The time to germinate your seed is one of the most important moments of growing cannabis. Come with us to dive into this theme, learn some techniques to facilitate this process and honor life with your hands on the ground.
To continue our cultivation series, today we have come to talk about an extremely important moment about the cultivation of cannabis: the time to germinate the seeds. Magical, isn’t it? Germinating and sowing is the time to generate life.
But let’s get straight to the point, after all we came to talk about seeds and it’s not enough to just throw them in a pot with soil and that’s it. There is a super important procedure for your florets to be born, which is germination. There are several techniques to facilitate the germination process, and to ensure that you have greater success and better use of your seeds – especially if it was a specific genetics purchased.
Last week, we talked here on the blog about how to choose the species you want to grow. After defining this, or separating the seeds from your pressed cannabis, you will arrive at the germination stage. Germinating ensures closer control and more attentive care for your seed. Of course, it can grow directly on the ground, but we recommend that you follow all the steps to ensure a healthy and beautiful plant. You still get an incredible opportunity to create a new life and see it develop more closely.
Want to learn how to germinate your little plant? Here, we show you how to do it and give more details about this very important stage!
First step: selecting your seed
Before you start that special moment that is germination, you need to clean the surfaces where you are going to work (and also your hands) very well! Use alcohol to disinfect countertops, plates, glasses and other materials that will come in contact with the seed. Good hygiene practices can be great allies for the growth of healthy plants.
Then, with everything very clean, it’s time to separate your seeds. Analyze the condition of each one to see if they are really good for planting. They should be ripe, dark brown with lighter nuances, and should be hard. A very green seed has not yet reached full maturity, and a seed with a whitish, brittle husk may be dry.
Squeezing the seed with your fingers can be a great way to make this selection. If the seed breaks, discard it!
Since we are in this intense conversation about seed germination, shall we go a little deeper into the choice of seed types?
Regular or pressed seeds
If you bought a packet of common seeds, also called regular seeds, you will be dealing with male and female plants. These seeds are essential for the process of crossing breeds and creating new strains, and are still an expression of nature. Oh, and it’s worth remembering that the famous presses are part of this category.
Regular seeds, when planted, will only demonstrate their sex when placed to flower. In that case, you will need to sex these plants as soon as their reproductive organs appear during the flowering phase and discard the males – because they don’t produce buds and pollinate the females, resulting in sown flowers.
Discard the males, okay? If a neighbor or neighbor grows cannabis nearby, the pollen from your male plant can travel long distances and create seeds in the buds of others. We guarantee that you do not want this karma for you, so: IF IT’S A MALE, THROW IT OUT!
Positive points of regular seeds:
If you are a beginner grower, planting regular seeds allows you to make mistakes without using expensive seeds;
Used for crosses, as they allow genetic variability;
Regular seeds bring you a complete view of cultivation.
Negative points of regular seeds:
Lower yield, after all, after a month you will have to select to get rid of male plants;
Depending on the climatic conditions of your grow, 80 to even 100% of the plants may turn out to be male. This means that climatic conditions influence the plant’s gender expression (it’s even poetic, isn’t it?).
Feminized seeds do not have the male chromosome, so they eliminate the possibility of plants expressing themselves as male. In this case, all the seeds you plant will produce beautiful flowers. This process reduces the step of having to sex the plants and discard the males. It is worth remembering that this also reduces the risk of a male infiltrating your harvest, or that, as you are just starting out, you do not know how to differentiate a female from a male even when the balls appear.
Only a male can pollinate a huge crop, causing his females to focus their energy on producing seeds instead of buds.
Positive points of feminized seeds:
Higher yields, since no plant will need to be discarded;
It can be a short cut, eliminating the hassle of hunting males in the middle of your plants.
Negative points of feminized seeds:
They have only one genetics, and should not be used for breeding;
They are much more expensive.
Autoflowering plants, which come from automatic seeds, change from the vegetative state to the flowering state with age, not the change in their light cycle. They have a short growing and harvesting period, and can be ready for harvest in just 2 ½ to 3 months from the time you put the seeds in the soil.
Positive points of the automatic seeds:
They can be easier to maintain;
Quick and practical;
Great for places with low light, long winters and shorter summers.
