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germination guide

You will need a container that is two to three inches deep and features holes at the bottom, for drainage purposes. The width of the container can vary – it all depends on how many seeds you wish to plant. However, remember to ensure you leave enough room for the seeds to germinate. You can buy trays from your local garden centre or online, or you can even use an egg carton. Now that you have your container ready, you will need to line your seeds with your growing medium. Do not fill your container right to the top with this combination, instead leave approximately half an inch at the top. Lightly wet with water to provide a good environment for the seeds to grow in. However, do note that soil-less mixture contains zero nutritional value so it may be a good idea to use seed and cutting compost.

You can purchase propagators which are designed for growing multiple fruit or vegetables from seed. These containers are perfect for the task at hand.

3) Pick Your Container

Now, that you’ve got your seeds ready – you will need to plant them. It is possible to plant seeds both straight away directly in your garden soil or alternatively in containers that can then be transported outside further down the line. This decision depends hugely on the species you wish to plant as some require more sensitive care than others. To do so, you will need to know the ideal growing conditions for your plant; the germination time, and also the earliest time from which you can transport your plant outside.

Many seeds do not need lighting to germinate while others do. You may need a source of heat and light as sunlight will most likely not suffice. Pick up a plant lamp to keep your seeds happy with lots of lights and heat. Please note: You may use a fluorescent lamp without trouble but you will need a white bulb to provide the right heat and light for your seeds without burning them. A heat mat may also be a good idea for plants that require extra heat.

Normally, you should plant your seeds between 4-6 weeks prior to moving them outside, however, species do vary. Also, you may be required to plant your seeds indoors earlier than predicted or indeed later, all dependant on the weather at the time.

Proper oxygen seems straightforward, but if the air is not present in your soil mix, seeds will fail to germinate due to suffocation. The most common cause of seed germination failure is a lack of oxygen from the starting mix being kept too wet. Potting soil is not an appropriate media for starting seeds, it is too dense and holds too much moisture. It is meant for use with transplants that already have a strong established root system. Always use fresh, sterile Seed Starting Mix for the best success.

If these three requirements (moisture, temperature, and air) are met, and fresh seed is used, you should get a high germination rate. If your seed germinates, and then your seedlings die, this is not because the seed is “bad”. All a seed has the capacity to do is germinate. That’s it!

My Seedlings Are Dying. Did I Receive Bad Seeds?

The soil temperature must be warm enough around the seeds for them to germinate. If it’s too hot, seeds “cook”. If it’s too cold, seeds will stay dormant or simply rot. All vegetable varieties have an optimum range of soil temperatures for proper seed germination. Here are a few examples:

You should also know that all of a vegetable plant’s growth habits like how large it gets, how healthy the plant is, and the size, quantity, and quality of the fruit produced is totally dependent on 4 main things:

Remember, all seeds have the same simple mission; to break dormancy, put down a simple root (radicle) and send up their seed leaves (cotyledons). This is all a seed can do with the energy it has stored. The rest is up to you, the gardener, to make the new seedlings happy, continue to grow, and thrive. Manifestations of “bad seed” are poor or no germination. Under proper conditions, if the seed germinated…it was not a bad seed. Rest assured seed companies thoroughly and continually test their seed lots for germination. We try to maintain seed lots that will test higher than national standards allow. This means we are shipping some of the healthiest, freshest, and most viable seeds available.

The dome of the plastic container will create your seeds’ own mini tropical climate. If you then place all the components in a temperature-controlled cupboard, you will have created a self-perpetuating supply of moisture—no need to touch the seeds again until they are ready to be transferred to your final growing medium as a young seedling. Using the stone wool block method, your seeds should germinate in one to two days.

Regardless of where you get your seeds from, it is best to give them a slight (and delicate) inspection before planting. Most of the time, all seeds will germinate; however, poor-quality seeds will produce a weaker plant. Unfortunately, that is something you will not find out until well into the vegetative and flowering stages.

Probably one of the most common methods of germination. The kitchen towel method comes in several iterations. Some growers use cotton wool pads or absorbent pieces of paper. For this guide, we will be using kitchen towel as it is readily available and holds moisture relatively well.

PLANTING DIRECTLY INTO SOIL

Small, fragile, and in desperate need of a helping hand, there are several ways you can germinate your cannabis seeds. All methods have varying degrees of success, with both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to note that even with advanced growing expertise and top-of-the-line equipment, you may still end up with a few failed seeds. This is a natural part of dealing with a living organism. At Royal Queen seeds, we only sell feminized cannabis seeds, so there is no need to worry about removing male plants.

Two or three weeks after germination, your young seedlings should be ready for their new home. At this point you have two options; transplanting them into soil pots, or taking on the challenge of hydroponics. You’ll know when the seedlings are ready to be moved because the root system should start to poke out of the bottom of the wool blocks. As long as the roots haven’t begun to engulf the bottom half of the wool block, they will seek out water and nutrients in their new surroundings and continue to grow downwards.

Maintaining the ideal temperature (between 22–25°C/71–77°F) and moisture for germination is tricky. Leaving seeds out in the open environment or on a windowsill is far from ideal; a DIY climate-controlled cupboard would do a much better service. A warming mat is perfect for maintaining a constant temperature, but it doesn’t tackle the issue of moisture.

Often overlooked, it is all too easy to assume that the vegetative and flowering stages of cannabis growth are the most critical parts of the plant’s life cycle. However, with the chance of failure high unless you know what you’re doing, poor planning when it comes to germination can make or break your next grow. Giving your cannabis seeds the best possible start on their journey to bulging buds is a surefire way to encourage a healthy and robust plant.