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 seeds is fairly simple, you might recall doing something similar in grade school with kidney beans or peas. You must provide seeds a dark, warm, and humid environment.
I will use the classic wet paper towel method to germinate.
I’m only growing one plant, but I will germinate 3 seeds.
Sometimes seeds are “defective”, and will never germinate. This is usually the case for seeds that haven’t been stored properly.
If more than one germinates, I will pick out the fastest or strongest looking plant. The other I might give away or plant outside.
Germinating Cannabis Seeds – The Paper Towel Method
- Place your seeds on a wet paper towel.
- 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 where it won’t be disturbed.
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.
This time 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 seeds tap root to crack through the shell so it can start looking for more water. This tiny root is very sensitive to light, and must be handled carefully. You should place it into soil as soon as possible.
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 a week for a seed to pop.
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. I will put them away while I prepare the planters and soil mix that I will transfer them into.
Making Your Own Starter Pots
A starter pot is a small temporary home for your cannabis plant. They make it easier for you to manage your plants inside your grow space, keep them warm, and prevent them from dehydration.
Eventually you will need to transplant them in a larger pot when they have 3 to 4 sets of leaves. Once it gets to that size .
I’m using the red party cups because I had some around. You can reuse them over and over. Add plenty of drainage holes on the bottom of the solo cups. Good drainage will help keep your soil and seedlings healthy.
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.
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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Mike Drouin is the co-founder of Reefertilizer. He’s an experienced craft cannabis grower and a writer of many articles regarding the process. Mike enjoys cycling and camping and will sometimes combine the two.