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Dead Weed Seed
Apogee Create Series3 v1.0
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How to tell if a seed is dead? Here are some tricks
Sometimes hemp seeds do not germinate because they are lifeless. Here’s how to spot a dead hemp seed and avoid wasting time
In previous articles, we have repeatedly stressed how the quality of cannabis seeds can make all the difference in achieving a healthy and productive plantation.
Poor quality seeds can lead to weak and unprofitable plants or even to no germination at all.
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This article will learn how to recognise quality hemp seeds (such as BSF seeds) and tell if a seed is dead and therefore totally useless.
Dead or bad hemp seed: here’s why quality is essential
In the field of hemp growing, some choose to buy ready-made seedlings, and those prefer to plant the marijuana seeds themselves so that they can monitor the growth of the plantation from the very beginning.
Of course, in order not to waste time, it is essential to make sure that you are dealing with quality seeds of the right genetics (such as auto-flowering seeds, feminised seeds, etc., which you can find for sale at SensorySeeds), but above all, they must be alive!
Yes, you got that right!
If the seeds are too old or have been stored incorrectly, they may have lost their ability to germinate, and so, even if you put your mind to it, the seedlings won’t grow.
In the next section, we will clarify the main signs that the seeds you have in your hands may be lifeless.
Dead seeds: how to recognise them?
Many novice cannabis growers are tempted to buy low-quality marijuana seeds because they are sold cheaply.
Up to this point, it all seems quite normal. However, in such cases, the problem is that the seedlings often do not grow, and it isn’t easy to understand the cause.
Many people wonder what they might have done wrong and try to figure out what to do if the seeds do not germinate.
Of course, sometimes you make mistakes, but you have to check whether the seeds you have bought are still alive in other cases.
Knowing how to distinguish high-quality seeds from bad ones is very important to avoid wasting time and money.
Let’s start with the appearance.
Good quality seeds usually have a kind of waxy layer that shines when exposed to light. As a result, their colour can vary from brown to grey or black, with some speckling.
If you are dealing with white or light green cannabis seeds, they are immature and unable to germinate.
Seeds that appear ‘dried out’, have cracks or dents are of poor quality.
You can also tell by touch whether the seeds are good or not.
If you hold a hemp seed between your index finger and thumb and apply pressure, some seeds crumble, while others do not at all. The quality ones and the ones most likely to be alive are, of course, the latter.
A test is considered almost foolproof to see if hemp seeds can germinate: water immersion.
If by putting them in a glass with warm water they float, then it means they are dead or rotten; whereas if they go down, they are of good quality.
Of course, all these tricks apply to seeds of all genetics and types.
If we have intrigued you, you too can try floating feminised seeds, fast seeds or auto-flowering seeds from your collection (but remember that growing cannabis is not allowed in the UK).
Concerning the flotation test, however, we would also like to point out that it should only be carried out during the hours before sowing and that the seeds must be removed from the water within 24 hours. Otherwise, they will be irreparably damaged.
Live seeds which do not germinate: what is the cause?
If also thanks to the advice given above, we know that our seeds are alive but still do not germinate, there is probably another cause.
Let’s see what the main ones might be.
- Soil which is too cold
- Sometimes it is the temperature of the soil that is too cold that prevents marijuana seeds from germinating. If you keep the soil warm enough, you will see faster germination.
- Incorrect choice of substrate
- It is usually recommended to use a relatively friable and light substrate when sowing cannabis. If the seedlings do not germinate, the root growth may be prevented by too loamy and difficult to penetrate.
- Sowing too deep
- Cannabis seeds, being relatively small, should be planted close to the surface of the soil. Otherwise, the sprouts will not be able to emerge.
- Insufficient irrigation
- Sometimes cannabis seeds fail to germinate because they are not watered enough.
- It is essential to keep the soil well moist, as this is the only way for the seeds to swell and germinate.
As we have seen, you can use a few tricks to find out if your cannabis seeds are dead or not.
Unfortunately, even if the seeds appear to be alive and of good quality, they may have genetic defects. That is why the best choice is always to buy quality fast flowering seeds (such as BSF seeds) at the outset.
After this in-depth analysis and always remembering that cultivating and consuming cannabis is forbidden in the UK, we invite you to consult the seed proposals in our SensorySeeds.com store.
Choose the products you prefer to complete your collection, take advantage of our advantageous prices and fast delivery.
We look forward to seeing you in our SensorySeeds online shop. See you soon!
Is Your Seed Dead or Alive – A Seed Viability Test
Whether you are planting a winter or upcoming spring crop, re-seeding or enhancing a stand of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), or simply interested in seeing if a winter, spring or possible summer cover crop planting will help the overall health of your soil, it is important to make sure the seed you plan to use is viable.
A “Seed Tag” usually accompanies seed purchased from seed companies. This tag tells the buyer several things: 1) what variety and species is in the bag, 2) a lot number which tracks where the seed was produced, and 3) information such as the percent purity, percent inert material, percent weed seed, percent noxious weed seed and percent total germination.
Unfortunately, not all seed comes with a tag. Any seed that has been set aside from harvest to be planted for next year’s crop will not have this information. One- or two-year-old seed should be fine to plant, but what if a producer had some seed from 10+ years ago that they wanted to use?
Fortunately, there is a simple way to test seed viability.
You will need:
- A petri dish (plastic, shallow, flat, clear dish) or a ziplock bag
- A lid for the petri dish
- A paper towel
- Plastic wrap
Then, you’ll follow these five simple steps:
- Moisten a piece of paper towel with water and place it in the petri dish;
- Evenly place 10 or more seeds on the paper towel. You may want to fold the towel over the seeds so both sides of the seeds are moist;
- Place the lid on the dish and wrap tightly with plastic wrap;
- Place in a warm environment (i.e., kitchen counter); and
- Wait for 7 to 10 days, then check the dish for seeds that have visibly germinated (i.e., sprouted) and count them.
The percentage of germinating seed also known as pure live seed (PLS) will give you a fairly good idea how that same seed should perform when planted provided the seed receives adequate moisture. Adjust seeding rates based on the percentage of germinating the seed.
Species: Eltan WW
Desired seeding rate: 12 seeds/ft row or 50 lbs. /A on 12-inch spacing (St. Andrews Variety Trial Seeding Rate)
The seeding rate of bulk seed: 50/0.80 = 55.5 pounds of bulk seed
Therefore, you will need an additional 5.5 lbs/acre of seed to reach either the desired 12 seeds/ft row or 50 lbs/acre based on a PLS of 80%.
For help with converting lbs/acre to seeds/ft row, lbs/acre to seeds/acre or vice versa for both, please visit our Crop Tools & Calculators page and check out the Seeding Rate Converter calculator.
For questions or comments, contact Dale Whaley by email at [email protected] or by phone at 509-745-8531.