Germinating seeds in soil - Lights or no?
I didn't see this listed specifically on here, so thought I'd ask. If germinating seeds in soil, is it better to have the grow light on, off, or doesn't matter?
It doesn't matter during germination. Its best to germinate on a plate with tissue paper (kitchen roll) under and over the seeds. Wet the kitchen paper and wait until you get a 2 cm tap root out of the seeds. Then plant into damp (not too wet) soil. You dont really need to put them too far down into the soil. Be sure you keep the seeds in a warm place while they are germinating. Germinating in soil will give you much more losses of seeds over time. Just makes sense to do it on a plate and then plant them. You should see the tap root in 2 days or so.
Put them in the soil and when the seeds open and you see the first 2 leaves then light is important. Keep the light as close as possible without burning to prevent stretching. Keep the nodes 1 inch apart.
Hope this helps
Last edited by silent leprechaun; Jan-21-2012 at 14:51.
Thanks for the quick answer. I am only using trashy bagseed and already put in soil, just seeing how it works. My light provides some warmth so I like it on but didn't want to slow down or kill germination if it made any difference.
I'll try paper towel next go and check the difference.
the important part is keeping the germinating soil....warm (75-80 degrees F.)
oh, under my 250w CFL it is warm. Current house temp is 72 F. Temp under light is 76 at the moment.
i had really good out comes when i put the seeds in a shot cup of water they will split open withn 2days just wait for it to sink you can keep poking it iff you want to to see.... once it sinks throw it in the soil and with 24hrs off light it will sprout within a couple of days.... i went to cannabis cup bought some seeds and had them sprouted by the time i went back on sunday
Don't mean to step on anyones toes here but I thought I would throw in some of my thoughts as well. By no means am I saying that I am wrong and anyone else is wrong, just some food for thought. Anyways.. I've had a lot of success with planting the seeds straight into soil, instead of using the paper towel method. I have done both plenty of times, and I understand everyones conditions vary so what works for some, won't for others. But I figure that when you put your seeds directly into soil you run less risk of temps and moisture levels changing at a rapid rate, causing some sort of shock to the seedling. Soil takes much longer to change temperature, and much longer to dry out. In addition to that I think it is beneficial to have your seeds start in soil so that the root has to work a little bit to get through the soil, making a stronger young seedling. Also I've heard someone say if your seed isn't strong enough to push through the soil then its not worth growing anyways. Its not that hard to be careful when using the paper towel method and transferring it into the soil, but sometimes mistakes happen and you could injure the seed, I prefer to just avoid the risk all together.
The only exception to my strategy that I would consider as being beneficial is soaking the seed in water for a period of time before planting it. Since water is what activates the germination process it may be a good idea to give it a thorough soaking until the seed sinks, which should be about 24 hours or so. Even if it doesn't crack open by then though I think I would just move it to soil. I could just see a seed planted directly in soil without soaking it in water not working properly perhaps because of a potential small dry spot in the soil, or maybe somehow a little pocket of air surrounded the seed, or whatever the situation may be. I think its a possibility that your seeds could fail due to a mysterious lack of moisture, but I think thats would be a random isolated incident.
Also until the seedlings put out their second set of leaves I typically don't like to keep the lights too close to them. I don't think they require too much light initially and they're easy to burn or stress. Let them develope a little bit more of their root structure before you start in on power growing.
Anyways, thats just what I do and how I think about it and I have had good success rates. I think its always good to have different options and different techniques to experiment with until you have found something that works perfectly with your specific conditions.
Thanks for the tip about light distance from new sprout. Currently my light is up a bit from the cups so as not to dry the soil out too fast since the seed doesn't need strong light.
It's been 2 days since the seeds went into the soil. They may pop, they may not. The seeds aren't the best, but they were free so if they don't germinate I'm not out anything and can try again. I'm expecting at least a few will show themselves within a couple more days.
your so right i do same thingi always plant my seeds direct into soil i have 90 to 95% succ rate except i dont soak seeds 1st
I typically don't soak them first either, I just wanted to note that I can understand why someone would, and why it could be beneficial.