Posted on by Jason Gibson

Germination Tutorial

This week we take look at the basics of germinating seeds.

When germinating seeds there are a few basic steps that must be followed: 

  • Pre-soak your grow cubes or sponges in a root tonic. We use in a mix of Ryzofuel (0.75ml>1L) & water.
  • Remove cubes/sponges from solution and give a gentle squeeze so the cubes are not saturated but are still holding a substantial amount of solution.
  • Place seeds “pointy” end facing down and push in so the husk of the seed is about 1-2mm under the hole surface level.
  • Place dome on tray and close all the vents. 26-28°C is the optimum temperature range. 100% humidity until the majority of your seeds germinate.
  • If you're really committed, consider purchasing a thermometer/hygrometer. 
  • If the seed has not germinated within 7 days, it may be the medium has dried out. If so, add some water into the tray and over the cubes to add moisture, but avoid completely saturating the medium.
  • Most of the time the seeds will say hello around day 2-5.
  • If you have a T5 propagation light place this on top of the dome or mounted closely above (Note: light is not required to germinate the seed. The reason we do this is so new seedlings don't stretch while looking for light. Slow and steady growth facilitates healthy seedlings.)
  • Once the seed has germinated the first 2 sets of leaves will be round. These are called cotyledons. The set of serrated leaves that emerge after the cotyledons will be your first 'true set' of leaves.
    • Once we have the first true set, the vents can be opened to reduce humidity to around 75-80%. This is called the hardening phase and will help determine which seedlings are viable. Inferior and non-viable seedlings will wilt and fall over. The strongest seedlings will continue to grow and stand tall.
    • Some gardeners prefer to to leave the seedlings in the dome until the 3rd or 4th set of true leaves. This is a matter of preference; transplant your seedlings after the 2nd set of leaves if you feel it's a good time. 
    • For the first few days after transplanting, top feed your nutrient mix to ensure the collar of the stem does not dry out. After 3-5 days of doing this your root system should have made it to the reservoir (If using a DWC system), from here its all maintaining the nutrient mix and the plant will do the rest.


    For any questions regarding propagation or germination, leave a comment below :)

    Germination Guide A-Grade Hydroponics