Greetings my friends, I was asked be a fellow OG memeber Netweed420 how I start my seeds or germinate them.
This is what I wrote back to him . It was good enough of a write up on explaining how I germinate my seeds that I saved it .
RE: sup man
Hi netweed420 ,
I'd germinate the seeds first before I put them in the soil so I knew they were alive instead of waiting for a week, digging around in the soil later , only to find you just pulled the head off the new baby coming up .
I plant mine down inside the soil 1/4 inch and they already have a root popping out even if the new seed is just opening.
I use Rapid Rooters and open them up sideways like a book
( tare them) and put the seeds in there until they germinate. Then I'm really careful about removing the germinated seeds from the Rapid Rooter if they have a long root tail already. This is only if you're moving your plants to soil.
If you're growing hydro, you need not remove the germinated seed and germinate and grow the plants directly from the Rapid Rooter.
I put my hydro seedlings in Rapid Rooters into cups of 3/4 perlite , 1/4 Foxfarm Ocean organic soil after the seeds germinate and are coming up out of the Rapid Rooters.
When the roots get large enough I move the new plants with roots to the hydro buckets or propagator .
The reason I'd put them in the propagator first is if I think the babies need a better root system developed before adding them to the larger hydro buckets.
If I'm using soil, I use a razor to cut the germinated seeds out so not to hurt the new root tail if I have to and sometimes I do . Just cut up the rooter a bit and make sure the seedlings newly germinated tap root doesn't get broken or mangled. Don't rush things, take your time and be careful. It's really very easy.
I then poke a hole in the soil as long as the new root, plus 1/4 inch, into the new already moist, not soaked and not dry soil .
I put them into the hole very gently until they're at least 1/4 inch from the surface of the soil and cover them up and tamp or compact just a little the soil around the root a little so the root has soil in contact with it and not just air from the poked hole.
Then I add just a little water right where the seed is and put them under my fluoro's until they start to pop.
If the suns out I put them on the window ceil and let them come up in the suns rays. Then they can handle any lighting I throw at them , even from a baby .
I could put them under my 1000 watt light and they'd be fine, though fluoro's are much better for their growth when they first start in veg state .
They grow faster and healthy under fluoro's compared to the more harsh lighting , MH or HPS lights. Though I use a 240 watt Flouro setup with a 400 watt MH in veg when the baby plants are still small .
My soil before I plant in it is just moist enough that if you sqeeze the soil you can feel the moisture, not a bunch of water pouring out of it.
The soil just has to be moist so the roots search around for more water with plenty of air in the soil so the plants roots can breath.
I premix the soil with water to the moisture content that I like then I start to plant the seeds.
If you soak the soil to much the plants roots can't breath .Plants need air like we do to live.
If I stuck a sock in your mouth full of water it would be hard to breath.
When I now tell you, you have to run around the block, and I make sure that sock is good and soakng wet the whole time you're running and even when you stop because you can't run any more due to you
can't get enough air, you're going to turn yellow and die from no air or you'll be feeling pretty bad.
Same with plants roots and to much moisture in the soil.You drown the plants roots .
So remember, soil is to be moist, not dry, really really dry , that's bad for the roots, they like moisture and air for massive roots.
Look at hydro roots.
Never soak the plants soil unless you just watered. Then really soak them good and let them be for a while.
Check with your finger to see if there's still moisture in the soil .I can tell if the soil has water in by the weight of the containers as well.
Fill the soil with water and see how heavy it is. When the soil dries out enough to add more water , see how light the container is .
If there's moisture in the soil then you're alright, if it feels like very little moisture and rather dry, add water and let the plants alone again to do their growing .
You should have no troubles with damp off fungus if you watch the moisture content of your soil.
Damp Off spores or fungus will kill your babies from over watering , or you may end up with root trouble that will kill your plants right off.
Over watering and over fertalization is a very common mistake.
Plants need water, air and food, just like us .
Less is always better with water, just moist soil, unless watering, then water totally.
With fertalizer , less is ALWAYS better in soil.
You can add more , but it's hard to stop the damage already done by to much fertalizer. Fertalizer is salts the plants need and to much salt will dry anything out.
If we drank only sea water, due to the salt content we'd die from dehydration from the salt .
The same with to much fertalizer in plants. It becomes toxic and they can't get their nutrients they need due to nutrient lock out from to much fertalizer in the soil.
Also the salt burns the leaves and roots of the plant and stresses it out which could cause the plants to hermie on you .
You should be able to look at your plants to see what they need when you grow in soil, not feed them everyday to see how much they can stand before they hermie or fry .
Back to the seeds , at 1/4 inch the seeds deep enough that it wont die from being to close to the top of the soil and dry out and the roots not getting down into the soil like they should and get weak and die.
So 1/4 inch is good enough.
Some people like to go 1/2 inch but that's to deep in my opinion , for as much energy the little seed carries inside it's shell to get up to the sun or lighting .
If they're to deep in the soil they could die before they can get to the light , being not strong enough to make it .
So I always stick to around 1/4 inch deep at least with the tail down . That way I know the roots will be in good shape when the seed pops up out of the soil .
I hope this book answered your question and then some .
Talk to you later my friend, Marksurfs