How To Plant Cannabis Seeds
Selecting the Right Seeds
When it comes to planting cannabis seeds, selecting the right type of seed for your desired variety is essential. Different strains of cannabis require different levels of care and nutrients, so choosing a strain that suits your needs and climate is critical. Additionally, the type of seed you choose can determine the size, yield, and quality of your harvests.
Let's look at how to choose the right cannabis seed to get the best results:
Choose the strain of cannabis
Choosing the strain of cannabis to grow is one of the most important factors in achieving a successful, abundant harvest. Each strain has its own unique characteristics, such as growth rate, flower structure, effects and taste.
When selecting a strain, consider what type of environment you will be growing in. Indica and indica-dominant strains typically require less light and are good for small growing areas. Sativa or sativa-dominant strains require more light and are well suited to larger growing areas. However, some hybrids combine both indica and sativa traits into one strain, offering growers the best of both worlds.
You should also consider the effects that you want your plant to produce. Different levels of THC (the main active ingredient in marijuana) can have big impacts on the strength and feeling produced by various strains. Generally speaking, indica-dominant strains will produce more intense physical effects while other types may give users certain mental benefits such as increased creativity or focus. Furthermore many growers prefer certain flavors or aromas that their favorite strains offer – after all marijuana plants are grown for consumption!
In addition to these factors, think about how soon you would like to start smoking your crop once it is harvested so that you can select a strain with a suitable flowering time for your area's climate conditions. With careful thought about what type of results you’d like from your plants, selecting the ideal cannabis strain becomes much easier!
Research the seed bank
One of the most important steps in the process of selecting cannabis seeds is researching the seed bank. The quality and success of your grow will rely heavily on the type of seed you choose. Prices can vary widely between companies, and it’s important to know as much as possible about each one before making a decision.
You’ll want to find out what kind of customer service they offer should you run into any issues during your grow. Reading online reviews is a great way to get an idea for what other people think about a specific company. Make sure to do some research on pricing, shipping costs, and the various strain options offered by each. It’s also worth checking if there are any sales or discounts available from time to time.
Another key factor to consider when choosing which seed bank to purchase from is their level of experience with cannabis seeds and genetics – this can be determined by looking at their reputation, years in business, and customer feedback/reviews. Do they have breeding programs or genetic research divisions? Have they been awarded any awards for excellence in seed production or customer service? After answering all these questions, you should have a good idea as to which seed bank would be the best choice for your particular needs.
Look for reviews and ratings
When looking for reliable cannabis seeds, reviews and ratings from a trusted source can help you make an informed decision. Do some research on the variety of seeds being offered, where they come from, what kind of grow process they require, and the amount of yield that is expected.
Aside from reviews and ratings, it’s important to look into the reputation of the seed bank as well. Make sure that other growers have had successful experiences and check to see if there has been any unfavorable feedback. Be sure to read up on current laws surrounding growing cannabis and make sure you are not breaking any laws when selecting or buying your seeds. Reputable seed banks will have comprehensive information about their products and will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have before purchase.
Preparing the Soil
Planting cannabis seeds requires proper preparation of the soil in order to give the seedlings the best chance to thrive. Preparing the soil involves ensuring the soil has the right nutrients, moisture content, and light exposure. It is also important to prepare the soil to reduce the risk of pests and diseases that can affect the seedlings.
Let's take a look at some of the steps involved in properly preparing the soil for cannabis seeds:
Choose the right soil
Selecting the right soil for your cannabis plants is an important part of ensuring a successful harvest. Loamy soil that retains moisture and is well aerated works best. Clay soil should be avoided as water can collect making it difficult to correctly nourish your plants.
Regardless of whether you are planting indoors or outdoors, good quality soil should be used. If you are planting inside, a mixture of hydroton (grow rock) and peat moss help deliver a rich nutrient concentrations while adding volume to containers holding root systems. When using rocky soils, be sure to add extra water because the rocks absorb it quickly.
