A guide to germinating seeds
A seed is defined in the dictionary as being ‘the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant, capable of developing into another such plant. We recently spoke about how plant cells grow and how to sow seeds indoors , so we thought we would expand on that a little bit.
Benefits Of Growing From Seed
There are so many benefits to growing from seed that you may choose to start planting and growing flowers and vegetables at home rather than buying them fully grown in store.
- Plant seeds are quite simply cheaper – no complaints there.
- You know that your flowers and vegetables are always organic
- There are so many different varieties available – some of which you may not have heard of as there are hundreds of species available only in seed form as opposed to starter-plants, plugs or cuttings.
- You’ll get to enjoy the gardening process – and watch your garden grow.
Guide To Germinating Your Seeds
1) Buy Your Seeds
One of the great perks of growing your own plants and vegetables from seed is the fact that you’ll have so many choices to choose from – and you’ll be able to find the perfect seeds to suit you and your garden online or at your local garden centre. Remember to take note of your environment and pick seeds wisely, keeping in mind the environment you have on offer. You will need to pay particular attention to the requirements of the seed –lookout for water requirements, soil temperature, nutritional requirements, and desirable lighting for each species you consider.
2) Learn About Your Seeds
Now, that you’ve got your seeds ready – you will need to plant them. It is possible to plant seeds both straight away directly in your garden soil or alternatively in containers that can then be transported outside further down the line. This decision depends hugely on the species you wish to plant as some require more sensitive care than others. To do so, you will need to know the ideal growing conditions for your plant; the germination time, and also the earliest time from which you can transport your plant outside.
Garden soil can contain high levels of disease and insects that can cause harm to your seeds. Therefore, it is the safer option in most cases to start your seeds off indoors in ‘seed and cutting’ compost. Obviously, these conditions will vary from plant to plant, so make sure you check thoroughly before beginning the process.
3) Pick Your Container
You will need a container that is two to three inches deep and features holes at the bottom, for drainage purposes. The width of the container can vary – it all depends on how many seeds you wish to plant. However, remember to ensure you leave enough room for the seeds to germinate. You can buy trays from your local garden centre or online, or you can even use an egg carton. Now that you have your container ready, you will need to line your seeds with your growing medium. Do not fill your container right to the top with this combination, instead leave approximately half an inch at the top. Lightly wet with water to provide a good environment for the seeds to grow in. However, do note that soil-less mixture contains zero nutritional value so it may be a good idea to use seed and cutting compost.
You can purchase propagators which are designed for growing multiple fruit or vegetables from seed. These containers are perfect for the task at hand.
4) Check Whether Or Not You Should Soak Your Seeds
Some seeds may require soaking before you plant them, whereas others do not. Make sure to check all the information on the packet as previously mentioned. If your seeds do require soaking, you will need to do so for several hours before adding to your growing medium.
5) Time It Right
Normally, you should plant your seeds between 4-6 weeks prior to moving them outside, however, species do vary. Also, you may be required to plant your seeds indoors earlier than predicted or indeed later, all dependant on the weather at the time.
6) Provide Heat And Lighting
Many seeds do not need lighting to germinate while others do. You may need a source of heat and light as sunlight will most likely not suffice. Pick up a plant lamp to keep your seeds happy with lots of lights and heat. Please note: You may use a fluorescent lamp without trouble but you will need a white bulb to provide the right heat and light for your seeds without burning them. A heat mat may also be a good idea for plants that require extra heat.
7) Keep The Growing Medium Moist
We suggest covering your container lightly with plastic sheeting/damp newspaper. This will act as a way to regulate and trap moisture and temperature. This is important as if your seeds dry out they will not germinate properly.
Once you see the first shoot poking through, you will need to move the container into a sunny area. Ensure that the room temperature is above 70°F (21°C) and in bright light so that your plants can grow. You can now remove the plastic/paper covering, but ensure you keep the seedling moist by watering throughout the day. We advise you to water in the early morning and in the afternoon, but not any later in the day – as doing so can mean the water sits on top of the growing medium and can cause problems such as mould that are best avoided. At this point, it is also important to feed your seedlings with the correct fertiliser once they’ve gotten a few inches tall.
8) Transporting The Seedlings
First, if any of the seeds germinate, it is best to thin out the less-strong seedlings, so that the stronger ones can grow even more so. Aim to not exceed three seedlings per section of the container/egg box. Following this, when the growing season starts you will be able to move your seedlings to larger containers outside. Continue to follow the instruction considering soil, lighting and drainage and enjoy.
