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Letters to Rev –The Germination Game

Letters to Rev –The Germination Game

The Germination Game

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Welcome to The Germination Game baybee! A few Q&As, all revolving around cannabis seed germination, including fundamental advice regarding exotic sativas, old seeds, seed storage, and more.

It’s that time of year again. The older I get, the faster they come, I swear. I mean Christmas and New Year. Wow. It’s been unseasonably wet and warm for me here along the Southern Oregon Coast. I now fear the atmospheric river! Heh heh, my dehumidifier hasn’t quit running since that “river” first hit many weeks ago.

Alright then, earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…

Germinating Cannabis Seeds, Question #1: Exotic Sativas

FROM: Andrew  

“Hello Rev, I just need a little quick advice here. I am about to sprout some Black Forrest seeds from KOS. Needless to say, I don’t want to mess these up. I always have used the wet paper towel method with great success. Should I approach these seeds any differently when germinating them? I grow in living soil TLO style using the churn as my nutrient source. I use dimmable 300-watt LED lights full-term, all grown in tents. So very excited to grow these, and I absolutely want to pull them off on my first try. Thank you so much.”

Rev’s Answer to Q1

Hey-hey Andrew. Yeah, I hope you respect the fact that the Black Forrest will be fairly hard for you to bring to harvest if you have no real experience with wilder, longer-flowering sativas. Seriously! Okay, got that? ? Now, here’s the good news. Using The Churn philosophy (True Living Organics style) is awesome. That very subtle and consistent nutrient dynamic is perfect, and she will love that. I would run my PPM closer to the low 60s with her.

Okay then, sprouting these seeds is actually very easy. They want to live and grow, badly—LoL. You’ll see what I mean. First of all, I want to say that if your current germination methods work well for you, don’t change a thing. Trying any new method for the first time carries inherent risk. That being said, the best way to germinate any seeds, in my opinion and experience, is directly into soil bay-bee!

Cool Silicone Germination Flats by Burpee
Cool Silicone Germination Flats by Burpee

Here’s an overview of my soil germination. I like to use some bagged soil along with TLO soil for sprouting. 50/50 works fine, and I use Ocean Forest soil as my bagged soil. For water, I use my regular TLO water mixed with (Arrowhead) bottled spring water, about 75/25. That’s 75% spring water to 25% TLO water. About a week after their first transplant, I switch them to all TLO water. Burpee makes these really cool silicone germinating flats now (see above photo). These make transplanting a breeze.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds, Question #2: Old Seeds

FROM: Boz  

“Hi there. I have some really old Columbian x OG seeds, about six years old. I have kept them cool and dry in my basement. Finally I’m ready to sprout these. My question is, what, if anything, special should I do when germinating these old seeds? Thank you so much, Rev.”

Rev’s Answer to Q2
Germination Heating Mat
Germination Heating Mat

Howdy Boz. First thing that jumps out at me is your “cool and dry” comment. That sounds good; however, it will matter how cool and how dry regarding viability. It will also matter if these were bred using organic or synthetic growing methods/fertilizers. Cannabis seeds bred using synthetic fertilizers have a very short shelf life when compared to seeds bred using organic fertilizers.

With older seeds, I would always use a germination heating mat. Make sure your air movement and air exchange are both up to par. Temps should be above 75 degrees and no hotter than high 80s as a rule of thumb; lows, 58 degrees. Using a heating mat and warmer temps put you at risk for the seedlings drying out faster. This is an instant death sentence. I would recommend having catch trays underneath your germinating seed flats so you can add a little water to the tray from time to time. Use bottled spring water for germination. If you are using paper towels to germinate, make double sure it doesn’t dry out.

Older seeds normally take a bit longer to pop above ground. So, give them about 14 days before you give up on them. Always store your cannabis seeds light-tight and air-tight, and keep them refrigerated if possible. Basements are alright as long as they stay very cool all the time. In a fridge, organically bred cannabis seeds will stay 90% viable for at least ten years. I have sprouted seeds routinely after 15+ years stored this way; still all good.

Germinating Cannabis Seeds, Question #3: How Deep?

FROM: Dank Dan

“Greetings from The Den, Rev. I am trying to convert over to popping my seeds straight into living soil. Two tries now, and both times, they never even poked out of the ground. I plant them about ½ inch deep. Is that good? Should I try shallower? Thanks, man. Appreciate all you do.

See Also
cannabis world news Seeds, Strains, Genetics Breeding zest mints bulletproof strain plant and weed package

What was your craziest problem germinating ever, Rev? One that was hard to figure out or stayed a mystery.”

Rev’s Answer to Q3

Aloha Dan. Half an inch is fine, no worries. A quarter-inch even works fine. Even three-quarters of an inch is usually not a deal-breaker. It just takes them a bit longer to pop above ground. I would say make sure there is no feeding/fertilizing going on beyond the living soil for at least two weeks after sprouting. Overwatering would kill them. So would drying out. In high heat, they dry out uber fast. Maybe try bottled spring water if you question your water source at all. Use good, powerful lighting for sprouts. Make sure your waterings are “perfect,” keeping it in the Goldilocks Zone ? and don’t compact the soil much at all. That would be my go-to advice, amigo. Handle those things, and you’ll be golden.

Happy Youngsters Always Make Me Smile
Happy Youngsters Always Make Me Smile
Bonus  Answer, Playing the Germination Game

My weirdest issue ever, which was also pretty hard to solve, is an easy question to answer, and I literally LOL when I read your PS question. So, two rounds, yes, count ‘em, two rounds of sprouts/clones died on me in a row. Using mostly TLO (True Living Organics) recycled soil with about a 25% cut of bagged soil to sprout in. Mixing around 5 or 10 gallons at a time. I mix them all in this big rubber round trough. I let the soil sometimes sit in this trough, all mixed up for days at a time, before using it.

After losing two waves of sprouts. Having them sprout and fry within several days of unhappiness. I went to my soil after looking at a few other things. As I was going through it with gloves, I noticed a lot of what I thought were aggregates in the soil. Like less dense dirt clods. As I start busting them up, this rank odor hits me—yup—it’s kitty poop. There’s a lot of it too. I wear a mask while I mix it, so I never notice the odor. While my soil sat in the trough in my shed, neighborhood kitties were using it as an awesome bathroom. Bingo, and yikes! Needless to say, a lot of cat poop and cat piss are toxic to the max.

Always Have a Thin Tray Between Sprouting Containers and Heating Mat
Always Have a Thin Tray Between Sprouting Containers and Heating Mat

Afterword

Okay then, my esteemed homeskillets, I hope you found that informative and a good read. Want more Rev? Check this out: Indoor Cannabis Growing Issues with Rev. Buzz by Kingdom Organic Seeds  and have a look around. Plenty of f2s and f3s for breeder/clone hunters. Also, several killer uniform growing f1 hybrids. Also, uniform f4+ and plenty of bandwidth as far as indica/sativa. Super exotic chit in them thar hills.

New TLO Druids Edition Book Available Early January 2024
New TLO Druids Edition Book Available Early January 2024

Preorder My TLO Druids Edition Here!  Only weeks away now, oh yeah!

I’m outty for now, but soon to return. Ho Ho Ho and Happy Merry Merry. I normally lay pretty low around the holidaze. Well, extra low, LoL! L8r G8rs.

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