I have a Q for you: Do cannabis seeds need to be stratified before germinating them? Do cannabis seeds need to be refrigerated for a period of time prior to planting? I just cleaned my first batch of beans I made out of a cross of Granddaddy Purps x Orange Bud from Dutch Passion. Been a fan for years and now I need some help! Many thanks, Randall via NicosNuggets@hightimes.com
Greetings, Randall & Happy New Year to you and all our readers!
I like the question, as many indoor growers likely timed their last cycle to end just before the holidays and now is the time to prepare for your next round. Growing from seed – especially seeds you made yourself – is a great experience and provides added vigor to your garden’s growth and development. Not to mention, what a great hybrid you have created from two excellent varieties!
Stratifying seeds, or laying them in substrate such as peat or sand, is sometimes done to preserve seeds and sometimes done to help them germinate. The less permeable the substrate, the better off it is for short-term storage, however there are much better ways to preserve seeds. For long-term storage or preservation of seed stock, it is best to place seeds in a dry, dark and airtight container. Using colder or freezing temperatures is not necessary, but may provide some extra length towards viability. It is not necessary to refrigerate seeds before germinating.
These 4-week old seedlings were germinated in paper towels.
Using stratification for germination can be quite effective, especially if the medium chosen is moistened regularly and kept in a warm place. However, this is usually done for larger commercial grows, or in outdoor fields, or in cases where a farmer has thousands of seeds and is unsure of their viability. In these cases, stratifying seeds is like hedging a bet, and produces better odds that one or two will germinate in a given vertical space. Of course, if they all germinate, you better have the space for them or be prepared to remove and transplant a few seedlings.
For indoor growers and home hobbyists, germinating seeds in wet layers of cloth, newspaper or paper towels is a common technique to start seedlings. Keeping the seeds layered, on a tray, and on or near a low-heat source (heat mats are great, as are tops of refrigerators) with adequate moisture is an easy and effective way to pop beans. Once opened, place the germinated seeds in a cup of soil or medium of your choice, about a ¼ inch under the surface, with the white tip pointed down and the seed shell up. After about 7-10 days, once the seedling has several sets of leaves, you can transplant the seedling into its larger container for the vegetative cycle.
Enjoy and I hope that cross tastes as good as it sounds!
Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!
Got questions? Email 'em over to Nico at NicosNuggets@hightimes.com and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!
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Top photo: Tasmanian Haze in week 7 of flower, started from seed and grown organically.