How To Germinate Weed Seeds For Hydroponics

ILGM

Buy Cannabis Seeds Online

Learn the basic steps of seed-starting in hydroponic systems and how to monitor primary variables that affect plant health and productivity in hydro systems. Follow these steps to start weed seeds for hydroponics and get your plants off to a healthy start. A lot of people are constantly put off when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically. This is because of how time-consuming it is and how much effort it requires. But one thing they do…

Hydroponic Seed Starting for Healthy Hydroponic Seedlings

Hydroponics is a technology-based form of controlled environment agriculture (CEA) where yields per square foot can be higher than those of traditional in-soil farming. Crops grown in hydroponic systems require daily management, however, in contrast to some field crops that can be grown with little attention for extended periods of time.

In this article we provide simple steps for successful hydroponic seed-starting, then introduce some of the primary environmental variables that need to be closely monitored to produce healthy hydroponic seedlings:

We do not currently conduct hydroponic trials at Johnny’s research farm, but have compiled this information from our hydroponic trial cooperators, academic and industry resources, and independent hydroponic growers.

10 Steps for Successful Hydroponic Seed-Starting

  1. CHOOSE VARIETIES BRED, SELECTED, AND TRIALED IN HYDROPONIC SYSTEMS.

What to Monitor & Why: The Primary Environmental Variables of Hydroponic Systems

MONITORING TOOLS

You may want to have a few monitoring tools on hand. Most of these devices are reasonably affordable and readily available from hydroponic growing suppliers.

  • Thermometer
  • EC (electroconductivity) meter
  • Light meter
  • pH strips or test kit
TABLE 1. BASIC ENVIRONMENTAL REQUIREMENTS FOR GROWING HYDROPONIC CROPS

TEMPERATURE

Temperatures that are too high or too low will result in poor germination and increase the risk of disease. The optimum temperature range will vary by crop and lifecycle stage; follow individual growing instructions for each crop you are growing.

Once established, plants need an approximately 10°F (12°C) drop between daytime and nighttime temperatures to grow properly. For example, an ideal temperature range for many crops is 75°F (24°C) in the daytime and 60–65°F (16–18°C) at night. Most crops (other than tropical varieties) cannot efficiently photosynthesize at temperatures exceeding 85–90°F (29–32°C).

Supplemental lighting in the protected culture setting can significantly increase the ambient temperature. Also note that to avoid root damage, temperature of the nutrient solution should be maintained no warmer than ambient temperatures.

Plain water normally has a pH of 7.0–8.2. Most nutrient solutions are acidic, and once added to the water source, will decrease the pH.

The pH of the nutrient solution can significantly affect the plant’s ability to take up nutrients. For most crops and hydroponic systems, the ideal pH range is 5.8–6.2 (slightly higher for organic and aquaponic systems).

Ways of measuring pH include using:

  • pH meter
  • litmus paper test strips
  • indicator solution

To understand how pH fluctuates in your specific growing environment, you may want to take routine pH measurements of the following:

  • water source
  • water/nutrient solution
  • growing medium with nutrient solution added

If the pH is off, use a commercially available pH adjustment solution (called “pH Up” or “pH Down”) to adjust your pH accordingly.

If you monitor pH regularly, you will see that the pH slowly rises as the plants take up nutrients. When you replenish the nutrient solution, you will see the pH fall again. More dramatic changes in pH can be indicative of disease; for example, root rot can cause the pH to drop to 3.0–5.0, while algal growth can raise pH levels above optimal levels.

LIGHT

Temperatures that are too high or too low will result in poor germination and increase the risk of disease. The optimum temperature range will vary by crop and lifecycle stage; follow individual growing instructions for each crop you are growing.

DAILY LIGHT INTEGRAL

Growers, particularly in the protected-culture setting, find it useful to quantify light levels in units referred to as the daily light integral (DLI). The DLI is the amount of photosynthetically active radiation (photons) that plants receive each day. Just as you can use a rain gauge to measure rainfall, you can use a light meter to measure DLI, typically expressed as moles of light (mol) per square meter (m 2 ) per day.

