Our series of growing guides shows you all the steps you need to grow your own cannabis at home. In this first article, our expert grower shows you how to germinate weed seeds, just like her Amsterdam Genetics Feminized Skyrocket seeds did.
How To Germinate Seeds
In life, all things have to start somewhere. In the case of cannabis seeds, the whole process of growing into that big, proud weed plant begins when a tiny seed starts to germinate. You can regard germination of cannabis seeds as the birth of your plant. Let’s find out how you can be the midwife, assisting your tiny seed at this fascinating moment when your baby plant, or seedling, finally sees the light.
Understanding Cannabis Seed Germination
So let’s start with understanding just what happens during germination. Germination is the point at which a seed cracks open, releasing the seedling contained inside. This process occurs throughout most species in the plant kingdom, as well as in fungi and other organisms. You may not realize that the Amsterdam Genetics seeds you possess are true marvels of nature. Inside that tiny seed, you’ll find a miniature weed plant snugly curled up, waiting for a signal to grow, develop and blossom. All that potential is protected by the hard shell of the seed called seed coat. Inside, the soft plant parts lie dormant, waiting to be activated by the right conditions to grow. Well, guess what? You’re going to create those conditions. Time to play Supreme Being and let the life of your weed plant begin!
How To Germinate Cannabis Seeds
All seeds need the right conditions in their surroundings to trigger the moment of germination. Cannabis seeds need two things to get going: sunlight and rain. You can mimic these forces of nature by setting the right moisture and temperature levels. You’re going to trick your seed into believing it is a perfect spring day, with the sun warming up the ground after a fresh shower of rain. In the following pictures, you can see how our homegrower got her feminized Amsterdam Genetics Skyrocket seeds to germinate. If you follow these steps carefully, you’ll be watching your own plants grow before you know it.
Step 1: Soaking The Seeds
The first step our grower took to trigger germination was soaking the seeds in water. This can be done in several ways, but the easiest way to simulate that splash of spring rain is to soak your seeds in a glass of clean, lukewarm tap water for 24 hours. Water will soften the seed coat and, together with the right temperature, start the chemical changes that activate the baby plant inside. First, the seeds will float; after a few hours, they will sink to the bottom as they absorb the water. Don’t let them swim for too long, however; 24 hours should be enough. If you see tiny green protrusions emerge from the seeds, proceed to Step 3. If not, get a plate and some paper towel ready for the next step of germination.
Step 2: Kitchen Towel Germination
This is an easy, low-cost way to help your seeds germinate. After soaking, carefully remove the seeds from the water. Make sure the temperature in the room remains between 20 and 25°C: that’s the spring sunshine your seeds need. Use a pair of tweezers to handle your seeds, but be very careful – they are fragile now that you’ve soaked them! Spread out two layers of kitchen towel on a plate and soak it with water. Make sure there’s no excess water on the plate: only the paper should be damp.
Ever so gently, place the seeds on the moist paper, spaced a few centimeters apart, and leave them there for another 24 hours. Put the seeds in a dark place while keeping temperatures constant. If all goes well, you should be able to see your seedlings emerge from their seeds tomorrow. Keep in mind that all strains and seeds are different. Also, fresh seeds will germinate faster than older seeds. Make sure that your kitchen towels stay moist, because without water, seedlings wither and die fast. If it takes several days before green growths emerge, just be patient. If it takes more than three days, you’re in trouble – something has probably gone wrong.
Note: Using kitchen towels is just one germination method among many. Read this How-To blog to learn more about germination techniques.
Step 3: Transferring Your Seedlings
As you can see from the picture above, the kitchen towel approach worked out. If you look closely, you can see the tiny and fragile taproots peeping out of their shells. These taproots are the ‘lifeline’ of your cannabis plants: they will grow down into the soil to anchor the plant. Taproots will also be the basis for the rest of the root system that will feed your cannabis plant as it grows. These tiny taproots are very prone to damage, so make sure not to touch them directly as we proceed to the next step: planting your seedlings.
Step 4: Planting Germinated Seeds
There are several ways to plant a seedling, because you can opt for indoor and outdoor growing and choose different growing mediums – the soil or soil substitute in which your plant starts growing. To keep matters simple, our grower put her seedlings directly into a flower pot filled with gardening soil. These seedlings are too vulnerable to plant in the garden straight away. Cold nights and hungry snails or slugs can easily doom your plant before it gets a chance to grow.
Planting is easy, as long as you’re delicate. Once you know where to plant your seedlings, simply use your finger to make shallow holes, one to three centimeters deep. With utmost care and a pair of tweezers, lift the seedling from the kitchen towel. Make sure the taproot is not clinging to the paper. Now, place the seedling in its hollow. The taproot should be facing down, where it can start burrowing into the soil. Gently cover the seedling with a bit of soil; do not press the top layer.. Apart from damaging the taproot, your biggest concern now is adding too much water and drowning your plant. The insider’s tip from our grower is to water seedlings by dripping water from a drenched paper towel, but you can also use an atomizer with some restraint.
What Happens After Seeds Germinate?
Congratulations! You’ve just given birth to a family of healthy baby cannabis plants! Now that your seeds have germinated and found their place in your flowerpots, you’re ready for the next step towards your harvest. Stay tuned for the next grower’s report on our Amsterdam Genetics Blog for more expert growing tips!