Germination: Cup of Water vs. Paper Towel

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Phytosapien, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. I'm brand new to growing and frequently get paranoid that I'm screwing up every step. I've been reading grow guides left and right and I've noticed that growers seem to favor one of two technique: cup of water or paper towel germination. What bothers me is the fact that usually which ever method a grower prefers, they go on to explain how the other method is less effective or damaging to the seed. Who is right? Which does everyone else prefer? I've been letting a bag-seed I found in a bag of some pretty delicious Headband germinate in a wetted paper towel (between two plates and in a ziploc bag) for the last two days. I noticed a funky smell starting last night. It's a sour smell, but I think it might just be the binding-agent in the paper towels. Today (two days into germination), I moved the seed from the smelly paper towels to a shot-glass filled with tap water (my municipal water supply is fantastic here) and the seed sunk to the bottom immediately. Since I only have one seed to start from, I'm worried that I've already screwed things up. Sorry for the wall of text, but if anyone read the whole thing: Which germination method is better? Did I screw up by moving my seed? I assumed that because my seed sank in the water that it's not too late just yet, but who knows...
  2. It's a personal preference thing, they both work.

    I prefer the cup of water because then I don't have to worry about a paper towel drying out, or trying to get the seed out of a soggy paper towel and as you've learned, if it stays too wet you get that ammonia, moldy smell happening. ;)

    I just popped 9 beans using the cup of water method and within 24 hours I could see the tap root coming out, so if your seed sank you still have hope. :smoking:
  3. Don't know if you've considered it but I placed mine directly into rapid rooters since I'm doing soil would don't know what works best for hydro but think rock wool would work. Mine are on the third day and the tap roots are digging their way in and two have already sprouted over the whole with a little help:smoke:. But it is preference have a friend who sticks to the napkin then places into rapid rooters.

    tl;dr I place directly into rapid rooters 3rd day so far and to have sprouted others are about to are have tap roots digging way in.
    My friend does napkin then rapid rooter. All about preference
  4. Phew, it's a bit of a relief hearing that I'm not the only one who has smelled that dingey smell associated with paper towels. I actually haven't run to the store yet to buy supplies for this little guy. I'm holding out on the expenses until I know this seed will germinate, but I'm still incredibly impressed that you've got sprouts on the 3rd day! Thank you for the responses!
  5. rockwool cubes, best option imho
  6. Mine popped open a couple hours ago now. I'm going to keep it in the water overnight, I'd much rather be putting her in soil now, but I have to run to the store tomorrow. I guess I'm going to grow!
  7. you should wait until the taproot is atleast 1/4-1/2 inches long.
  8. This. I always wait until its a cm out of the seed to put it in the soil.

    Also, if you decide to germ any more, i really really suggest rockwool cubes, even if you are growing in soil.

    Soak the cube in water, pop the seed in (you dont even have to germ it, just put a regular ole seed in there) keep it humid and in 2-3 days you will have a psout ... then you can transplant your cube to the soil. it makes things a lot easier, and you avoid the chance of damaging your taproot when putting it in soil.

    -- Thats another thing ... be very gentle with your seed, use tweezers if possible, and point it downwards
  9. I use the paper towel method and have good results. I just germed four and all off them popped in 48 hours. I move them to jiffy starters and keep them in the little starter dome once they germ. They usually sprout a day or two after that and get moved to pots.
  10. I've not tried the water one. Do you take the seed out as soon as it sprouts or wait till it's grown an inch-long sprout?

    You can put them in a damp sponge as well. I usually do that. Sometimes paper towels can have chemicals or scents leak out so I tend not to use em.
  11. I take it out when the tap root is about a 1/4 inch long. :smoking:
  12. #12 Phytosapien, Nov 20, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2011
    I just took mine out because today was the fourth day of germination. I didn't want it to drown because I've been reading conflicting opinions about when to take the seed out. Some people say to take the seed out immediately after it cracks or the seed can suffocate. Either that, or that the cells swell up and increase the turgor pressure in the embryonic cells, bursting their cell walls. On the other hand, some people claim that you can keep them submerged for about as long as you want to wait for the tap root to grow. I suppose it's like a lot of things in life: there isn't just one right answer. Some people swear by one technique whiles others swear by another, I'm just interested in the science behind it to optimize the process.

    edit: turgor pressure issues would only be a concern if you're using deionized water (not the same as distilled), where osmotic pressure would be higher in the cells (basically the exact opposite of what salt water does to cells).
  13. I took two inch net pots and filled em with promix..i have five gallon bags of promix waiting for them to sprout..when they,sprout ill just bury the netpot..the roots will grow through the bottom and sides..although I may cut the bottom of the little net pot off before I bury em..
  14. I prefer the paper towel method. I change the towels out daily because it will smell like mold. I wait till i see the tap root and i would suggest getting some growing pellets. Those things of dirt that expand when you put water in them. I got a 100% succes rate this way. Make sure you put the tap root facing down. I tried the cup of water merhod. Personally i dont like it, cant say why i just dont like doing it that way
  15. I'd say if they aren't germinating, try a cup of water next time.. my tried and true way to germinate, with a 100% success rate this far is the cup of water method. I just started a new auto fem strain, started my seeds in a cup of water. I poke at them either that night or the next day using sterile gloves to see if they'll sink, all of them usually sink within the first day and I'll keep them in the water for another 24 hours depending on when they sink, or how many sink at a time. I then place them in wet paper towel, Ziploc bag, warm and dark place and within the next day I've always hade them sprouted. I wish I'd taken a picture but the autofems I just planted had almost 2 inch roots just 1 day after enveloping them in paper towel. I planted 2 that day, in a coco soil, planted in their forever homes, another a day later and another yesterday. Judging from the photo and the fact that I've done this a million times, I'd say this is the best way to germinate, for me anyways. I keep them anywhere between 80-82 degrees within the tent, lights off at 11:30 am, on at 7:30 pm everyday, I open the tent flap 3-4 times a day to turn my fan on them for 5-10 minutes at a time. Not directly on them, but around them, the last pot was planted last night, so I'll see another seedling today/tonight sometime sprout up. Feedings every Sunday evening/ Wednesday evening, with some bud candy applied at the end of this week. Got a kotten Kandy strain this time so I opted for some Bud Candy, Nirvana, Flawless Finish, Sensi"Coco" bloom and I grabbed some sensizym just in case. Their not all for this strain thought, mostly just the Sensitivity CoCo, bud candy and flawless finish.

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  16. Sometimes cup of water doesn't work vut the seeds are good i add a drop or two of lime juice in the water to bring the ph down and coax the seeds to sprout

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  17. Cup of water for me 100% germ rate
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  18. I always just drop my seeds into a shot glass of room temp tap water, plant 'em in soil when the tap root is about the same length as the seed pod itself.
  19. I just pop em in the cup for 16 hrs then right into solo cup soil then i mist and put plastic over. Last time in 3 days had all 12 6 were popped 1 day after planting
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  20. #20 Deleted member 1028538, Oct 31, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2017
    I personally like to put my seed into the grow medium, pointy side up, and add water.

    IMO the water cup/paper towel method isn't very gentle on the plant. Confusing the tap root with alternating gravity, giving it a medium in which it can't grow into (cup/plate), and fumbling around trying to get it from paper towel to medium is like transplanting a fetus lol.
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