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The Best Way to start seedlings indoors

Discussion in 'Outdoor Marijuana Growing' started by stewie21, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. I came across this article at Oaksterdam News Network - Springtime coming soon; time to get seeds ready
    It's written by Jorge Cervantes, one of the premier cannabis cultivation gurus.


    I thought the information was way to good to not post it, especially because it dispels a lot of myths, misconceptions, and useless practices when starting off your seeds. This is great for beginners and novices alike.


    Germination
    Cannabis seeds need only water, heat, and air to germinate. They do not need extra hormones to germinate. Seeds sprout without light in a wide range of temperatures. Properly nurtured seeds germinate in two to seven days, in temperatures from 70-90F (21-32C). Temperatures above 90F (32C) impair germination. At germination, the outside protective shell of the seed splits, and a tiny, white sprout (radicle) pops out. This sprout is the root or taproot. Cotyledon, or seed leaves, emerge from within the shell as they push upward in search of light. Seeds are prompted to germinate by water, temperature, and air (oxygen).


    \t \t\t \t\t\t[​IMG]
    \t\t\t \t\t \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\tSoak seeds in moist paper towel.
    \t\t\tPhoto by Jorge Cervantes. \t\t\t \t\t \t Water

    Soaking seeds in water allows moisture to penetrate the protective seed shell within minutes. Once inside, moisture continues to wick in to activate the dormant hormones. In a few days, hormones activate and send enough hormone signals to produce a radicle. The radicle emerges upward to bring a new plant into the world. Once a seed receives moisture, there must be a constant stream of moisture to transport nutrients, hormones, and water in order to carry on life processes. Letting germinated seeds suffer moisture stress now will stunt seedling growth.

    Temperature


    Cannabis seeds grow best at 78F (25C). Low temperatures delay germination. High temperatures upset seed chemistry causing poor germination. Seeds germinate best under the native conditions where they were grown. Once germinated, move seedlings to a slightly cooler growing area, and increase light levels. Avoid high temperatures and low light levels, which cause lanky growth.

    Air (oxygen)

    Seeds need air to germinate. Moist, soggy growing mediums will cut off oxygen supplies and the seed will literally drown. Planting seeds too deeply also causes poor germination. Seedlings do not have enough stored energy to force through too much soil before sprouting. Plant seeds twice as deep as the width of the seed. For example, plant a 0.125-inch (0.3 mm) seed 0.25-inch (6 mm) deep. Household water contains enough dissolved solids (food) to nourish seeds through their first few weeks of life. Although seeds need only 30-50 ppm of nitrates before they germinate, any more will disrupt internal chemistry. Some growers prefer to use distilled water that contains virtually no dissolved solids to germinate seeds.
    \t \t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t
    \t\t\t[​IMG] \t\t\t​
    \t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\t \t\t\tTimeline for germinating seeds \t\t\t
    \t\t\t \t\t\tAt 55-72 hours Water is absorbed;
    \t\t\t Root tip (radicle) is visible
    \t\t\t \t\t\tAt 10-14 days First roots become visible
    \t\t\t \t\t\tAt 21-30 days At least half of seeds
    \t\t\t are rooted by day 21.
    \t\t\tSeeds not rooted by day 30 will probably
    \t\t\t \t\t\tgrow slowly, if at all.
    \t\t\tOnce seeds are rooted, cell growth accelerates;
    \t\t\tstem, foliage, and roots develop quickly.
    \t\t\tSeedlings develop into full vegetative growth within
    \t\t\tfour to six weeks of germination. \t\t\t
    \t\t\t \t\t \t\t \t\t\tThis germinated seedling was allowed to dry out for a little more than an hour, and the tip of the root shrivelled, which caused the plant to have a very slow start in life.
    \t\t\tPhoto by Jorge Cervantes \t\t \t
    In fact, a high concentration of dissolved solids (salts) in the water will actually pull moisture out of the seed!
    Start feeding two to four weeks after seedlings have sprouted. Some growers wait until leaves yellow to begin feeding. Use a mild quarter-strength solution. If yellowing persists, give seedlings a little more fertilizer. Some seeds have a very hard outer shell, testa, and must be scarified to allow water to penetrate. To scarify, line a matchbox with a piece of fine-grain sandpaper or emery board. Put the seeds in the matchbox and shake for about 30 seconds. Remove the seeds, and make sure they have been scuffed a bit. Just a little scuffing will allow water to enter and set germination in motion.
    \t \t\t \t\t\t[​IMG]
    \t\t\t \t\t \t\t \t\t\tPlant seeds twice as deep as the seed is wide.
    \t\t\tDiagram courtesy of Jorge Cervantes \t\t \t Two Popular Germination Techniques:
    One - Pre-soaking in water

