Ways to germinate your seeds
by Greg Green
Seeds can be germinated in a number of ways. Some ways guarantee more success than others. It is recommended that you consider the ‘rockwool SBS propagation tray’ method.
Seed soil propagation
This is a method whereby the seeds are placed down in moist soil about 3mm or the length of the seed from the surface. The soil is kept moist (Not soaking wet) by sprinkling water over it once a day. This has a moderate success rate. Out of 10 seeds only 7 – 8 may germinate.
Seed towel propagation
This is a method whereby the seeds are placed either on a damp towel or on a damp piece of cotton wool. Cheesecloth may also be used. The seed is then covered with more damp wool or a damp towel. The towel/wool must be kept moist at all times. If the material dries out it may damage the seeds. Everyday check to see if the seeds have started to produce any roots. If they have then immediately transfer the seedling to a grow medium (such as soil) using a pair of tweezers. Do not touch the root. This has a moderate to high success rate. Out of 10 seeds 8 – 9 may germinate. The problem with this method is that sometimes the transplant can cause the seedling to go into shock. This can kill the germination process leaving you with nothing. With practice you can get all your seeds to germinate.
This is a method whereby the seeds are placed in small unit, called a seed or clone propagator, which is designed to help plants germinate. One such kit is called a rockwool SBS Propagation Tray. Some of these kits can beheated and look like a miniature greenhouse. At the bottom of the tray is a small area where water, or even better ‘some germination hormone’ is poured. Small grow cubes called rockwool cubes are placed into slots in the tray, which automatically dips the rockwool into the solution. The seeds are placed into tiny holes in the cubes and the cover is then put back on the unit.
This has a very high success rate. All the seeds can sometimes germinate and in most cases often do. The disadvantage to this method is that you need to spend money on the tray, rockwool and grow fertilizers. The price of the tray is about $10/£10, the rockwool cubes $5/£5, the grow fertilizers $5/£5. If you have spent $50/£50 on seeds then why not spend the extra $20/£20 on getting a small kit together like this. The other advantage is that you can use this same tray to help root your clones.