For outdoor growing, loamy topsoil with perlite and vermiculite can provide good nutrient retention between watering sessions. It’s always recommended that you have the pH level of your soil tested prior to planting and give the mixture at least one month before beginning cultivation. This testing method helps prevent deficiencies in nutrients from occurring in later stages of growth and helps protect against microbial diseases too!
Prepare the soil by mixing in compost
Prior to planting cannabis seeds, it is important to prepare the soil by mixing in compost. Compost introduces beneficial microbes into the soil which will help sustain the health of the plant. Additionally, compost supplies nutrients that the plant can use to grow and thrive. To properly mix in compost, follow these steps:
- Prepare a raised bed or container for your cannabis plants. Make sure to use clean, nurturing soil that is free of any contaminants or chemicals.
- Wet down the soil to soften it up and make it easier to work with before adding any organic matter like compost. Doing this will also help bring needed microbes and water into contact with each other more quickly so they can begin breaking down organic materials at a faster rate.
- Sprinkle a layer of well-aged compost on top of your wetted soil until you have a 1/4 inch thickness covering your intended area for planting cannabis seeds.
- With flat sided shovel or trowel gently mix throughout the top layer of soil until all compost is evenly distributed and thoroughly mixed into the wetted existing dirt layer beneath it.
- Note: You may need to adjust how deep you are working depending upon how dry your dirt is since some areas may not require as much preparation as others due to local conditions such as moisture content and structure stability levels in their existing ground material prior to adding any organic matter like compost on top of it first.
By following these steps when preparing soil for cannabis seed planting, you will be giving them an ideal environment where they can flourish!
Test the soil pH level
Testing soil pH is the first step to accurately planting cannabis seeds. This provides you with valuable information about the soil’s acidity and alkalinity level in order for you to select the right type of seeds. The ideal range for cannabis soil is between 6.0 and 7.0, and it should contain a pH level that matches the type of seed being planted.
When checking for soil pH, you will use a testing kit or an electronic meter. Basically, this will determine if your soil is acidic or alkaline based on its hydrogen potential or minus ion concentration (pH). Plants have different preferences regarding the acidity levels of their soils and within those preferences they will thrive best, especially when grown outdoors.
Lower than average levels of acidity indicate an environment that is too alkaline while higher than average levels may indicate one that is more acidic than what would be suitable for a particular strain of cannabis seed. By testing your soil regularly prior to planting, you can help ensure optimal nutrient uptake leading to healthy plant growth and development throughout your grow season.
Planting the Seeds
Planting cannabis seeds is the first and most important step for growing your own cannabis plants. Knowing the right way to do it is essential for a successful harvest. In this section, we'll go over the basics of planting cannabis seeds – from the best time of year to do it, to the ideal soil conditions, to how best to water your seeds.
Sow the seeds in the soil
After selecting and purchasing your preferred cannabis seeds, it is time to prepare to sow the seeds in the soil and start your grow. Depending on your grow method, you will need to address different needs.
For an indoor grow, prepare pots with a sterile mix of soil, or use other growing mediums such as coco coir or hydroponics. Once you have decided on your container location with plenty of light & ventilation, thoroughly dampen the medium and break apart any clumps.
Sow the cannabis seeds about 1-2 cm deep in the middle of the container’s soil or other medium being sure to leave at least 15cm between each pot for airflow & allow plenty of space for each plant’s growth. Generally, it is best practice to only sow one seed per pot for optimal growth/yield potential and if more than one starts growing well consider cloning that strong female mother plant as needed. Covering over with soil up until just visible can help promote a more even temperature by helping insulate against external temperature fluctuations and soothe any cracks mentioned previously on the seed shell surface.
For those opting to germinate the seed outdoors be sure to double check when warm weather has definitively arrived so as not too early nor late on planting them outside; paying special attention to how cold hardy they are in case they need additional protection from cooler nighttime temperatures etc. Follow steps above after finding a feasible suitable spot outdoors that allows adequate airflow around all plants & ensures enough light reaching each cannabis cultivar/strain throughout their lifecycle without fail; filling out suitable ‘pits’ for each individual seed before covering them over direclty with dampened humus-rich natural outdoor soil that gets sufficient direct sunlight from multiple angles (not obstructing shadows from nearby structures).