Love The Garden will show you the benefits of growing from seed and guide you through the whole germination process, from buying the seeds to maintaining growth.
How to properly plant weed seeds after germination?
In our previous blog “Germinating marijuana seeds” you could read how to germinate marijuana seeds. Germinating is the preparation process to successfully grow a cannabis plant.
As soon as the seed has a root you can plant the seed. Planting cannabis seeds is not difficult at all. Yet, it does require some basic knowledge and skills. This article will help you to plant your cannabis seeds so you start your grow in the best way possible.
Why germinate before planting?
Of course you can place a cannabis seed directly in the soil, but this has three disadvantages:
- The seed can become too moist, causing it to rot.
- The seed stays too dry so it can’t grow. And because the seed is under the ground you can’t control it.
- You can’t determine the direction of growth of the root. In short, our advice is to germinate before you start planting cannabis seeds.
When you should plant your cannabis seeds
When you have followed our advice your seeds have sprouted and you can start planting your seeds. Make sure the seeds have a root of at least 1.5 to a maximum of 2.5 centimeters. Are you planting the germinated cannabis seeds too early or too late? Then there is a chance that the plant dies at a young age. It is therefore important that you plant the germinated seeds as soon as the root is long enough.
Always plant indoors first
Good to know is that you first plant and your cannabis seeds indoors, even if you will eventually grow them indoors or outdoors. The reason to let young female plants grow indoors first is because they are fragile in the beginning. A gust of wind can blow the plant over or be damaged by animals. Indoors you have a safe environment where the young seedling can become strong enough before it is moved outside.
What do you need to plant germinated cannabis seeds?
Fortunately, you don’t need much to plant your germinated cannabis seeds. A lot of things are already standard available in your home and otherwise you can buy them at any garden center.
What you need:
- Lightproof pot or mug of 1 to 2 liters
- Potting soil (light mix for cuttings and seedlings)
- Pen or pencil
- Germinated cannabis seeds
- Plant sprayer
Are all items present? Then the real work starts: planting your cannabis seeds. Use the step-by-step plan below.
How to plant marijuana seeds in 4 simple steps?
In four simple steps you will learn how to successfully plant cannabis seeds. Whether you’re an advanced or beginner, want to grow indoor or outdoor seeds, the process is always the same. Follow the steps below carefully and you’ll grow your own beautiful cannabis plant.
- Fill the pot or cup with potting soil
- Make a dimple in the earth
- Place the weed seed in the dimple
- Cover the seed with a thin layer of earth
Step 1 – fill the pot or cup with potting soil
Fill the cup or pot up to 1 cm below the edge with potting soil (light mix for cuttings or seedlings). Do not add extra nutrients. Seedlings get more than enough nutrients from the soil. Too much nutrient can have a negative effect.
Step 2 – make a small dimple
To plant your cannabis seeds you make a dimple in the growing medium. You can easily do this by inserting your pen or pencil into the soil. The tiny hole should be about 2 to 2.5 cm deep. If you mark this on the side of your pencil, you can be sure that the depth is good.
Step 3 – place the cannabis seed in the dimple
Use your fingers or tweezers to place the weed seed in the hole. Do this carefully, because if you squeeze too hard you can damage the germinated seed. The root of the seed should point downwards (!).
Tip: did you use damp kitchen paper towels when germinating and is the root of the seed attached to it? Do not pull it loose, but first spray the seed again with water. You will see that the seed now easily lets go.
How should you plant the weed seed?
Make sure that when you plant your cannabis seed, the root disappears as deep as possible into the hole. The skin of the seed should be at least 0.5 cm below the surface.
Step 4 – cover the seed with a thin layer of soil
Did you put the seed in the tiny hole? Great! Cover the seed carefully with a thin layer of soil. Do not press the soil! A few millimeters of soil over the seed is more than enough to block the grow lights or sun. Spray the surface moist with the plant sprayer and place the cup or pot in the window sill or under light. After a few days the seeds will grow out the surface.
Your cannabis seeds have been planted! How to proceed?
You’re already on your way to grow your cannabis plant. But maybe you want to continue growing marijuana plants outdoors in the end.
As said before, you do the beginning of the growing process indoors and that takes about two weeks. After two weeks the plant is strong enough to repot to another place or larger pot to continue growing. How to do this, we tell you in the blogs:
Would you like to know how to properly plant weed seeds after germination? Read the information about this subject on Weedseedsexpress