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Growing your Seeds

GERMINATION AND SPROUTING

Germination is a natural process and needs little from us beyond creating the environment for this to take place. The seeds need to be warm, moist and in the dark, with air exchanged regularly. This can be achieved simply by placing the seeds in a clean glass of distilled water and placing that glass somewhere warm and dark. Perhaps overnight, or up to 2 weeks, the seed will split and a tiny root tip will emerge.

Water will need to be replaced every couple of days.

Or, lay a couple of layers of moist paper towel on a plate, being careful not to let the paper towel lay over the edge of the plate. Place the seeds on top and place more layers of paper towel on top. Cover this with another inverted plate on top and put somewhere warm. When you lift the plate to check them, let the condensation that has collected on the lid to run back onto the paper towel and they shouldn't need to be wetted again.

When the shell has cracked or the root tip has just emerged it's time to plant them in whatever medium you intend to grow them in. Plant the seed with the pointy end of the seed up. The root tip will grow down into the medium and push the seedling up through the surface. The seedling will need light and air as soon as it comes through the surface.

The greatest danger in the early seedling stage is over watering. The tiny stems cannot handle water around them at all times or they will rot and keel over. Let the surface of the medium dry before watering to avoid this until they have become larger and stronger.

NEVER, NEVER LET THE SEEDS DRY OUT!!
Do NOT use bleach or mix bleach with the water.
** USING BLEACH WILL KILL YOUR SEEDS!! **

NEW GERMINATION TECHNIQUES

I have been experimenting with seed germination each time someone complains of seed non-germination. I have discovered some very interesting things.

Some varieties of seeds will not germinate at room temperature but germinate fine at 90 degrees, about 20 degrees higher than room temperature.

I took the Golden Triangle Thai, Mikado (420 Seeds), Dutch Treat and placed 20 seeds in a moistened porcelain bowl with sterile water, seeds between paper towels (plastic wrap over bowl to keep in moisture) and left them in a cupboard. The temp there was 68 degrees on average.

I took 20 each of the same 3 strains and put them in between paper towels moistened with sterile water (with plastic wrap over the bowls too keep in all moisture) right above an electric baseboard heater where the measurable temperature was 90 - 92 degrees.

In the first group, The Golden Triangle Thai had 2 germinate out of 20, Mikado had 3 out of 20, Dutch Treat had 4 out of 20, and these took up to 4 days to pop.

In the second hotter group, 9 of 20 Golden Triangle popped within 5 days, 15 Mikado popped within 72 hours, and 12 Dutch Treat popped within 96 hours.

Wow, I was so impressed, and yet at the same time fascinated that I had never heard of this before. All these strains are equatorial in origin, so they need hot weather conditions to pop (like in nature where they come from, I imagine). The Mikado had swollen to about twice their size, and the Golden Triangle and Dutch Treat increases in size by about 50%, allowing a vigorous shoot to emerge.

I haven't tested this on other strains, typically I always just put 'em in the cupboard and they pop, but now I am going to do some tests on old seeds, various new seeds, and see what happens at higher temperatures.

Other Germination and Grow Information

Overgrow.com has some Online Grow Forums where you can discuss and learn techniques that will help you grow excellent marijuana. They also have an excellent archive of grow articles, grow videos, and the largest bud gallery on the internet.

Pot-TV has weekly live video programs (Realplayer and MP3 streaming audio) on growing marijuana with call-in questions and free seed giveaways, and there's more growing shows in the archives.

I strongly recommend that any novice gardener buy a grow video. It's a small investment in knowledge which will help you to reap bigger and better harvests.


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