cannabis seedlings in cups

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The Canadian Farmer: How To Choose and Start Cannabis Seeds

Logan Chamut

By Logan Chamut

December 8, 2022

The different steps involved in

can seem daunting. That’s why in my “From Roots to Harvest” series, I’m going to break it down for you, step-by-step. Last month, I walked you through how to . Now it’s the second part of my series where you’ll learn how to choose the right strains, start your cannabis seeds and onto to the vegetative state.

Learning how to grow weed doesn’t have to be intimidating when you have solid advice to follow. So, let’s jump in! 

Courtesy of Logan Chamut

Choosing the Right Cannabis Seeds

When growing indoors, there’s not much consideration on when to start cannabis seeds. So, for me it starts with twisting up a J and opening up the vault. That’s right, it’s time to start another round and choose which strain or strains will be packing my tents. In today’s market it can be difficult for newer growers to know which strains to go with. 

Unfortunately I see it time and time again — rookies jumping on the flashy names without knowing anything about the lineage. I myself go with the tried-and-true, trusted breeder

. Another solid option is trusting if needing more of a variety of breeders and strains. I would like to think the canna community is still tight knit and chill, and these guys make purchasing your next lineup easy with ensuring a pure fire harvest come time. When it comes to picking out what to grow, everyone will have their own preferences.

Courtesy of Logan Chamut

I will list a few personal favorites to get you possibly going in the right direction. From Smoking J’s lineup we have a nice selection of “regs” meaning both a random mix of female and male seeds, as well as feminized seeds, meaning only bud producing. If you don’t know how to identify a female seed, feminized seeds might be the way to go. Some of my top choices from their line would have to be 6six6 – Boneyard Beast x Critically, Gamma Grass – Acid Dough x Hulk King, Lazy Bones – Zombie Kush x 9lbs Hammer and Mckushmints – Kushmints x Mac.

If you’re looking for more of a variety of breeders, Seeds Online has you covered. My go-to weed seed breeders are

, , and many others are great. Fast, discreet shipping ensures you always get what you ordered, and the freebies never hurt. You can use the special code “highthere” for 15 percent off your Seeds Online order.

Now that you’ve chosen which seeds you want to use, let’s jump right in and get those seeds in water and soil. 

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How to Start Cannabis Seeds

It’s time to go from seed to sprout. There are several different ways to get things going, but for today’s chat we will be talking about the two common methods you can do to start or germinate cannabis seeds. You’ll find either of these two options could be considered the best way to start weed seeds.

Direct Sow

This method is as easy as filling your pot or starting pot (which for this purpose could be a Solo cup) with your medium. Mediums can consist be of soil, compost, coconut coir, peat moss or more.

From then, you just make a one-quarter inch indent, drop the seed in, and water it. The only difficult thing with this method is having patience as you will not see any change for a few days. The key here is to keep your grow medium damp while the seed is germinating. The use of a large plastic storage bag over your pot will definitely aid in keeping humidity levels up. You should see a cannabis sprout from three to five days using this method. 

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Germinate Cannabis Seeds: The Paper Towel Method

If patience isn’t your style, the paper towel method may be up your alley as a way to start cannabis seeds. This is because you’ll see change within the first 24 hours typically. We start by soaking a paper towel in water and holding over the sink to let excess drip off. Once fully saturated, we fold the paper towel on itself with the weed seed or weed seeds inside. Put the paper towel on a dish covered, and place on a heating mat (or what works for me in my TV cable box). 

Within 24 to 48 hours you should see a white root pop from seed. This is the tap root of your weed plant. Once the tap root is one-half inch to three-quarters inch plant root down with the seed lightly covered by soil. From here you should see a sprout within 24 to 48 hours above soil. One must be gentle with the transplant as the tap root is very fragile and best to be kept away from our hands. 

Seeds are started! Time to get things rocking. No matter which method you have chosen to start your seeds, there are a few pointers that may guide you to get going proper.

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Tips on Starting & Growing Weed Plants

Removing Cannabis Seed Shells from Seedlings

Many times the seed will shoot out a tap root no problem, and you will start to see the shell of the seed pop through your soil. Do not panic as it should naturally fall off. The times when it just doesn’t want to pop itself, you can give it a little nudge and get things going by adding a droplet of water to the seed shell. The shell will absorb the moisture and aid in popping off. 

Proper Lighting

Your sprouts are showing face; now your main goal is to do as little as possible for the first few days. I personally like to keep my starting light as far as possible without growing a leggy plant. Within the first two to three days above soil your sprout will tell you how it likes its environment. If you find your plant growing taller and taller reaching for the light, lower your light gradually until proper growth starts. 

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Weed Grow Medium 

In the beginning your plant will only need water to thrive, so I have found it best to start in a simple medium such as Pro Mix HP. The environment I personally have had great success with is a temperature around 78℉ with humidity around the same. I either leave the seedling dome on slightly cracked if using or place an open plastic storage bag tented over sprout for the first few days. 

Prepare to Transplant Your Cannabis Seedlings 

During the first week of life with new plants is when I like to get my larger pots filled with soil and ready for transplant. This is also a great time to make sure you have all the correct nutrients to ensure a fire harvest. For me I turn over to

for a simple all in one solution. It mixes well in my rez and my plants absolutely thrive.

Now that we are ready for our vegetative stage, the only thing left to do is wait. Over the next week or so you will see your tiny sprout grow and slowly beefen up. My general best practice here for transplant is once the plant leaf extends past the initial pot, it’s time for a new home. Normally this is within the first two weeks. 

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Transplanting Your Cannabis Seedlings & Adding Nutrients 

Transplant day is here and your plants are ready for their forever home. I prefer to let my medium dry out a little before transplant. I find it makes removing from initial pot that much easier. 

Once my plants are in their new home, it’s time for their first initial feed of nutrients. I prefer to start off slow with just the first initial feed followed by the next two feeds with just water. Many novice cannabis growers will go way overboard on the nutrients in the beginning, creating a very rich environment. This will in lock out your young plant from up taking what it needs. 

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I find it best to stick with one feed to two just water feeds for the first few weeks and plants nestling in their new home. Once your plant develops seven sets of serrated leaves you are now onto the vegetative stage, with that a more aggressive feed will be required. 

Congratulations on getting your cannabis started and onto the vegetative stage. The fun is just beginning. Before you know it, it’ll be time to

your marijuana plants.

Logan Chamut

Canadian Cannafam


Logan Chamut

About The Author

Logan Chamut