7 Hacks to Get Your Cannabis Seeds Germinating Faster
There are several things you can do to help cannabis seeds germinate like Jack and the Bean Stalk:
- Pre-soak your seeds: Soak your seeds in water for 12-24 hours before planting them. This will help to soften the seed coat and make it easier for the seed to germinate.
- Use a seedling heat mat: Seedling heat mats provide a consistent source of warmth to help the seeds germinate faster.
- Use a seedling starter mix: Seedling starter mix is designed to promote seed germination and provide the necessary nutrients for the seedlings to grow.
- Keep the growing medium moist: Keep the medium moist but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle to mist the soil rather than pouring water directly onto it.
- Provide adequate lighting: Make sure the seeds are exposed to enough light to encourage germination.
- Use a humidity dome: A humidity dome can help to maintain the proper humidity level for the seeds to germinate.
- Check the temperature: Make sure the temperature is within the optimal range for germination, which is typically between 70-85°F (21-29°C).
Each of these quick tips can help you to get your cannabis seeds germinating faster this year and we will go into each of them in detail below to help you get the seeds off the fastest start in 2023.
Soaking your Cannabis Seeds in Water
Pre-soaking your cannabis seeds before planting them can help to soften the seed coat and encourage faster germination. Here’s how to pre-soak your cannabis seeds:
- Fill a glass or bowl with room temperature water.
- Gently add your cannabis seeds to the water. Be careful not to damage the seeds.
- Allow the seeds to soak in the water for 12-24 hours.
- After soaking, carefully remove the seeds from the water and place them on a damp paper towel or in a seedling starter mix.
- Cover the seeds with another damp paper towel or a humidity dome to keep them moist.
- Check the seeds daily to ensure they remain moist and to monitor their progress.
It’s important not to soak the seeds for too long, as this can lead to over-saturation and damage to the seeds. It is also important to plant your seeds as soon as you start to see the tap root emerge from the seeds.
Take the seed, add it to the growing medium that you have chosen, making sure to face the seed root down into the growing medium(Soil, Rockwool Cubes, Seed Starter Mix etc) this will in turn push the seedling up and out of the medium. This is very important so that the seed’s root will go down into the medium. By pre-soaking your cannabis seeds, you can help to speed up the germination process and increase your chances of successful seedling growth.
Using a Seedling Germination Heating Mat
Using a seedling heat mat for cannabis seed germination can help to provide a consistent source of warmth and speed up the germination process. Here’s how to use a seedling heat mat:
- Place the seedling heat mat on a flat, level surface. If you do not place the heating mat evenly it can cause spots where the flat is getting too warm while at the same time causing spots that will be colder not giving an even germination rate.
- Place your seedling tray or container on top of the seedling heat mat.
- Make sure the heat mat is plugged in and turned on. If you forget don’t worry you can just turn it on the next time, it shouldn’t slow germination very much.
- Check the temperature of the heat mat and adjust it as needed to ensure it stays within the optimal range for cannabis seed germination, which is typically between 70-85°F (21-29°C). You can purchase a special temperature controller that will monitor the temperature inside your seedling tray and keep it in the desired range for the best starting temperature for your cannabis seeds.
- Monitor your seeds daily to ensure they are not getting too warm or too dry. Take the dome off once a day to check heat, moisture levels and for germination.
Using a seedling heat mat can help to promote faster and more consistent germination, especially in cooler environments or during the winter months. However, it’s important to be cautious when using a heat mat and to monitor your seeds closely to avoid overheating or drying them out.
Should you Leave the Seedlings Under the Dome After Germination?
While it’s helpful to use a humidity dome to cover your cannabis seedlings during the germination process, it’s generally not recommended to leave them under the dome after germination.
Once the seedlings have emerged and developed their first set of true leaves, they need more air circulation and less humidity to encourage healthy growth. Keeping them under a humidity dome for too long can lead to excessive moisture buildup, which can increase the risk of mold, damping-off, or other fungal diseases.
By removing the humidity dome and providing proper air circulation, you can help your cannabis seedlings to thrive and avoid potential problems that can arise from excess moisture.
