So You Want To Sprout Seeds

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by Drivenone, May 10, 2010.

  1. #1 Drivenone, May 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2010
    Over the weekend I got a few PM's asking how I sprout my seeds. I was asked if I germinated them first some way and then sprouted or if I just put the seeds in soil. The answer is I always sprout the seeds in soil and never germinate them in a paper towel, snuggie or sham wow. I was told by a breeder that removing the seed from a paper towel, the micro roots along the edge of the tap root can get torn and damaged, thus stunting the plant.

    So with that in mind, I have created this thread explaining how I sprout my seeds. Within a few days, all viable seeds will sprout, not the 7-10 days I've been reading about lately. The use of pictures make the process easier to understand hopefully avoiding a little confusion.

    Picture #1

    This is a seed tray. You can buy a kit that comes with a seed tray that hold anywhere from 12 to 288 seeds. A reservoir, and a clear cover. You can also get free seed trays when you buy plants for your garden. Marigolds come in a seed tray. Generally 4 or 6 plants per tray/flat. This plastic tray of cups can be cut to your chosen side. The one picture will sprout 12 seeds. You will need the reservoir. I don't use the clear plastic cover.

    Picture #2

    Fill the seed tray with soil. It can be dry and poke holes to plant seeds. 1 seed per cup. I have chosen 6 White Widow and 6 Ice. If you grow multiple strains, be sure to label each cup or flat with the name of the strain you are growing.

    Picture #3

    This is a reservoir. Fill with about 1/2 inch of water.

    Picture #4

    Place seed tray with soil and seed into the reservoir. The water will wick itself up into the seed cups providing water for your seeds. Place reservoir and seed tray under light. Let seed tray sit in the reservoir and water for about 30 minutes. The dry soil with seed will now be soaked and wet with water. You don't want to drown your seed, so I do not suggest keeping the tray in water for more than 2 hours. Once soaked, remove seed tray from reservoir and remove water from reservoir.

    Picture #5

    Place empty reservoir back into grow room and set soaked seed tray into it. The reservoir will now catch all water and moisture seeping from seed tray. I do this so I don't drown the seed. Too much water can render seeds nonviable. Note the change in soil color between picture 4 and picture 5. The tray is picture 5 is completely soaked within 2 hours.

    When the soil dries up a little over night, about 24-36 hours later. Fill reservoir with about 1/2 of water and let tray soak again for about 2 hours. Again, once soaked, remove excess water from reservoir and set soaked seed tray into empty reservoir. Within 3 days, the 1st sprouts will break the soil, and by the 5th day, all viable seeds will have sprouted.

    With this style of sprouting, you will not have to worry about damaging your plants before the have sprouted.

    Attached Files:

  2. 1 Day later, you can see that the top layer of soil has dried out a bit. When this happens, fill the reservoir with 1/2 inch of water. In about 30-45 minutes, the soil in the tray will be wet like was done when you first started sprouting your seeds. When wet, remove excess water from reservoir. At this point, you are only providing moisture and heat to allow the seed to germinate in the soil.

    NOTE: This is the start of day two of the sprouting process.

    Attached Files:

  3. #3 EsotericRO, May 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2010
    Is there any specific way the unsprouted seeds need to be placed in the soil? Meaning with either tip of the seed facing down, etc?
  4. What if I am using rockwool for hydro? Can you tell me more about this? Thanx:wave:
  5. #5 Drivenone, May 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2010
    Tweezers will help, I think the seeds go in with the "dimple" pointing towards the bottom. This how I try to do it, but it can be a hassle when you're wasted and trying to orient the seed. I should germinate a seed in a moist paper towel just to confirm that yes, the tap root emerges from the dimple end of the seed. I've only inspected the hulls once the seed has sprouted.

