Before people have invented many unique forms of breeding cannabis, people prefer growing plants from seed. You may opt to go from cloning, but remember, you can only clone so many times before you have to purchase more plants or buy seeds for yourself.
Growing seeds is all about quality. Plants will never be better than the seeds that they grow from. Many years ago, there were no stores that sell seeds, so growers only save seeds from exceptional plants, but it was a hard experiment that was produced through trial and error. Luckily, you live in a world where breeders and growers have advanced in cannabis research.
Starting your cultivation from seed is not that difficult. You do not need to have the experience, you just have to observe the process and enjoy all stages of the journey. Cannabis plants are perfect if you choose to grow from seeds because they have a generally short life cycle. But, you should be prepared for checking your plants every day for nutrient deficiencies, insects, moisture, and lighting.
The Equipment Needed for Growing Cannabis
- A four-foot table or two sawhorses with plywood on top
- A piece of thick plastic or a waterproof tablecloth
- Potting soil
- Clean sand
- Seeds of your desired strain
- A five gallon pail for mixing
- A four-foot shop light with chains and hooks
- One red fluorescent grow light
- One white fluorescent tube light
- A light timer
- Five-ounce opaque drinking cups
- Eight-ounce drinking cups
- A pH testing kit
- Plant trays
- Plastic kitchen wrap
Best Lighting for Cannabis Seedlings
If you are on a budget, fluorescent lights offer the best investment. Do not forget to factor in the cost of electricity and bulb replacement. You can maximize lighting by using a room with white walls or surrounding your grow table with movable reflecting foil-covered cardboard or hanging sheets of Mylar.
Germination of Cannabis Seeds
Mature cannabis seeds are identifiable with their dark brown colors, sometimes with patterns like swirls and stripes. If you see some pale or green seeds, you should discard them because they are really immature. Before you decide to plant seeds, use the paper towel method to check their worth. Place your seeds in a moistened, loosely rolled up paper towel on a plate in indirect light on your kitchen counter where you can monitor progress. Keep the paper towel moist, but not lying in a puddle of water or else the seeds will rot.
Some seeds germinate within a couple of days, while some seeds take up to one week, depending on the temperature. It is helpful to know that the seeds will produce both male and female plants. Plant your sprouted seeds about one inch apart in your cups because usually, one seedling would appear stronger compared to another. Go for the bigger one and pinch off the smaller ones at the soil level. The great thing about starting to plant seedlings using opaque cups is that you can see some root growth. Poke some drainage holes around the cup base. As you finish each cup, slip it in the other end of the stack so you will not waste crumpled cups. Mix your potting soil with enough sand to give more body to the soil. Add water gradually while mixing the soil to moisten.
Fill up the cups with the soil mixture and tap them a few times to eliminate air pockets. Add more soil if needed; tap it more to leave a half-inch space at the rim of the cup. Then, set up your grow table and your lights.
Transplant Your Seedlings
Using a matchstick and a toothpick, make two small holes with the end of the match about a quarter of an inch deep and half an inch apart. Pick out two sprouted seeds at a time from the paper towel without touching the sprout then drop them into the holes.
Put as many cups that would fit into your plant trays then drape the long piece of plastic to wrap over everything. It should look like a mini greenhouse. After you finish, let your plants sunbathe under the lights for the next six weeks of the seedling phase.
Water your seedlings using a spray bottle until the first leaves appear, and then water from the bottom. You should make sure the soil around the stem is dry in order to avoid stem rot. Fill your pitchers or buckets with water and let sit uncovered until room temperature and the chlorine has evaporated.
The Vegetative Stage
During this stage, leave the lights on 24 hours every day and as close to the plant’s leaves as possible. Rotate your plants so all of them will benefit from the light. When plants begin to bud, rough handling or a change in temperature or light can drive them into shock. When you see them outgrowing the cup, it is time to place them in pots, which are three-quart containers commonly found at nurseries.
Identifying the Sex of the Plants
Towards the end of the vegetative stage, you will see males developing two pollen-filled sacs that are easy to see and females have a pair of white V-shaped hairs. One male plant will be enough to pollinate all of your female seeds. If you are not growing for seeds, yank all the male plants away. If you are after smoking, choose females for more flowers, buds, and THC.
To grow more plants, remove the unproductive lower stems and leaves on your plants. Make two or three shallow slices on the main stem with a blade then insert a graft with root stimulant in each cut. Put a small piece of tape to keep them in place. Soon, you will have new growth and you can enjoy high volumes of yields.
Growing cannabis plants from seeds will be very beneficial for you; especially if it is breeding you are after. If you only get your seeds from reputable seed banks, you will ensure that you will only grow potent and high quality plants that will produce the best type of buds that you can enjoy taking. Just follow the advice in this article and you will avoid having problems in your cultivation.