Starting from Seed: What You Need and How Do You Do It

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Start from Seed

The first questions any new grower has when they decide they want to start growing is, “How do I start?” and, “What supplies will I need?” In this article we will give you those answers and more. While everybody has a different style of growing we will explain the basics to help you get started.

How to start from seed?

Successful plant growth starts with proper seed germination, which is a critical phase in the plant life cycle. To initiate the germination process, there are a few essential requirements:

  1. Quality potting medium: Commercial potting mixes, such as soilless mixes or well-aerated and sterilized compost, are recommended over garden soil, which may harbor pathogens or have suboptimal drainage.
  2. Appropriate container: The final container size should be determined by the plant’s mature size, with a general guideline of a 3-5 gallon (11-19 liters) pot for most indoor plants.
  3. Adequate lighting: Proper lighting is crucial for photosynthesis and plant growth. Depending on the plant species, you may need to provide 14-18 hours of light per day, with an intensity of 200-600 μmol/m²/s.
  4. Controlled environment: A dedicated growing space, such as a grow tent or cabinet, allows better control over environmental factors like temperature, humidity, and air circulation.
  5. Balanced nutrient solution: Plants require a range of macro- and micronutrients for optimal growth. Commercial hydroponic nutrient solutions or water-soluble fertilizers can provide these essential elements.
  6. Lighting timer: An automatic timer ensures consistent light exposure, mimicking natural day/night cycles.

Seedling stage - start from stage

The next method is the paper towel method. Place your seeds in a moist paper towel—it’s easiest to get the towel wet then squeeze out the excess water. Open the paper towel and lay it flat, spread the seed out inside on one half of the paper towel then fold the other half over top making an enclosed home for your seeds.

Put the folded paper towel in a Ziplock baggie and seal it up, making sure a little air is still inside. Put this package in a dark, warm space and check it every 12-24 hours. Make sure the towel stays moist as you do. Soon you will have a taproot growing from the seed (if the seeds are viable).

But now is where the controversial method happens that some growers dislike; the roots are fragile so use caution when handling. Put the seed in moist soil with a deeper hole (using a pencil makes this easy) and put the root side down and the seed side close to the top before lightly placing soil on top of the seed. Keep it moist and soon you’ll see the seedling break ground and have a new plant to celebrate.

the paper towel method-start from seed

Another method is the cup of water method. With this you can place your seeds in a small shot glass or vial, then fill the vial with water. Put this in a warm spot and wait. Usually within 24 hours you’ll see the shells starting to crack open. Some growers will now place those either in paper towels or directly into soil. The downside of this method is that sometimes it can provide too much water for the seedling and essentially drown them before they even grow.

the cup of water method-start from seed

All the methods of starting seedlings have pros and cons, but hopefully from this starting point you can find the method which is best for you. When the seeds become seedlings is when the fun begins! Stay tuned for other articles where we teach you how to grow through each stage of life.

 


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