    Soak seeds overnight in a glass of water. Make sure seeds get good and wet so growth is activated. Do not let seeds soak more than 24 hours, or they might get too wet, suffer oxygen deprivation, and rot. Once soaked, seeds are ready to be placed between moist paper towels to sprout or be planted in a root cube or fine, light soilless mix.

    In a warm location (70-90F, [21-32C]), place seeds in a moist paper towel or cheesecloth, in darkness. Set the moist cloth or paper towel in a vertical position (so tap root grows down) on a grate (for drainage) on a dinner plate. Water the cloth daily, and keep it moist. Let excess water drain away freely. The cloth will retain enough moisture to germinate the seed in a few days. The seed contains an adequate food supply for germination.

    Prevent fungal attacks by watering with a mild two percent bleach or fungicide solution. Once seeds have sprouted and the white sprout is visible, carefully pick up the fragile sprouts (with tweezers) and plant them. Take care not to expose the tender rootlet to prolonged intense light or air. Cover the germinated seed with 0.25–0.5- inch (1-2 cm) of fine planting medium with the white root tip pointing down.

    To quick start your seeds, place a small emery board inside a matchbox along with seeds. Close the match box with the seeds and emery board inside. Shake the box for about 30 seconds to rough up and scuff the seeds, so water can penetrate the outer shell. Soak seeds in water overnight to germinate before planting. Place seeds between leaves of a paper towel on a plate to germinate. Add water to moisten the paper towel. Tip plate to drain off excess moisture.

    Jiffy pellets expand when water is added. They make excellent pop-up pots to grow seedlings. They are also very easy to transplant.

    Two - Direct seed into medium

    One of the problems with rockwool can be that the seeds heave out before germinating. This is why it is best to germinate seeds before putting them into the rockwool substrate. Once seeds have sprouted and the white sprout is visible, carefully pick up the fragile sprouts (with tweezers) and plant them in a pre-drilled hole in the rockwool with the white root tip pointing down. Take care not to expose the tender rootlet to prolonged intense light or air.
    Cover the germinated seed with one-quarter to one-half inch of moist rockwool. Keep the rockwool evenly moist. Once the taproot sprouts, small fuzzy feeder roots will grow in 12-14 days.

    Water penetrates the outer protective shell, continues to wick in, and activates dormant hormones that induce germination. Once a seed receives moisture, there must be a constant stream of moisture to transport nutrients, hormones, and water to carry on life processes. Letting germinated seed suffer moisture stress now will stunt or stop seedling growth. The black tip of the root tells me this is what has happened. Soggy growing mediums cut oxygen supplies and cause seeds to drown. Planting seeds too deeply causes poor germination. Seeds set inside rockwool
    blocks often heave up and out. Germinate seeds before planting to avoid this common problem.

    Seedlings do not have enough stored energy to force through too much soil before sprouting. Plant seeds twice as deep as the width of the seed. For example, plant an eighth-inch seed one-quarter inch deep.

    Seeds do not need any extra hormones to germinate. Household water contains enough dissolved solids, food, to nourish seeds through their first few weeks of life. Supplemental nutrients will disrupt internal chemistry. Some growers prefer to use distilled water which contains virtually no dissolved solids to germinate seeds.

