Seeds are the first building block of a robust marijuana plant. In nature, one of the ways plants ensure the survival of their species is by producing thousands of seeds at a time. By producing a lot of seeds, the plant is creating a ton of opportunities for other strong plants to thrive.
Numerous seeds also allows for wide variations in genetics from a single plant. Some seeds are going to naturally have poorer genetics while other seeds will hold genetic benefits. Having a healthy genetic background can mean all the difference between mediocre yields and abundance with all other factors being equal.
Seeds and their underlying genetics are going to be the foundation for all your results that follow. Start with poor seeds that have genetic tendencies like hermaphoriditism (having both male and female parts – bad!), and you are much less likely to be satisfied with your end product. Use seeds coming from plants that are known to be genetically superior and yield massive buds, and you are already setting the stage for a positive grow.
For these reasons, it is extremely important to get your seeds from a trustworthy source who understands marijuana plants and genetics inside out and not just from a random dude down the street.
Where to Buy Marijuana Seeds
I have used 4 different seed banks to buy my seeds, and I have had varying levels of success with each of them. In the end, the seed bank that I have had the most enjoyable experience with is Buy Dutch Seeds.
The main reason I now use them exclusively after trying several banks is for the following reasons:
- Quality – Some of the banks I used had a <25% chance of the seed even germinating. Pretty pathetic considering I paid $100 or more on some of these seed packages. I have gone through about 30 seeds from Buy Dutch Seeds and over 90% of them successfully germinated and gone on to grow into high-yielding plants.
- Feminization – Feminization is the process of ensuring that when a plant is grown from a seed that it will be a female. There are many techniques that seed banks use for feminization and some are more effective than others. Some of the seeds I have used from other banks that were supposedly feminized ended up being male or hermaphrodites. Nothing is worse than spending lots of time and effort growing your plants only to find when they start to flower that they are virtually worthless. I have always had females when buying from Buy Dutch Seeds and again that is through roughly 30 plants. It’s hard to get better than 100%.
- Price – The price for Buy Dutch Seeds is somewhere in the middle I would say. You can find cheaper, but some vendors are much more expensive. From the banks I have tested, I find that Buy Dutch Seeds has the best price per successful plant. In other words, it is much better to pay $80 for seeds where I will get 90% success than pay $60 for the same seeds where I will get 50% success.
- User Experience – The last reason I prefer Buy Dutch Seeds is that they give you an idea of what you can expect with the particular strain you are purchasing. Factors like how much space the plant will take, whether its indoor or outdoor, indica or sativa, flowering times, and estimated yield let you make an educated decision on what exactly you are buying rather than taking a shot in the dark. I know some of the very first seeds I grew were for outside growing and I was none the wiser until my grow closet became an unmanageable jungle of marijuana. It seems like a great problem to have, but it yielded almost nothing because I just couldn’t take care of them correctly in the space that I had. Seed info like what BDS provides would have saved me some headaches early on.
Once you have your seeds, the first thing you will need to do is germinate them. Germination is the process of turning a seed into a live growing plant. When water is introduced to a dormant seed, it will begin to penetrate the outer shell or husk. As the water goes deeper into the seed it hydrates the nutrient-filled walls and allows the plant to begin feeding itself. This food source within the seed will provide the marijuana plant with all of the nutrients it needs for at least 3 weeks of growth.
To begin the germination process, all you will need are these things:
- Cup – Make sure it doesn’t let light in. I use a coffee mug for better temperature control.
- Cover – Again, you don’t want light to get in so you need something to cover the cup; I use aluminum foil.
- Water – The catalyst for germination.
- Heat Source – The younger your plant is, the more vulnerable it is to outside changes. Obviously, it can’t get much younger than in the seed germination stage, so a steady heat source ensures the greatest chances for success.
Once you have all those things, the process is really very simple.
- Fill the water and setup your heat source. You want the water to be in an area where it will stay around 70-80 degrees F.
- Place the seeds in the water, they should float initially. Place the cover over the cup.
- After about 24 hours, check your seeds and see if they have sunk to the bottom. If they have, this is a signal that the water has penetrated the husk and saturated the inner seed. This is what you want. If your seeds are still floating, try giving them a tap downward and they may sink to the bottom. If not, wait a while and try again later.
- After 48-72 hours of soaking, you should begin to see the taproot coming out of the seed. In the early stages of growth, the taproot is the most important (and only) root the plant has, so be very careful around it. Once the taproot is exposed, the germination process is complete and you can begin planting the seeds.
Planting the Seeds
Planting seeds into your hydroponics system is easy and quick. For this guide, I am going to show how I plant my seeds in a Rockwool medium, but these tips should be sufficient for whatever medium you decide to put your seeds in, even soil.
- Handle with Care – The seeds are very fragile in this state. Their husks are weakened and the taproot is exposed. You don’t have to be so ultra sensitive that you are scared to touch the seeds, but you do want to keep in mind that they are in a weakened state. Using tweezers with light pressure is a good option, but using your fingers is just as good though I would definitely wash my hands first so as to not introduce bacteria to the seed. The husk may fall off, but don’t get scared. The plant sheds its husk as soon as it can after it is germinated, so you might arguably be doing it a favor.
- Planting Depth – When planting the seeds, you want them to be about ½ an inch below the surface. In one of my early grows, I planted the seed closer to the surface to see what would happen, and all of my plants were having a lot of trouble holding themselves up. Planting ½ inch deep seems to give them much more stability. I have never planted deeper than that, but I can only imagine that a deep plant means more energy that the plant will have to use to push through to the surface. ½ inch seems to be a great balance.
- Planting Direction – This is somewhat controversial, and in my experience is not too much of a factor, but I felt like I should mention it. When looking at the seed husk, there is a pointed end, and a rounded, fatter end. I plant my seeds with the pointed side up because that is where the taproot usually comes out first and the natural pattern for the taproot is to go up then curve back and shoot straight down. If you plant the seed with the taproot facing down, it can sometimes grow the wrong way and will sometimes take longer to sprout through the surface. When I’m not sure about a certain growing technique, I try to think of how it would work in nature. In nature, the rounded, heavy end of the seed would have a tendency to be the side facing downward, so I take the side of evolution and plant the way that nature probably intended.
- Check the Water Source Often Early – The grow I am currently working on, I made the mistake of overlooking whether or not the seeds were getting sufficient water into the Rockwool. The tube that was supposed to feed it water had gotten closed off and for an extended period of time (I’m not sure how long), there was no water getting to the plant. I was able to see it was having problems early on and was able to save it, but you can see the massive difference in size in my plants caused by this mistake.
- Find a seed vendor that you want to use. From my experience, Buy Dutch Seeds is the overall best vendor, but they aren’t the only seed bank by any stretch.
- After selecting a vendor, do some research into which type of marijuana you want to grow and get those seeds. It is important to consider factors like how much space you have or if you want indica or sativa.
- Your hydroponics system and lighting should be set up by now, so when you receive your seeds you can begin germinating right away.
- Once germination is complete, plant your seeds into your system. If you have gotten this far and have your hydro and lighting set up, you have done most of the hard work already and are starting the downhill slide. Now it’s time to watch your magic beanstalk grow and grow!