If you are starting your plant from a seed, the first growth stage will be Germination. We recommend starting the seed using the wet paper towel method and transplanting into the Mary grow plug once the tap root has sprouted. This approach will allow you confirm that your seed is viable before you attempt growing.
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.
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.
- 1 Mary grow plug and Mary mesh pot (included with your Mary grow kit).
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. 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 - Transplanting:
Once the tap root is visible, it is time to transplant into the Mary grow plug. The first step will be to fill the tank with the nutrient solution for week #1 (please refer to the Nutrient Mixing Guide).
Next, carefully insert the seed into the grow plug with the tap root facing downwards. Then, insert the mesh pot in the centre hole of the base plate in the Mary and gently push the grow plug down until it is nearly flush with the top of the cup. Open, the app and select "start new grow" in the Vitals page of the app.
Your mesh cup and grow plug will look like this. You can see where there is space left to allow you to push the top portion further down after placing the seed in the top hole.
Once you have started the grow in the app, you will notice that the grow lights are off inside the unit. Check back on your seed once every 24 hrs. Once you notice a little bit of growth coming up, it is time to skip to the next phase.
Open the manual settings in the app, scroll to the bottom, and you will find the skip option. Skipping to the next phase (seedling) will turn on the grow lights.