RECOMMENDED LIGHT LEVELS

Most vegetables need 14 hours of sunlight per day and at least 12 mol per m 2 per day. Strawberries grown hydroponically prefer 15–25 mols of DLI with a minimum of 12, measured at the canopy level, in the greenhouse. Plants in greenhouses typically experience a 25%–50% reduction in DLI below that of outdoor levels due to glazing and shading from the structure. Depending upon the crop and a host of variables that influence natural light levels, supplemental lighting may thus be needed at certain times of the year or year-round.

LIGHT COLOR

If you are using supplemental lighting, light color is an additional factor to consider. Plants use light within the visible wavelength range of 400–700 nanometers (nm). Herbs and leafy greens fare best with lights emitting a higher proportion at the blue end of the spectrum (450–496 nm), which encourages vegetative growth. Crops like tomatoes prefer lights that emit a higher proportion at the red end of the spectrum (620–750 nm), which encourages flowering and fruiting. Ultraviolet light (UV) aids development of fruit color in crops such as strawberries. LED lights are the most energy-efficient option, and some are adjustable for color to suit crop needs.

HYDROPONIC NUTRIENT SOLUTIONS & CONCENTRATIONS

The home gardener or beginning grower will want to start with one of the many preformulated solutions on the market. Each comes with its own instructions for mixing and application.

To monitor nutrient concentrations, measure the electroconductivity (EC) of the solution in your system over time. Use an electrical conductivity meter to detect the level of total dissolved nutrients in the hydroponic solution expressed on a scale of milliSiemens per centimeter (mS/cm). The package directions will indicate the desired EC levels. Note, however, that EC is not a reliable indicator if you are using organic fertilizer solutions.

See also  Poppy Seed Marijuana

Record the EC when you mix up your solution and then monitor it daily. You will see the EC drop as plants take up the nutrients. Once it falls below an acceptable range, you will want to add more nutrient solution; determine the amount to add based on the percentage drop you have seen in the EC.

You may want to take measurements both from the nutrient solution itself and from sample points in your growing medium; this will allow you to get a sense for whether your growing medium is accumulating a build-up of nutrients.

Temperatures that are too high or too low will result in poor germination and increase the risk of disease. The optimum temperature range will vary by crop and lifecycle stage; follow individual growing instructions for each crop you are growing.

RECOMMENDED NUTRIENT LEVELS

Optimum EC levels vary by crop. Plants will require lower EC in warmer months and higher EC in cooler months and when fruiting. A suggested range is provided in Table 2; however, you will need to experiment to find the optimal range for your crop, season, and growing system.

TABLE 2. NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMON HYDROPONICS CROPS
REPLACING THE NUTRIENT SOLUTION

A shortcoming of EC is that it does not reveal the specific chemical makeup of nutrients in the water, only the overall nutrient levels. Plants take up individual nutrients at different rates, and thus it is possible for the solution to become imbalanced over time, even if the EC is still within an acceptable range.

For this reason, the nutrient solution should be completely changed on a regular basis. Recommendations on how frequently to change the solution vary; start by replacing your solution every 3–4 weeks, or whenever you see symptoms of deficiency or toxicity in your plants.

ORGANIC FERTILIZERS IN HYDROPONICS

Using organic fertilizers can present more of a challenge than using synthetic ones.

  • The composition of organic fertilizer mixtures is less precise than that of their synthetic counterparts, and nutrient deficiencies can be encountered more readily as a result.
  • Organic fertilizers can also contain high levels of carbon, which in excess can contribute to fungal and bacterial growth.
  • Finally, EC is not a reliable indicator of actual nutrient concentrations, which can also make it harder to monitor and ensure adequate levels with organic fertilizers.

If you elect to use organic fertilizers, we recommend choosing a product specifically designed for hydroponic systems unless you have the capacity to run trials.

