Successful growers plant marijuana seeds about a half inch deep and then cover them. Seeds placed in substrates are pushed into the material so that they are totally surrounded. Once the seeds are planted, the medium is watered again to help the seeds settle in place. The direction that the seed faces is not important. Using gravity as a means of sensing proper direction, the seed will direct roots downward and the stem upward.
Marijuana need not be planted in its final container to start. Even a plant which is destined to be a giant can be started in a 2 inch pot or block. The advantage to starting small is that the plants do not take up unneeded room. However, plants must be given more room soon after germination or they will become root bound, which stunts the plants. Seedlings are transplanted using the same techniques described under cuttings.
Germination begins when moisture seeps through the seed coat and signals the seed to start growing. Heat regulates the rate of germination and growth until the seedling reaches light.
The planting medium is kept moist until germination is complete. If the surface of the medium tends to dry out, plastic wrap is placed over it to retain moisture.
Marijuana germinates rapidly when the planting medium is kept at an even temperature. Room temperature, about 70 degrees, is best. When the medium is cool, germination slows and the seeds may be attacked by fungi or other organisms. With high temperatures, seedlings grow thin and spindly, especially under low light conditions. This occurs because their growth rate is sped up by the heat, but the seedlings are not photosynthesizing enough sugar for use as building material.
Once the seedling breaks ground and comes in contact with light, it starts to photosynthesize, thus producing its own food for growth. When the light is dim, the plant stretches to reach it. In the wild the seedling is in competition with other plants which may be shading it. By growing taller it may be able to reach unobstructed light. However, a stretched seedling is weaker than one with a shorter but thicker stem and has a tendency to fall over. Seedlings with ample light grow squat, thick stems. Seedlings can be started in constant bright light of the same intensity that is to be used for their growth cycle.
|DAY 1: Germination. The cotyledon, the first leaves of the plant open, and start photosynthetic food production.|
|DAY 2 - 3: The first set of true leaves appear.|
|DAY 3 - 5: A second set of leaves has opened and the third and fourth sets have opened. Vigorous growth is about to begin.|
Many growers populate their gardens with cuttings rather than seeds. Cuttings have several advantages over seeds. These are discussed in Chapter 23, Clones. Transplanting cuttings is very easy.
Paper cups are sometimes used as containers. They are carefully opened using a utility knife or scissors. Rootballs sticking to styrofoam cups sometimes release if the cup is rolled tightly between two palms before knocking. If the rootball still sticks, the cup is cut open.
Once the rootball is out it is placed in a container partially filled with medium. More medium is added packed firmly around the rootball, until the top is covered.
Transplants sometimes take a few days to adjust. Then their growth spurts with renewed vigor.
Step By Step