Are you interested in germinating autoflowers in the soil? The process is easier than you think! However, missing a few essential steps can lead to failure.
It’s no secret that autoflowering weed seeds offer harvests in record time. Plus, their ability to transition into the blooming phase regardless of light means you can have potent buds year-round.
Before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, you’ll need to learn how to grow autoflower seeds in the soil.
Below is a beginner’s guide to germinating autoflowering cannabis seeds in the soil. We’ll also highlight a few alternative ways to speed up the entire process.
How to Germinate Autoflower Seeds in Soil
Planting autoflower seeds directly in the soil is one of the most reliable ways to grow quality marijuana at home. A good place to buy high-quality cannabis seeds is at SeedSupreme.
These incredible weed seeds contain ruderalis genetics, allowing them to develop into flower-bearing plants in as little as 5 to 7 weeks. Not only is it a fun and fulfilling experience, but it also brings down the recreational cost of cannabis.
Follow these five steps to begin and give your plants the best chance of survival.
Prepare Your Medium
When growing marijuana at home, you first need to choose a growing medium. There are various types of substrates available, each with its own advantages.
Mineral-rich soil is one of the best for beginners to use. It contains the required nutrients to keep your cannabis plants strong and is incredibly budget-friendly.
The only downside to regular garden soil is the increased potential for pests.
A good way to avoid this problem is by opting for a sterile medium, like coco coir. This substrate is also better at retaining moisture, so it won’t dry out as fast.
Another way to improve the quality of your medium is by mixing it with perlite. These white volcanic granules improve the aeration of your soil, allowing the roots of cannabis plants to breathe better.
Fill your pot with around 70% soil, followed by 30% perlite, and then mix them together. Afterward, pour clean water over your medium so that it becomes damp, but don’t oversaturate.
Dig a Hole
The next step involves making a hole in your medium for your cannabis seeds.
If the hole is too deep, your plant might die. On the other hand, you run the risk of light damaging your marijuana seeds if they’re too close to the surface.
The golden rule is to bury your marijuana seeds in a hole twice their size. You should also give each one its own pot, as multiple seedlings in a single container may lead to underdeveloped plants.
Also, it doesn’t matter which way the seeds are positioned. The taproots are able to figure out which direction is up and grow accordingly.
Once you’ve placed your weed seeds in their individual holes, cover each one up with soil and softly pat down the area. Don’t push down too hard because the roots will struggle to expand in tightly packed mediums.
Keep Your Seeds Moist
Rather than leaving the success of this autoflower germination method to chance, it’s best to keep the humidity levels high.
One way to achieve a moist environment is by placing plastic wrap over the top of each pot. You’ll then need to poke a few holes in the top so that the seeds have access to oxygen.
Another reliable technique is cutting a plastic bottle in half and placing it over your container. Remove the lid or poke holes in it to create a basic greenhouse.
Wait for the Seeds to Germinate
The hardest part of this method is waiting for your seedlings to break the surface.
It takes 4–10 days for a cannabis taproot to develop in the soil and expose its embryonic leaves to the light. During this period, it’s crucial that you don’t disturb the process by digging them up.
Remember, patience is key. All you need to focus on is preventing your growing medium from drying out.
Water and Sunlight
The moment you see the first two leaves, also known as cotyledons, emerge, remove the foil from your pots.
During these early stages, it’s important that you maintain a humidity level of around 65% and temperatures between 69 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Light also becomes a factor at this stage of autoflower seed germination, with plants requiring it for 18–24 hours a day. Therefore, placing your pots under grow lights is the best option, as this technique prevents seedlings from burning.
It’s also crucial that you don’t overwater your plants. As such, try watering your seedlings every 2 to 3 days or when the top layer of soil becomes visibly dry.
A solid tip is to grow your marijuana seeds in the same large pot you plan on your plant flowering in. By following this technique, you avoid potentially damaging the root system when moving to a bigger container.
Also, consider using a professional seedling chamber. These specially designed containers allow you to raise multiple seeds at once with full control over the humidity and temperature.
Moreover, there are other additional accessories available to make the entire process a little easier, but they’re not strictly required. For example, a spray bottle lets you water your plants without disturbing the soil.
Another tip is to avoid direct sunlight for the first 2 to 3 days. The embryonic leaves and stems of cannabis seedlings are incredibly sensitive and might get burned.
Furthermore, there’s no need to give your marijuana plants any fertilizer until they’ve developed 3–4 sets of leaves. Adding supplements too early can create a toxic environment in the soil and could kill your seedling.
Alternative Autoflower Germination Methods
You don’t have to wait up to ten days to see if they’ve successfully germinated in the soil. There are a few ways to expedite the process and get your hands on some raw flowers sooner than expected.
Below, we take you through two of the most popular methods to speed up the germination process.
Paper Towel Technique
The paper towel technique is the safest way to speed up the germination process.
It’s very simple to perform, even for beginners, and takes only a few minutes to complete. The best part is that it cuts your waiting time in half, promising germinating seeds in less than five days.
As the name suggests, you’ll need a few common household items to carry out the process. All you need is a dinner plate, a ceramic bowl, two paper towels, and a bottle of water.
Once you’ve collected those items, follow the method instructions:
- Soak two paper towels in a bowl of clean water.
- Next, take out both pieces and squeeze them gently to remove any excess water.
- Now lay one wet sheet flat on a plate, placing your weed seeds in the middle.
- Cover the seeds with the other piece of wet paper towel and leave them in a dark cupboard for up to five days.
- Finally, once you see taproots develop, plant your seeds in individual pots, watering them as required.
The fastest way to start sprouting autoflower seeds is a process known as the tumbler method.
This popular technique involves leaving your cannabis seeds in a glass of water, promising results in less than 24 hours. However, there’s a downside.
There’s a risk of damaging your cannabis seeds by exposing them to temperature shock. To improve your chances of success with this method, ensure the glass of water is at room temperature.
Next, drop your seeds into the container and leave them in a dark, dry cupboard for up to 48 hours. Once the taproots emerge, plant your autoflowers in pots and water them as needed.
The Root of All Happiness
While there are a number of advanced ways to grow cannabis, growing autoflowers in soil remains the most popular option.
The entire process is quick and easy, promising results in as little as ten days. It’s also budget-friendly, making it a brilliant option for beginners.
Although germinating autoflower cannabis in the soil is relatively slow, there are various techniques that speed up the process. However, it’s best to use caution with some methods, as they can potentially put your seeds at risk.
It’s also important to remember that all marijuana strains are unique. Some cultivars need additional supplements in order to reach their full potential.
Improve your odds of success by ordering your marijuana seeds from a reputable online dispensary.