be holes in the bottom. If there are no holes, as can happen when you buy standard plastic pots, you will have to make them yourself. Make sure there are at least 5 openings, each about the size of a penny. As long as soil doesn’t just fall through the bottom, you’re good.
This is what cannabis seeds need to sprout:
Although heat, pH, overwatering, and soil are important, we’ve added the most vital point to the bottom of the list: lighting! Cannabis plants depend on light to create energy and thrive. At the end of the article, you’ll learn the best way to illuminate your plants.
It does happen: Someone hands you a bag of seeds of “some great weed” for you to grow. You’re happy since you just saved some cash on seeds. The problem is, you don’t know what type of cannabis the seeds are, whether it’s sativa, indica, autoflowers, etc. We’re already off to a pretty bad start.