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germination guide

By definition, a seed is “the fertilized, matured ovule of a flowering plant, containing an embryo or rudimentary plant.”If you provide the seed with exactly what it needs to sprout, it will, in turn, grow into a plant that has the ability to provide us with a bounty of fruits we can eat, preserve, or share. This is quite a magical thing when you stop to think about it. We gardeners should never take this for granted, no matter how proficient we become at starting plants from seeds.

Proper oxygen seems straightforward, but if the air is not present in your soil mix, seeds will fail to germinate due to suffocation. The most common cause of seed germination failure is a lack of oxygen from the starting mix being kept too wet. Potting soil is not an appropriate media for starting seeds, it is too dense and holds too much moisture. It is meant for use with transplants that already have a strong established root system. Always use fresh, sterile Seed Starting Mix for the best success.

What is a seed?

Remember, all seeds have the same simple mission; to break dormancy, put down a simple root (radicle) and send up their seed leaves (cotyledons). This is all a seed can do with the energy it has stored. The rest is up to you, the gardener, to make the new seedlings happy, continue to grow, and thrive. Manifestations of “bad seed” are poor or no germination. Under proper conditions, if the seed germinated…it was not a bad seed. Rest assured seed companies thoroughly and continually test their seed lots for germination. We try to maintain seed lots that will test higher than national standards allow. This means we are shipping some of the healthiest, freshest, and most viable seeds available.

The most optimum temperature for seed germination is in the middle of this range. Tools needed to achieve proper soil temperatures are simple but necessary. Use a soil thermometer and employ use of a good Seedling Heat Mat, for seed germination success.

For new gardeners, the first step of growing a beautiful and productive garden may seem to be the most difficult. How to start plants from seeds? In actuality, the germination of vegetable seeds is the most straightforward part of growing a garden. You just need to understand what seeds need and the correct tools to do it with. Gardening is a noble, intellectual, and passionate pursuit that anyone can do, and it all starts from an ordinary, humble seed.

Regardless of where you get your seeds from, it is best to give them a slight (and delicate) inspection before planting. Most of the time, all seeds will germinate; however, poor-quality seeds will produce a weaker plant. Unfortunately, that is something you will not find out until well into the vegetative and flowering stages.

There is, of course, a far simpler way to germinate seeds. Ideal for beginners, the feminized starter kit by Royal Queen Seeds has everything you need to kick-start your next cannabis project.


Planting directly into your growing medium prevents having to move seeds when they are at their most fragile. That first root tip is covered with microscopic filaments that are easily damaged. Given that both a cup full of water and moist paper towels are more prone to temperature fluctuations from their environment, planting in soil is a much safer option.

The Royal Queen Seeds Feminized Starter Kit contains:

Place one sheet of damp kitchen towel on a flat surface. Space your seeds a few centimetres apart before placing the second piece of kitchen towel over the top. You need to ensure both pieces are damp, not wet. Once again, when the white root tips reach 2–3mm, move the seeds (carefully) to soil pots. Use the same guidance found above for planting techniques.