Main Factors Required for Successful Germination.
- Moisture: Keep the seeds moist, but not soaking, until the taproot sprouts.
- Temperature: Keep the seeds in a warm place, think spring conditions. Seeds will germinate faster in warmer conditions. The ideal conditions for germination is 26-28ºC and about 70% relative humidity.
- Peace: Seeds take time to germinate so it is best to just leave them alone until taproot appears. There is no need to flip or rotate the seeds.
- Be Gentle: Be very careful when handling the seed after the first taproot sprouts. It is very delicate and can snap off very easily, killing the seed.
There are many different methods used to germinate seeds. You can use whatever method you are most comfortable with, but I will cover one of the easier methods in this section. I will cover how to germinate one seed with Rockwool.
*Rockwool is the material of the grow plug included with your Mary grow kit.
Paper Towel Method
- 2 dinner plates
- Paper towel (the cheaper the better if it is too porous the seeds can start to root in the towel).
- Spray bottle filled with room temperature water.
- 2 Rockwool Propagation plugs. Rockwool is the material of the grow plug included with your Mary grow kit.
- Mary mesh pot
Step 1 - Set Up:
Place a damp piece of paper towel down using one of your plates as a base. Place the seed on the moist paper towel and then cover with second piece of moist paper towel.
Step 2 - Start Germination:
To prevent light from reaching the seed, you will now cover your first plate with your second, creating a dome, and position it out of direct light. Alternatively, you can place the paper towel in a ziplock bag and put it in a warm place with no direct sunlight.
Step 3 - Monitor:
This part requires patience. You will need to check on the seed to make sure the towel is still damp. If you notice it is drying out, use the spray bottle to mist it back to the desired moisture level. Seeds will normally sprout a *taproot in about 1-4 days but the older or harder the seed is, may cause it to take up to a week or more.
*What is a taproot? A Taproot is a large central root that is used to stabilize the plant as well as the base for other laterally growing roots to branch off of as the plant grows and nutrient requirements increase. The first root to emerge from the seed will be a taproot and can be described as a little white tendril.
Step 4 - Prepping your Rockwool:
Once you observed the taproot starting to emerge from the seed, you will need to prepare your 2 Rockwool plugs. To prepare your Rockwool, soak the plug in pH adjusted water (5.5pH) for about 1-2 hours. Next, prepare the seedling nutrient solution for the second soak of your plugs by following the feeding chart on our Nutrient Mixing Guide for Beta Growers. Soak the Rockwool plugs in this nutrient solution you mixed for you tank for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Next you will remove the Rockwool plugs from the nutrient solution and give them a good shake to get rid of excess water, but do not squeeze them like a sponge because that can damage the internal structure of the plug and set them aside.
WARNING! Rockwool is very fibrous and when dry and it can become airborne so it is recommended to use a dust mask to help protect you.
Step 5 - Transplant:
Now it's time to transplant the germinated seed into your Rockwool plug and insert the plugs into you Mary mesh pot. You will want to transplant the seed when the taproot is just piercing the shell. Use the hole provided in the plug and gently push the seeds approximately ½” down with the taproot facing down.
Once you have transplanted the seed into the plug it's time to insert both plugs into your Mary mesh pot with the plug that has the seed in it on top. Gently insert the first empty plug into the mesh pot until it is flush with the top of the pot (see Step 1 below). You will then insert the plug that has the seed pushing the other plug to the bottom until it is completely inserted into the pot (see Step 2 below).
Step 6 - Sprouting you Seedling:
Once you are finished transplanting your Rockwool into you mesh pot it's time to place it into your Mary unit and set up your automated grow recipe. The first step will be to fill the tank with the seedling nutrient solution (please refer to the Nutrient Mixing Guide for Beta Growers).
Next you will start a new grow through our app. From the main screen of the app, tap on the cloud icon at the bottom, second from the left. You can also use one of our new automated recipes by typing in “BETA” into the strain name section and selecting the recipe that best matches your strain type. Then, select “seed” and hit next.
Once this is set up your unit should have all the lights off in order to accommodate the continuation of the germination process within the unit. During the first week, I recommend that you maintain a good humidity level in the unit by spraying the inside of the unit with a water. This will help speed up the process of germination. Continue to check on the unit daily to watch for the first sprouting of the seedling. Once it has sprouted move on to the next step.
Step 7 - Let Mary Take Over:
For your first beta grow, it is a good idea to check in with us once you have observed a sprout coming from your seed. Visit your profile page in the app by tapping on the little person icon in the lower right corner, then select “Live Support” to chat with us. We will help you assess the health of your seedling and move your unit into the next phase of the automated grow recipe. It is a good idea to maintain a higher level of humidity during this first phase in the unit by spraying the unit once in the morning and again at night. This will insure a happy healthy start to your plants life. Now you can truly let Mary take over and watch your plant grow.
Mary AG Lead Grower.