What to Do if Your Marijuana Seeds Won’t Germinate
As a marijuana grower, the first heartbreak usually comes upon knowing that your precious marijuana seeds do not germinate. Well, this is not yet the end. There are just some seeds that are very stubborn, but by implementing a procedure called ‘scuffing’, there is a possibility that you can still work on increasing your germination rate to 100%
Most of the healthy marijuana seeds usually germinate fine if they are planted on the right soil or rockwool while they are given the right amount of air, warmth and water. However, this is not always enough in order to allow your seeds to germinate. In order for the seeds to do their thing, the water needs to seep down to the hard outer shell. This process will start the changes within the embryo of the seed as it will wake the seed up, signaling it to start working.
Why Won’t the Seeds Germinate?
There are various reasons why the water may not be able to enter through a healthy seed embryo. Some seeds, especially those that are hybrid, have very stubborn thick shells, while others may have been covered with oil coming from your fingertips. This will prevent water from penetrating. Also, seeds that are already old, or those which were improperly stored, may need more water in order to be absorbed through the shells in a natural way. Whichever the situation may be, the process of scuffing can give you another opportunity for seeds that did not germinate with the use of natural methods.
The Process of Scuffing
The process of scuffing involves the use of sandpaper in order to create scratches in the outer shell layer. This will allow water to be absorbed right through the embryo. Of course, you need to calculate the use of sand as you certainly do not want the sand to go through the shell. The role of the sand is just to create scratches in the outer part of the shell. There is no need to be specific on the grit of the sand paper as it does not really matter. However, the recommended girt should be between 60 to 200.
If you are not familiar with sandpapers, grit is a measurement of the particles which fit a square inch. The lower the number of the grit is, the rougher the sandpaper actually is. Sandpaper usually comes in sheets that are just the same size as regular printer paper. However, for the scuffing process, you only need a quarter of a sandpaper sheet. Take the size of the sheet needed, and ensure that the gritted side is faced in. Roll the sandpaper to a tube with diameter size which is not bigger than the size of your thumb and middle finger combined.
At this point, it is very important to make sure that the seeds are dry to the touch, but not completely dried out. This is particularly true of some moisture has already been absorbed in the shell, thus starting the actual germination process. You can put your thumb on one side while pouring your seeds in. Then, put your middle finger on the other edge. The next step would involve holding the tube in a horizontal way, shaking back and forth in order for the seeds to have contact with the grits of the sandpaper. About 20 strong shakes will do the trick. Remove the seeds and make sure to blow away any dust that has become loose.
Other growers implement other procedures in lieu of the actual scuffing procedure. For instance, you can start by sliding the rolled sandpaper to a bill bottle, placing the seeds inside and shaking it. With this method, you do not need to use a tape, and there is a lesser possibility of spilling the seeds just in case your fingers come off the edges.
You may also add the seeds together with clean sand inside a canning jar, shaking them altogether. This is a good alternative to using sandpaper. On the other hand, what makes it quite disadvantageous is that you need to sift through the sand in order to remove your seeds out. Usually, it takes more shaking to see visible scratches. It may not even work well too.
Another procedure involves placing sandpaper or sand on a table. Then you can put the seeds on top of it, rubbing them around using your hand. With this strategy, it is easy to monitor the amount of scratches. However, if you end up pushing too hard, the scuffing process might be overdone.
You may also work in scuffing each seed individually by holding the seed in your hand while scuffing it with emery board. This provides the assurance that each of the seeds is scuffed well. However, the seeds are very tiny and the process might take you a lot of time if you are working on lots of seeds.