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Zen and the Art of Seeds

January 17, 2023

The outdoor planting season is upon us, and with our recreational cannabis freedom, more cadets are giving an outdoor grow “the old college try.” But planting seeds requires careful selection, germination, and placement.

Seed Selection

Finding a seed in your stash can be either joyous – maybe it’s a superdank variety that you can’t find a clone of any where – or maybe you inadvertently picked up a sack of pollinated kind bud. Either way, there are two simple tests to see if those seeds are viable for planting.

Squeeze Test: Take the seed between your thumb and pointer finger and squeeze down.  If it pops, it’s a dud – if it stays strong, it’s a winner.

Color: The funkier the stripes, the better.  All white seeds are usually premature and even if they pass the squeeze test they may not germinate.

Seed Germination

There’s a couple simple methods to germinate your seeds before planting, to optimize space and get a better idea of what your garden will looks like.

Paper towel/zip lock bag: Grab a few paper towels, fold them into a square, and lay your seeds inside. Run some warm water on  the towels until it’s just damp enough but not dripping. Put it into a ziplock bag and stash in a warm, dark place. Viable seeds will germinate in 2-3 days.

Cup of water: Fill a glass with lukewarm water and simply toss a few seeds into it.  Same as with the towel method, store in a warm, dark place and in a few days they’ll start to pop. This method, while less work, typically takes longer and has a slightly lower success rate.

Initial planting

Once your seeds are germinated, you’re ready to plant. Make sure you plant it with the root pointing down into the soil, and only cover it slightly with dirt. Placing too deep, or upside-down, will stress the seedling, and it will waste precious energy righting itself and/or stretching to break the surface. Seedling errors can stunt your plant significantly, or cause it to fail altogether.