WATER

Testing your water source will help you to understand how naturally occurring elements in the water may affect plant growth. If you have hard water (ie, high concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water), you may want to use a nutrient solution designed for hard water. Water treated with sodium or other water-softening chemicals can be detrimental to plants. High levels of salt in the water can limit calcium uptake and lead to disease (research suggests that water with salt levels of 3000ppm can reduce yields by 10–25%).

CARBON DIOXIDE

Plants need adequate levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) to photosynthesize; low CO2 levels reduce growth and can cause flower and fruit drop, reducing overall yields.

Indoor growing environments can be prone to becoming CO2 deficient. This is most likely to happen in a closed greenhouse system on sunny, cold winter mornings when ventilation fans are not running and plants are actively photosynthesizing, using up available CO2. Plants can deplete available CO2 in as little as just 1 hour in a closed greenhouse.

You can ensure adequate CO2 with appropriate ventilation.

AIR CIRCULATION

Good air circulation helps reduce disease pressure, dissipate pockets of air that are too high or low in temperature, and as discussed above, ensure plants receive adequate CO2. Air movement can also help seedlings develop a thicker stem, producing a shorter, stockier, less leggy plant.

OXYGEN LEVELS

Oxygen is imperative for plant growth. Overwatering and compaction of the growing medium can both limit oxygen to the roots, leading to root death. Using a medium that supports good aeration is important for maintaining healthy oxygen levels.

Oxygen levels in the nutrient solution are a function of temperature; when the nutrient solution is too warm, the plants’ access to oxygen is compromised. Some growers use an air pump to aerate the nutrient solution and a water chiller to cool the nutrient solution down to an optimal temperature.

How to Start Weed Seeds for Hydroponics

Now that it’s legal to grow your own weed in dozens of states, many people are moving to hydroponics for their seed growth.

There are various benefits to this form of seed germination, but the process has to be done correctly in order to get your cannabis seedlings to form healthily. If you put the time and effort in at the beginning, you’ll create a hydroponic system that does most of the work for you later.

Creating Cannabis Plants From a Hydroponic System

Sure, it’s easier to buy an already germinated seed rather than taking the time to do it yourself.

But the costs add up quickly, whereas germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically yourself gives you a solid return on your investment.

Rather than buying sprouted seeds and adding them to your water system, you can have a successful germination rate. This process also takes away all the disadvantages of the seeds you get in the store.

Why You Need Hydroponics in Your Life if You Grow Cannabis

If you don’t want your cannabis seeds limited to what other people sell, growing seeds is the way to go.

Plus, you can avoid the concern of picking up diseases from store-bought marijuana seeds and spreading them to your young plants.

Once you get the hang of how to germinate cannabis seeds and tend to your hydroponic system, you’ll never want to grow seeds through any other growing medium.

Turning Quality Seeds Into Cannabis Plants

Because the root system in hydroponics never connects to the soil, any seeds sprouted stay safely floating until you’re ready to use your marijuana plants.

So, any sprouts emerging from your system stay healthy and untraumatized.

See also  Weed Seed Won't Germinate

How do you take a few seeds to germinate, design a hydroponic system, and start growing marijuana yourself?

Here’s all you need to know about germinating cannabis seeds for the maximum yield possible.

Starting Your Hydroponic System

Ready to see how good it feels to watch your cannabis seeds germinate into a young plant?

Sprouting seeds is a simple way to increase your healthy plant yield. You end up with multiple cannabis plants rather than one healthy seed bought from a store.

To ensure you germinate seeds that can successfully grow into a cannabis plant, you need a hydroponic system.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but the costs at the start will be more expensive than buying a sprouted seed.

Remember, though, that getting a few seeds over time will end up costing more than investing in and creating your own method of germinating seeds at home.

What Every Cannabis Seed System Needs

In a cannabis plant’s life, there are four main components.

As long as you learn these factors and use them in an organized manner, you won’t have to add too much more equipment or do a lot of work after the initial setup.

Germinated seeds in hydroponics don’t need soil growers like your average growing plants do when you use potting soil.

Instead, they just require the essentials: oxygen, water, a light source, and heat. As you start seeds in the system, the proper lighting and the right temperature are crucial.

