We’ve all found an odd seed somewhere at the bottom of an old drawer or cupboard. Here are a few tips on how to germinate old cannabis seeds:
If, for example, you live in an area with very warm daytime temperatures and cool nights, try to protect your seeds from these changes and don’t store them outside in a shed or garage.
Cannabis seeds have three main enemies:
CAN YOU STORE SEEDS IN THE FREEZER?
If your seeds get exposed to light or rapid changes in temperature, these conditions will trigger them to use up their nutrient stores before they ever see soil, meaning they won’t have the nutrients they need to germinate. High humidity, on the other hand, can trigger fungi to grow on your seeds.
Older seeds often have an extra tough outer shell. Gently scratching this shell with some sandpaper can help moisture and warmth enter your seed at the time of germination. Try gently scarring your old cannabis seeds just before soaking to help them sprout.
Ziplock bags, for example, are great because you can remove all the air from them to create an almost vacuum-sealed container for your seeds. Once vacuum-sealed, put your bag inside a dark plastic bag or dark container to protect your seeds from your fridge light.
Again, whenever possible, keep your seeds in their original packaging. If you do open a pack of seeds and have leftovers, transfer the extra seeds directly into a sealed airtight container.
If you do not plan to store your seeds for a long time, but rather intend to plant them and harvest them as soon as possible, perhaps it will not be necessary to steal space from your fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator. Some recommended storing seeds in a closet located in a dark part of the house, where the natural light of day does not affect them too much, and so that they are kept dry and, more or less, cool. This location can be a good choice as long as you are going to plant your seeds soon.
To ensure this we place small pearls of silica gel inside the tubes so that, even if the outdoor humidity rises, or the temperature varies, we can be confident that the air is completely dry inside. The cap of the Eppendorf guarantees that no humidity gets in, but the silica gel also ensures that, if any were to penetrate it by accident, it would be immediately absorbed by this material.
Note these two temperature limits to calibrate the range in which you operate. Keep in mind that the ideal temperature to store seeds is around 6 to 8° C. Hence, the most expert growers have a refrigerator just for this purpose, with low temperatures being constantly maintained. The same is true with regards to humidity: if you do not want your seeds to suffer any damage it is advisable to keep them in places with a relative humidity of around 20-30%.
Labelling the different strains, essential to differentiate between them
To keep humidity low, it is ideal to have some sealable containers on hand. To do this, a highly recommended option is to use Eppendorf tubes, a standard piece of laboratory equipment used for the preservation of liquid samples, and the very ones in which we provide our customers with our seeds.
Another threat that can ruin all your efforts are insects. Just one in your container is enough to render all the seeds inside useless. To prevent this it is advisable to spread diatomaceous earth where you store them. D.E. is a kind of sand with a fossilised algae base. It is inert and non-toxic, and functions as an invaluable natural insecticide. If you keep your seeds in your fridge with other foods, this will not be a good place to use this type of substrate. However, if you have a refrigerator just for this purpose, or a simple closet, you will be able to use this trick.
You must not forget that light is another of the factors that directly impact seed germination. Therefore, you must be sure that you prevent light from shining on the seeds that you will later be planting. If exposed to light, they can lose much of their germinative power. This is why at Dinafem we place our Eppendorf tubes in opaque metal boxes, which protect the seeds from light and any possible crushing or breakage during their transportation or handling.
If you follow these guidelines you can preserve your seeds for several years. In fact, there are experts who contend that, if storage conditions are ideal, there are seeds that will last for up to a decade.
When handling several different kinds of seeds, it’s important to label everything properly for future use. It may seem obvious, but it can be easier than you think to get your seeds mixed up, especially if you are handling a variety of strains.
Furthermore, before sealing and labelling your seed containers, you should carefully check them for pests of any kind. Just one insect could potentially damage an entire batch of seeds. Make sure to tightly seal seed containers to make them impenetrable to any wandering bugs or pests.
If you choose to store them in containers, make sure that they are truly airtight and heat-proof. Most plastic containers are not suitable as their lids are not airtight. Moreover, plastic containers provide questionable protection against water molecules and UV rays. As such, plastic should only be relied upon for short-term storage.
Methods For Storing Cannabis Seeds
If stored correctly, cannabis seeds can still germinate up to 5 years or more after being harvested. Growers should be careful to protect their seeds from light and oxygen, as well as fluctuations in temperature and humidity. Read on to find out how and where to store your seeds for optimal preservation.
Properly storing your seeds is crucial to ensuring the health and success of your next crop. Keep reading to find out how to properly store cannabis seeds so they last as long as possible.
To avoid any potential damage, a relative humidity level of between 20–30% is advised. A humidity level higher than 40% may actually trigger germination, whereas levels below 8% may give any insects present the opportunity to become active and reproduce. For long-term storage, lower humidity levels of roughly 8–10% are believed to be more appropriate.
Additionally, don’t forget to include a desiccant in your seed container. A desiccant will work to maintain ideal humidity levels for your seeds. It will also absorb any excess ethylene that is naturally produced during the ageing process, thus extending the life of your seeds. Silica gel packs are recommended because they are reusable. However, natural desiccants like rice can also work really well, even if they have to be regularly replaced.