Best Cannabis Seed Starter

Starting your seeds hydroponically has many benefits, but many people are unsure how to go about it. They break down quickly after being exposed to natural elements leaving behind little to no trace of toxins or waste. Germinate cannabis seeds in cotton pads, soil or RootIt cubes. Check our full guides for the different germination methods, tips and tricks included.

Hydroponic Seed Starting 101: A Primer for Beginners

Starting your seeds hydroponically has many benefits, but many people are unsure how to go about it. Shannon McKee gives us a primer on the basics of starting your own seeds to expand on what you’re currently growing.

Many people skip starting their own seeds because of the time and effort to get them started, but there are some great reasons to start your own seeds hydroponically. It’s so much easier to just go to the store to pick up some seedlings to pop into your system and get growing, right? Well, store-bought seedlings do have some downsides that can be avoided if you start your own.

The first is that you’re limited to what you can grow in your system. You have to choose from the options available at the store. However, if you start your own seeds, you can grow anything. This means you can grow your favorite heirlooms or even rare plants that aren’t found at many nurseries.

Adding seeds to your hydroponic system means that they won’t go through any trauma or root damage from being transplanted into your system. This process may also introduce diseases or bugs into your hydroponic system from the store.

Also, you get the satisfaction of growing a plant from a tiny seed rather than just picking up a seedling. Plus, a packet of seeds can grow a number of plants for just a few bucks, whereas the cost of only one seedling can be the same amount.

Seeds are also more cost-effective than buying one or two seedlings in the long run, as you can save some for the following year. The germination rate can decrease over time, but often, you can still get quite a few to sprout over the years until you have to buy your next seed packet.

What You Need to Start Seeds in a Hydroponic System

The first time you start your own seeds for your hydroponic system may be a bit more expensive at the beginning because you need to buy more materials than in future years. Seeds need water, light, oxygen, and heat to grow. You really don’t need anything too special to grow your own seeds.

You can use a grow tray with a dome for your own miniature greenhouse to create an ideal environment. If you’ll be growing your seeds in an area that is cooler, you may want to invest in a heating mat that goes underneath the grow tray to keep it warm as this is a necessary condition for sprouting to occur. Light is good to have as well as this will help your seeds sprout.

Inside of your grow tray, it can be beneficial to use a pot that works for your seeds and their future as seedlings in your hydroponic set-up. You’ll want to use starter cubes, such as those made of stonewool (rockwool). The key here is to use something that can withstand being immersed in water without dissolving, as it could clog up your system after transplanting.

Step by Step Instructions for Sprouting Seeds in a Hydroponic System

  • The first thing that you’ll want to do is to soak your starter cubes in clean water for about an hour. After they’ve been given a chance to soak, put a few seeds into the cube’s hole. You’ll want to add several just in case you have some seeds that don’t germinate. Once they sprout, you can thin out the weaker plants to allow the strongest to grow.
  • Prepare your grow tray with about an inch of clean water or nutrient solution that is at half strength. Arrange the light source and heating mat as needed. You can keep the lid on to keep the heat and moisture in the tray.
  • Put these planted cubes into the grow tray and add water or the half strength nutrient solution as the level goes down in the grow tray.
  • After about four days, you’ll start to see some sprouts emerging.

Some people prefer to use a Ziploc bag, rather than a grow tray, when trying to get the seeds to germinate as it functions like a greenhouse. Seal the bag with a little bit of air and put it in a dark place for about four days to get the seeds sprouted. Then, you can put the starter cubes with sprouted seeds into the grow tray.

See also  Best Cannabis Seed Genetics 2022

Read also:

Step by Step Instructions on Transplanting

Keep your tiny seedlings growing strong with your hydroponic nutrient solution. Once they’ve gotten bigger, you don’t have to make the nutrient solution half strength.

You’ll start to see the seedlings’ roots coming out of the bottom of the cube, and this is the sign you’ve been waiting for, as it means you can start transplanting. This can take about two to four weeks depending on what plants you’re growing.

Clear up a spot in your hydroponic system’s growing media for the seedling – cube and all. Gently transfer the starter cube into your growing media, and cover it gently.

Give the root system a chance to naturally seek out the water and nutrients in your system by top watering it for a few days to give it a chance to grow the root system.

Voila! You grew your own seedlings into a strong plant for your hydroponic system. Depending on the type of plant, you’ll be able to get your first harvest about four to eight weeks from the time you transplanted your seedlings.

Cut out the dependency of only being able to grow the types of plants that are available as seedlings at your favorite gardening store. Take a little extra time to nurture your seeds so that they become strong seedlings ready to transplant into your system. You’ll be able to take pride in your efforts with how healthy your plants are and your overall system’s health.

