Yo Skunkers! I am continually blown away at how bad at germinating cannabis seeds so many peeps seem to be. Today’s article is for you baybee! Along with anyone that has simply never germinated cannabis seeds before and wants to give it a shot. If your germination methodology works well for you and you are already getting 90% – 100% germination rates, then carry on with your bad self, you’re all good, no need to change a thing. ????
The two most baseline things that are the most important, and cause the highest failure rates in germinating for many of you is: lack of proper air circulation, and overwatering. Of course, if you are germinating in a super-hot and dry environment, under-watering might be your Achilles heel. In the video I will show you guys the way I actually germinate my seeds, I have germinated a gazillion seeds in my days, so I gots me some skills here.
Stuff You Want to Have First
- Good soil (and some earthworm castings if possible)
- Soluble mycorrhizal fungus—add to water after every transplant
- Good water (40 to 90 PPM dechlorinated); bottled spring water works very well
- Germinating flats (do not use plastic drinking cups, ever)
- TDS Meter
- Alfalfa meal
- Turkey Baster, and a pump or hand sprayer
The Deets Regarding the Stuff
Good soil, duh. Avoid soil with high ratios of peat moss in them as a rule of thumb. I like Ocean Forest soil by Fox Farm, and any of the potting soil by G&B brand. Just avoid anything with “fertilizer” added already for sure, keep it organic all natural and you’ll be fine. As far as your water goes, I’m a huge fan of using bottled spring water at this stage, but good groundwater below 100 PPM works fine too. Avoid using distilled, rain, or reverse osmosis water here. Mix castings and soil at 50/50.
Get some good mycorrhizal fungus (myco fungus) that is soluble and use it after every transplant. You don’t need to keep using this product, just once in every new container after you transplant. Don’t underestimate how much this stuff helps.
I would use flats myself, always, and you can get these at any nursery, or garden centers in other stores. They’re cheap and reusable many times over. You absolutely want to have a TDS meter for reading liquid PPM values; I always have two of these working at any given time. Alfalfa meal is a fantastic top dressing you can use once you transplant your sprouts into 3” containers. This stuff can single handedly (exclusively) supply huge healthy farm animals with all the nutrients they need—think about that!
I have like, 6 turkey basters myself. They come in super handy for a million things, trust me, so get at least one of these. They work really well for gently watering small sprouts. For sure get a basic hand sprayer, or a pump sprayer like in the photo. Sprayers work excellent for very gently watering the flats until the sprouts break ground. You don’t want to risk moving the seed around in the soil while it is germinating underground.
Rev’s Helpful Tips
- Transplant often, in small steps. This makes for a denser root mass, which is always a good thing; especially when it comes to yields down the line. Avoid transplanting smaller plants into large containers, this can become highly problematic. I know it is kind of a hassle to transplant so often, but get over it—LoL—and just do it!
- Humidity and temperature guidelines. Humidity between 30% and 50% is just about perfect. Potassium can actually “sweat out” of your plants fairly quickly if the humidity is too low. An inexpensive cool-water vaporizer works well for humidity that is too low, and a dehumidifier works for too high humidity. Temps around 60 degrees (lights off) and 75-85 degrees lights on.
- Air movement and air exchange are both very important. Lack of air exchange can lead to higher humidity which can encourage mold that can kill little sprouts fast. Damping off is an example of a problem with sprouts and mold that is fairly common; and is almost always a death sentence.
- DO NOT feed the plants with any liquids—Period! Just good water, and apply a little alfalfa meal as a top dressing about once every 10 days. Avoid overuse of alfalfa meal, it possesses some powerful growth hormones. Feeding your youngsters with liquids will cause more problems in the near future, so simply don’t do this, ever. They have plenty of food.
- Sprouting old seeds can be done successfully often times by raising the temperature in your sprouting environment to around 90—95 degrees F. Be careful doing this, because the soil will tend to dry out very quickly at these temps. Close monitoring must be done.
- Don’t use humidity domes. It is NEVER a good idea to have stagnant humid air around your plants.
- Use a photoperiod of 12/12 (12 hours lights ON and 12 hours lights OFF) for the first 15 days they are above ground. This makes it very easy to see their sex at 30 days old. After 15 days under 12/12 switch to 16/8, or 18/6; and NEVER use a 24 hr ON photoperiod.
Hope this will help those of you that think germinating is difficult. If you know someone that would benefit from this article please share it with them. Until next week my esteemed homeskillets 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.