    Sow (direct seed) or move the sprout into a shallow planter, small seed pot, peat pellet, or rooting cube. Keep the planting medium evenly moist. Use a spoon to contain the root ball when transplanting from a shallow planter. Peat pellets or root cubes may be transplanted in two to three weeks or when the roots show through the sides. Feed with a dilute, quarter-strength fertilizer solution.

    Construct a moisture tent over the seedling container to help retain even grow-medium moisture. To build, place a baggie or piece of cellophane over the seeded soil. The cover will keep the humidity and temperature elevated. Seeds under a humidity tent usually need only one initial watering. Remove the cover as soon as the first sprout breaks ground. Leaving the tent on after seeds sprout through soil will lead to damping-off and other problems.
    \t \t\t \t\t\t[​IMG]
    \t\t\t \t\t \t\t \t\t\tCannabis sprout.
    \t\t\tPhoto by Jorge Cervante \t\t \t
    Place planted seeds under an HID lamp to add dry heat while germinating. The heat dries soil, which requires more frequent watering. Place a heat pad or soil heating cables below growing medium to expedite germination. Cannabis seeds germinate and sprout quickest when the soil temperature is between 78-80F (24-27.5C) and the air temperature is 72-74F (22-23C). But stems will stretch between internodes if temperatures exceed 85F (29C) for long. Over-watering and under-watering are the biggest obstacles most growers face when germinating seeds and growing seedlings. Keep the soil uniformly moist, not waterlogged. Do not let the growing medium
    surface dry for long. Keep it evenly moist. Setting root cubes or planting flats up on a grate allows good drainage. A shallow flat or planter with a heat pad underneath may require daily watering, while a deep, one-gallon pot will need watering every three days or more. A properly watered flat of rockwool cubes needs water every three to five days when sprouting seeds. When the surface is dry (0.25-inch [7 mm] deep) it is time to water. Remember, there are few roots to absorb the water early in life, and they are very delicate.
    \t \t\t \t\t\t [​IMG] \t\t \t\t \t\t\tCannabis sprout.
    \t\t\tPhoto by Jorge Cervante \t\t\t \t\t \t Grow More Female Plants from Seed

    Environmental factors start influencing sex the moment the seedling has three pairs of true leaves (not counting cotyledon). Environmental factors that influence sex determination of cannabis include but are not limited to:

    Increasing the level of nitrogen makes more female plants. Lower the nitrogen level to create more male plants. Increase the level of potassium to increase male tendencies; lowering the potassium level encourages female plants. A higher nitrogen level and a lower potassium level for the first two weeks increases females.

    Low temperatures increase the number of female plants. Warm temperatures make more male plants.

    High humidity increases the number of female plants. Low humidity increases male plants.

    Low growing-medium moisture increases males.

    More blue light increases the number of female plants. More red light increases male tendencies.

    Fewer hours of daylight (e.g. 14 hours) increases the number of females. Longer days (e.g. 18 hours) make
    more male plants. Stress: any environmental stress tends to yield more male plants when growing from seed.
     
  2. This is how i start my seeds.....this way u get to pick out the ones that will grow 100% for sure. next step or tutorial should be how to feminize seeds.
     
  3. + rep thanks for posting.

    I never knew about the scuff method.
     
  4. can you do a write up about the presoak method
     
  5. So 14 hours lights on is good for seedlings till they are planted outdoors? I was going to do 18 which is pretty much how much sunlight is really outside. i plan to bring out in about 20 or so days.
     
  6. You'd be fine anywhere between 14 and 20 hours on. I would stay between 16/8 and 18/6 though, because mj plants can grow a tiny amount more per day up until 18/6, but over that can start increasing chances of male expression.
     
