How to Start Weed Seeds for Hydroponics

Follow these steps to start weed seeds for hydroponics and get your plants off to a healthy start.

Now that it’s legal to grow your own weed in dozens of states, many people are beginning to grow their own marijuana plants. Before you can start growing you have to get a marijuana plant!

There are two ways to get a marijuana plant, get a clone from a trusted source or start some marijuana seeds. Marijuana seeds can be expensive so it’s important to have a solid plan when germinating cannabis seeds.

There are various benefits of hydroponic seed germination, but the process has to be done correctly in order to get your cannabis seedlings to grow healthy and vigorous. Starting seeds in soil has its tricks too. However you decide to grow, it all starts at the seed.

Creating Cannabis Plants For a Hydroponic System

The most essential part of starting seed for a hydroponic system is the medium that your planting into. There are several types of media, and the one you choose to start your seeds should work well with the hydroponic medium that you will be planting into once the seed has grown.

For example, if you plan to grow your plants in a Rockwool media starting your seeds in Coco would not work well. Starting seeds in soil for a hydroponic wouldn’t work well either.

It’s best practice to start the seeds in the same medium that you plan to have that plant complete its life cycle in. Each medium will have its own requirements for starting seeds. It’s good to have a process that is tailored to how you like to grow.

The Benefits of Hydroponics in Your Life if You Grow Cannabis

Growing cannabis in a hydroponics system has a lot of benefits when it comes to indoor growing. Starting seeds for hydroponics can be a bit more challenging than soil.

One immediate benefit is you can avoid the concern of picking up diseases from store-bought marijuana plants and spreading them to your hydroponic garden.

Once you get the hang of how to germinate cannabis seeds and tend to your hydroponic system, you’ll never want to grow seeds through any other growing medium.

Hydroponics will give you better germination rates, faster vegetative growth rates, and increased yields compared to soil growth.

Turning Quality Seeds Into Cannabis Plants

The first step is making sure you have quality seeds. Finding quality seeds can be as easy as going to your local hydroponic store or ordering from a trusted online seeds bank.

The second step is to choose your media and create your nursery environment. The nursery environment should include the essentials: oxygen, water, light, and heat. As you start seeds in the nursery, the proper lighting and the right temperature are crucial.

What Every Cannabis Seed Needs

In a cannabis plant’s life, there are four main components. The amount of these components will change as the plants grow but they will always be a requirement. these essentials are oxygen, water, light, and heat.

As long as you supply these essentials and use them in an organized manner, you won’t have to do a lot of work after the initial setup.

A Simple Beginning that Anyone Can Do

Let’s begin the process of designing your first hydroponic nursery system starting small.

You’ll need a grow tray, some starter cubes, a starter tray, a humidity dome, and a heating mat.

Starter cubes aren’t necessary, but they do make a difference. They have the ideal nutrient solution, like peat pellets, to help those first seeds sprout and grow.

Place the starter tray in the grow tray, place the starter cubes in the starter tray, place the seeds in the cubes, place the humidity dome over the top of the tray with everything inside, and place the entire setup on top of the heating mat.

Adjusting the Temperature

For your role, you have to monitor the temperature and humidity. Temperature is regulated with the heating mat and humidity can be added by putting a small amount of water in the base of the grow tray.

The humidity dome will help keep a high humidity for the seedlings and their roots. It’s equipt with vents that you can use to regulate the temperature and humidity inside.

The heating mat under the grow tray helps avoid cold temperatures from messing with the starter cubes and the seedlings. But if the room is already warm, like 80F, be careful not to overheat the dome.

The heating mat keeps the grow tray at the ideal temperature to nestle the seeds inside and encourage them to grow. Keep the cubes moist, but not saturated, and you should have plants in a couple of days.

Finding the Right Light Source

Now that the dome setup is complete and supplying a proper amount of oxygen, water, and heat it’s time to focus on the lighting.

Too much light will stress and potentially kill your seedlings, while too little light can cause them to stretch and become very weak.

We recommend using a LED fixture with about 30w of lighting output. Placed about 12 inches from the top of the dome, this fixture will allow for excellent seed propagation and beginning growth.

T5 lighting fixtures also work great for starting clones when placed about 6 inches above the top of the dome.

Sprouting Your Seeds

Now that your nursery environment is set up, it’s time to start the process of germination!

First, take your starter cubes and let them soak them in clean tap water. Once the cubes have soaked, place them in the starter tray with one seed per cube.

Second, place the planted seed in the nursery environment, and in 48 to 72 hours your seedings should being to emerge from the cube. Over the next 10 days, that plant will grow into your beautiful baby marijuana plant.

Get Ready to Transplant!

To ensure your germinated seeds can successfully grow into cannabis plants, you will need a hydroponic system to transplant them into.

It doesn’t have to be fancy, but having the system ready and a plan in place will increase your chances of success and a bountiful harvest.

When you can see roots daintily hanging out of the cube’s bottom. It’s the moment you’ve anticipated since you started your germination process. It’s time to transplant your young plants!

Chances are, it’s only been a couple of weeks or less, but it can feel like forever as you’re checking and double-checking the plant’s health. These plants are still small and delicate. Make sure your environment is going to be optimal for the seedlings while they take root in the new hydroponic system.