Cover the seeds with soil
Once you have gathered the necessary supplies, it’s time to begin planting. Start by dampening the soil and then place a single cannabis seed in each container. Cover the seed lightly with soil, just enough to cover it completely. Be careful not to bury the seed too deeply; place it no more than 0.5 centimeters (0.2 inches) beneath the surface of the soil. Once planted, water your containers lightly with a gentle spray so as not to disturb or displace your seeds too much.
Apply a few drops of effective microorganisms (EM) or other beneficial fungi at this point if desired; these organisms help feed your plants later on in life and can provide natural fungicidal properties as well.
Water the soil
When watering the soil for cannabis seedlings, it is important to use room temperature water that is low in calcium and other minerals. Begin by saturating the soil with a gentle and sustained flow of water. Do this until the excess moisture begins to drain at the base of the container. Check to see if the top inch or two of soil is damp before stopping. If you are using a potting mix, be sure to use lukewarm water so as not to shock your delicate seedlings with cold temperatures.
Allow the top layer of soil to dry slightly before watering again. This will help ensure ventilation and discourage root rot as well as fungus gnats, which can be damaging when present in large numbers around cannabis seedlings.
Adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide can improve oxygenation in soils that are becoming anaerobic (lacking oxygen). Give your seedlings one or two extra weeks before transplanting into larger containers relative to growing clones, filling those new containers with fresh sterilized media if possible in order to reduce any pathogens caused by re-using existing soil for transplanting.
Caring for the Plants
Growing cannabis from seeds is a rewarding experience for any gardener. When it comes to caring for your plants, there are a few important steps to follow. Making sure the soil is moist, providing adequate lighting, and pruning the plant are all important for a successful harvest.
Let's explore the finer details of caring for your cannabis plants:
Monitor the temperature and humidity
A key factor to consider when planting cannabis seeds is monitoring the temperature and humidity of the environment. To grow healthy plants, it's essential to maintain an optimal environment. Maximum temperatures should range between 18°C and 30°C, depending on the stage of development. During germination and growth, temperatures can be as low as 15°C but during flowering and ripening, temperatures climb up towards 24-30°C.
Humidity should be kept low during germination (around 55%) but raised to a minimum of 50% later on in cultivation. If temperatures exceed 30°C or get too cold (below 15-20°C), poor conditions will set in that could reduce yields or even kill your viable seedlings. Likewise, if humidity isn’t well managed, fungi like mildew can damage a large portion of your seedlings!
Quality ventilation is also important; be sure to use fans or air conditioners if you need to adjust air flow inside your grow area.
Provide adequate light
Light is one of the most important elements when it comes to properly caring for your marijuana plants. The type of light and its intensity can greatly affect the quality and quantity of your harvest. The lower leaves of your cannabis plants will become yellow, indicating that they need more light. Ideally, cannabis should receive light for at least 16 hours a day, but no less than 12 hours for healthy plant growth.
If you are planting indoors, select high-intensity lights like LEDs or HID (high-intensity discharge) systems such as MH/HPS (metal-halide/high-pressure sodium). LEDs are becoming increasingly popular because they offer better results and efficiency than standard bulbs, require very little electricity, and last longer. Depending on how big your set-up is, you can find different wattage options to fit your needs. Additionally, be sure you have adequate ventilation in place to avoid overheating or frying the plants with too much direct exposure to light.
Cannabis grows well outdoors in natural sunlight as long as it is not too dry or hot in the grow area; often, supplemental lighting may be necessary if there are cloudy days or insufficient sunlight available outdoors. Plants will generally need 6 or more hours of full sun each day and temperatures between 60 – 85ºF (16 – 30ºC). If the temperatures get too hot during mid-day sun hours a shade cloth can be used to filter out some of the heat while still providing adequate amounts of sunlight to keep your plants happy and healthy!
