6 Things To Know When Germinating Seeds
1. Choose The Method Suitable For Your Final Grow
There are various techniques out there for germinating seeds. If you’re planning to use a hydroponics system or a coco medium, Rockwool or Jiffy's would be your ideal choice. If growing in soil, then starting in a Root Riot plug or a small 0.5L plant pot with a lightly fertilised soil, such as BioBIzz Light-Mix, is recommended.[caption id="attachment_2200" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Scotch Bonnet Chilli Seeds[/caption]
2. Plant More Seeds Than You Need
It’s possible that not all seeds will crack, so sowing extra than needed means you should still have enough seeds that are viable in case some don't make it. If they do all germinate then that’s brilliant news and gives you the choice to either keep them all (if you have the space) or choose the best ones to take through to harvest!
Top tip: Take cuttings from each plant before switching to the flowering cycle. Once the plants have fully flowered, you’ll know which one is your top performing plant and you can use these cuttings when you next propagate![caption id="attachment_2201" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Rockwool soaking in room temperature water[/caption]
3. Pre-Soak Seeds, Plugs & Soil
This is optional, but we strongly recommend soaking your seeds for around 6 hours and no more than 12 hours. If starting with Rockwool or Peet Plugs, we recommend soaking them for 15-20 minutes before placing the seed inside. If starting in soil, it should be pre-wetted prior to placing the seed in the medium.
The water used should be at room temperature, and add a touch of seedling feed (like Formulex!) or a root stimulant (such as Katana Roots!) to encourage germination. Gently squeeze the cubes so they are moist but not dripping wet, but do not squeeze once the seeds are inside. This can damage delicate new roots and we don't want that![caption id="attachment_2203" align="aligncenter" width="600"] In The Propagator[/caption]
4. Keep Humidity & Temperature Consistent
There are many propagators to choose from, each suited to a different grow room environment. With the current wintery weather, a heated propagator might be the best choice to help achieve the required temperature and humidity. We also recommend misting the inside of the propagator lid to help create high humidity levels.[caption id="attachment_2207" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Propagators under T5 propagation light canopies[/caption]
5. Use Dedicated Propagation Lighting
Dedicated Blue CFL or T5 lights are the top propagation light choices as they give off the necessary spectrum of light required, but with a low heat output. This means you can position them close to the plants to maximise the light they receive. Save the HPS lamps for later!
6. Have Patience!
Don't try to transplant your plants too early. Some will show signs of growth in as little as 24 hours – others can take 3-4 days or longer. It can be tempting, but don’t prod around to see what’s happening. Ensure that the medium stays moist; the humidity is high (between 80-100% RH); the temperatures are stable (between 21° - 26°) and just be patient! After 10-28 days most seedlings will have plenty of roots and look sturdy. This is the time to transplant them to start the all important vegetative growth phase.
Prefer to start from a cutting or clone? This article on rooting out cuttings may be just what you're looking for!
If you need any help on propagation then please don't hesitate to pop in store and ask one of our knowledgeable staff members! We are always on hand to help you get your best grow. Can't make it into one of our stores? Then give us a call for FREE on 0800 038 7100.
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