Week 1 – Cannabis Seed Selection and Germination

Day 1

Seed Selection

So I wanted to use seeds that are readily available so I decided on using crop king seeds. They’ve done a great job getting themselves into almost every head shop I’ve ever been too. Some people don’t like them, but I’ve never had a problem before so I thought “it’s easy, why not!”. I went with Green Crack feminized seeds for a couple of reasons. Green Crack is a well-known strain and grows well indoors or outdoors.
Because I’m using a SpaceBucket, I’ll only have room for one plant to grow to maturity. Plant gender is determined at the flowering stage which I plan to start after 4 weeks of veg. Because I won’t be able to determine the gender, I don’t want to waste resources growing a male plant. Male cannabis plants won’t produce flowers.  So feminized seeds are the way to go if I want to guarantee a female plant.

The process of making feminized cannabis seeds is actually kinda interesting. Cannabis plants have this ability to change gender when they are stressed. In an attempt to spread genetic material a female plant will start producing pollen sacks. In a grow lab a female plant is sprayed with a collodial silver or silver thiosulphate solution. This causes the female plant to produce pollen sacks which will pollinate another female plant, resulting in only female seeds.

germinating cannabis seeds
Wet paper towel method.

Germination

Germinating seeds is fairly simple, I remember doing something similar in grade school with kidney beans. To germinate your seeds you want to keep them in a moist, warm, and dark environment. Just like the soil in the spring! Really, growing cannabis indoors is about emulating the natural environment. There are many methods to germinate seeds, but I wanted to stick to using the most common method: wet paper towel.
I decided to germinate 3 seeds, even though I’m growing only one plant. The reason for this is to pick the seedling with the best genetics. Every seed has a mixture of genetics and some plants are just stronger than others. In a few weeks, I’ll pick out the healthiest looking one, and leave the others for my windowsill.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds – The Paper Towel Method

  • Place your seeds on a wet paper towel, a good couple inches from each other.
  • Fold the paper towel over your seeds.
  • Place the wet paper towel and seeds in a small plastic bag.
  • Place the bag in a warm dark place like the cupboard in your kitchen.

How long will it take for cannabis seeds to germinate?

Typically with the paper towel method, it shouldn’t take longer than a week. In my experience older seeds take longer than newer seeds. I’ve had fresh seeds germinate in 2 days. Because I used cropking seeds, I’m not sure how long they have been sitting around for. My guess is these seeds will germinate in 4 days.

How to tell if your seeds germinated

A healthy seed will germinate when the right conditions are met; warm, dark, and wet. This will trigger the seed to grow it’s tap root, so it can start looking for more water to grow. The seed will crack and the tap root will emerge. This tiny root is very sensitive to light, and must be handled carefully. You should place it on soil as soon as possible.

Day 3

Your Seeds Have Hatched!

So the seeds popped earlier than I expected, which is a good sign! I initially thought they may take 4 days, but it looks like all they needed were 2.
If your seeds don’t “hatch” as fast as mine, don’t worry just yet. Sometimes it can take up to a week for a seed to germinate.
For tough seeds that don’t want to start, I’ve heard of people soaking them overnight in a glass of water. This softens the outer shell. After the 8-12 hour soak, the paper towel method should work.

Right now these little guys are very sensitive to light and damage so I will put them away again for a few minutes while I prepare a soil mix and some planters to put them.

Sprouted cannabis seeds
Sprouted cannabis seeds
Red cup planters for cannabis seeds
Red cup planters for cannabis seeds

Making Your Own Planters

A planter is a temporary home for your plant, some might call them a “starter pot”. They make it easier to manage your plants and will give you more room in your grow space. They are optional, but as I mentioned before, we are going to pick the strongest seedling to grow to flower. Once your plant gets to a certain size you will need to move it to a larger container. I like to make planters out of red party cups because I have some around, you can buy commercial planters at a garden store. If you’re going to use the red cups, be sure to add plenty of drainage holes on the bottom. Good drainage means healthy soil.

Soil Mix

A good soil mix has the right texture, pH, and nutrients. You can read about the subject in our article Best Soil For Weed.
We will be using four ingredients for the soil we will be adding to our planters. This is a very basic mix, but works for most applications and is very easy to make.

Basic Soil Mix Recipe
2 Parts Potting Soil
2 Parts Earth Worm Casting
1 Part Perlite
3 scoops of Reefertilizer Start Cannabis Soil Conditioner

So my scoop is 3 cups (750 ml) when full. So I did 6 cups each of potting soil and worm casting, and 3 cups of perlite. This makes a total of 3.5L of mix. I recommend using 3 scoops of Reefertilizer Start for every 4 liters of soil. A little more won’t hurt so I added 3 scoops to the soil, castings, and perlite. Mix this all really well and fill your planters with the mix. Don’t pack down the soil, just fill it up and shake or tap it so the soil settles and there are no air pockets. Now you’re ready to plant your germinated seeds.

cannabis soil mix ingredients
cannabis soil mix before
cannabis soil mix after
filled pots with scoop
cannabis seed in hole
moistened planters in spacebucket
planters with humidity tents

Now we’re going to put the seeds in the soil. I like to use a chopstick to make a 1/2″ deep hole in the middle. Carefully put the sprouted seed in the hole, trying not to touch the tap root with your fingers. I use a pair of clean tweezer grasping on the shell to try and place the seed taproot facing down as best as possible. Then cover up the hole with soil.
You will want to moisten the soil so that the root has some water to feed on. Using fertilizer isn’t really necessary at this point. The seed contains enough energy to grow a sprout, while the soil has enough nutrients to sustain the sprout for a few weeks. Adding a little too much fertilizer now could kill your seedling, so I just avoid it all together.
You want to moisten the soil but not leave it soaking wet, this could drown your seedling. I gave it a couple sprays with my bottle and that should be enough.

Next, we’re going to place these planters into your grow room. In my case, I’m using a SpaceBucket that I built for growing one cannabis plant. Here is our post detailing how to build a SpaceBucket.
I have my light set to 18 hours on and 6 hours of darkness. For the next few days, until the seeds sprout out of the soil, you’ll want to to keep the top layer of soil moist and never bone dry. Avoid the temptation to over water. Keeping it in a warm humid environment will speed up the time it takes for them to sprout.

That’s it for week one! Those seedlings should start coming out of the ground in a few days, and you’ll see your first set of baby leaves called cotyledons.

If you liked this article please share! The more people who learn how simple it is to grow cannabis, the sooner we can normalize this awesome plant. Do you have any suggestions or maybe a question? Feel free to add a comment below! Thanks for reading and remember Grow Good Weed!

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