10 Biodegradable pots that are great for starting cannabis seeds

At first, it might seem like plant plots will be the last of your worries in the germination phase of things, but once you try a few different kinds of containers, you will quickly see that there are benefits and drawbacks to all of them. However, if you do opt for plant pots that are biodegradable to germinate your cannabis seeds, you will always be doing something good for both yourself and the environment.

Plant pots of all shapes and sizes are typically made using plastics that are harsh on the environment, and though many of them claim to be reusable, we all know that after a few times of transplanting seedlings, all of those thin materials get bent out of shape and broken, and eventually tossed to the side after being replaced. This is terrible for landfills where they end up taking decades to break down, and it’s also hazardous to the plants that you start in them.

When plastic or plant pots that are made out of similar materials are used, they tend to come attached, squashed together, and in smaller groups, which is great if you want to save space, but it makes the process a challenge when it comes time to transplant your cannabis seedlings to more suitable accommodations, because by the time they’re ready they are root bound, holding them tightly into the tiny cups that are all closely attached.

At this point, you are left with no other choice but to squeeze the bottom of each cup in hopes of loosening the soil and roots within, just enough to slide them out without causing too much damage, but unfortunately, this disruption to the plant’s growth will be evident for several days afterward. Any major movement to the root system of a cannabis plant will stunt its growth because it tears valuable microscopic roots that help the plant to absorb nutrients and water.

So, as you can see, plastic is problematic in several different ways, but biodegradable plant pots go around both of the biggest issues with them. They break down quickly after being exposed to natural elements leaving behind little to no trace of toxins or waste, and because of that, they can be planted directly into the soil along with your cannabis seedling, so that you don’t have to take a risk and cause unnecessary damage to the root system.

Warning

Biodegradable plant pots are an amazing choice for starting cannabis seeds, but they do come with one drawback, and it is that the majority of them require some sort of holding container to keep water from leaking everywhere. This means that you will likely need a tray, but even if it’s made of plastic, it should be relatively easy to re-use year after year especially if you invest in something thick and durable.

1. Eggshells

We toss away eggshells every single day without thought, but with a bit of finesse, this regular every trash can be turned into plant pots that are the perfect size for starting cannabis seeds. All you need to do is use a spoon to crack open the top of an egg so that there is only an opening at the top. Then take a small sharp object and poke holes for water drainage, before filling it with dirt and then planting a cannabis seed inside.

See also  Germinating Old Cannabis Seeds

2. Cardboard rolls

Toilet paper or paper towel rolls will work for these DIY plant pots. They can be made short or tall, and once they are trimmed down to size with a sharp pair of scissors, all that is needed is adding the soil, water, and cannabis seeds. In no time, you’ll have a whole bunch of seedlings that are ready to stick in the ground as is, in perfect little tubes that will break down after a month or so of exposure to water.

3. Empty food boxes

Though it’s always best to avoid containers that are covered in ink that rises away, as it could be potentially toxic to your freshly sprouted seedlings, almost any kind of old cardboard food containers can be turned into biodegradable plant pots with a quick rinse. Just ensure that you remember to poke holes so that water can drain out, otherwise, you’ll risk root rot.

4. Potato

Potatoes are a staple in most households, and they are relatively cheap to buy, but the best thing about them is that they’re not only biodegradable. They’re also good to put back into the environment because they add nutrients to the surrounding soil as they break down. To make one, you’ll need a knife to carve out the inner bits leaving behind only a small layer of potato and skin. Just enough to maintain stability and make room for a sprouting seedling. Make a couple of holes in the bottom, fill it with soil, and then you’ll have a ready to go starter pod that can be planted whole for your cannabis seeds.

5. Starter plugs

Starter plugs can be made out of all kinds of natural materials like moss, or wood bark, which are ingredients that are perfect for starting cannabis seeds. They’re generally moldable like play-doh, and all you have to do to use them is add a bit of water and then press your seed inside. In no time, you’ll have a healthy little sprout in a completely biodegradable material that will protect the developing roots and break down quickly.

6. Paper towel

Paper towel is an excellent material for starting cannabis seeds, and you might be surprised to learn how versatile it is because it can be placed on or in virtually anything, and since it doesn’t take much to get them growing, one roll could easily make hundreds of seed starters. You can make a sheet and lay it in a tray, or put some in other plant pots that you have around, and as long as you don’t plant your cannabis seeds too deep, you’ll have seedlings ready to go and safely wrapped in no time.

7. Rockwool

Rockwool makes excellent biodegradable plant pots because they can be bought by the sheet, in cubes, or by the block, and then cut down to size, and it is perfectly safe to plant right into the ground with your cannabis plant tucked away safely inside. Some of the most professional cannabis growers use Rockwool in this manner because it’s safe, effective, and it does no harm to the surrounding environment.

