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Germinating seeds

What are you favorite and most reliable ways to germinate or “start” your seeds?

What problems have you run into, and how did you overcome them?

Post you best germinating techniques or system here.

And here is a article about germinating:


I use a match box lined with sand paper to scarify the seeds so water can penetrate the oily husk, then I use micorhize and wet paper towel in a ziplock(I leave it open for air) and place it between two dinner plates on a germination pad for two or three days then check and plant those ready.(I sterilize everything with hydrogen peroxide first and when ready to plant)


Moist paper towel on top of a seedling heater mat. method seems to work 100% of the time for me.

After a tail, I place into a rapid rooter.


Funny how many different ways there are to germinate a seed that’s supposed to do it all by itself on the ground. :slight_smile:

I drop mine in a shot glass with tap water and a couple drops of H2O2. Once they have a tail that is a half inch long or so, I put them in pre-soaked rapid rooters and then into my seedling tray.

I haven’t had a seed fail to germ in a long time. I’ve had a few fail to make it out of the rapid rooter, but that’s grower error I think and not seed(ling) error.


Same here, it’s like we learned about the same time :kissing_heart:

Oh, and I don’t use rooters, they go straight into ProMix HP soaked in Clonex Solution.

  1. I’ll drop seeds in a cup with ro water and a squirt of H2O2, cover, and place in a warm, dark place for 12-24 hours.

  2. Next, I inoculate Rapid Rooters in a solution of 2 cups RO water, 1/4 tsp AN’s Pirahna, and a drop of Earth Juice Catalyst; while letting the Rooters soak, I prep my Germination Station and heat mat.

  3. I wring out the Rooters so they are damp, but I can’t see moisture glistening from them.

  4. Using plastic tweezers, I carefully remove the seed from its cup and place it pointier side first into the Rooter, approx ¼ down; use a small piece of Rooter to cover the hole.

  5. I place Rooters in Germination Station on top of mat in a dark place for 24 hours; I try not to allow the temp inside the station to go above 79°F; I place a few cups of water into the station to help keep the humidity up, while decreasing my need to water the Rooters as often.

  6. Typically, within 4 days of dropping seeds, everything is fully germed, with both cotyledons open and the first serrated leaves poking their itty bitty heads into the world.


I love /use earth juice can’t say enough good about their products;)


Love them, too!


Look up “a top nutrient study, which is best/produces most”

1 Like

A tonne of great info a long read tho


Oh, I’m already a believer, but I will hunt it down to read. Thanks for the suggestion!


Np it’s a head to head comparison of the top 7 shell products. He has some suggestions for additives and application and brew techniques for EJ as well;)


How crazy can u get in your germination process? I’m thinking, anything for the plant right? I just want to give her the tools she needs to fully express herself. I’m getting some ideas I think I’ll keep to myself, try em out and let you know.
How crazy can you get though? Alot of things can be made into a liquid, absorbable. :thinking: Hmm?


Here is something I came up with a few years ago when I was trying to build a better mousetrap WRT existing germination methods. I have tried quite a few, some work decently enough, some absolutely don’t but the key thing I noticed that they all work at first but each tended to not work as well over time. For example, the wet towels trick works great…if you can keep the moisture level constant over a 4-7 day period, the longest we hope anything would take to germinate. But if the towels dry out and you don’t notice or you over-soak them and “drown” the seeds, that ends that. Same thing for any of the other methods I tried. I will be the first to admit, I was testing the method but also my ability to operate it as well which is where some fails came from. Anyhow I decided to make something reliable so I didn’t have to keep watching it, refilling it, etc, it had to handle a dozen or more seeds keeping them sorted, it had to keep the moisture on the shell at a pretty precise level for days on end and as a bonus, I wanted to enrich the bath with light nutrients and oxygen, more to keep the tray cleaner.

Oh and it had to have an insanely high success rate on even the crappiest of seeds. I didn’t set small goals for myself. I am joking, I realize nobody here knows me yet…so I came up with my seed starter that I could make out of dollar-store components; along with a few things from Amazon. Finally this like all my stuff had to be easy for someone with disabilties to make and use.