A Simple Beginning that Anyone Can Do

Let’s begin the process of designing your first greenhouse hydroponic system starting small.

You’ll need a grow tray, some starter cubes, and a humidity dome to monitor the temperature and moisture levels.

Starter cubes aren’t necessary, but they do make a massive difference. They have the ideal nutrient solution, like peat pellets, to help those first seeds sprout.

Once the young seedling reaches the stage where it’s able to be transferred, you can easily move the planted cubes without disrupting the roots.

This helps prevent root rot from excess water and gives you the maximum yield possible.

Adjusting the Temperature

Within the dome, your grow tray helps your plants grow from feminized seeds into healthy cannabis plants ready for the flowering stage.

For your role, you have to monitor the temperature and humidity. If you see water dripping from the side of the starter cube or dome, there’s too much moisture.

A heating mat under the grow tray helps avoid cold temperatures messing with the starter cubes and the seedlings.

Because even warm water turns cold, this heating mat keeps the grow tray at the ideal temperature to nestle the seeds inside and encourage them to grow.

Finding the Right Light Source

When it comes to adding lighting in the room, you don’t necessarily need more light. You need something that the germinating seeds grow toward.

In the case of cannabis plants, many experts recommend a hydroponic LED grow light system.

Cannabis is a green plant, so it must have the ideal environment to encourage photosynthesis. Seeds sprout naturally when the lighting initiates this process.

Then, the plants capture the light and use it to change the water and the given nutrient solution into oxygen and the compounds you desire.

These little seedlings need intense light, which is found in an LED grow lighting system.

Enough light at the right intensity will ensure you get the maximum yield possible from younger and older seeds.

Sprouting Your Seeds

Now that your environment is set up, it’s time to start the process of germination!

First, take your starter cubes and let them soak in clean tap water. In an hour or so, take two or three seeds and add them to the cube.

You should use enough to ensure at least one germinates, but not so many that if they all do, they’ll be overcrowded. As they begin to grow, any plants that look like they aren’t as healthy as the others can be thinned out.

Move the Starter Cubes

Next, take your grow tray and add an inch of half-strength nutrient solution.

Place the lighting source and mat where they fit best, then add the dome to keep the temperature and moisture at optimal levels.

Add your starter cubes into the tray, add a little water (not too much, you want to avoid root rot), and that’s it!

It will take a few days for seeds to germinate, but you’ll see whether your system is working or not by the fourth day.

Get Ready to Transport!

The seeds are germinating, and you can see roots daintily hanging out of the cube’s bottom. It’s the moment you’ve anticipated since you started your basic hydroponic system.

It’s time to transplant your young plant!

Chances are, it’s only been a month or less, but it can feel like forever as you’re checking and double-checking the plant’s health.

Now, it’s the real thing, and you’re moving your seedling into your actual hydroponic area.

This is the bigger tank or pond where you’re going to hold your nutrient solution and let your plants thrive until you’re ready to cultivate them.

Gently Move the Cube

Once you have a place for the cube, use the paper towel method to hold under the roots as you gently pull it from its grow tray.

There isn’t anything that connects the roots to a soil system, so a wet paper towel is all you need.

The roots are going to need a little time to get used to their new environment.

While they try to absorb the system’s nutrients, you can add a little water to the top or use those wet paper towels to cover the cube.

As the paper towel dries out, you know it’s time to add a little more moisture. Within a day or two, your new seedlings should be enjoying their hydro system without help, and you can drop the paper towels.

Enjoy Your Hard Work

You’ve taken your cannabis from small, non-germinated seeds to a young, healthy, green plant. From there, you guided it and monitored its growth as it flowered.

See also  Gelatoseeds.Com Marijuana Seeds Online Usa

Now, it’s time to cultivate the good parts and turn the leftover cuttings into more cannabis seeds.

The return on your investment starts now. Rather than heading back to the store to find more cannabis seeds to germinate, you have everything you need to repeat the process.

Your grow tray is ready to house some more starter cubes. Your light source is still intensely shooting out waves of photosynthesis-inducing light, and your humidity dome is set at the ideal temperature and moisture.

