Dead Weed Seed

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Dead Weed Seed

Apogee Create Series3 v1.0

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How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Good

Got a cannabis seed, but you’re not sure if it’s any good? No worries. By the end of this article you’ll know everything you need to get started.

The legality of growing cannabis varies depending on where you live in the world. Know your laws.

What to Look for in a Healthy Cannabis Seed:

You can tell a lot about a seed’s health just by looking at it. Here are a few different things you should look for when deciding if a cannabis seed is good or not.

  • Darkened Color – Good cannabis seeds will be brown, black, and/or gray. White or green seeds are immature and unlikely to sprout. Your seed should also have stripes or spots all the way around.
  • Waxy Coating – A healthy seed will have a thin waxy coating around it. This coating should appear to have a slight sheen to it.
  • Hard Shell – You should be able to lightly squeeze a seed without it crushing. If a seed crushes easily between your fingers then the seed is likely dead or weak and will not grow well.
  • No Cracks – Inspect the entire seed to make sure there aren’t any small crack or holes. This will most likely cause the seed not to sprout.
See also  Do Weed Seeds Have Thc

Ways To Test Cannabis Seeds

Now that I’ve gone over a basic guide for what to look for I’ll give you a couple of ways that you can test your seeds.

Test Method #1: Floating Seeds in Water

This is a great test that works for many different seeds – not just cannabis. Take your seeds and drop them in a cup full of warm (not too hot) water then wait a couple of hours. If they sink then they’re probably good to go. If they won’t sink then they are probably dead and won’t grow.

Note: Only do this if you’re ready to germinate your plants. Otherwise, it could harm your seed. I cover germination in a later section.

Test Method #2: Just Go Ahead and Try to Germinate the Seed

I know this seems obvious, but it really is the best information I really could give. If you really want to know if a cannabis seed is able to germinate then go ahead and try germinating it – what do you really have to lose? Not quite sure how to germinate a seed? No worries. Here’s a quick guide:

How to Germinate a Cannabis Seed

Germinating a seed simply means getting the plant to sprout from the seed. It’s the first step in your cannabis seed’s journey to a full grown plant. There are several ways to go about this.

One way is to simply plant it in your soil and see if a plant pops up. It’s old school, but no one can deny its simplicity. Plant the seed about 1/4″ deep and wait.

Another way is to put the seeds on a damp paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is damp, but not soaking wet. If it dries out you can add a few drops of water to the paper towel. Leave the paper towel in a dark place. The amount of time is going to vary among strains. Some may take only 2 days while others could take longer. Continue to check them once a day.

See also  Edible Weed Seeds

How to Tell if a Cannabis Seed is Male or Female

Unfortunately, there is no way to know if a cannabis seed is going to be male or female simply by looking at it or doing a simple test. This is a bummer since most people don’t want male cannabis plants in their garden.

If you want feminized seeds then you’ll have to buy them from a reputable seed bank. Make sure they say feminized – if they don’t say it then they probably aren’t.

If all you’ve got is a bag seed then the only way to find out if it’s going to be male or female is to grow it.

Can My Cannabis Seed Go Bad / Expire?

The short answer is yes, but if you store your seeds properly they can stay viable for years and years. Moisture, UV degradation, and extreme temperatures could all affect the quality of your seeds.

If you plan to store your seeds for a long period of time make sure to keep them in an airtight container in a dark area. Ideally, seeds should be stored in a climate controlled area (like inside your house instead of in a shed or garage. One study showed laboratory-sealed cannabis seeds were still viable after 19 years.

Conclusion

It’s nice to know what to look for, but in the end the best test is just to put it in soil. If you’re using bag seeds then you never really know what you’re getting anyways. If you’ve bought your seeds from a legitimate seed bank then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

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.

See also  Dwarf Cannabis Plant Seeds

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:

  1. Moisten a piece of paper towel with water and place it in the petri dish;
  2. 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;
  3. Place the lid on the dish and wrap tightly with plastic wrap;
  4. Place in a warm environment (i.e., kitchen counter); and
  5. 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.

Example:

Species: Eltan WW

PLS: 80%
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.

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