Here is what I came up with; its cheap, easy to make and reliable as hell. My grow mentor now uses this method.

There are a lot of little things you can do to maximize your chances for a good harvest if you are disabled, one of, if not the key thing is: protect those roots. Yes they are cool to see and see grow but nearly anything can hurt them and unlike something damaging say a fan-leaf or even a bud, root damage can take out much or all of a plant. If you are a normal person, that’s already tough but if you are disabled and have shakes, poor eye sight or just plain poor motor skill control, this can be the kiss of death, where your grow is over before it gets going. So over time and experimentation, I have come up with two key…I am reluctant to use the words inventions but I do know I came up with them on my own for a specific purpose.

Magic Wisdom Law: The more you can protect your roots (right from germination) the better your plant will turn out. Every time. On the occasion the plant can recover, by the time it does so harvest time will have come and gone long ago, making it one of those “yeah its true but…kinda useless” situations.

I have been an inventor or experimenter all of my life, its just wired into me. What this means for this conversations is that I set about gaining hands-on experience with as many forms of growing cannabis as I could reasonably do and afford: hydro (DWC, ebb and flow, etc), duo-ponics (various combinations of hydro and soil or soil mix) and straight soil, even fooled with fog-ponics once, cloning, breeding, even tried my hand at tissue culture propagation. You know how on CSI, Greg in the lab was always taking a few cells and “growing” more DNA for testing? Same idea, the system was you could take cell samples from various places on a living plant, culture them, replicate them (still in culture dishes) and finally generate living plant starts to transplant into soil for a standard growth. The cool thing was, any strain you EVER grew, you could keep viable samples of in your freezer almost indefinitely, take out a culture dish when you need it, take a few pieces, replicate and then generate root systems, almost like mini-clone cuttings. This was some cool, intense stuff but it ended up requiring more than I had available. I had a choice to make so put my effort into more standard forms of growing. Was cool though.

Anyhow I used what I learned through all of that to develop a couple of tools or grow hacks that immediately raised my success rate and kept it there. The key through it all was: thou shalt not toucheth thine cannabis root. Ever-eth.

Not sure on the Latin translation of the last part but the rule is true as anything I have to present. But how to protect the roots? Starting right from the seed, common methods of germination require transplanting a very delicate root fiber to whatever your medium is, and your medium had better be the same temperature and moisture level with the same nutrient levels as it was used to or it will die almost certainly. Thats if you don’t rip the root in half due to tremors or poor eye sight resulting in a decapitated root…and then the plant is often transplanted at least one more time to a larger pot, depending on your situation, again a source of danger to the roots for all the same reasons.

So what I figured out was a method or system of growing where you had zero need to ever touch the root, right from germination, all the way through to harvest. Your root or roots remain safe in a medium and nutrient level they are accustomed to, reducing chances of plant shock. I have done it before; it ain’t pretty.

The Seed Starter:
The first thing I came up with was what I am calling my Seed Starter; I have a real problem with names so while some are lame (like this) many don’t even have names (like the next thing).

In making sure the seed must be protected from me as much as is practical, I needed some arrangement where the seed would remain at a very fixed level of moisture coming from pH balanced, aerated water, enhanced with plant vitamin B-1 (available everywhere). Further, I needed a way to be able to transplant the root tail to another medium w/o actually touching it.

I accomplished all of the above on a budget…it was cool because I could “see” the solution in my head but there was one part that I could not envision what I could use as a lifting tray for the germinator, and that final part came to me as we were leaving IHOP (breakfast place in the US) with left-overs…and folks, the tray they give you at IHOP (or iHOb now…how stupid) was perfect and I was hooting with joy all the way home; the seed starter was complete.