Go ahead and take those new seedlings from the plant you nurtured and turn them into new young plants. You’ll never have to buy your cannabis stash again!

If you enjoyed this article, Click the link below and share it with your friends!

Best Way to Germinate Cannabis Seeds for Hydroponics

A lot of people are constantly put off when it comes to germinating cannabis seeds hydroponically. This is because of how time-consuming it is and how much effort it requires.

But one thing they do not know is that growing seeds in a hydroponic system will minimize the damage the seeds can get through other methods of germination.

What you Need for your Hydroponic System

First, you need to have a grow tray (not to be mistaken for grow tents) to hold your plants in a hydroponic system. This will create an ideal environment for your plants to grow in. Also, to avoid certain diseases and pests that usually comes along whenever a hydroponic system is set up.

Inside your grow tray, you should invest in a heater or heating mat to maintain a temperature that will encourage growth in your seeds. Aside from that, proper lighting should be installed as well to help your seeds sprout.

Another important thing to take note of is the pot where the germination will take place. You may want to buy starter cubes that can withstand being soaked for a very long time. Rockwool has got to be one of those products that will not dissolve in water.

Step by Step directions for ontogenesis Seeds during a aquacultural System

  1. The first thing that you should do is to soak your starter cubes or Rockwool in clean water for an hour. Once they have been given a chance to soak, place a few seeds into the cube’s hole. You may want to add a few more on each cube, just in case some seeds do not germinate.
  2. Once they sprout, you can take out the weaker or unsuccessful plants to allow the strongest to prosper instead.
  3. Prepare the grow tray with an inch of clean water or a nutrient solution that is not too strong.
  4. Arrange the light source and heating mat until a suitable environment is met. You can keep the lid on to stay the warmth and wetness within the receptacle.
  5. Place the planted cubes into the grow tray and add water or the half-strength nutrient solution.
  6. After regarding four days, you’ll start to see some sprouts emerging.

Apparently, some people prefer to use Ziploc bags, rather than getting grow tray when trying to get the seeds to germinate since it functions as a greenhouse. There is nothing really wrong about that. Just make sure to seal the bag with a little bit of air and place it in a dark place for four days to get the seeds to sprout. After that, you can put the starter cubes with sprouted seeds into the grow tray.

Another method is by using a paper towel. You can easily achieve this by following the steps below:

  1. Soak four sheets of towel in water. Once soaked, you must make sure that there is water dripping off of those sheets. Too much water is not good for the seeds.
  2. Set two paper sheets on one of the plates and place the seeds at least 1 inch apart from each other. After that, cover them with the other two sheets.
  3. Cover the seeds with the second plate to keep the moisture is locked in. Be sure that you check the seeds regularly to see if they have sprouted or not.
  4. This is where you will find out if your seeds have a chance to prosper.
    Always be sure that the seeds are stored in a room where the temperature is maintained between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Cannabis seeds usually sprout within 1–4 days. However, there are other seeds, older seeds to be exact, that often take up to a week to sprout.
  6. Whenever you try to check the seeds, make sure that the towels are moist. If the towels are dry, just add enough water, not too much.

You can understand that germination has occurred because the seed will split, and a touch root seems. Be sure that you don’t touch the taproot when it sprouts or during the transplantation process since it is very fragile.

Just be sure to use a paper towel that is nonporous. Using a porous paper towel will cause the cannabis seeds to cling to the pores of the paper towels.

Conclusion

Although you may not be successful at first, that is just part of life. You win, you lose; all that matters is
that you learn through these experiences. Even if you lose a few seeds in the process, you should not be disheartened by it since it happens to everyone — even if you follow the rules and step as meticulously as possible.

The Weed Blog has an article that directly compares traditional soil germination and hydroponics. Have a read at it if you are still undecided on what method to use; it might help.

Germinating through the process of Hydroponics is definitely a chore, but it is still worth it once you see the roots of your cannabis plants soaking wet and brimming with life. Once you succeed, you will be enjoying every hit you take from your own weed growth.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.