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The paper towel method is also a common way cultivators pop their seeds. Some even use this method with cotton pads instead of paper towels, but the necessary steps are the same.
While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.
Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How to germinate seeds using paper towels
Gently water the soil with a spray bottle and situate your pots under a fluorescent lamp. Keep seeds away from the windowsill, as the temperature is too volatile for germination. In general, you’ll want to keep the temperature in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.
First, make sure you use the correct type of soil, either gently fertilized potting soil or a seed starter with a pH level of approximately six (6). The soil contains the right acidity and enough nutrients to strengthen your young cannabis plants for the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more nutrients, or you risk overfeeding and killing your seeds.
Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.
It will take longer to sprout is what you mean, not exactly longer to grow. Planting right into soil would be like how nature intended. Add a little heat plus keep it moist and it will be the same as if it were growing in the ground outside almost.
biggest thing that kills small sprouts/seedlings is death by drowning, either you cause a situation called "damping off" or you just straight up drown them either way dont over water them, they only need the bottom 1/2 of the soil to be moist so its ok if the top layer gets a bit dried out.
Germinating before hand will just eliminate your chance of a dead seed not growing. Plus you risk contaminating your seed if you handle the seed and touch its roots when its thats small. I personally have not seen that case but it was something to keep in mind. Always wash your hands before and after you handle.
good luck, plant more than one if your using reg seeds (i suggest at least 4) so your not setting yourself up to get let down after 4-5 weeks of growing a plant to find out its a male. if your inside get some decent lights, CFL’s are a bit "cheaper" (not really but you can buy a couple at a time so the up front cost is spread out) than a HID light. inadaquet lighting will also set you up for a let down as you will grow a plant for 12 weeks (minimum maybe more) just to get a gram of 1/2 way smokeable herbs
i use the paper towel method