Hydroponic growth methods have been around for a long time. In fact, the hanging gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, are one of the earliest recorded examples of it.
Although it’s an ancient way to cultivate plants, growing hydroponically is surprisingly simple. Once you’ve got your system right, all that’s left to do is germinate your seeds before placing them there to grow.
Read on for two of the most popular methods on how to germinate seeds for hydroponic growing.
What Does Germination Mean?
Germination is an essential part of growing. This basic and simple skill involves using the right care and conditions to cause a seed to sprout. In other words, once the right conditions have been met, the exterior of the seed cracks open, a radicle emerges, and roots form to get the seedling ready for planting.
How to Germinate Seeds
If you want to know how to germinate seeds successfully, the basic essentials are proper darkness, moisture, temperature, and oxygen. There are a few different methods to achieve this and depending on your setup, you may prefer one over the others. However, as long as these essential components of seed germination are achieved successfully, any method works.
Best Way to Germinate Seeds
There are multiple different ways to germinate seeds. They are all relatively easy to accomplish and have the same rate of success. It’s all about finding whatever method works best for you.
Here are two of the most common methods on how to germinate seeds:
Paper Towel Method
The paper towel method requires only a lidded container, a paper towel, and a seedling heat mat. Once you have these supplies, follow these simple steps to start the germination process.
- Wet the paper towel. You want to dampen it well, without it being dripping wet.
- Place your seeds on the damp paper towel and fold it over to cover them.
- Place the folded paper towel in the container and close the lid tightly.
- Set the container on top of your seedling heat mat. Another similar source of heat is also acceptable. Aim to stay around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep the container on the seed mat or other heat source and be sure it stays dark. You can do this by getting a lightproof container or placing it in a dark room.
Rockwool Cube Method
Rockwool cubes are a great way to get your seedlings started, but they require some preparation beforehand. For this germination process, you will need Rockwool cubes, a bucket, PH test kit, PH Adjuster Drops.
- Fill the bucket about 2/3rds of the way with water. You want to use pure, filtered water if possible, but you can use tap water as well.
- Test the pH of the water with your PH test kit.
- Use the pH adjuster drops 1-2 at a time until the pH level of the water is 5.5
- Submerge the Rockwool cubes in the water and let them soak for anywhere between 15 minutes and 2 hours.
- Dispose of excess water from Rockwool cubes by gently shaking the cube. Do not squeeze the Rockwool cube as this could damage the structure of the cube.
- Place one seed inside the hole of each cube, taking care not to place them too deep.
- Place the cubes in a dark, climate-controlled environment like a propagation dome. The ideal temperature is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the ideal humidity is 60% to 80%.
Germination is a simple yet essential process of growing your cannabis plants hydroponically. Although there are many other methods of how to germinate seeds out there, the paper towel method and the Rockwool cube methods are among the easiest while still remaining highly effective.
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