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It’s essential to acquire high-quality cannabis seeds for germination, as these will go on to become high-quality cannabis plants. Seeds that are fresh-feeling or too green indicate that they haven’t reached full maturity, while pale-green, white, or very dark cannabis seeds may have trouble sprouting. However, it’s tricky to know the outcome of a popped seed, so trying may be worthwhile. If you’re not ready to pop your seeds yet, store them in a dark, cool place until it’s time for germination.
The paper towel method is also a common way cultivators pop their seeds. Some even use this method with cotton pads instead of paper towels, but the necessary steps are the same.
Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.
To germinate seeds this way, lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel.
Monitor your soil every day and keep it moist. Within four to seven days, you should see tiny stems sprouting from the soil.
Done! Double-check the pH value of your homemade soil. It should be in the range of 5.8–6.3.
Let’s talk about the best soil for growing cannabis.
• Fine particle size
• High pH
• Pros: Rich in nutrients, retains water
• Cons: Poor drainage, heavy and compact, hard to work with
If you’re working with natural soil, chances are it won’t be perfect for growing cannabis—not from the start, at least. The texture may not be optimal or it may have poor drainage, for example. But you can improve any type of soil by adding amendments, most of which can be found in your local grow shop.
No-till cultivation is a gardening method that allows the soil to remain undisturbed (no digging, stirring, overturning, etc.). This way, microorganisms in the soil can create a thriving ecosystem that replenishes the soil with good bacteria, helpful fungi, and other living organisms. No-till cultivation promotes organic matter retention and water absorption because nutrients are constantly being recycled throughout the soil.
Aside from these factors, there are some common traits among all cannabis soils. Let’s take a look at them:
• 1 part vermiculite
• 1 part coco coir peat
• 2 parts compost
• ½–1 cup worm castings (or humus)