Improve your success when planting seeds by avoiding these common seed-starting mistakes and errors such as planting too deep, starting too soon or watering too much. Starting cannabis seeds in soil is an easy and natural method of germination, as this is where seeds would germinate if they were to grow out in nature. There are several pros and cons to using this method, so let’s check out what those are
Most Common Seed-Starting Mistakes
Seeds are magic to gardens. Tuck them in soil, add a little water and you are on the way to a beautiful bloom or tasty harvest. Start seeds indoors to jump-start your garden. Whether or not you have experience starting seeds, you will improve your success by avoiding these common errors.
Seed-Starting Mistake #1: Catalog Hypnosis
It is tough to resist the beautiful pictures and glowing words in seed catalogs. Even experienced gardeners struggle to resist the allure. That is the first mistake most seed starters make: ordering too many seeds. A simple secret to success with seed-starting is exercising self-restraint. If you are new to the practice, do not start too many different types of seeds. Stick with simple ones, such as Tomato, Basil, Zinnia or Cosmos.
Seed-Starting Mistake #2: Starting Too Soon
In many regions, sowing seeds gives you a chance to get your hands dirty when it is too cold to garden outdoors. Do not start your seeds too soon. Most plants are ready to shift into the great outdoors in 4-6 weeks. Learn more about perfect timing for seeds.
Seed-Starting Mistake #3: Planting Too Deep
Read seed packets carefully, for detailed information about how deep to plant seeds. The rule of thumb is to plant seeds at a depth equal to two or three times their width. It is better to plant seeds too shallow than too deep. Some seeds, such as certain Lettuces or Snapdragon, need light to germinate and should not be covered at all.
Seed-Starting Mistake #4: Not Labeling Trays
Once you start sowing seeds and get dirt on your fingers, you will not want to stop and make labels. Before planting, prepare labels and add them to containers as soon as the seeds go into soil. Otherwise, it can be tough to tell seedlings apart. Be sure to include sowing date on your labels.
Seed-Starting Mistake #5: Soil Is Not Warm
Seed packets specify the temperature seeds need to germinate – soil temperature, not air temperature. Most seed germinate at 78ºF. You will have sure success if you use a waterproof root-zone heating mat. Once you start germinating seeds in soil, aim to keep soil temperature in the 65-70ºF range.
Seed-Starting Mistake #6: Too Little Light
In the warmest regions of the country, there is enough ambient light in a south-facing window to grow stocky seedlings. In northern areas where winter brings persistent cloud cover, you will need supplemental lights. Purchase or build an illuminated plant stand to start seedlings. For stocky, healthy seedlings, provide 14-16 hours of light daily. Suspend lights 2-3 inches above seedlings.
Seed-Starting Mistake #7: Water Woes
How much water do seeds need? For seeds to germinate, you need to keep the growing soil damp but not too wet. Learning how to water seedlings is pivotal for success. Many seed starters cover the container to keep soil moist until seeds germinate. Once seeds sprout, do not miss a watering. Unlike established plants, seedlings do not have an extensive root system they can rely on for vital moisture. At the same time, it is important not to overwater and let seedlings sit in water.
Seed-Starting Mistake #8: Not Enough Pampering
Seedlings are delicate creatures. They need daily attention and lots of tender loving care, especially when they are young. If you cannot monitor seedlings daily, checking on germination, soil moisture, temperature, and lights, you will definitely reduce your chances of success. Seedlings do not survive neglect.
Learn More About Starting Seeds
Not sure you want to start seedlings? Learn why you should consider starting your own seeds.
Seedlings must be prepared for the transition to life in the garden. Learn how to strengthen seedlings before planting.
How to germinate pot seeds in soil
Germination is the first step in the growth cycle of each plant. This process brings the seed out of its hibernation period and begins the growth process of the plant. All of this begins when the seed receives the necessary environmental conditions and is in the right setting to start growing.
There are several different methods of germination growers use, but today, we’ll focus on one particular method: germinating cannabis seeds in soil.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Germinating Cannabis Seeds in Soil
Starting cannabis seeds in soil is an easy and natural method of germination, as this is where seeds would germinate if they were to grow out in nature. There are several pros and cons to using this method, so let’s check out what those are.
The advantages of germinating marijuana seeds in soil include:
In the wild, it’s the soil that protects the germinating seed and its roots from outside interference, offering the seed a safe space where it can grow and develop.
- Natural method.
This is the most natural method of germination that occurs out in the wild.
- No added stress.
Soil not only provides the perfect medium for the seed to germinate but also to grow, meaning it doesn’t need to be interrupted by transplanting it into a different growth medium, avoiding unnecessary stress.
The disadvantages of germinating weed seeds in soil include:
- Less control.
