You may have a long way to go before you get chunky buds, but the start always comes first in the whole cultivation process. According to a small survey, a surprising number of growers were found to be stuck on the first step - germination and seedling - leading to eventual abandonment. Therefore, we consulted several experienced cultivators and came up with 5 tips that can significantly improve your germination rates - what we call the "BRUSH" strategy, as they are:
- Handle Seeds With Proper Tools
- Upgraded Your Germination Method
- Seedling Heat Mat
- Roots Off The Floor
- Beware of overwatering
Handle Seeds With Proper Tools: NO BARE HANDS
1) Seed storage: “DDC”Principle
Seeds, especially rare seeds, are too expensive to lose. As long as you don't sow the seeds immediately after you buy or breed your own, you need to keep them properly in case they turn into bad seeds.
“Dark, Dry, Cold” is the major rule for stocking any seeds at any time as seeds turn alive when exposed to light, water, and warmth. For long-term storage, store your seeds in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge and take them out when you decide to plant them. This mimics the season change from Winter to Spring.
2) Do not handle seeds with bare hands
Seeds and seedlings are vulnerable to all kinds of pathogens like bacteria and fungus, which, unfortunately, are full over human hands. Handling seeds with your bare hands is like giving them a bath in a germ colony. Please use clean and disinfected gloves or tweezers instead.
Upgraded Your Germination Method: Innovative Tricks
1)Upgraded Paper Towel Method
If you’re new to the Paper Towel method, before you read the following sentences, please learn about General Paper Towel Method in advance. Otherwise, you may find it hard to figure out what we’re talking about.
Upgrade Point 1: Utilize Hydrogen Peroxide
Spray a small amount of hydrogen peroxide for disinfection and softening(@BandManJu). The recommended concentration is 1%. Sprinkle 2-5 drops on a wet paper towel to kill some fungi and release water and oxygen as it decomposes.
Upgrade Point 2: Pre-treat "Old"Seeds
Sometimes it is necessary to rough up or scrape old seeds by putting them in a small container and shaking them with a small piece of sandpaper, which softens and weakens the shells and makes them easier to germinate, which is very useful for old seeds. (@craigpe93478609)
Likewise, please refer to GeneralSoilMethod before reading the below tips.
UpgradePoint 1: Small Greenhouse
Place the seeds in the soil, fill a 30 ml syringe with warm water at 75-85 degrees Celsius, apply a drop of superthrive(growth promoters) and pour it thoroughly into the soil around the seeds, then spray the inside of a clear plastic cup with water and place it over the seeds, burying the edges in the soil. (@craigpe93478609)
UpgradePoint 2: Aloe Vera Fertilizer
Use fresh aloe vera in the spray mixture(@matyice420)
Aloe vera fertilizer is commonly used as a natural rooting hormone to promote seed germination and rapid root development. It has many benefits, including antibacterial properties and increased resilience, which we won't go into here so look it up yourself if you’re interested. What we are discussing here is its dosage.
Use about ¼ cup of churned fresh aloe vera per gallon of water/mixture. Just add it directly to the water/mixture, but remember to use it within 20 minutes after the churn.
Seedling Heat Mat: Consistent Wake-up Warmth
The best temperature to germinate Cannabis seeds is 25° C / 77°F
A stable external environment is crucial, regardless of the method you use for germination. A warm and moist environment is the wake-up signal for seeds. If the environment changes on the way out of sleep, the seed quickly stops sprouting and dies.
Perspective cultivators will have multiple heat mats for different uses, such as seedling, propagation, and root cutting - anywhere mild and flat warmth is needed.
Mars Hydro has made temp-controllable and temp-visible heat mats. Please see Mars Hydro Seedling Heat Mats for details and purchase.
Tip: use a soft towel between the heat mat and your seed container can relieve the heat impact on seeds and low down the stress.
Roots Off The Floor: Away From Unforeseen Cold
This trick is particularly for those who germinate in winter or in a dank and cold environment. Young seedlings are easy to die without a proper environment. It's hard to realize that ground or tabletop temperature can remain extremely low for a long time, which can easily slow the growth of seedlings or kill them outright. In addition to a heat mat under the containers, keeping your roots off the floor can be a great tip to avoid the impact. Risers should do the trick(@kingwheez)
Besides, running led grow lights at night could be another great tip to maintain the warmth and save electricity!
BewareOfOverwatering: No Spoilers, No Harm
Seedlings need a small amount of water because they haven’t built up a robust root system that more water is taken in from the air. Roots soaked in water are highly susceptible to decay which leads to an end of life. Maybe you love your babies but don’t spoil them, they will drown.
One seedling needs about 200-300ml water, and water frequency depends on ambient humidity. There’s a simple tip to check if the seedling needs water that is to raise your containers up and feel the weight. If lighter than usual, your seedlings are probably asking for water.
Keep In Mind The“BRUSH” Strategy For Better Germination And Seedling
“Beware of overwatering”, “Roots off the floor”, “Upgrade your germination methods”, “Seedling heat mat”, “Handle seeds with proper tools”. Keep in mind these 5 tips and utilize them when you germinate seeds and take care of seedlings, you will see significant progress in the sprouting rate. Of course, if you need more tricks welcome to look through Mars Hydro Blog Posts or contact us directly, Mars Hydro professional staff would always be willing to offer help.
Also, a heartfelt thank you to the growers on Twitter who have provided us with helpful tips. May everyone enjoy every sea of green.