EASY START: FOR FOOLPROOF ORGANIC GERMINATION
No matter how lacking in green your fingers are, you’ll get great germination results by following these step-by-step instructions: Empty the Bacto packet attached on the reverse of the label into a litre of water. When it’s thoroughly dissolved, pour it over your pots.
Allow any excess solution to drain off, then drop one seed into each pre-made hole and push gently down with a pencil or something else pointy until the seed is 5-10 mm deep. You may want to mutter a prayer under your breath at this stage, but it should not be necessary.
Germination usually occurs within 5 days, after which the new seedlings can be planted in your grow medium.
- First measure out a litre of lukewarm water (about 25 degrees Celsius / 77 degrees Fahrenheit) and dissolve the contents of the Bacto (activating bacteria) packet that’s delivered with the Easy Start kit in it. Sprinkle a layer of Perlite in the propagator and place the pots on it. Moisten – don’t drench – the Perlite and the pots with the Bacto mixture you made. The Bacto activates the microbial life in the pot that is essential for germination.
- Make sure that the Perlite layer holds only a small water reservoir that stays well below the Perlite’s surface. By keeping the right moisture level the pots will remain moist too by absorbing water from it. Too much water and they might become waterlogged, which could be harmful to the seedlings. The humidity inside the propagator will also be kept high, which is a good thing. During the germination process, check the pots at least once a day to make sure that the moisture in the Perlite remains at a good level, neither too dry nor too wet.
- Each pot comes with a hole already pricked in it, and this needs to be enlarged to between 5 and 10 mm in depth. This can be easily done by marking this distance on the screwdriver with a piece of tape or tie-wrap. Then simply poke the screwdriver into the pot until the marker is level with the pot’s surface. Voila – each hole is now the right depth.
- For the final step, drop a single cannabis seed into the hole in each pot and if necessary poke them down gently with the screwdriver until they are at the right depth. It doesn’t matter which end of the cannabis seed is facing up; the seedling will naturally head for the surface of the pot whilst the root will grow in the opposite direction. The actual sprouting process is quite enigmatic but most cannabis seeds will take 1-6 days to germinate. It’s important to be patient in this period and avoid the temptation of opening the pot to check inside! But after a few days or a week, the root will elongate and then the seedling will emerge from the compost, often with its seedpod sitting like a hat on the two tiny seed leaves. Don’t remove the seed’s pod yourself; it will fall off of its own accord. Trying to peel it off risks damaging the first fragile leaves of the seedling, and these are vital for initiating the supply of food to the young plant.
- Once the seedlings have reached height of 2–3 cms, remove the pot tray from the propagator and slide the seedlings gently from their plastic. These single seedlings can now be re-potted into the containers you plan to raise your plants to maturity in. No need to remove the soil sticked around the young plants—in fact, avoid doing so as this risks damaging the delicate roots. Just pop the whole thing into whatever grow medium you’re using—soil, hydro or clay pebbles.
All that remains now is to sit back and enjoy the natural miracle of life! That, and taking care of feeding, watering and so on – but that’s another story.