    I've never used rock wool, but I guess it should work the same way. You don't want to drown the seeds for hours on end. You just want the soil or cube to soak up some water to provide moisture to feed the seed. The light will provide the heat. That's about all the seed needs to sprout. I've never done hydro and wouldn't know how to sprout a seed for it. I would most likely do it this way and put the root ball into my hydro system and let the water wash away the small amount of soil.

    Warning: A bunch of nothing starts here...

    I kind of wished I waited to complete the process taking daily pictures first, because right now all I can post is a bunch of nothing. Near the end of day 2, the seed tray is drying out a little. To be honest, by 5pm Thursday, end of day 3, I expect to see the 1st seed(s) break the soil. It's how it generally works. But with all the attention, they might get stage fright. I'm kidding of course and not going to cover up if they don't show until day 4.

    I was reading it was taking people 7-10 days to get sprouts using a germination method that required waiting for a tap root to show, add to this the discussion I had at Yahooka years ago when I 1st started, along with the guide I read on a breeder's website, I'm just trying to help out those people who tend to have trouble growing with seeds. A cause may be their method of planting and sprouting seeds.

    I realize people don't like hunting for non sprouted seeds in the soil. It can get messy, and if the seed has already germinated but not broken through the soil, the potential plant can get lost or damaged. With that in mind, the small cups only hold a soil amount of soil and would be less messy to dig through to retrieve the seed.

    Have no fear, there will be sprouts in a day or two.
  6. Day 2:

    Picture 1:

    No signs of life yet. Will be adding a toush of water later. The soil is still moist near the top and definately at the bottom.

    Once the 1st sprout rears it's head, it is a sign that the seeds are germinated and most will have formed roots. More on this tomorrow.(hopefully). It's usually when I fill re reservoir with 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch of water and let it stand. The roots and plant will start demanding more and more water, so instead of draining the tray, I just keep the water there and let plant and evaporation take care of things.

    NOTE: Sorry for no fingers of hand shots in the pictures, I have a scar and it's an identifier.

    Attached Files:

  7. Well, just as promised, the sprouts are beginning to show only 60 hours after planting. In the picture, top center 1 WW is breaking the soil and left center, another WW is breaking the soil. It may be hard to see, but trust me they are there. At this point, you can pretty much guess that most of the seeds have produced a tap root. This is when I add water to the reservoir and instead of draining it, I let the water sit until it all evaporates. Most times, this will trigger a majority of the plants to sprout over night during Day 4.

    Picture 1:

    Two WW sprouts are emerging from the soil. 1 at top/center and one left/center

    Attached Files:

  8. Day 3:

    There are now 4 sprouts breaking the soil. 2 more WW popped up in just a few hours. I added water earlier and left it sit reservoir not more than 1/8 of an inch. I will not water again until the reservoir dries out. By the end of day 4, I expect for these sprouts to be upright and completely out of the soil, as the remaining seeds germinate and begin breaking through the soil.

    Everything is going normal, but I think I mislabeled my tray. I keep remembering that a former student, yes, I aided a person and helped him learn how to grow, said that all the ICE seeds sprouted. I needed to make WW seeds, and now I'm not sure which end is up.

    Attached Files:

  9. Day 4:

    Many of the seeds have sprouted and broken the soil and some seedlings have grown. Looking at my tray, you can see one came up with no leaves. Left middle. While I don't expect much in the 2-3 hours remaining in day 4, it's possible the remaining seeds will sprout. Over half of the seeds are up.

    "Strain dependent" seems to be a key term here. One strain had 100% germination and sprouted within 4 days, the lone hold out bottom/middle can be seen just under the soil about to break through. I'm not pleased with this. The light was way too low, and the seedlings look short. And of course where are the other 1/2 of the seedlings? While it's only been 4 full days, I wanted things to grow better for the show.

    I will be adding water to the seed tray before night. The reservoir is dry, but the soil is still rather moist.

    Day 5 will be the last day of this demonstration. I have raised the light to 4 inches from 2 inches. I don't mind stretching seedlings a bit. It will give me more room to work with later when replanting. If anything, this shows how you can safely germinate and sprout seeds without any unnecessary stress to the roots and plants.

