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Like all plants, marijuana plants can be grown from seed. In fact, most growers agree that plants grown from seed are healthier and heavier-yielding than those grown from clones, largely thanks to their more stable genetics. Anyone who is planning to grow from seed for the first time, or just the first time in a while, should first brush up on germination best practices. Read on to find out what growers need to know about germinating marijuana seeds effectively to maximize germination rates and yields.
One of the most crucial parts of ensuring good germination rates and a hefty harvest occurs before growers even prepare their pots or garden beds. Finding high-quality seeds is arguably the best way to ensure that the process of germinating marijuana plants goes well, so don’t rely on bag seeds of dubious origins. Growers can find all of their favorite strains at reputable seed banks.
Even if the plan is to start an outdoor marijuana garden, it’s best to germinate the seeds inside. Seeds germinated outdoors in the soil will be exposed to all kinds of sub-optimal conditions, including dramatic temperature changes, flooded soil, and pests. Given how vulnerable all plants are until they fully enter the vegetative stage, it’s best to keep marijuana seedlings inside until they’re ready to handle the great outdoors.
There are tons of different ways to germinate seeds. Some growers like to place them between cotton balls and spray them with water, while others place their seeds directly into the soil in small pots and hope for the best. By far the simplest and most effective way to germinate seeds is to use the paper towel method, though, so that will be this article’s focus.
One of the great things about using the paper towel method for germination is that it requires minimal supplies and equipment. Gather together:
A plastic container or two plates
A small glass of water
A water sprayer
Before starting the germination process, most growers soak their seeds for 12 hours in room-temperature water. Make sure to keep the glass of water in a warm place. And don’t leave the seeds in the water for more than 24 hours. If there are seeds floating at the top of the water after half a day, discard them because they’re not likely to be viable.
Next, line the plastic container or plate with paper towels. Put the seeds on the paper towels before folding them over and spraying the whole thing down with warm water. Cover the container, then put it in a warm, dark place.
It’s important that the paper towels not get dried out, as this will prevent the seeds from sprouting. Open up the container or remove the top plate every few hours to spray everything with water. The paper towels should remain moist but should not be soaking wet.
The seeds will be ready to be planted out when they start to develop small white taproots. At this point, they’re ready to be placed in soil or another growing medium. But, don’t put them outdoors just yet. The seedlings will need some extra care for at least a few weeks.
Cannabis seeds can be stored in a cool, dry place for years before germinating. Even if growers don’t plan to start their crops until spring, it’s worth buying seeds early to start getting prepared.
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