Planning Out Germination

I’m planning on germinating my first seeds this weekend and there are still a couple of things I’m confused about.

I know a lot of people pre-soak their seeds in water for 24 hours beforehand, but I’m not sure if that’s necessary with Rapid Rooters and a germination station? I figure the less I mess with the tap root the better.

I’m also not super clear on when to transplant the seedlings into their final growing medium; Fox Farms soil in 3-gallon pots? Also I’ve read that you don’t want to blast the seedlings with light?

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Soaking the seeds in clean water for 6-24 hours rarely pops a taproot, and really seems to help with germination rates. Not necessary, but a good idea.

What light were you thinking of using? (Type, model, distance to seedlings)

What type of Fox Farm soil are you planning to use?

I like the idea of repotting multiple times in small increments. Rooted to solo cup. Solo cup to 1/2 gallon. All the way up to 5 gallon. You get the idea. The theory behind that is the roots concentrate around the perimeter of the container, so you end up with root stratification and better uptake. It’s a theory.


A lot of folks swear by soaking their seeds for 24 hours and/or using a wet paper towel and the dropping the seed in soil following the appearance of the tap root. I just drop my seeds one-half inch into soil in a solo cup with a few milliliters of water. I’ve yet to have a seed fail to pop. Once it pops I’ll let it grow for 2 weeks and then transplant it to an 8 or 10" pot. It goes to its final home after recovery from the first topping and before it becomes root bound in the pot. I do it this way so that on the final transplant I can bury the nodes that have been trimmed and I get a short-stalked, sturdy plant.

You are correct about the lighting for a seedling. They don’t need much light (or water) for the first week or two. A low wattage CFL bulb is enough to meet its light requirements.


As far as lighting for my seedling goes, I was thinking about trying this here:

This is what I’m thinking about trying now. Soak the seeds for 24 hours, stick the seed into a Rapid Rooter, leave the seedling in the germination station until roots pop out of the cube, then transplant into something like a solo cup, then a 1-gallon pot, then finally into my 3-gallon container?

Does that sound like a solid plan to you? I’ve read about plants becoming root bound, but how can you tell that it’s getting too big for it’s pot?

My advice for that light:

A seedling does not need full spectrum. Save yourself $25 and go with a simple CFL bulb. It has everything your seedling needs. You will never use the light that has your eye for flowering, as it is just too weak.

Re: your series of transplantation. You can skip the solo cup if you are using a rapid rooter. Just put it directly in the 1-gallon pot when it is ready.

A good indication of “root boundness” for a young plant is when the volume of the vegatative growth of the plant exceeds the volume of the pot by 25% or so, then it is time to repot it. This is not necessarily the case for a more mature plant (e.g. flowering stage.) Many folks flower large plants in 5, 7, or 10 gallon pots.

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Awesome! Is this safe to use for the 1-gallon pot?

Or would it be too nutrient rich for that stage?

My opinion, yes, though it would be great for your final transplant. Ocean Forest soil is pretty hot. I personally use Fox Farm Happy Frog throughout my plants’ lifecycles. It has some nutrients (enough for the plants first 4-5 weeks of life,) and isn’t so hot that it may harm a seedling.

Seedlings don’t need any nutes at all for their first 2 weeks of life.

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@Crumb93 I use Fox Farms Ocean Forest for all of my seedlings, and adult plants.
The seedlings grow a little twisty, but they’ll grow out of it.


Welcome and good luck

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