Fertilize the plants
Fertilizing cannabis plants is an important step in the growth process, as it helps ensure plants are getting the nutrients they need. It is best to fertilize a few days before planting and again about three weeks after germination. When applying fertilizer, be sure to follow the instructions on the package and use only organic products, such as bat guano, fish emulsion or worm castings.
Cannabis needs nitrogen to grow, so make sure you give your plants plenty of it. For younger plants, it’s best to provide high Nitrogen levels until they reach their vegetative stage and then adjust according to the strain needs. For mature cannabis, provide just enough nitrogen to keep them producing and flowering throughout their growing season.
When choosing a fertilizer for your cannabis strains you should also consider pH levels. Cannabis requires slightly acidic soil with a range of 6-6.5 on the pH scale in order for plants to be able to absorb nutrients properly. Use a pH test kit available from most garden centers in order to check your soil's current level and adjust if necessary using lime or other additives recommended by the product's supplier.
Harvesting the Cannabis
Harvesting the cannabis plants is an exciting part of the growing process and it's important to do it right. Harvesting at the right time can make a big difference in the quality of the end product. To ensure that the harvest is successful, there are a few things you can do. In this section, we will discuss the best practices for harvesting the cannabis:
Monitor the trichomes
As the cannabis plant matures, monitoring the trichomes will give you important clues as to when it is time to harvest. Trichomes are small glands located on the surface of the flowering buds, and they contain much of the plant’s essential oils, flavors, and aroma substances that affect the flavor and effect of your extractions. As the trichomes mature and change color, they take on a range of colors that can vary depending on their maturity level.
The most common colors you want to look for are cloudy white/milky white, milky amber/light brown, dark amber/caramel brown and dark brown. When most of your trichomes reach a milky-amber or darker coloration all over most parts of your bud then its generally time for harvesting. Some varieties may take longer to ripen fully than others so always closely monitor your plants so you don't miss this make or break point!
You can do this by using a magnifying glass or preferably a small handheld microscope specifically designed for looking at trichomes. Try to avoid harvesting late – if 50% or more have gone beyond amber in coloration then it may be time as over ripe buds can become less potent!
Cut the plants at the stem
When harvesting cannabis plants, it is important to take the appropriate steps in order to maintain the highest quality flower. Before beginning, make sure the trichomes are at their peak coloration and have not begun to turn opaque. Once ready, begin by removing each plant from its pot and examining its root system for any issues; ideally you want healthy white roots indicating vigorous growth. Once cleared of visible pests and diseases, carefully cut each plant off at the stem using sharp scissors or pruners. If harvesting multiple plants at once, consider using a harvest-aiding tool which straps onto a belt and allows one-handed cutting at the stem without spilling any bud-containing branches off of each plant.
Once cut off from their container, hang up each cannabis plant upside down allowing for thorough drying and proper air flow around each branch. As time passes buds may begin to dry out or display signs of age related browning or mold; in such cases trim those branches away from the main colas (flower clusters) as soon as possible in order to avoid further spoilage. When satisfied with their dryness make sure to properly trim away any non flower material such as fan leaves that may still be attached in undesirable places before packaging for storage or other areas of use.
Dry the cannabis buds
Once the cannabis buds have been trimmed, they will need to be dried. Traditionally, this is done by hanging the branches of cannabis buds upside down and allowing them to air-dry for 1 – 2 weeks. It is important to keep the area clean and free of pests or other foreign objects. Additionally, do not try and rush the drying process by using a heater or a fan as this can damage the quality of your harvest.
Make sure you check on your buds regularly during drying. Generally, when you can snap one in half with ease – that means it's dry enough for curing. Once dry, take caution as you handle your fresh harvest because breaking off any stems may serve as an invitation for mold and fungi to develop on your buds.
Once completely dried out, use scissors or a trimming knife to manicure away any remaining leaves from the buds – making sure not to touch any of the freshly dried bud material itself. The trimmings can be saved for edibles or smoking if desired. That being said, most prefer trimming before drying in order to maximize potential rewards from their garden by eliminating waste from unusable plant material (leaves).