The Seed Starter can be made with very simple materials yet it has a germination success rate I would put up against any other method. No sanding of seeds or secret formulas of stuff, just plain science. Aside from the other problems, one major issue I found with almost every other germination method out there is that it is so important that the seed and in time, seed plus root tail remain at a pretty precise and pretty constant moisture level all through germination. Every other method required something to be topped off or re-moistened and even then, the medium you were germinating in (for example, moist paper towels) had to remain evenly moist or part of the seed or tail would dry out and kill the life inside. This eliminates all that worry.

In this example you start with a one-dollar (literally from the Dollar Store) 9-muffin plastic tray. Square, has clear top and latches for all four sides. This is important as you want to seal in moisture as much as possible. Then you take the black plastic bottom of the IHOP to go tray (after washing it naturally) cut a notch in one side from the bottom to the top of the lip.

Get a drill with a 3/8 inch bit (keep it around, I use that bit for everything) and drill a hole just below the lip of the bottom of the cupcake carry tray. Through this hole run some flexible 1/4 inch hose connected to an air pump. Once through the hole, stick an airstone of any kind on the end so it sits about in the middle, finally placing the bottom of the IHOP container upside-down over the airstone; now you see what that notch was for.

OK almost done. As you can surmise, the idea is to use the bottom of this as a reservoir where you can put maybe four cups of pH balanced water, but as you also probably know, sticking the seeds right in the water will drown them and on the other hand if they don’t get exactly enough they can wither and die within hours. So I had to find a way to get the nutrients to the seeds, and that is where the capillary mat comes in. Capillary mat cloth you can get from Amazon for like a 1x6 yard roll is maybe 10 bucks I think. This is great stuff because its perhaps an eighth-inch thick and wicks water or nutrients evenly and reliably. So I cut a piece of this cloth about 12 x 18 inches; you would do well to measure your own muffin carrier, this is just how mine worked. Anyhow take one of the short edges and tuck it under the far side (side away from where the air comes in) of the IHOP bottom so that there is just enough cap mat on top to just cover the IHOP container. Trim if need-be.

OK this will wick enough moisture up to do the trick and there is enough fluid in the bottom so you never even need to open this until you are ready to use the seeds. To bring it home, we need a way to handle the seeds w/o handling them, while still keeping the moisture around them to a pretty specific level. To the rescue comes the neatest of starter mediums, the Rapid Rooter plug. These are made of shaped peat moss I think but they come 50 to a bag, pre-moistened for I think 15 bones and they will last you a long time.

So your seed starter is almost ready, you have the bottom filled with nutrients up to just below the air-hose hole, and you have the cap mat tucked in and distributing the nutrients to all corners of the cap mat. Say you have 8 cannabis seeds to germinate; take four of the rooter plugs, cut them in half width-wise and then partially cut through them all so they end up like weird taco shells. Into the “pocket” of each, place one cannabis seed, and then place the whole thing on the cap mat. You have now touched the seed for the last time.

Once you have placed all eight seeds into the rooter plugs, just clap on the lid, plug in the air and place the whole thing where it won’t get disturbed for a few days. As long as your seeds are bad or really old, you can expect all of these to have root tails, ready for transplant in 48 hours or less.

Here is a PDF I made on how to construct one.

OK I have a pair of videos to go with this but my fog is setting in so will complete this later. Check back they are worth it for cementing ideas…


OK poop. Like the comedian said, I had to tell ya that story so I could tell ya this one…

My grow room is like a mad scientist lab, or it was and so the end of Seed Starter pt two talks about using the NetPot Jumpstarer I figured out for jump-starting pure-play hydro starts from the Seed Starter but I haven’t explained it here yet so you haven’t missed anything, forgot it was there, will add something in a day or so to explain WTF I am on about in the video…you know, I went into the neurologists office reaking (no reason to care) and I get the stink-eye from these obviously old people so I made this t-shirt up and they leave me alone now:


