Opbox Grow Guide
Seeds & Germination
The first step to starting your grow is selecting the right cannabis seeds. Generally, there are three types of seeds you can buy. Standard, Feminized, and Autoflowering. What does this mean? We’ll break it down for you.
Regular seeds are what we call mixed-sex, meaning they are comprised of both male and female seeds. Male plants won’t produce any “consumable” buds, and they will pollinate any female plants nearby making them also non-consumable. For this reason, when growing with a batch of regular seeds, we want to ensure that no male plants survive long enough to release pollen. The only way to tell the sex of a seed is to grow it, flower it, and check what kind of “body-parts” its producing. Males will grow little balls or pollen sacs, while females will grow pistils that look like little white hairs. If you see a plant starting to grow balls, you probably want to chop it down and throw it out immediately.
Now that you know what regular seeds are, you can probably guess what feminized seeds are. Yup, you got it, they’re seeds from a plant that has been modified to produce only female seeds. This is usually done by spraying them with non-toxic chemicals like colloidal silver. Feminized seeds are great because they reduce the need to distinguish and discard any male plants. These are the seeds we will be using for this tutorial series, and the ones we recommend.
The final seed category is autoflowering seeds. Autoflowering seeds do just as their name says - they automatically flower. Normally, you’d have to change the light schedule of the grow light from 18/6 to 12/12 in order to trigger flowering in a plant - effectively mimicking the change from summer to fall, but with autoflowering there is no need for that. These seeds are great for beginners, or those who don’t want to worry about lighting, however they don’t allow as much control over the grow (since they flower themselves whenever they want), which is why we opted not to use them. Autoflowering plants are generally smaller than regular seeds, and they cannot be “trained” as it will stunt their bud growth.
Seeds are widely available across Canada, the US, and Europe. A simple Google search for “feminized cannabis seeds” should produce a number of reputable suppliers that will ship directly to you. A number of head shops and dispensaries will also carry seeds.
The first step of growing your plant is germination. This refers to the part where you turn your seed into a sprout. The first step in germination is to soak your seeds in water in order to ‘wake them up.’ It's as simple as filling a small glass with water, dropping your seed in, and taking it out after 12-24 hours have passed. Never leave your seeds in the water for more than 24 hours, as you risk ‘drowning’ them.
You might have heard of some growers moving their seeds into wet paper towels after this step, but we prefer not to do that as we want to eliminate any risk of breaking the very fragile tap root once it sprouts. Instead, we will move the seed to a starter plug. To hydrate your starter plug, soak it in pH balanced water for 30+ seconds. After your starter plug has been hydrated, place the seed inside of it about ½ inch down and cover it with the excess grow medium around the hole so that it stays dark. Seeds prefer a warm environment, so if possible do your best to keep it out of the cold.
That is it for germination! In 4-7 days you should see your seedling start to sprout up out of the medium. It’s important that your seedling gets light as soon as it breaks out of the medium, otherwise it will stretch itself out in search of a light source, in turn producing a weaker stem. Make sure that it is in the Opbox with the system set to “vegetative” mode (18hr light on, 6hr light off) before the plant pops out!
In part 2 of this series, I’ll talk about taking care of your seedling, so be sure to check it out!