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
Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds. The soil protects the fragile roots from any interference, and soil is, after all, where a cannabis plant would grow in the wild.
The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.
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.
Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.
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. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.
Lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
How to germinate cannabis seeds
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.
To germinate seeds this way, lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel.
Starting to look like a proper lady now!
The seed case clings… … and is shed.
After two weeks of seedling growth, Theresa, Hilda, Caroline were ready for the next big step: time to take the plants outside. Remember that these baby weed plants still have very fragile leaves. For some extra protection, Sista Mary decided to put them in a greenhouse for a smooth transition to outdoor conditions. The spring sunshine is just too bright and intense due to its high amount of UV radiation, which can damage any organism. The greenhouse also shields the plants from rapid temperature drops that can easily occur well into May. Temperatures depend on your location, of course, but in the Netherlands, they can drop below zero in especially cold May nights – killing for these tiny sisters. Better safe than sorry, right?
A mound of soil supports the base of the stem.
Seedlings Child Support Grow Guide
In the first episode of Sista Mary’s Grow Guide, we’ve seen the germination of her Amsterdam Genetics Skyrocket seeds. Now, as their roots dig into the soil, we witness these seedlings take their first baby steps towards full cannabis maturity.
Stick around for the next episode of Sista Mary’s Growing Guide. You’ll find more useful tips and grower’s insights as Theresa, Hilda and Caroline soak up some sunshine outside!
Weed seedlings have an inbuilt drive to grow towards the light. It allows them to catch all the (sun-)light they can to grow taller. At this stage, watch your little ones closely. If the stem grows too fast, it may become unable to support its own weight as the leaves develop. You don’t want your fragile plants to snap at this point, so if you have any doubts, make sure you give the stems some child support. You can do this by carefully using your fingers to prop them up with a small mound of soil. Another option is using a length of wire or a small stick, but these may be tricky to remove later on. Whatever you do, give your girls some guidance if they need it as they take their first baby steps towards maturity.
Grow Guide 2: On With The Seedlings!
To protect the vulnerable baby plant from cold spring nights, pests, and an overdose of May sunshine, the seedlings were kept indoors for a bit. They got a snug spot on the window sill, allowing them to get used to actual sunlight rather than artificial lighting. After all, these Skyrocket plants are meant to be outdoor crops, so a go-between in the form of window seats is a sensible choice. If you don’t have a safe and sunny spot in your home, artificial lighting by fluorescent tubes will do. Just make sure to alternate about 18 hours of light with 6 hours of darkness or your plants may hit the ceiling before you know it. Still, the window sill gives your seedlings a chance to get used to real sunrays, which is a more natural start.
First leaves reaching for the sun.
Here is one of the simplest and most successful methods: Put a double layer of paper towels on a dinner plate, then thoroughly soak the towels with water and tilt the plate to drain off the excess. Place your seeds on top of the wet towels and cover with another double layer of soaked paper towels. Be sure excess water is drained off—you don’t want the seeds to be swimming.
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Hopefully all of you aspiring growers have been able to get your seeds so we can move to the next step: germination.
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Take great care handling seed and seedling. Most flower and vegetable seeds are simply planted directly in the soil, but because of the value of cannabis seeds, germinating seeds prior to planting is encouraged. Growers can achieve a much higher survival rate by germinating in a non-soil medium and then transferring the seed to soil once the tap root has emerged from the seed.