How did the fogponics work out for you? That right there is cool stuff


Well Scotty I wish I could tell you there was alot more to the story than that but…OK, before all this started I was this really Type-A kinda dude, really into multitasking, was a system OS designer and stuff like that and as an ex project manager, I was used to having many plates spinning in the air, an expression meaning I am like a juggler and can manage and keep track of many things at once. When I was putting in some 60 a week at Sony on PS3/XPeria I was also running an open source project at home while also rebuilding PCs for a blind lady and a girl with learning disabilities in…think it was like Idaho or Nebraska, one of those corn-oriented states…and this was while I was running a blog teaching system and hacking tricks, and THAT was in addition to the 101 projects I always seemed to have going from AI and machine learning stuff to encryption and frankly superior pirating methods. That last one freaked my bosses and they told me never to publish it which sucked because it was freaking cool. The PS3 has the Cell Broadband Engine built in, a serious smack of processor chewing power the likes of which Intel and AMD could only dream of. Well lets just say, some pirate methods are discarded because the man can detect and stop, some because they can detect and prosecute. This was like 90% of what got nailed. In my case I figured out a way to use the vast processing power of the PS3 to near-instantly “process” a movie, whatever in such a way that it could be “transmitted” anywhere in the world, anyone could look at every byte and not detect a single bit of the original file, they could watch both originator and receiver, find nothing, decrypt nothing and yet one moment it is on the originators computer and another moment, it is on the end-users computer and there is NOTHING TO DETECT. It uses a very unique twist on encryption to ensure it will never be broken. All thanks to the PS3 and its ability to chew thru graphics processing. Sorry, I have dementia and got side-tracked, that happens alot. I am sorry, pls bear with me folks, this isn’t a problem that is going away.

Anyhow what I was saying is I am used to having alot going, it was just a natural way for me and so when I was first disabled due to the dementia and I could see my path forward, I used that path to teach myself cannabis growing and making the specific meds I need for my particular situation. Skipping all kinds of story, I knew then that I only had so much time to figure out what method or way would work for me, I had never grown anything before, ever. There was that time with the cops in Ventura but thats another story for another time. I knew I had to figure it out, I knew that I not only had to find the right method for me and my disability, I had to acquire experience at growing as quickly as I possibly could in a very short time. To do that, after my first traninig crop where I met my mentor and now life-long friend, I figured out the short list of ways I needed to learn and then went out and did them, all at once, so I always had several experiments and tests for things from aerocloners to devices that watered plants hidden on my roof, indoor growing, outdoor growing (tricky in desert) soil, soll-ponics, hydroponics, aeroponics, fog-ponics, I got experience with LED, HPS, metal hallide, T5 flourescent lights and so on. Good news is, I think it worked since what I am doing now, I still have some recent experience at. The downside to continuing to experiment is, if I forget now I have nobody to ask. Anyhow, all this for WTF happened to fog ponics. Well there came a point where the LBD damaged enough brain where I could no longer do so many things at once and expect to get any of them to work, so there have been several points along the way I had to step back and simplify if it meant I could keep growing, even though it meant letting go of something cool that really worked, somehting that burned in this engineers heart. Fogponics is one of those things. I made them from coffee creamer cans, a small hydro netcup, like an inch I think and a 7 buck fog maker from Amazon. Made two really; one worked and the other did not. Not thru its fault, I just could not keep up and things went to hell before I noticed and when I did it was too late. But one worked fine and had things be different I had a 20-seat aeroponics rig I made some time ago I meant to convert to fog ponics and so some serious testing.

Alas, a number of things have gone by the wayside; I have a whole other pretty sweet, pretty automated grow system I made but had to let it go because I was the only one who knew how it worked and I could not keep up maint. So I went from an sophisticated hydro/soil rig to Hempy buckets for everything, hand-watering again. Ugh. Yet I am still growing and thats keeping me going…


I’m glad you are on our side bro… Straight genius… But use your power and knowledge for good… I was into coding for a short period in my life 12 years ago until I started a very small construction biz then found my love for growing again about 2 years ago

fogponics is definitely work :facepunch::seedling::herb::palm_tree:


