Let's Germinate!

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by AngryWiseman, Apr 12, 2016.


    Hey all, there's a lot tossed around on here about various germination techniques and which ones work best. Unfortunately, most of the time, there is more opinion or anecdotal evidence than there is objective data to justify support for any particular technique. So I'm volunteering myself to put some data down for the masses, and I'm bringing you all along for the ride. I'm going to pop seeds using some of the most popular/common techniques, and you'll all get to see the results, side by side.
    I've got some freebie seeds I'll be using for the tests, Non-feminized Afghani. I'll be popping two seeds for each variation, except as noted.
    At this point, I intend to use the following techniques:
    1. Rockwool: Germinate directly in the cube.
    2. Peat Pellet: Germinate directly in the pellet.
    3. Coco collars: Germinate directly in the collar
    4. Paper towel: Germinate and then transfer 1x to peat, 1x to rockwool
    5. Soak: 4X seeds, 1 for each variant above. 24 hour soak and then transfer to each media above.

    I am inviting everyone to provide input until Sat, 16Apr, at which time I'll start the seeds and post daily photo documentation of progress. If there is another technique everyone thinks needs to be included, let me know, and I'll consider it, along with all other input.

    And for all the statisticians out there, yes, I know.
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  2. Have fun with your experiment. I don't really think it matters how you do it myself. There are tons of different ways and they all work. I don't believe there is a "best" method anyway. It's just a seed...of a weed...and if it's a good seed, give it a little moisture and warmth and it will pop. The stuff that happens after the seed pops is SO MUCH more important than how you get it to pop and most people put hours and hours of time into figuring out what equipment and setup they will use to grow this wondrous plant with and never remotely consider that they might need to spend some time checking into learning the basics of how to grow this plant without pulling your hair out. You can have a grow palace but if you don't understand the basics of growing this plant, you will have problems, or think so, from day #1. TWW
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  3. Yes, but there are scads of new people asking which technique they should use, and just as many people stating that process X or Y is the one to use to get the job done. I'm just trying to show each of the techniques so people can see for themselves.You're right, all the techniques do work, and I'm not actually trying to crown one as best, here, I guess. I included peat pellets specifically because another thread had said you couldn't germinate cannabis in peat. That's the kind of misinformation that's out there.There are also a lot of posts from people whose seeds or seedlings are in jeopardy after using one technique or another, so this little collection may give someone the confidence to try another technique or to help those without patience to trust that their little seed is doing OK without the need to poke and prod.
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  4. Sub'd! I've done paper towel to rockwool and 24 hour soak to paper towel to rockwool. In my experience the 2nd option saves a day or two, interested how it turns out for you.

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  5. Straight to soil is the best !
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  6. using a weak solution of fulvic acid, kelp extract and silica will speed up the sprouting time. I use it with the paper towel method but cover them to keep the water from evaporating which will cool the seeds and keep them around 75-80, two days max on good seeds 24 hours on some and old seeds can take awhile.
  7. I am absolutely terrible at germination, I've killed 100's of $ worth of seeds, what seems to me to be the easiest way is straight to soil , and to litfa
    That is what works for me, I think TWW Is very correct in her observations, it isn't so much getting them to pop, but having then knowledge to keep em alive and happy aft,er their up

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  8. I put my seeds in soil and water them....then I wait.
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  9. A couple people have said this and I think you're right, it will be worth adding straight to soil to the test matrix. Done.

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  10. Going to pass on adding this one. I want to keep this simple and use the most common techniques. Out of curiosity, though, what is the actual mix ratio you use?

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  11. Your first sentence about killing seeds is a big reason why I wanted to do this and also why I think you should reconsider your last sentence. You and TWW are absolutely correct, that there is SOOO much more involved once you are actually in "seedling" phase and beyond. One thing though, while germination is indeed one of the easier parts of growing, from what I've seen, there is an unnecessarily high mortality rate in the seed/seedling phases. All the veg/bloom techniques mean nothing if you can't get a seed started. Seed mortality is especially troublesome if you're relying on bag seed or if you've spent a chunk bigger than you want on a few premium seeds. You may only have one or a few seeds to work with. One goof could end your program.
    I'm just hoping I can put something up here that may help nudge that mortality rate a bit lower and get more plants reaching for the sky.
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  12. I think this is a good experiment for the newer gardeners out there. I believe one of the easiest ways is dropping the seed into some water for 24 hours then into the damp paper cloth until you have that sprout. I haven't lost a seed yet with this method. So long as the seed is viable and you keep it damp, you should be good to that point.

