Growing Cannabis at Home: The Basics of Seed Germination
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”~ Robert Louis Stevenson
To new/inexperienced growers, germination can be a very scary word. For example, a simple Google search for “cannabis seed germination” will show several different methods. Relax, take a deep breath, and remember, the earth has been doing this, with zero interference from man, literally for thousands of years.
The goal of this article is to hopefully alleviate some that fear.
Technically, all a seed needs to germinate is the proper moisture content as well as the correct temperature range. The oldest and most natural way to germinate cannabis seeds is to put a seed in moist soil. However, with the cost of cannabis seeds ever-increasing, it’s understandable that one would want the most return for one’s investment. Of course, 100% germination rate is the ultimate goal. We will break it down to the essential variables to pay attention to in order to be as successful as possible.
First and foremost is the temperature range. Cannabis seeds germinate between 55 and 80 degrees, with the most optimal range between 75-80 degrees. A variety of products are available that have been designed to help control the temperature when germinating seeds. One very popular product is a heat mat. However, it is important to closely monitor these while in use. A lack of attention could easily not only dry out but essentially “cook” the seeds.
Controlling the moisture content comes in a close second. Cannabis seeds prefer a moist medium that is not too wet and not too dry. Your medium should be moist but not dripping wet. Too much water can be as detrimental to seed germination as not enough water. The water’s PH should be routinely checked. Optimal water PH range is between 6.0 and 6.5, with 6.0 being the “sweet spot “.
One common misunderstanding when growing cannabis is the use of nutrients. During seed germination (as well as the first 1 or 2 weeks later) nutrients are not needed. In fact, using them, at this point can very easily kill your new cannabis plants. Cannabis seeds are unique in the fact that mother nature provided all the nutrients the new seedling will need for its first two weeks of life, inside the seed itself.”.
It can take two to fourteen days for the seed to pop its head out through the dirt and show itself to the world.
Patience is a virtue.