Other Methods

This article is the simplest way to germinate seeds, but there are a lot of other techniques that people commonly use, Such as the paper towel method, using rockwool cubes, coco mediums, and soils.

To learn these other methods and more we will be teaching a hands on propagation and cloning class at our store in Rapid City, SD on November 5th. More classes will be scheduled in the future too. If this is something that you would be interested in participating in you can contact the store at (605) 348-2358.

4 Responses

  1. How important is the VPD during a DWC bubble pot grow with Auto flowers.
    Since roots are dangling in water and absorbing nutes do you really still need to pay attention to you RH and VPD. I wouldn’t want to drown my plants on the top side, with a high RH and VPD, since they are being saturated on bottom. Don’t see a lot of growers mention this. Do you follow the VPD values just like you’re growing in soil or coco?

    1. Hey Ken I apologize for just coming across this, but we’re here to help so I’ll give it my best…

      The Vapor Pressure Deficit (VPD) is still important to consider during a DWC bubble pot grow with autoflowers, even though the roots are submerged in water and absorbing nutrients. While it may seem that the top side of the plants could potentially be drowned due to high relative humidity (RH) and VPD, it’s essential to understand the role of VPD in maintaining the overall health and growth of the plants.

      VPD is a measure of transpiration, which refers to the process by which plants release water vapor through their leaves. It is determined by the difference in vapor pressure between the leaf and its surrounding environment. VPD takes into account factors such as temperature, humidity, and leaf-to-air temperature difference to provide a more accurate assessment of transpiration rates.

      In DWC bubble pot grows, the roots may be submerged in water, but the leaves still play a crucial role in transpiration and nutrient uptake. By maintaining an optimal VPD range, you ensure that the plants are transpiring at an appropriate rate, which promotes healthy growth and nutrient absorption. VPD affects various aspects of plant physiology, including stomata opening, CO2 uptake, transpiration rate, nutrient uptake, and overall plant stress.

      It’s true that you need to be mindful of the RH and VPD levels to prevent issues like excessive moisture or high humidity around the plants, as these conditions can lead to problems such as mold and mildew. However, achieving the right VPD range is still important for maximizing plant health and growth.

      When it comes to VPD values, different stages of plant growth require different ranges. For autoflowers in DWC, the following VPD ranges can be considered:

      Clones/Seedlings: 0.6 – 0.9 kPa
      Vegetative Stage: 0.9 – 1.2 kPa
      Flowering Stage: 1.2 – 1.6 kPa
      To calculate VPD, an equation that incorporates leaf temperature, air temperature, relative humidity (RH), and other factors can be used. However, it’s not necessary to perform the calculation manually, as there are VPD calculators and charts available that can help you determine the appropriate VPD range for your specific environmental conditions.

      In conclusion, while the roots of DWC bubble pot autoflowers are submerged in water, paying attention to VPD is still important for maintaining optimal transpiration rates and overall plant health. By keeping the VPD within the recommended ranges for each growth stage, you can ensure that your plants are transpiring efficiently and absorbing nutrients effectively.

  2. The differences between having a simple tent setup and an AC Infinity Smart Controller tent setup lie in the level of control and automation provided by the smart controller. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

    Control and Monitoring: The AC Infinity Smart Controller allows for precise control and monitoring of environmental conditions inside the tent. It features a temperature/humidity probe that continuously measures these parameters, providing real-time data for analysis and adjustments. With a simple tent setup, you may need to manually monitor and adjust conditions based on visual cues or separate monitoring devices.

    Programmability: The Smart Controller offers programmable functionality, enabling you to set specific temperature and humidity thresholds and customize fan speed levels accordingly. You can program the controller to maintain the desired environmental conditions by automatically adjusting the fan speed. In a simple tent setup, you would manually adjust the fan speed or other components to maintain the desired conditions.

    Multiple States and Alarms: The Smart Controller allows you to define different states for your fan based on triggering conditions. These states include Off, On, and Alarm modes, each with specific fan speed settings. This flexibility ensures efficient airflow management within the tent. Alarms can be set to activate when specific conditions are met, such as high temperature or humidity levels, triggering the fan to ramp up to maximum speed until the conditions stabilize.

    Scheduling and Timers: The Smart Controller offers scheduling capabilities, allowing you to program specific time-based events or cycles for your fan operation. You can set timers for different fan states, optimizing airflow and environmental conditions during various stages of plant growth. In contrast, a simple tent setup typically requires manual adjustments and monitoring without the ability to automate scheduling.

    App Control (model-dependent): Some AC Infinity Smart Controllers, such as the CONTROLLER 69 WIFI, offer app control and data access via a smartphone or other compatible devices. This feature allows you to remotely monitor and adjust the fan settings, receive notifications, and access data logs for analysis and optimization.

    It’s important to note that the specific features and capabilities of the AC Infinity Smart Controller may vary depending on the model. Different models may offer varying levels of control, app integration, and additional features. Therefore, it’s recommended to refer to the product specifications and documentation provided by AC Infinity to understand the precise functionality of the Smart Controller you are considering for your tent setup.

    Hope this helps

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