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  13. Soak 12hrs then straight to medium .
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  14. Sub'd! I'm about to start growing and I too keep reading mixed opinions on this first step. Thank you for taking time and effort in the method you are employing.

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  15. I've had 100% success with this.

    "The world is in your hands,
    Mine are in the dirt."
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  16. Fulvic acid just promotes the internal enzymes. I use gibberellic acid to pop old seeds at 100 ppm.

    "The world is in your hands,
    Mine are in the dirt."
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  17. I use paper towel between two plates on top of fridge. Works great. My Pineapple Express and Skywalker kush just popped in 9 hours.

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  18. Any updates?
  19. Sorry all. I'm out of town on business right now. I'll be home on Thursday and will kick this off on Friday or Saturday. Stay tuned.

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  20. OK, back in town and ready to do this.

    Here's the set-up. Two rockwool cubes, two peat pellets, two coco collars, two ubiquitous red cups with a coco/perlite blend, napkin and ziploc, shot cups, and 6.6 pH adjusted water, and the seeds:
    The seeds: Non-feminized generic Afghani freebies. Thanks Herbies.
    The selectees. I picked out what looked like the healthiest seeds out of the bunch:

    Swim call! Into the drink:
    Rockwool cubes have been my go-to for cannabis. A little while back I started using these disposable shot cups for them. The cube dont fill them completely, leaving a gap at the bottom. I fill the cup and soak the cubes, then pour out the excess water so there is water just to below the bottom of the cube. I've found this method keeps the cube moist without over-soaking the top where the seed is.
    IMG_0567.JPG The rockwool cubes come pre-punched for seeds, so I've inserted a pipette to mark the depth, and I will use that same depth for each method.
    IMG_0568.JPG Here's the gauge. I didn't measure it. Just get it close to that. Mother Nature doesn't pay attention to rulers.
    IMG_0569.JPG Drop the seeds in and pinch the hole shut:
    These are the coco collars. I've never used them before but saw them when I was shopping for the peat pellets. The are intended for use in hydro cloning units but the package also said they could be used for starting seeds. As I said, I grow in coco, but start in rockwool. I'd like to use something biodegradable so I wanted to test this as another option to enable moving in that direction. As you can see, they are a pretty coarse fiber, and seem to be held together by a gum of some sort. The gum makes them very hydrphobic so I had to forcefully submerge them and let them soak for a bit to get them hydrated enough to take a seed. *There are actually two in each cup shown.
    Peat pellets. Another thread I was on said you can't start cannabis in peat pellets. I've never used peat for cannabis, but I've started tons of veggies in them so I'd be really surprised if they didn't work here. We shall see. I filled the cup up so they could soak up water as quickly as it could, working the other media while they soaked.
    Cups: This is the "direct to pot" method for this evolution. Sorry no actual soil. I didn't have any around, and wasnt going to buy a bag just for two cups worth for this. Sorry if this disappoints anyone. I would think soil would hold water and contain the seed in much the same way as this coco, which is Royal Gold Tupur, a coco blend. No nute pre-load, flushing, or anything like that. Straight coco media soaked with the pH adjusted water.(You can see a bit running out the bottom. Pipette inserted to bore the hole to pre-determined depth, seeds dropped in,and hole pinched off over the top of them.
    Coco collars: As you can see, the collars are pre-cut to hold cuttings. After the collars soaked for a bit, I pulled the top collar out, cracked open the cut, and dropped the seed in. It is toward the bottom edge of the collar, to set it at a depth equivalent to the other media. As noted earlier, I stacked two of these in each cup, so the taproot will have media to push against/down in to.
    Peat pellets: After the pellets have expaned fully, pour out the excess water
    IMG_0577.JPG Punch holes to depth,
    IMG_0578.JPG Drop seed in and close hole.
    Napkin in a bag: I have to say I've never used this method before either. Napkin wet with pH adjusted water, and two seeds were placed on the napkin
    IMG_0580.JPG Napkin was folded over the seeds and placed into the bag, which was then sealed and folded over.
    Hail! Hail! The gangs all here!
    IMG_0583.JPG I then put the whole thing on top of a fluorescent fixture in my starter tent. With one fixture on and the flaps closed up, it hovers around 80 in the tent. I leave the beaker of water in the tent to keep the humidity up.

    And that's that. I'll be checking on them daily, spritzing them with a mister to keep the top of the media moist, and taking photos to document who does what. Let me know if you have any feedback or questions.
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