The secrets of germination
The seeds germinate when a small white root emerges. Water, heat and air (oxygen) are all that cannabis seeds need to germinate. Fertilizers, “special” hormones and “secret” additives are unnecessary and a waste of time and money, according to the company. Jorge Cervantes. Mother Nature provides seeds with a stored food reserve to lead them to germination. Strong, viable seeds germinate in two to seven days. During germination, the protective shell of the seed divides and a small white root (tap root) appears. Zoom on a simple and unique method of one of the greatest specialists in canna-culture.
Step one: Soak the seeds
For best results, soak the seeds for 12-24 hours in a glass of clean water. First, the seeds often float to the surface. They should sink to the bottom of the container after a few minutes. Soaking ensures that water enters the protective shell to activate growth hormones. Avoid soaking the seeds for more than 24 hours. This causes them to suffer from oxygen deprivation and drown, causing the seeds to rot.
Step two: Cover the seeds
Carefully remove the seeds from the water container. Pour the water and seeds on two to four paper towels (paper towel), contained by a saucer or a plate. Once they are in place, cover the seeds by folding the towels. Tilt everything at an angle so that all excess water drains freely. Paper towels should be evenly damp, and free from excess water.
Third step: Darkness & heat
Place the seeds in a warm, shady / dark place. The ideal temperature for rapid germination is 21 and 26 degrees . Make sure the seeds are covered and in the dark. Another variation is to place paper towels on a rack so that excess water drains freely. The grid also allows an abundant air circulation (oxygen).
Step Four: Maintain Humidity
Touch the towels to check the humidity level, two to three times a day. It may be necessary to add water once or twice during the day depending on humidity and ambient temperature. Keep towels evenly moist. Never let towels and seeds dry out.
Do not leave the seeds in standing water. In particular, the excess water must flow freely. Paper towels are able to retain enough moisture to promote germination in 36 to 96 hours. Of course, some seeds can germinate earlier, and others will take longer, especially older, weaker seeds. If mold is a concern, take prophylactic measures. Add a mild organic fungicide or 2% bleach mixture to the irrigation water. To obtain the 2% solution, use 0.60l of bleach per 3 liters of water (or 0.30l of bleach in 1.5l of water.)
Bonus: The propagator
The propagator is perfect for small scale crops, and very useful for novice growers. In short,e Propagator Pro 2 create and maintain the best germination environment.
The propagator goes perfectly with the Smart Start. Indeed, this utensil includes a compact tray of 20 small pots filled with compost activating essential microbial life. You can also use Propagator Pro 2 as a nursery for weak seedlings or for germinating clones.
Jorge Cervantes on PhotoCup and How to Grow Close-up Ready Cannabis From Seed
Jorge Cervantes is a legendary figure in cannabis cultivation, the author of industry standards like Indoor Marijuana Horticulture and The Cannabis Encyclopedia. Most recently, he’s turning his talents to judging the PhotoCup, an international cannabis photo contest sponsored by the online seed retailer Seedsman.
Tell us what PhotoCup is and how you got involved?
PhotoCup is a pretty cool cannabis photography contest that’s sponsored by Seedsman. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve seen a photo contest giving away cash prizes, and pretty significant ones—$40,000 all told, spread between several winners. It was nice to see a contest like this with more at stake than just bragging rights, so when they asked me if I wanted to be a judge, I was happy to be involved.
(Courtesy of Jorge Cervantes)
What made Seedsman an organization you wanted to partner with?
One cool thing about Seedsman is they handle everybody’s seeds, and they largely know everybody, especially the old guys. And maybe more importantly, they’re impeccably honest, which is hard to find in this business sometimes, especially as the cannabis industry transitions from being in the shadows to being in the spotlight.
What do you look for in a beautiful cannabis grow photo?
First, the photo has to be in focus. That seems basic, but it can be tough sometimes, especially in close-up photos with a narrow depth of field. So that’s a prerequisite. Lighting is also key, because cameras can do a lot for you these days, but they can’t control the lighting. The last thing I look for is photos that are framed properly and at an interesting angle that shows off the plant. Lots of people do just a straight on photo of a bud, and that can turn out nicely, but we want to see something interesting, and that takes an artistic eye.
