Ryan’s Growing Series Part 1 – Starting Out

    When you’re ready to germinate your seeds it’s a good first step to look at what your seeds look like. Seeds with a darker colouration typically have a greater success rate while pale white or green seeds will most often be weaker plants or duds. Before we get to germination tips let’s explore some basic guidelines.

    • Temperature is very important. The ideal range for cannabis plants is a temperature between 22°- 25°C (71°- 77°F).
    • The relative humidity should be in the 70% – 90% range (ONLY during the seedling stage)
    • Your growing environment should be damp never wet or dry
    • Use fluorescent lighting for germination to avoid stress and light burn

    Using these basic guidelines should allow you to pop your seeds in 24-48 hours.  Time can vary a bit depending on the age of the seed and the growing environment.

    Ways to germinate your seeds:

    The paper towel method is the tried and true method and works almost every time.  First, you will need to get  2 dinner plates, 2 damp paper towel sheets, your seeds & water. Once you have these items place one damp paper towel sheet on the plate then arrange your seeds on the damp paper towel a few centimeters apart. Next, we will place the second piece of damp paper towel on top of the seeds and place the second dinner plate on top and wait. Once you see the tap root protrude from the seed it’s time to carefully plant them.

    The next method is direct planting. You will need premium soil and you will also need to pre-dampen the soil.  You can also use a root stimulator in the water to promote faster root growth. Next, fill your pot with the soil and plant the seed knuckle deep, (the first knuckle on your index will be fine), and cover loosely with soil. Your pots will need to be placed in a moist place following the important guidelines listed above. After 4-10 days you should see your seedling poke above the surface.

    The cup of water method is probably the least effective way to pop your seeds but will work nonetheless. To start, fill a cup half full with room temperature water and drop the seed in. In 3-5 days you should see your seeds pop. Very carefully remove the seeds and plant in prepared pots. I personally use this method to help slow/dud seeds. If I notice a seed is taking a lot longer using the paper towel method I will throw it into a cup of water overnight and place it back in the paper towel for a few days as a last effort to get it to pop. This will allow the seed coat to take up water more rapidly and soften the shell to allow the taproot to easily pop through.

    Whatever method you choose to go with just remember to follow the guidelines and you will be successful.

    After successful germination and planting, you should be able to start to feed your plants at about the 2-3 week mark. For the first 2-3 weeks the seedling will feed off the nutrients in the soil. An easy way to tell, if your plants are ready for nutrients, is to look at the leaves of your plant.  The serrated leaves will start to turn pale green and eventually yellow if left too long without extra nutrients being added to the soil.  Once you have fed them the leaves should go back to green. The most important nutrient during the rapid growth phase is nitrogen.

    Once the initial few weeks have passed your plants are in what’s called the vegetative growth stage.  In the next installment of this 5 part grow guide, we will go over the vegetative stage and what you can do to maximize your chances of having a successful grow.

    Written by 41 Cannabis Co Budtender Ryan McPhee

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