Negative points of automatic seeds:
They are less powerful;
They are more expensive.
Second step: soak them in water!
Just like any seed, your cannabis needs three key factors to germinate: water, heat and air. For this reason, there are many methods for germinating your seeds – even sinking them into the water and waiting for the seed to break (something that can take 24 to 72 hours). The most common and simple involves the use of paper towels with water, the famous bean sprout technique.
Let’s bring a technique here that worked for us before we even put it on the paper towel:
In a kitchen glass (whichever you desire), dip the seeds in about 10 ml of water.
Leave the seeds in this cup for up to 24 hours, in a dark and ventilated place, like a large cupboard.
After that time, take the glass. The seeds must have sunk to the bottom. If they didn’t do it alone, you can push them with your finger. Those that do not come down at all are not good to germinate.
Separate the good ones, and let’s start!
For this method, you will need:
Two clean dishes;
Take two paper towels and place them on a plate. Then place the cannabis seeds at least an inch apart and cover them with the remaining two sheets of paper towels soaked in water.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and turn it over to cover the seeds (like a dome).
Check that the area in which they are kept is warm, between 20 and 30 ° C.
After these steps, it’s time to wait! You can check the paper towels to make sure they are still wet, and if it looks like they are losing moisture, you can apply more water to keep the seeds happy.
Some seeds germinate very quickly, while others can take several days. You know that a seed germinated when the seed separated and a single little bud emerged from it.
When should I germinate?
To decide when to germinate and plant your seeds, take into account the biodynamic calendar, you may be surprised. This calendar, developed by an incredible woman named Maria Thun and the result of biodynamic agriculture, is very interesting: it takes into account the best phases of the sun and moon for each type of plant. It is separated in times of planting roots, leaves, flowers and fruits. Behind these times, there is an in-depth study on the influence of the presence of sunlight, the changes that occur in the release of water in the soil in each lunar phase, the solstices and equinoxes, and all the power of these elements over the plant.
This holistic approach to the land may even seem like witchcraft – and, believe me, magic is really present in it. To find the best dates to germinate your seed, check the flower planting dates:
Will all my seeds germinate?
When you grow any number of seeds, a percentage of them will not germinate. It’s part of the process! Always count on some that don’t germinate or die, or approximately 1/4 of the total you put on the ground.
When growing regular seeds, some will not germinate and others will have to be discarded because they will become males. With feminized seeds, some do not germinate, but a larger percentage of them will turn into flowering plants, because there will be no males.
My seeds have germinated. What do I do now?
Now, the time has come to place them on earth. At that first moment, choose very small pots, which help in rooting and make it more difficult for you to accidentally drown your seedlings.
When laying on the ground, do not put them too far in the background: you should cover them lightly, so that the seed does not receive light. If you sink it too far, it can be difficult for it to rise.
Plant only when it develops about an inch or two of structure.
It is likely that, at this point, it already has a small stem and some leaves at the top tip.
You must pick them up with tweezers and place them gently on the ground.
The ideal is to place each seed in a separate earth cube. For this, give preference to the seedling trays, those easily found in florists shops.
Keep the soil moist, but don’t soak!
How can I store the leftover seeds?
Marijuana seeds should be stored in a cool, dry place. Whether you store your seeds in a freezer, refrigerator or even in a cupboard or drawer, it is important to leave them there until it is time to germinate. Rapid temperature variations can damage the genetic integrity of your seeds.
You have a few options to ensure that they stay fresh until they germinate:
Will you store them for just a few months? Store them in a grip bag (ziploc type), glass jar or other type of airtight container.
For longer storage, a vacuum-sealed package can be safer!
When keeping seeds in the refrigerator, keep them as far away as possible so that they are not exposed to changes in temperature when the door is opened.
It is also important to note that by freezing the seeds, whenever they are thawed and refrozen, they become less viable.
When cannabis seeds are stored properly, they can last up to 10 years!
Now, you can germinate your seeds while waiting for our text explaining the next step, which arrives next week! It is also important to remember our interview with the Reforma’s Lawyers, who answered questions about the legal cultivation of cannabis in Brazil.
Until next time, with more tips from our cultivation series for you to get informed in a safe and reliable way!