What tips would you impart to aspiring cannabis growers who want to grow gorgeous plants like they see in the PhotoCup?
Health is pretty much everything when it comes to a good-looking plant. If it’s nutrient deficient, the camera won’t lie about that. If the plant has pests or insects, you’re going to see it in a photo. You take a picture of a healthy plant, you’re going to know it, just like with a healthy person.
How is growing from seed different from starting with a clone?
There are quite a few differences. When you’re starting with a clone, you have the advantage of stability, because the plant is genetically identical to its mother. But clones can also harbor diseases like powdery mildew or aspergillus, because keeping clones clean is very difficult, especially in a retail environment. And a lot of these diseases can go undetected because they’re not initially visible on the surface of a plant. But at harvest, you’re definitely going to see that.
What are some of the advantages to growing from cannabis seed?
Seeds don’t carry any pathogens, or insects or mites, because that’s the way mother nature designed them. If a seed doesn’t germinate, you know it real fast, so you can address the issue immediately. You find out when you can still do something about it, not halfway through the growing process when it’s too late to address the issue.
The other advantage is in selection. If you have a handful of seeds, you can have 200 varieties of cannabis represented. And of course, seeds are also hardy and easy to transport. You can get 1,000 seeds in an old film case, and you can store them for a long time and they’ll be fine.
These days, you’ve also got the advantage of feminized seeds, which save the time and effort of identifying and eliminating male plants from gardens, and autoflowering seeds, which can’t be cloned and only grow from seed.
(Courtesy The Irie Times)
What should cannabis cultivators be particularly aware of when starting from a seed?
The three things you have to keep in mind when starting a plant from seed are light, heat, and moisture. All three of those factors have to be controlled, and each has equal importance. You screw one of those up, the plant is going to grow slowly and waste valuable growing time.
My advice is to make sure seedlings have consistent heat and moisture. Moisture is something you have to watch carefully, as too much can cause a seed to rot, but too little will leave it dried out.
Another note is that seeds don’t really need much light at all, certainly not as much as a plant would get. As you’re starting seeds, dim fluorescent light is fine. Seedlings just need enough light to get out of the ground, and they’re are designed to come up in early spring and with other plants around them—that’s a low light environment, and they’re fine with it.
Once the true leaves come out, they need a little more light, but again, fluorescents are fine until the plant is 6-9 inches tall. Early on, most of the plant’s energy is going to developing a strong root system, so it can be easy to burn seedlings by giving them too much light.
What should people keep an eye out for when buying seeds online?
You look for a company that has a proven track record. That’s very important, as is a company that stands behind their product over time. Right now, you’re seeing lots of new people in the game, and while their intentions may be good, their execution is not always the best.
I’d also prioritize working with someone who ships fast. When you make a decision to order seeds, and you don’t want to be still waiting to find out when they’re going to ship five emails later—that’s valuable time you could be getting plants in the ground.
Jorge’s Diamonds #1 Feminised Seeds
Jorge’s Diamonds #1 was created by Dutch Passion in collaboration with renowned cannabis author and growing guru Jorge Cervantes. An indica-dominant strain that is truly of connoisseur quality.
Jorge’s Diamonds is a reference to the sparkling THC-bearing crystals that cover the buds of this marijuana strain at maturity. It is intended for indoor and greenhouse cultivation in all but the warmest of climate regions. Yields are very good making this a great strain considering the sheer quality of its product.
Rare indica genetics were used to create this special variety and these were judiciously mixed with some sativa to impart a long-lasting soaring sativa effect to the full-on indica stone. It is an easy-to-grow strain that has a remarkably high resistance to pests including spider mites. Flowering takes 8.5 weeks to full maturity. Thin Layer Chromatography has measured the THC content at between 16% – 18%. and it is also high in THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin), CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol).