Welcome Earthlings, today it’s a top-5 style regarding the biggest mistakes germinating cannabis seeds. If you are not really good at doing this, that is… successfully germinating cannabis seeds, make it a point to learn to be good at it. Becoming a better grower is always a good idea, no?
Let’s just start out with a few worthy mentions when it comes to issues peeps have when it comes to germinating seeds. Then, we’ll roll through the top 5 baybee…
- A couple of wise tips would be, to use a photoperiod when sprouting. Do not sprout them using a 24-hours ON light cycle. Also, use the most powerful lighting you can use. Plants are quickly “learning” about and adapting to their environment, and you want them to get a good dose of high-energy growing experience.
- Germination containers matter. My favorites are the flats and the 3-inch pots shown in the photo above. Always with plenty of drainage holes including up high above any catch tray water levels. Always use catch trays.
- If you are going to store some seeds for more than a month, always seal them up air-tight and light-tight, and put them in the refrigerator. This will keep them at 100% viable for much longer. Get good healthy seed stock. Growing iffy seeds can waste months of your time ending in big disappointment.
- Soil for seed germination is easy, just use the same soil you would grow your plants in, mixed 50/50 with bagged quality soil. Or just quality bagged soil works fine. I use bagged Ocean Forest soil 1 to 1 mixed with earthworm castings, plus a bit of perlite—Boom!
Biggest Mistakes Germinating Cannabis: Number 5
Environment is a broad-brush stroke; however, I do see repeated mistakes here more commonly regarding certain aspects of this. Air movement is huge. Always make sure the air is moving around your germinating seeds. This of course does not apply if you like to germinate your seeds in paper towels—which I do not recommend, but it’s not a big issue if you must do it this way, for some reason—LoL. Just don’t seal them off from fresh airflow and air movement.
Damping off is a horticultural disease or condition, caused by several different pathogens that kill or weaken seeds or seedlings before or after they germinate. It is most prevalent in wet and cool conditions. Lack of air movement, cooler temps below 75 deg f., along with overwatering summons this issue very often. Keep air moving, don’t aim fans right at germinating seeds or sprouts, but adjacent is good.
Too hot can also be a problem once they sprout. Especially under weak lighting they can just shoot straight up and tip over becoming very difficult to deal with and easy to shock and kill. Their soil can also dry out very quickly and kill youngsters quick; even before they pop out of the ground.
Biggest Mistakes Germinating Cannabis: Number 4
This issue is along the lines of environment, and conditions that are too hot. Seedling mats work excellent when used correctly. When not used correctly it can kill your little germinating plants within a few hours. The warmed-up soil dehydrates uber fast. So, whenever using a heating mat, always use one meant for seedlings, otherwise it can be dangerous to you and your plants. Also, simply use a catch tray under your germination flats or small containers. That way you can add a little water to the tray almost anytime you want to make sure they don’t dry out.
Using the heating mats also has a positive effect of lowering the humidity a bit just around the mat. This is a really nice extra bennie, because humidity too high around sprouts is a whole cornucopia of potential problems.
- Always use catch trays and use bottom watering to make sure the soil doesn’t hyper dehydrate.
- Make sure you use actual seedling type heating mats. They run at a preset temperature for sprouting plants, and they are waterproof.
Biggest Mistakes Germinating Cannabis: Number 3
Using something like distilled, rain, or reverse osmosis (R/O) filtered water on your germinating seeds has two downsides. First of all, since these water types have no PPM value to speak of, there is zero pH buffering. Unless your sprouting soil is very well buffered the pH can drop quickly when watered, to deadly low values fairly often.
Second of all, when the seeds initially pop underground, they are immediately looking for food. Plants are used to getting nutrients from the soil for sure but also from their water source (groundwater) which always contains good things like calcium, magnesium, and micronutrients like iron. Bottled spring water has all these good things, it buffers pH well, and your sprouts will appreciate it.
Biggest Mistakes Germinating Cannabis: Number 2
For sure, this is the number two issue I come across most often when peeps are having sprouting/sprout problems. This seems to be especially difficult for many of you NOT to do, heh heh. Just keep using good groundwater or spring water (dechlorinated if necessary) and you will be fine. Plants don’t suddenly run out of food. It’s a slower process that you can see happening with plenty of time to do a transplant, which will fix them just fine.
The plants in the photo above only just got their first “treat” with a light top dressing of crab meal about 3 days before that pic was taken; just good water and a consistent environment until then.
- No adding nutrients for 30 days after sprouting! I never add liquid nutrients, but to each their own. But none, for 30 days for sure.
- Keep temperatures warm, within consistent ranges, and all will be well.
Biggest Mistakes Germinating Cannabis: Number 1
Here we are folks, at the number 1 mistake I see and hear about way more often than any other. I can’t be clearer than to say—humidity domes should never be used, never, ever! Raising the humidity to above 90% without any air exchange is just ignorant. You just need to understand what the plant wants and needs; and what the soil wants and needs to thrive. Some parasitic molds like it cool, some like it hot, but they all love it wet; especially when cut off from fresh air. Using a humidity dome is wrong on several levels. Don’t use them ever.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article. Swing by Kingdom Organic Seeds and grab yourself some cannabis beans to germinate today! 😉 If ya wanna read another article by moi, check this one out: MILF Rev’s Rave: Cinderella 99 – Skunk Magazine.
Hasta for now, catch ya back here at SKUNK next Tuesday, L8r G8rs.
- REv 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.