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There are growers who prefer their seeds to germinate directly in the soil. In this case, in addition to ensuring that you have light and well-nourished soil, you can choose to dilute 10 ml (a teaspoon) of fulvic acid per litre of water, and use it to water the site where you have planted the seed. Another option is to use slightly carbonated water, as the additional CO2 will help the liquid penetrate the seed, causing it to germinate. It is also possible to use enzymes or germination enhancers, designed to help seeds open and develop in those first stages.
Another good investment, which can be key in the case of old seeds, is Jiffy 7. This product is a compressed pill of dried peat that you need to soak for a few minutes. At this point it becomes a small sack of soil that is specially designed to facilitate germination, because it features the ideal structure, is sterilized, has all the necessary elements to nourish the seedlings during the first week, and is pH-neutral. Due to these characteristics it can be your best bet to get your older seeds to sprout.
However, over time seeds lose their germinating power. This means that, after a few years, when farmers prepare to plant them, they run into problems getting them to sprout. To prevent this from happening, and to once again enjoy that cannabis you found worth storing, there are a number of tricks.
Other good choices for germination
If all else fails, there are still a few more aggressive tricks that should only be used when, after a few days, your seeds have failed to hatch and make their way into the world.
First, you have won half the battle if you were careful with the original storage. Seeds must be kept in a cool, dry place. Therefore, the best option is to store them in refrigerators at a temperature between 6 and 8 degrees Celsius, and with relative humidity levels between 20% and 30%. And sheltered from light, of course.
For example, you can scrape off the outer layer of the seed with a little sandpaper, creating micro-abrasions that should let some water in. So you don’t overdo it with this scraping we have a little trick: roll up a piece of very fine sandpaper, with the rough side on the interior, and secure it with tape. Place the seeds inside and cover the openings with your hands. Then just shake it for a couple of minutes and the sandpaper will do its job. Another more risky option is to use a knife to cut the seed transversely, ever so slightly, which will help the water penetrate the shell.
For all this you will need an airtight container or canister, or an opaque plastic bottle in which, in addition to the seeds, you should place little pouches of silica gel, to reduce the moisture. With regards to the best place in your refrigerator, the crisper is a good choice, as it is a little warmer than the rest of the fridge. Also, one last tip: if you store several strains in different bottles, it is a good idea to label them, so that you won´t have to open them to see which is which when you decide to plant them.
If it’s your first time growing, you might just plant a seed in the ground and start watering it. While this can work, knowing how to germinate seeds can make a big difference.
To start the germination process, you’ll want to wet the paper towel. Not dripping wet, but to the point that the whole towel is wet while staying strong. Place the paper towel down on a flat surface and put your seed into the center of the paper towel.
What is Germination?
The most popular and easiest technique of germination is the paper towel method. In case you didn’t guess, it involves nothing more than a paper towel and the optional holding container.
With the root already exposed, the plant will grow into the soil faster and more efficiently. Plus, knowing how to germinate seeds can help you determine the viability of your seeds before you plant them. If you germinate a seed and it doesn’t crack, then you don’t waste the time of planting it only to find out later on that it’s unviable.
You’ll then want to fold the paper towel over the seeds so they are completely covered. Now you can put the paper towel with the seeds wrapped within into a holding container if you’d like. Be careful with containers though, as a tight seal with no air flow can become a breeding ground for mold.