Welcome to “Letters” to Rev everyone. Everyone has seed germination problems now and then. I know myself, about once per year I have some kind of a mystery non-germination event that baffles me. Nature of la beast, LoL. Today we’ll take two questions from peeps with two very different situations. Hopefully some of you will glean some knowledge that can help you here.
When I sprout, what I do is a basic formula. I mix some Ocean Forest soil with my TLO soil 50/50. I then cut that mix with about 15% vermiculite. Boom! Done dealio. I use the vermiculite here for some decent pH buffering, and water retention. Vermiculite holds like 30x the amount of water soil does, and has a pH of 7.0 baybee. This gets my plants used to dealing with my supernatural TLO soil, and gives them protection in case they would be a bit overpowered by the super living soil. But using straight-up Ocean Forest soil works fine as well.
Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…
Seed Germination Problems Question #1: Deep Chunk Seeds
FROM: Chuck M., Roseburg, OR
“Longtime fan Rev. Hopefully you can help me out here with a very confusing seed germination problem. My friend got some of the Deep Chunk seeds from KOS several months ago. He got 10 out of 10 to germinate, and 6 were females. Those plants are insanely good BTW. Anyway, we pitched in together and got 20 Deep Chunk seeds recently. All 10 of his sprouted and are jamming. Only 1 of my 10 sprouted and I use better soil than him. I am frustrated badly and hoping you can help. Thanks Rev.”
Hey Chuck. I trust you read the breeder’s description at KOS regarding this strain of cannabis, yes? Heh heh. It is easy to have seed germination problems with Deep Chunk, if you are running a pH lower than 6.8 pH. Deep Chunk actually prefers a pH more like 7.0 to 7.2. Some other cannabis varieties have small issues at this pH range. So, they are special amigo. Long IBLs (inbred lines) often have certain quirks they need to have fulfilled.
You can start by using good buffered water, like bottled spring water as an example. Even if your soil runs a lower pH, say 6.6 to 6.7, the minerals in the spring water will buffer the pH upwards towards 7.0ish; where the Deep Chunk loves it. When you say “better soil than him” I hope that doesn’t mean way more powerful. That often doesn’t work out well either. Very powerful soil mixes need attention to buffering and usually “burn” at lower pH ranges out of the gate. Due to the serious organic activity.
Seed Germination Problems Question #2: Mystery Killer
FROM: Betty Boop #11, San Diego, CA
“Hello Rev. I’m having some seed germination problems right after they sprout. They die. They like stop growing get yellow and die. I use a living tea on them when they sprout that is weak. They sprout under a 150-watt LED light. I have air movement and air exchange. Any idea what is up Rev? Thank you in advance.”
Yo Betty 😊 – This could be a few different things. First of all, your sprouting light is a little weak. I would always go at least 250 watts to sprout with; always. Also, your light should be full spectrum. As close to the spectrum of the sun as possible. Cool/Daylight/Blue full spectrum lights are preferred; regarding color temperature. Temps should be up around 78 to 86 deg. F.
While your light could be a big contributing factor, your really big issue here is likely your tea. For the first 3 weeks or so, your plants need ZERO additional nutrients added. Just good water, around 40-60 PPM, and a neutral (7.0) pH is preferred. Many peeps don’t so much have seed germination problems, as they have nutrient overdose problems. You savvy? 😉
Rev’s Cannabis Seed Germinating Tips
I would always obey a few rules when sprouting, to avoid seed germination problems…
- Use bottled spring water on them for their first 2 or 3 weeks above ground. I like Arrowhead.
- DO NOT FEED them, just use water, good spring water. Period.
- Place seeds directly into soil ¾” to 1” deep. They begin to adapt immediately to the soil. So they get a head start over paper towel germinated seeds.
- Use an intense light source to germinate, and for at least first 30 days above ground. 250w minimum. Full spectrum.
- Temps should be mid 80’s as a high, and mid 60’s as a low. Humidity around 50% is all good. No domes, ever.
- Must have air movement and air exchange—duh.
- Watering skills need to be good. Mistakes can turn deadly fast when they’re this young.
Here’s another cool article to check out by yours truly: Plant Problems – The Sneaky Shit. Stay safe and happy yooze guys. Okay amigos, I’m outty for now. I’ll see ya back here next week.
If you are having any kind of seed germination problems, stay on them until you get it sorted out. Germination skills are a keystone skill. It’s not really hard, keep it simple and obey the rules above, yay you! L8r G8rs.
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.