Technically speaking, the most important step in the process of successfully germinating cannabis seeds is buying quality marijuana seeds in the first place. If you fail to buy cannabis seeds that are up to scratch, you’re pretty much wasting your time from the get go.
Still, buying premium cannabis seeds from an established seller doesn’t necessarily guarantee success. The reason being that while successfully germinating cannabis seeds isn’t spectacularly difficult, there are some incredibly easy and common mistakes to be avoided along the way.
The more care and attention you invest in these critical early stages, the bigger the payoff further down the line. The germination process not only gets things started, but plays a direct role in determining the strength and generosity of the resulting cannabis plants.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of three potentially fatal mistakes to avoid when germinating cannabis seeds:
Allowing the medium to dry out
First up, perhaps the single most important thing cannabis seeds need to successfully germinate is moisture. When you place a cannabis seed in a moist medium, the moisture kickstarts a chain reaction that ultimately results in germination. Whether it takes a few hours or a few days, it’s the moisture that essentially starts and fuels the process. As such, it shouldn’t take a genius to figure out that unless moisture is provided consistently, the germination process simply isn’t going to happen.
As such, it’s important to keep a close eye on your germination medium and ensure it remains adequately moist at all times. This is particularly important if you are using a heat source, or positioning the medium anywhere with an elevated ambient temperature. If the medium dries out, moistening it once again in a panic simply isn’t going to work. Once the damage is done, there is nothing you can do – it’s game over.
Allowing seeds to germinate for too long
One of the golden rules when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds is to never even think about rushing the process. Nevertheless, there is such a thing as giving your seeds too long to germinate. Ideally, just as soon as the tap-root hits the 1cm mark, this is when you should be transplanting your seedlings to wherever it is you intend to continue growing them. The problem being that far too many people wait until the cotyledons appear, by which time the transplantation process becomes significantly more difficult.
While it’s never a good idea to rush things, you need to keep a close eye on your seeds and listen to what they’re telling you. As a rule of thumb, aim to transplant your seeds when the tap-root is between 1cm and a maximum of 2cm in length – any longer and you could be looking at total failure.
Poor temperature and humidity control
Last but not least, the germination process is typically quite forgiving and doesn’t necessarily need meticulously controlled conditions. Just as long as the temperature is reasonably high and humidity sufficiently elevated, you’ll get by just fine. Nevertheless, throwing caution to the wind and paying no attention whatsoever to temperature and humidity really isn’t the way to go.
Whatever germination medium you use, you should be looking to achieve a temperature somewhere between 26° C and 28° C, with humidity in the region of 70%. It’s not to say that values slightly lower or higher than these will destroy your seeds, but they’ll certainly have an impact on the speed and quality of your cannabis plants’ initial development. Given the fact that temperature and humidity gauges cost next to nothing these days, there’s really no excuse for missing the mark!