See, thats another thing that I got started and cannot take to completion (so I hope someone else can). So I was figuring out a really reusable, configurable and flexible grow system from hell, so it can make a QP every 3 weeks AND support weird science experiments, keeping me entertained to boot. I made sure I made it all from stuff from KMart, etc and you could set up and starter grow for the cost of a middy ounce. Two tents, 6x8x4, one set to flower, one set to veg. Two 30 gallon garbage cans raised up act as reservoirs to each tent, one with bloom nutes, one with veg. This is indoor BTW. So these garbage cans feed a series of 4 standard 12-gallon tubs like from Lowes or Home depot. They are about 2 ft x 3 foot long by about 8 inches high. each is fitted with a float-valve and is connected to the main rez via inexpensive 1/4 inch tubing and connectors. Rainbird is a common brand. So these tubs are now kept filled to a predetermined level with nutrients; each also has an airstone going. Now here is the neat part: I made it so depending on which attachment I used I could make one be soil, the next be hydro, the next be aero, etc etc. Normal I set it to fill to 5 inches, about 5 gallons of fluid and use 6 inch netpots like you use for buckets only they sit lower here and you get 6 more inches of grow space out of the gate You are now working with a pure play hydro. Swap that out for waste baskets I have drilled out to be like Autopots, I add rocks to the bottoms for drainage and add soilmix and plant to top and bingo I have a soil ponics rig I can just set in there and the nutrients feed from the bottom. I set a different lid on with many holes drilled and I used 3 inch netpots, added a sprayer pump underneath in the fluid and tadah, it was an aeroponics cloner rig. And so on, you get the idea. I could even do soilponics in one half and hydro in the other half. Pretty cool device. Set up like this, it made the continual harvest model a snap: every three weeks I harvested one from bloom, moved one from veg to bloom by literally picking up the new plant from veg and setting it where the old one was and it was plugged into the right feed, etc. Damned-near fool proof. Then I replace the one that came from veg with with a clone, a seedling, whatever and it has 6 weeks to get ready to bloom. With this model I was taking a QP every three weeks, all plants were auto-fed and cared for. had to abandon the day I realized something was broken in something I designed and made with pride…that I no longer understood how it worked, let alone how to fix it. So the Hempy buckets are my current salvage of my grow life…sigh…

EDIT: Shoot. Missed the whole Fing point. Yeah the system was flexible and stuff but you want to know the real purpose behind all of it? And how I know its a success? Because the overriding design goals were to make something to help the disabled grow and with this system I can speak from much experience that personal grows are great if you are on the game most of the time and most of us must remain near or at the grow all the time, only straying away between harvests or maybe a day but thats it, you can’t get back fast enough to check on stuff you babies. This thing is bult with resilience so if I were laid up for a week straight at any time, the system could take care of itself, things stay fed and cared for. If gawd forbid the main rez goes dry, each tub acts as a backup rez of 5 gallons, like a reserve tank for the car. I was laid up once for nearly two weeks, touched nothing, had no one to help and everything lived. Refilled the rez, had to blow out a tube or two but things were fine as if I had been in there every morning. So this helps with crappy memory slips, really bad motor control (by reducing the amount of work you HAVE to do which is run the hose and mix stuff up every two weeks to a month. Thats it if need be and that was one of the hard lessons to learn: as good as I thought I was at growing, there came a point where I had to admit I was so far gone, the more I “helped” my crop, the worse things got…so…the less I was required to do, logically the more successful I would be. Hence a system you barely have to touch. The ooint of it all…


Like I said genius @lbdwarrior… Absolutely genius and I understand every word you are saying… I would definitely need an instruction manual to start with parts but revolutionary brother


Dang it, I forgot something. The last full grow I did that I was totally responsible for from seed to weed including making hash, wax and RSO, was late 2017. Everything since then I have had to dumb things down, simplify stuff and so on but this last grow of mine had it all, indoor, outdoor, soil, hydro, mutants, inventions everything. Made a video of it but the point is you can see these tubs in action along with a bunch of other crazy stuff…my last grow with my home made system, now just a pile of parts in the garage…