A lot of preparation is required before embarking on the quest of growing cannabis. Growers must ensure they have a good lighting setup to provide their plants with energy. They also need a designated area, indoors or outdoors, in which to cultivate their crop. Furthermore, growers will need a water source, an array of macro and micronutrients, and a good-quality soil if choosing this growing medium.
So, you’ve obtained some seeds and plan on germinating them soon, but you’re a tad unsure about their quality. Well, the first port of call is to take a closer look at them. This can be done with the naked eye, but using a magnifying device makes things a lot easier.
SOURCE OFTEN DETERMINES QUALITY
Seeds are a life form in themselves, and are subject to ageing and deterioration. Although passing the point of being viable might take years, it’s still something worth considering before growing.
The most reliable way to check if your seeds are viable is to simply place them in the soil and allow them to germinate. Although this method is easy, waiting for them to pierce through the top layer of soil can take some time. This can be especially time consuming when growing on a large or commercial scale, or when simply wanting to get a grow started as quickly as possible.
If you have time to spare and are growing cannabis purely out of recreational joy, then you can simply go ahead and germinate the seeds. This is a 100% accurate way to determine whether a seed is viable or not.
Unlike other agricultural crops (like vegetables, fruit, or grain), cannabis hasn’t undergone the vigorous breeding techniques that ensure a stable crop. This means that you’ll sometimes sow a pack of seeds technically labeled as the same “strain,” but may end up with very different looking plants. It also means that the individual seeds you buy from a seed bank can vary in appearance.
A quick web search will bring up all kinds of myths about how to tell female cannabis seeds from males. One of the most popular ones comes from a chart showing 5 different seeds that claims that the female seeds have “a perfectly round volcano-like depression at the bottom (from where the seed was attached to the plant).”
Appearance And Feel – Checking The Color, Size, and Shape Of Your Seeds
The alternative to this is to risk buying seeds from a hobbyist. This isn’t to say that hobby growers cannot produce fantastic genetics, but if you don’t know them or their skills, there’s no way to know whether your seeds will grow.
The color and feel of a seed, on the other hand, can tell you a little more about its maturity and, potential to germinate or grow into a healthy seedling.
It’s important to only conduct this test if you are planning to germinate the seeds immediately afterwards. The viable seeds that sunk to the bottom of the glass will have taken in water, crossing the membrane of the seed and signalling that it’s time to come to life—activating germination.
However seeds that crack or even completely crumble indicate poor health. Small cracks in the outer shell will signify that the seed is weak and not entirely healthy even before this test is carried out.
Here are a few tips to obtain quality seeds to begin with and to test them before planting to make sure the effort is worth it.
DO THEY FLOAT?
The same logic can be applied when seeking cannabis seeds. Every now and then when picking up a bag of weed, you are more than likely to come across a few stray seeds in the buds as you begin to break up the material and layer it into a blunt or a bowl. There is nothing wrong with planting these seeds, and they may offer some nice weed (with the emphasis on ‘they may. ‘)
An extremely easy and cost effective way to test the health of cannabis seeds is to see if they float in water. Fill up a container with clean and preferably distilled water and place your seeds on the surface. Return to them in an hour or two. Seeds that have sunk to the bottom of the container are likely to be healthy and ready to germinate.
There is no doubt that nutrients, water, lighting and other needed external factors will dictate the quality of a grower’s crop, but ensuring the seeds they intend to plant are healthy enables their plants to receive the best start possible.