Germination is the development of a plant from a seed or spore. For the best chance of success, chose seeds that are dark brown with no visible damage (Figure 1). On average you can anticipate about 75% of your dark brown seeds will germinate. Ordering seeds from a reputable breeder can increase this rate up to 90%.
Fig 1. These are dark brown seeds with no visible damage.
Generally, pale seeds (Figure 2) or seeds that are white or damaged (Figure 3) will likely not germinate.
Fig 2. These are pale seeds.
Fig 3. These seeds are white and the top two are visibly damaged.
To show what these characteristics look like next to one another, line up your seeds on a clean table to pick the best one (Figure 4).
Fig 4. From left to right, you can see a dark brown seed, a pale seed, a white seed, and a damaged seed. The seed on the far left has the best chance of germinating. The seed on the far right has the lowest chance of germinating.
A seed that's been damaged will likely not germinate, as it may be missing vital parts that facilitate the seedling's success. For example, if the seed is missing a large chunk of endosperm (Figure 5), the seedling may not have enough food to be able to push it's way up towards it's light source.
Fig 5. This figure shows the different parts of a seed.
Timeline for Seed Germination
- 36 to 96 hours - Water is absorbed, root tip pops through outer shell and is visible.
- 10 to 14 days - First roots and root hairs become visible.
- 14+ days - Seeds not rooted by day 14 will probably grow slowly if they germinate at all.
Once a seed has roots, its cell growth accelerates. Seedlings develop into full vegetative growth within 4 to 6 weeks of germination.
Planting Your Seed
Planting your seed directly into a coco pod will deter the shock of transferring a young already-sprouted seedling. Because the seed starts in its final resting place, your seedling will immediately start adjusting to its environment. For the best start, we recommend checking out the Grobo Start HERE. It's a compatible 'seed starter' system launched in late 2020.
When planting your seed in the coco pod:
- Do not touch the seed with your bare hands to deter pathogen transfer as much as possible.
- Cover the seed with a small piece of the coco pod torn off the side.
- The lights in your Grobo will keep things warm in order for your seed to sprout. NO fan is on in Germination, as you don't want to have it dry out in this stage.
Importance of Moisture Timing
Seeds need oxygen from the air to germinate. Coco pods that are too wet will cut off oxygen, unfortunately drowning the seed. Coco pods that are too dry won’t provide the moisture needed for proper germination. As soon as the seed germinates and roots develop, the coco pod must start drying out to prevent damping off. This is why the water level is lowered in Early Vegetation. You can push up the coco pod in Early Vegetation by 1.0 - 1.5 inches to help deter damping off further.
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