For a seed to be viable, it must be mature enough to have a completely formed genetic blueprint, and it must be strong enough to germinate and pop through its hard casing and sprout its crucial taproot.
Keep a close eye on the temperature and moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy. It’s very delicate at this stage. Use a spray bottle to water it—over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.
If growing outside, some growers prefer to germinate seeds inside because they are delicate in the beginning stages of growth. Indoors, you can give weed seedlings supplemental light to help them along, and then transplant them outside when big enough.
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Also, buying from a reputable breeder or seed bank will give you a sense of what a particular strain will look and smell like, how it will grow, and how much it will yield at harvest.
Cultivating males is important for breeders trying to cross new strains and genetics, but most people growing for buds will want to remove the males.
In some cases, even if a seed isn’t completely mature, there’s still a chance it could be viable. But often these are extremely weak, take long to develop, and express other unfavorable characteristics. Growers usually discard weak plants to free up space.
In commercial cannabis production, generally, growers will plant many seeds of one strain and choose the best plant. They will then take clones from that individual plant, which allows for consistent genetics for mass production.
Step 3: Dampen your paper towels. Spray the paper towels with your spray bottle. You are aiming for the paper towels to be damp, not dripping. If you notice the water pooled in your container, dump out the extra.
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Pre-germinating seeds with a damp paper towels is a great gardening hack that speeds up germination by providing the seeds with ideal environment. Plus you can see the seeds sprout and not have to wonder what is happening under the soil.
Materials needed to pre-sprout seeds:
Step 6: Check seeds daily. Examine your seeds each day for germination and to make sure the towel stays damp. Spray the towel if needed.
It may be helpful to review this article on 10 Steps to Starting Seedling Indoors to get your seed starting area setup, and then follow the steps to pre germinate your seeds:
Whether you are new to growing your own food or have been growing a vegetable garden for years, you will benefit from some planning each year. You will find everything you need to organize and plan your vegetable garden in my PDF eBook, Grow a Good Life Guide to Planning Your Vegetable Garden.
Place the sprouted seed on top of your growing medium and cover with dry seedling mix. Mist with your spray bottle and place under your growing lights.
Plastics don’t decay at least within the next thousand years, so why don’t you recycle those plastics into containers to germinate seeds indoors? You can get plastic containers like these, place the seeds near the window, and allow enough sunlight to let the seeds grow.
One of the easiest and fastest ways on how to germinate seeds is to use paper towels. If you’d like to see how it’s done (this is going to be quick, don’t worry), just check out this video:
Be a lot gentler on the environment by either composting your fruits and veggies or using them as seed starters. Your pumpkin, for instance, can be used to grow, what else, pumpkin seeds! It takes about a week to see your first sprouts, so they’re easy to germinate. All you need is to get a pumpkin (not rotting yet), cut the top, clean the space, add your compost or soil, bury the seeds, and water.
Wide soup bowls are perfect for growing fruits and veggies that also tend to be huge once they grow like pineapples, for instance.
A very popular method of sprouting seeds is by using tissue paper or a paper towel. Germinating seeds in a paper towel is a viable option when you have a lot of seeds with you, and you have no idea which of these will grow successfully.
Don’t have pumpkin? More likely, you have citrus fruits like lemons. Use the halves the way you do pumpkins. That’s it!
One of the main reasons why you should seriously consider sprouting seeds is carton is biodegradability. You don’t have to worry about throwing the cartons away once you’re ready to move the seeds to their pots. If you lack muffin trays, you can grow seeds in egg trays instead. Fill them with soil and spray some water, and you’re good to go. Another option is to use eggshells. Cut them in half, fill them with soil, and add a minuscule amount of water. Then place the eggshells in the tray.