The best quality, established cannabis seed companies routinely test each batch of seeds to ensure germination rates are 95% or higher. But what if you are finding poor germination rates for your seeds? Getting a good way to maximise your germination rates is the start of a successful grow. The following methods from Dutch Passion explain the different options. Please remember to treat seeds with great care when handling them, make sure your hands are clean and free of any chemicals, soap, detergents etc.
1. The wet paper towel method.
This is one of the preferred methods for many growers. A sheet of paper towel is made wet with water. Seeds are put inside the paper towel, which is then folded over and put in a sealed sandwich bag to stop it drying out. After approx 1 day the seeds can be removed and placed in the next container. If a tap root has emerged from the seed it should be pointing downwards when it is placed in the next container.
2. Soak the seed in in glass of water.
Many growers believe that soaking a seed for a day in a glass of water is the best way to soften the shell and maximise the chance of a successful germination. The seed may produce a root, but not always. Always use a clean glass which has been rinsed out. After 24 hours the seeds can be removed and placed into the next growing medium. Always ensure the root is pointing downwards when the seed is re-planted.
3. Plant the seed in soil/coco and cover with kitchen film.
Putting the seed 5-10mm below the surface in moist conditions is a good way to get good germination rates. By covering the container with kitchen film the moist germination conditions are maintained. Once the seed germinates, remove the kitchen film.
4. Plant the seed, water and wait.
This is the old-school method, and is similar to the way nature germinates seeds. Just bury the seed under 5-10mm of soil, water and wait. Spray the soil surface every few hours with water to stop it drying out.
5. Specialist germination cubes
Garden centres and hydroponic grow shops sell germination cubes. There are several different brands, but they are all made from a sponge like material which retains moisture but is soft enough to allow small roots to develop and grow. Various materials have been used, including glass wool, coco fibre and synthetic polymer sponge. Follow the advice on the cubes, normally you wet them with water (some prefer to use bottled water) or buffered water. The seed is pushed about 5mm below the surface. The damp germinating cube is then placed in a sealed sandwich box/bag to retain the moisture. The seeds often germinate within a couple of days, but may take longer. Germination cubes are one of the preferred ways to get maximum germination rates. Once the seed has germinated the cube is simply transplanted into the next container to grow.
Important. Avoid pulling the seed casing away from the seedling (especially new growers), you can damage the seedling. Its always better to wait until the seed case drys out and falls off naturally. Ripping the seed casing away from the first set of baby leaves (cotyledon) too early damages the young seedling and can kill it.
Each grower will have their own preferred germination method, these methods are our suggestions based on many years of customer feedback from Dutch Passion customers. Good luck!
June 24th 2016