  7. I have 3 new seedlings under 3 cfls in a a 5 foot tall grow box barely wide enough for the 3 pots :wave:. I have a cpu fan in the bottom on the back blowing in and a space between the top drawer and the one below so the air isnt trapped. But anyways i just planted the new seedlings about 3 days ago and watered it twice once the first day and once this morning but the thing is i let the top get pretty dry trying to compensate for my last grow fail due to root rot , so i let the top dry to where it was the same all the way around all three pots ...it was only like that for about 12 hours and im wondering if i somehow i couldve killed the new seedling already.Anyone?Either way im going to keep watering and giving light for about the next 2 weeks and if nothing shows ill be starting over once again.:confused:
     
  8. is it dying it is 7 days old had it under a 400 watt hps now it have no light for 3-4 days
     
  9. Be careful fella's. Cervantes is as full of shit as a christmas turkey. He's what we call a "shade tree" around here. He's read a lot and studied so he knows a lot of terminology, so if youre sitting around in the shade talking, he knows it all.

    When it comes down to growing, he dont know shit from applebutter and half of the advice he gives is pure bullshit.

    Cannabis seeds germinate between 74 and 80 degrees farenhiet and to vary from that a few degrees in either direction will result in very slow germination if at all. ALL seed producers/breeders will caution you against "scuffing" seeds. There is simply no need for this activity and the potential to harm the seed/plant is far greater than any benefit from doing it.

    If cannabis seeds get moisture, (not water), air and are at the right temps they will germinate within 24-48 hrs. Some equatorial strains do tend to take a bit longer but "longer" means 4 days instead of a day and a half. Cervantes timeling is bullshit, like most of what he says.
     
  10. yea right
    jorge is a god and ive studied and praticed everything he says. i get great results.
    that guy is an idiot
     
  11. #12 5150, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2012
    [quote name='clodhopper']Be careful fella's. Cervantes is as full of shit as a christmas turkey. He's what we call a "shade tree" around here. He's read a lot and studied so he knows a lot of terminology, so if youre sitting around in the shade talking, he knows it all.

    When it comes down to growing, he dont know shit from applebutter and half of the advice he gives is pure bullshit.


    I find this to be half true. But you did say half the advice!!! :)

    Does he have any of his own grows online?
     
  12. He's what we call a "shade tree" around here. He's read a lot and studied so he knows a lot of terminology, so if youre sitting around in the shade talking, he knows it all. -clodhopper

    Lol clodhopper. A "shade tree" haha. Please don't "scuff" your seeds. This is completely unnecessary for seeds of an annual plant like cannabis. "Scuffing" is a technique used for hard to germinate seeds (like perennial seeds, etc.). Not easy germinating annuals like ganja. That's an excellent way to ruin your seeds, especially if you don't know what you're doing.

    All I need to know about Mr Jorge is that he says you need to sterilize compost to kill off all the "bad stuff" (without going into it, if it's got "bad stuff" in it, it's not "good compost"). Moronic to the nth degree.
     
  13. He does 5150. You should hunt down his little "How to" grow guerilla on youtube. He sets out in what looks to me like the desert with a box full of little clones and a hand spade. when he reaches his destination, he digs about a 1gallon hole, pours in a 1/2 gallon of compost a plants. He then tells the viewer this is how you grow "guerilla". I'd bet my whole crop that those clones he planted dont survive the month.



    He's got several video's where he insists that cannabis will not grow above 90 degrees farentheit!!
     
  14. 'If you’ve grown good pot -- you didn’t grow that. Somebody else made that happen'

    Damn 5150, aint that the truth. If it werent for the breeders trapsing around the world gathering fine genetics, lighting companies, soil makers, fert makers, the post office and so many others. If even one of those components had been removed, you wouldnt have had your good grow.........

    oh yeah, we cant forget that we wouldnt have any cannabis to grow, good or bad had it not been for the native peoples that identified the plant and nurtured its resinous efforts. Afghans, nepalese, brazilians, columbians and mexicans layed the course for us.
     
  15. Many of the facts depends on the temperature. In particular, when used to help microwave moisture sensor, time on the development costs less.
     
  16. Ed.Rosenthal knows.alot and has written many books on it.
     
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