8. Newspaper pods

You don’t have to spend money on fancy biodegradable materials for plant pots if you’ve got some newspaper lying around, as long as it doesn’t have color ink, which can be toxic to sprouting cannabis seeds. Take out one large sheet from a full-sized newspaper, and fold it lengthwise into half, and then once more down then middle again lengthways. This will give you a long strong layered sheet that can be rolled into tubes by tucking the edges into one another and folding in the bottom to hold soil. They will hold up long enough to produce seedlings and break down immediately once they’re planted in the soil.

9. Egg carton

Just like the eggshells that we throw in the trash, the cartons we hardly give a second thought to, aside from taking the extra step and putting them into the recycling, are fantastic things useful for so many DIY projects, including starting your own cannabis seeds. They don’t even need holes to drain, because any excess water will slowly seep out of the paper sides. Just fill the cups with dirt, plants your cannabis seeds, and in a couple of weeks, they’ll be ready to cut apart and plant as is.

10. Peat pellets

Peat pellets are one of the most popular biodegradable temporary pot plants for starting cannabis seeds, because they’re relatively cheap, easy to find, and require little work to use. All you have to do is to soak them in water until the peat absorbs enough to rise to the occasion, and then plant your seeds and wait for the magic to happen. The only issue with peat pellets is that they do tend to produce mold if they’re watered too much, so if you use them, make sure to keep everything surrounding the pods as dry as possible.

See also  Cannabis Seeds New Mexico

A Guide to Using Super Soil to Grow Super Weed

Every cultivator of cannabis eventually learns about the most helpful tools that can make growing weed easy, and super soil is one of the easiest to use.

Germinate cannabis seeds: Best ways

The best cannabis seeds can be expensive, so it pays to have a good germination method. Here are three different, but fully proven, methods which will give you consistently good germination rates (assuming the cannabis seed was of good quality of course)

The three detailed marijuana seed germination guides detail the use of cotton pads and RootIt Cubes, as well as traditional soil germination of cannabis seeds. The seed germination guides are equally valid for feminized seeds, autoflower seeds, regular seeds, CBD seeds, outdoor cannabis seeds or any other type of cannabis seed.

How to germinate cannabis seeds in cotton pads?

Using the same make-up cotton pads available in any pharmacy or drug store you can germinate your cannabis seeds easily. The method shows how you can germinate marijuana seeds between two damp cotton pads and then leave these pads on a dish covered in transparent kitchen film.

How to germinate cannabis seeds in soil?

Many growers have used soil for years. Germinating your cannabis seeds in soil is easy enough with a few simple rules. The germination guide explains soil preparation. It explains how to place the seed in the soil and advises on watering, temperatures etc. If you want to germinate and grow your seeds in soil then this is the guide for you.

How to germinate cannabis seeds in RootIt Cubes?

RootIt Cubes, along with many similar germination cubes, all use a moisture retaining material to geminate your cannabis seeds. Often this is a synthetic brown foam polymer, but glass wool and coco fibre have been used. The guide explains how the germination cubes are prepared and kept moist, as well as showing how to place the cannabis seed inside. RootIt Cubes and similar products are widely available online and in grow shops, they are a convenient and easy way to germinate weed seeds. If you are planning to germinate your cannabis seeds with germination cubes then this guide is for you.

Important. Avoid pulling the seed casing away from the seedling (especially new growers), you can damage the seedling. Its always better to wait until the seed case dries out and falls off naturally. Ripping the seed casing away from the first set of baby leaves (cotyledon) too early damages the young seedling and can kill it.

Each grower will have their own preferred germination method, these methods are our suggestions based on many years of customer feedback from Dutch Passion customers. Good luck!

9 Comments . Leave new

How much water do seed need during the germination (in soil) And than in the growning time? Please help me!

Hey,
A seed does not need any extra water as long as the soil you are germinating in is nice and moist.
You can spray your soil with a spray a couple of times if you feel it needs more moisture during germination.
During the growing period, it’s very dependent on your growing conditions, size of pot, temperature, size of the plant etc.

So we can’t give you a perfect answer to your question. Indoors you water the plants every day, with an amount that suits the period and conditions of that plant, at that time.

Greetings,
Joe
Dutch Passion

Thank you very very much…I hope I didn ‘t use a wrong mix of soil! I’ll tell you! Bye.

Nice and very informative blog, thank you so much for sharing this information with us.I always keen to read such a amazing post.

Well I’m about to start my 1st grow tomorrow and will be using the auto ultimate, I hope I get this right! Wish me luck as I think I’m going to need it

I wish you a lot of good luck with your grow! If you need help, let us know

Greetings,
Joe
Dutch Passion

Hi, i dont have microwave foil so instead i poked a couple of holes on the cling film. Is that okay?

Yes that’s definately okey to poke some holes in regular cling film

Greetings,
Joe
Dutch Passion

I use a good pinched chunk of rock wool.Use enough to hold moisture to geminate the seedlings. You can watch the process .