Using a Seedling Starter Mix
While there are no seed starter mixes on the market for cannabis seeds (as far as we know) at the moment. Most average seed starting mixes will generally work fine for cannabis however. Growers can also make their own seed starting mixes, however it is recommended that if you are just starting for the first time it would be wise to pick up a premade mix.
Creating Your Own Seed Starting Mix From Scratch
Making a seed starting mix for cannabis is relatively easy and can be done with a few simple ingredients. Here’s a basic recipe for making your own seed starting mix:
- Peat moss or coconut coir (recommended)
- Perlite or vermiculite
- Compost or worm castings
- Dolomite lime (optional but helpful if you can get it)
- Mycorrhizae (optional but is an amazing extra for the full growing cycle)
How to Make Your Starting Mix
- Mix together equal parts of peat moss or coconut coir and perlite or vermiculite. This will provide good drainage and aeration for your seedlings.
- Add in a small amount of compost or worm castings to provide some nutrients for your seedlings.
- If desired, you can add dolomite lime to adjust the pH of the mix and mycorrhizae to promote healthy root growth.
- Thoroughly mix the ingredients together until well blended.
- Moisten the mix with water until it is slightly damp, but not waterlogged.
Your homemade seed starting mix is now ready to use. You can use this mix to fill your seed trays or containers and start your cannabis seeds. It’s important to keep the mix moist and provide adequate light and warmth to encourage germination and healthy seedling growth.
Keep Your Growing Medium Moist
Many new growers have issues with the moisture levels in their growing medium for cannabis seed starts and seedlings. It’s tough to let your seedlings growing medium dry out completely before watering again and the thoughts of your seedlings shriveling up and dying from lack of water. Seedlings can have their medium dry out before needing to be watered. I have seen young seedlings completely shriveled up and looking completely dead, after giving them water and checking them the next day they are back up and growing like nothing happened. Well this is an extreme case, seedling medium should be allowed to dry well before rewatering.
Overwatering at this stage of growth will cause more harm than good for your seedlings.
Provide Adequate Lighting for Cannabis Seedlings
When it comes to providing adequate lighting for cannabis seedlings, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you ensure your seedlings get the light they need:
- Choose the right type of light: For cannabis seedlings, it’s best to use a high-quality fluorescent or LED grow light. These lights provide a full spectrum of light that is optimal for seedling growth.
- Determine the appropriate distance: The distance between the light source and the seedlings is important. If the light is too close, it can cause heat damage to the seedlings. If the light is too far away, the seedlings may not receive enough light. A good rule of thumb is to keep the light around 2-3 inches above the top of the seedlings.
- Use a timer: It’s important to provide your cannabis seedlings with a consistent amount of light each day. A timer can help you automate the process and ensure your seedlings get the right amount of light.
- Monitor the temperature: Light can generate heat, and it’s important to make sure the temperature around the seedlings stays within a healthy range. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust the distance of the light if necessary.
- Gradually increase the light intensity: Seedlings need less light than mature plants, so it’s important to gradually increase the light intensity as the seedlings grow. You can do this by increasing the amount of time the lights are on each day or by increasing the wattage of the bulbs.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your cannabis seedlings receive the right amount of light to grow into healthy, mature plants.
Using a Humidity Dome
Humidity domes can help with cannabis seeds germinating faster, although they are not necessary for germination. They do have some benefits to using them. Humidity domes can be a useful tool for germinating cannabis seeds as they create a controlled and humid environment that can help promote seed germination quicker.
They can keep the medium warm thus helping the seeds germinate quicker then if they were cooler for that time. When the medium is warmer and more comparable to spring temperatures this can help the seeds germinate quicker then they normally would. A humidity dome will hold the warmth and humidity in and help the seeds germinate faster.
Keeping the temperatures in check while germinating seeds can be very helpful, cannabis seeds germinate faster when they are subject to warmer temperatures. It is best to use a thermometer so you can check the temperature of not only your medium but also the air around the medium to make sure it is in the correct temperature range to get the cannabis seeds germinating faster.
Never let the temperature range get out of control as it will slow down germination and may even cause other issues.
We hope that these 7 hacks for getting your cannabis seeds to germinate faster will help you get your cannabis seeds out of the growing medium and off to a healthy and fast start to this year’s growing season.