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?

Ok, you have a seed and now you want to grow it.  First and foremost, we will need a few basic supplies:

  • Good potting soil (not, for example,miracle gro, as we need to be able to control our nutrients)
  • A planter (your final pot size if growing indoors should be around 3 – 5 gallons)
  • A good grow light (this will be the biggest purchase as you want to make sure it’s able to grow the plant the whole lifecycle)
  • A place to grow(eg., a tent, a closet, a spare bedroom, a basement, or even a garden if you’re planning to grow outdoors)
  • A basic nutrient line
  • A 24-hourlight timer

So we have our supplies—what do we do with the seed? There are several methods to germinating a seed. One of the most basic ways is just planting it in some dirt and keeping the soil moist. Another method is where you put your seeds in a moist paper towel and seal that in a plastic bag and make sure the towel is moist. You can also put it in a cup of water and get good results by waiting for the seed to sprout its taproot. I will go into detail with all three options so you can pick which one is right for you.

The first option is the tried and true method of placing the seeds directly into the dirt. Make a small hole in moist soil and pop the seed right in. Keep the soil moist with a spray bottle for a few days and you should get a little seedling. Although this method has been done since the beginning of time, it does not always ensure a seedling will appear. Some seeds sprout in a few days and some don’t sprout at all. This isn’t always because you did something wrong, sometimes the seed have a thicker shell and are harder to germinate or the seed simply isn’t viable.

start from seed

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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