    Look for my coming thread, "How to turn these seedlings into 4 pounds of high quality buds, in only 20 minutes".

    Good Luck. I will post one final picture, Day 5. I'm hoping for the best.

    Attached Files:

  10. Day 5:

    I just spent 30 minutes digging into my seed tray. The "leafless" sprout germinated upside down. The tap root sprouted upwards, with a full set of leaves buried under the soil. I flipped it over to see if it can recover.

    The sprouts that I thought were ICE, are White widow. I dug up the 5 unsprouted seeds. Not one had a tap root. I compared the seeds to both WW and ICE and they matched ICE in size and markings. I planted 5 more ICE in the empty cups.

    I will continue this for a few more days. Sorry. I really thought this was going to be a decent topic after, but the seeds failed to play along. Will post a few more daily pictures. Maybe I can make this work out as a tutorial and still have a tray of 12 seedlings by day 10.

    The good thing that came out of this for me it that the White Widow seeds were good and I will be able to make a new batch should I get a male and female. I have about 100 ICE seeds but only 3 WW left.
  11. nice, everyone finds there own way of doing things.
    I use the paper towel in a heated dome "for clones". They crack in about 10-12 hrs, then I plop them root down in 5x5 containers.
  12. hello op i have a Q when i am sprouting the seeds should they be under constant light of 12 on 12 off?
  13. I keep my sprouting seeds under 24 hours of light.

    BTW, no changes today. I have 4 seedlings from 12 seeds. I'm calling this a fail. The last 2 times, I had 15 of 18 seeds germinate and sprout, but on this one I changed strains from the Papaya I am/was growing so I can have a collection of different buds.

    I still swear by this way to start seeds. And will update this thread when anything happens. I have like 1,000 seeds so a I can take a few losses.
  14. here's my bullet proof method for sprouting:
    fill a red beer cup (with drainage holes) with dirt then wet the soil so all of it is damp. Make hole for seed up to first knuckle, put seed in and cover with dirt. Cover cup with plastic wrap and a rubberband. Place cup on heating pad in the dark for 24 hours. Move heating pad to cfls after 24 hours and sprouts will begin to break the soil within 36-48 hours.
  15. Thanks. I may give it a try.

    I really wish I had taken pictures of most of the previous stroutings, but I guess this gives people a chance to retnk their options.
  16. I haven't forgotten about this. Nothing is happening. I expect the ICE seeds to strat breaking the soil. If they are viable that is. Will update when something positive happens, or I transplant the 4 seedlings I got in that 1st run.

    This was supposed to offer hope to those who can't get their seeds to sprout properly. And those looking for a better way. And of course, it was part of my grand design. I'm working on doing a soil formula. Will tack a while. Just thought I would try to post some decent stuff like the reflector. I enjoyed that one...
  17. A little progress one of the ICE seeds is breaking the soil. Will update with a picture Tuesday. Maybe by then, more will be ready to pop.
  18. I picked up another White Widow sprout and another ICE. The seeds are/were fairly old. I havd 8 sprouts altogether and that's pretty much what I start out with for most runs in my perpetual grow. Would have liked a few more. I have a new light fixture for the vegetative room that will free up 6 more CFL's fot he flowering room.
  19. Well, I'll have the 6 plants for my next run. 3 each. One of the WW has inch long cotyledeons and not regular leaves. It's been that way for a while. And then the one sprout that was upside down didn't take when I turned it right side up. Leaves me with 6 These 6 plants are set for a 8-20-10 harvest. 21-30 day veg and in to flowering for 60-70 days. I'm thinking of crossing them. Might make the resulting seeds stronger by adding some new genes in the pool.
  20. How much light are you giving them (watt) and how far away is the light from the sprouts? That sucks that so many didn't come up, I hope these 6 grow strong and have you buying extra jars, good luck!

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