When using other germination mediums such as damp paper towels, you have better control over the process – namely, the ability to monitor and adjust moisture and temperature levels accordingly. You can also watch the root closely as it grows and be able to know when the perfect time is to plant your seed
- No control over diseases.
When working with soil, you’re not working with a sterile environment such is the case with paper towels, meaning that your seed could encounter certain diseases and pathogens that might prevent it from sprouting. To avoid these issues, purchase sterile soil rather than using it straight from your garden
What is the Best Soil for Germinating Cannabis Seeds?
When deciding to use soil to germinate your seeds, the first thing you need to do is make sure you get the right type.
The type of soil that would work best has spores and minerals that help when you’re starting cannabis seeds in soil directly. These minerals will be enough for your young marijuana plants to thrive in their first couple of weeks, so you don’t need to add any nutrients during this time.
Here’s what to look for when purchasing soil for germinating cannabis seeds:
The perfect soil for germinating cannabis seeds needs to be light and airy and have the following or similar ratio of components:
- 4 parts compost
- 1 part perlite
- 1 part vermiculite
- 2 parts peat moss
You can also go with a pre-made starting mix if you don’t want to make your own.
Soil Nutrients and Amendments
You don’t need to add nutrients and minerals to your soil mix, at least for the first couple of weeks, as the potting soil you use will have enough nutrients to sustain your plant’s life and help it grow during this timeframe.
The potting soil you use should be mildly fertilized, or you can also go with a pre-made seed starter soil mix. No matter which you choose, your soil should have an approximate pH of 6.
How to Germinate Weed Seeds in Soil: Step-by-Step Guide
Now, let’s check out the process of germinating cannabis seeds in soil step by step.
Step 1 – Prepare the Soil
When germinating weed seeds directly in soil, the first thing you need to do is get the right potting soil or seed starter. When it comes to the texture of your starter soil, you can follow our guidelines on the ratio above. Next, place the soil into small pots, depending on how many seeds you’re going to be germinating.
Step 2 – Plant
Use a pencil or stick to poke a small hole in the soil that’s around half an inch (1cm) deep. Plant the seed into the hole and lightly cover it with soil. Once you’ve completed this step, don’t touch the seed or disturb it in any way – just let it position itself and start germinating.
Step 3 – Maintain the Right Grow Conditions
Keep your pots away from direct sunlight, but in a warm area with a temperature range of 70 to 80°F (21-26°C).
Place your pots under a fluorescent lamp and water them gently using a spray bottle. Use distilled water instead of tap water so as not to compromise your seeds with unwanted minerals and substances that can be present in tap water.
Let your seeds germinate, and when their stems reach 2-4 inches (5-10cm) in height, you can start transplanting them into bigger pots.
Pro tip: Use peat moss pots or another type of degradable pot so you can transplant your seeds along with the pot without disturbing their root systems.
Remember, the quality of the seeds you purchase plays a huge role in how successful the germination process will be. If you’re looking for the right seeds to plant, look no further than Herbies. At Herbies, you can find the best viable, vigorous, and fast-growing seeds with high cannabinoid content from seed banks around the globe. All seeds are stored in perfect conditions and are inspected by experts before shipping.
As you can see, the process of germinating cannabis seeds in soil is pretty simple and straightforward. However, for those of you who are still left with a few unanswered questions on this topic, we’ve composed a list of the most commonly asked ones on the subject to help clear things up.
How long does it take for cannabis seeds to germinate in soil?
Cannabis seeds start sprouting after about 2 days in soil, although it can also take up to a week for some seeds to germinate, especially older and weaker ones.
How deep should I plant marijuana seeds in soil?
Plant your marijuana seeds around half an inch (1cm) deep in the ground.
How should I water marijuana seeds in soil?
During their seedling stage, your plants will need to be watered once or twice a day. You can also check the soil by poking your finger about an inch deep (2.5cm) to see if it’s dry – if it is, water it. Use a spray bottle to keep the soil moist but prevent overwatering.
What is the best temperature for germinating cannabis seeds in soil?
The perfect temperature range for germinating cannabis seeds in soil is 70 to 80°F (21-26°C).
How long does it take for cannabis seeds to sprout from soil?
It can take from two days up to a week for your cannabis seeds to sprout from the soil, depending on their quality, viability, and other factors.
Germinating cannabis seeds in soil vs. peat pellets – which is better?
Peat pellets offer fast results, are easy and convenient to use, and make planting a super easy and fun process. Soil, on the other hand, provides seeds a more suitable medium in some cases, mostly because it’s the most natural method. Soil doesn’t dry out as fast as peat pellets do and it’s more economical, as you can make your soil mix yourself.