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best way to germinate seeds indoors

Cannabis seedlings usually emerge from the growing medium 24 to 72 hours after the germinated seeds are planted.

The best way to germinate cannabis seeds requires only two saucers or plates and some moist tissue. Here is a step by step guide.

This article explains how to correctly germinate your cannabis seeds, covering everything from optimum temperatures, to potting your seedlings and transferring them outdoors (or inside under lights).

Step 3. Potting – How to germinate cannabis seeds

Seeds should be placed on top of the tissue, allowing each seed as much space as possible.

Lastly, cover everything with the second plate, upside down, to form a ‘clam-shell’ shape – this will create the dark, moist environment necessary for germination.

Seedlings intended for outdoors should be acclimatised to direct sunlight by placing them on a windowsill inside the house and increasing their exposure to direct sunlight by an hour or two per day.

Place another few layers of moist tissue on top of the seeds, again allowing excess water to drain off.

When your seedlings are large enough to plant outdoors, you need to prepare them for the transition by hardening off.   Hardening off gradually prepares them for outdoor conditions like wind, rain, and sun. The hardening-off process is simple, though it can be time-consuming; it involves exposing your plants to the elements gradually. The first day of hardening off, place your seedlings outdoors for one hour, and then bring them back indoors. Gradually increase the amount of outdoor time every day for 6 to 10 days. You will need to make some judgment calls based on the outdoor temperature and the fragility of your seedlings. If it is a particularly cool day or very rainy, you will want to decrease the time of that hardening-off session.

The Spruce / K. Dave

The Spruce / K. Dave

Moving Seedlings Outdoors Too Soon

There is no benefit to a tough-love approach with seedlings when they are young. They will either instantly die or become weak and then fail to thrive. Even the most stalwart plants, when young, need a considerable amount of coddling and attention.

To increase your chances of getting it right, here are a few things you can do:

To be able to identify seedlings as they grow and to know when they will be ready for transplanting, you should label the seed containers as you are sowing. For every type of seed sown, use popsicle sticks or plastic plant markers and permanent ink pens to record the plant name and date sown. Insert the plant labels into the soil near the edge of the container or tray.

Many plants do not tolerate cold temperatures, and exposing them to chilly air or cold soil will stress them out. Chas Gill, who runs the Kennebec Flower Farm, agrees that one of the biggest mistakes people make when starting seeds is starting the seeds too early. Stressed-out plants are more susceptible to pests and disease. Most plants are ready to go outside four to six weeks after you start the seeds.

Once seedlings have two sets of leaves, it’s time to thin. You want one seedling per pot, so choose the healthiest, strongest-looking seedling to keep. Snip the other seedlings off at the soil line and discard them.

Some vegetables, like Tomatoes , Eggplants, and Peppers require a long growing season. To ensure healthy growth, most gardeners start seeds for these vegetables indoors in Spring. Starting your own seeds is not only less expensive than purchasing transplants, it also generally results in a more productive harvest season. Plus, it’s a fun, rewarding way to kick off on the gardening season!

Keep seed-starting mix moist. Seedling roots need both air and water. Strive to keep the mix moist but not saturated with water — think of it as a damp sponge that contains both water and air.

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Begin fertilizing weekly. Use a half-strength fertilizer once your seedlings have one or two sets of leaves. Organic fertilizers are a good choice, since they provide a range of nutrients, including micronutrients.

Plant seeds at the proper depth. Check the seed packet for planting depth. You don’t need to measure precisely, but be careful not to plant any deeper than the directions suggest. The rule of thumb is to plant the seed two-to-three times as deep as the seed is wide. For example, tiny seeds should be barely covered by soil mix, while large seeds like beans should be sown about an inch deep. If you sow seeds too deeply, they won’t have enough stored energy to make it to the surface. Plant extra seeds, because it’s likely not all of them will germinate; you’ll thin out the extra ones later.

Plant your support for the disappearing pollinator population in your own backyard with our Northeast Pollinator Mix. This easy-to-grow blend is designed to provide food and habitat .

After sowing, set the containers in a warm location. On top of the refrigerator or near a radiator are usually good spots. Check your pots every day for signs of growth!