Seed Starting

by MiMM
Published on: October 1, 2012

My friend Jim says, “Just shove them down up to your thumb’s knuckle and call it good”.

I don’t care so much for random acts of sprouting. My space is rather limited. I like to know what I’m working with. So we’ll talk about germinating here.

First, the basics. Storage! Seeds need to be stored, because you’re rarely going to plant them on the day you harvest or purchase them. You can store seeds for 2-5 years, depending on the strain. I’ve never heard of good luck germinating seeds that are over 5 years old.

Seeds should be stored in a cool, dry and dark environment. There’s reason for everything. Since a seed is a living organism and cold slows down the life cycle, cold is good. Since seeds need moisture to grow, dry is good. Since light encourages growth, dark is good.

I use the freezer. OK – The debate is still out whether a refrigerator or freezer is a good place to keep seeds because of the relative humidity within. But if you take the proper precautions to keep moisture at bay, it’s a non-issue.

I like the 35mm film containers. They’re made to keep light out. And they’re a nice size to shove into alcoves. My friend, John uses envelopes and swears by them. The envelope can actually draw moisture away from your seeds. So I have no argument there. Whatever you place your seeds in, make sure that light and air stays out. Also include some type of desiccant. Either some silica you rescued from a purchase, or just include a few grains of rice with the seeds to seep up any excess moisture.

I kinda look at it like the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator. There’s a reason we keep vegetables in there – To lower their life cycle and keep them fresh! And that’s what we’re after with seed storage. We simply want to lower the life cycle so they’re still vibrant when we go to sprouting.

Speaking of sprouting – I’m pretty sure that’s what this thread was to be about. So on with the show!

Marijuana seeds, just like other seeds, require moisture, warmth and darkness for germination. Why darkness for both storage and germination? We’ll get into that later.

Use distilled water to eliminate the risk of contaminants. I’m not even going to address the many things that could be contained in your city water supply or country well that could affect, not only the germination of your seeds, but your entire growing process as well.

For best results, place your seeds on a clean white paper towel placed on a dinner plate (or other suitable movable flat surface) with room temperature water. Cover with a soaked paper towel. I throw (however gently) my cannabis seeds in a kitchen cupboard.

Seeds germinate best at 65-80 degrees F. Check them every 12 hours. As soon as you notice the seed has swollen and cracked open to expose the white root, get it planted. Do not continue soaking after the white, initial roots are visible at the crack in the seed casings. Pot seeds are ready to plant as soon as they split. Soaking marijuana seeds until the roots are exposed can result in stressful, early root damage.

You may have to experiment a bit with your seeds. Some strains will not germinate at room temperature, but will require 90 degrees to do so. I’ve been known to set a plate on top of a lamp to coax some seeds open.

But once they do crack, get them in some good PH balanced medium. I won’t go into growing here because we’ll cover that in another topic. We have articles on growing pot outdoors and articles on growing herb indoors.

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