How to germinate seeds
The best way to germinate seeds
In this explanation you will find the best way to germinate your seeds in different ways
Germinate seeds in soil
Seeds are naturally accustomed to germinate on soil which is still the most widely used germination technique. Seeds that are rooted in soil are accustomed to the counter-pressure the soil provides and because of this, the roots are stronger than when a germination medium is used such as stone wool. Since the root is already accustomed to the soil, repotting them will be stress-free and they will immediately start to root. You can sow seeds directly in their final pot, but then a few plants can already take up a lot of space and that is not efficient, which is why they are often sown in small pots called Pieter pots. You can pre-grow in any pot size you wish and only repot when there are sufficient roots present!
Which soil to choose
It is of the utmost importance that seeds are germinated in soil that has no added nutrients. Ready-made soil such as a light mix has already been provided with 2 weeks of nutrients which has been added by the manufacturer. A better alternative is sowing and cutting soil that is for sale in most garden centers, personally I like to make the soil a bit coarser with Seramis or Perlite to make the mixture a bit lighter. Bio-char can also be used as an addition to retain more water and to make your mixture coarser.
Spongepots are convenient in use and reliable
Spongepot is a tray of 20 small soil plugs where the soil has been strengthened with a natural glue so that it does not disintegrate while repotting. The soil is nutrient free and due to that its structure is ideal for sprouting cannabis seeds. In the case of larger numbers and / or frequent repetition, it is useful to have a predictable product that satisfies the same strict requirements every time and thus ensures a predictable result.
Explanation on how to germinate in soil
When the pots are filled with soil or when the spongepots have been removed from the plastic, it is time to water the soil with tap water at a temperature of around 23 degrees. Note that giving too much water is the most common mistake growers make, the soil must be moistened and not over rinsed with water causing mud and insufficient air to be present in the soil. It is important to bring the soil to life as quickly as possible and this can be done by adding bacteria (bacto) to your water, making ensuring the soil becomes a natural defense for the germinating seed.
When the soil is moist, create a small hole of about 5-10 mm deep in the middle of your soil pot, place your seed in it and cover it with a little loose soil. Now it is important that the seeds and soil pots are placed in a stable environment, a temperature of around 23 degrees and high humidity are important conditions for the germination of your seeds. You can do this by using a propagator and placing in your pots in there. By hanging a small fluorescent lamp above the propagator, you establish heating for your soil pots, this lamp should be on 24 hours a day to keep the climate stable. The sealed propagator ensures a high humidity and stable temperature.
After 2-7 days when the seeds have emerged, the pots can be removed from the propagator and placed under a lamp or outside, seedlings can handle large amounts of light so you do not have to worry about burning them. However, seedlings do prefer of a stable soil environment with both temperature and humidity and therefore it is advisable to cover the earth to prevent evaporation and energy from the light does not heat up the soil. A simple black and white foil works miracles here and then of course with the white side facing upwards..
Germinate seeds between cotton wool or kitchen paper
A frequently used way of germinating seeds is to place the seeds between two moist cotton wool or kitchen paper. To prevent dehydration, you can place the damp cotton or kitchen paper in a closed off Tupperware tray. In this case as well: for a proper germination the temperature must continuously be around 23 degrees without fluctuations of day and night temperatures. The Tupperware tray ensures the stable humidity so that the cotton wool does not dry out.
Soak seeds in a glass of water
It is also possible to put seeds in a glass of water (before being put in soil or germinated between cotton pads) until they open. It is best to use demineralized water here and to change the water every day. Note that the temperature of the water should be around 23 degrees for optimal results to allow the cannabis seeds to germinate.
Hydrogen peroxide or H2O2
Sometimes it is necessary to take extra measures to germinate a seed by means of a solution of hydrogen peroxide, for example with larger seeds, older seeds or badly stored seeds. As a breeder it has often been necessary to be able to germinate "older" genetics with the help of a hydrogen peroxide bath.
It is recommended to use a solution of no stronger than 1% and let the seeds soak for no longer than 24 hours in the solution, preferably 12 hours and then possibly in a normal water bath or directly into the soil.
If all of the above mentioned methods didn’t work, you can help nature by slightly sanding the seeds, also called skuffing. The easiest way to do so is to roll up a strip of fine sandpaper with the abrasive side inside and a piece of tape to prevent unwinding. By taping one side of the roll you can put the seeds inside the tube, by keeping the tube between two thumbs you can now carefully pull the seeds back and forth to lightly sand them, seeds are resilient so don’t worry about damaging them. Now you can use one of the above mentioned methods to germinate the seeds.
The use of H2O2 and Skuffing is a method that is not commonly used since store bought seeds are often used immediately. Still it is useful to know what you can do if you have some "old" seeds of 10 years or older and you don’t get them to work the normal way.