Why you should take off weed seeds

Why you should take off weed seeds

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Why You Should Never Let a Weed Go to Seed

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A big reason that weeds are such effective invaders is that most of them are very prolific seeders. It’s not unusual for a single weed plant to throw off hundreds of viable seeds. If weeds are left to grow and produce new seeds, any that fall to the ground can live for years in the soil. Some can live for decades. That’s why the number one rule in winning the long-term battle against weeds is to stop them from growing at all.

Dealing with weeds you already have

If common spring-time sprouters like chickweed, purple deadnettle, dandelions, garlic mustard, and creeping speedwell have already flowered, a steady supply of summer weeds will be attempting to flower and set seed. Some of the worst summer seeding weeds include pigweed, purslane, thistle, lamb’s quarter, black medic, spurge, bindweed, Japanese knotweed, and assorted grassy weeds.

Pulling and/or digging is the most immediate, effective control. Just be sure to get roots and all or else many weeds will simply sprout new leaves from the roots left behind.

Be persistent, and you’ll eventually win – or at least gradually reduce the outbreaks by denying weeds from reproducing via seeds. Even if you can’t pull or kill all existing weeds, at least patrol enough to cut, hoe, or weed-whack any that are forming flowers or flower stalks.

Preventing future trouble

Bare soil only invites weeds, so it is best to add plants to bare spaces and add a few inches of mulch to your landscape beds to fill the space, leaving no room left for weeds.

Granular weed preventers such as Preen can go on top of mulched, planted beds to further stop new weeds before they have a chance to sprout and grow. Two to three applications per year can give season-long protection, depending on your climate and which type of Preen you use.

Preen offers many different options for controlling weeds in your landscape.

    provides protection from new weeds for up to 6 months and is labeled for use around 600 plants in perennial flower beds; around groundcovers, trees, and shrubs; and in xeriscape settings and rock gardens. blocks new weeds from germinating in your garden for up to 3 months and is labeled for use around 200 established flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs. blocks weed seeds from germinating in your garden for up to 3 months, and gives your plants a boost of plant food for beautiful, radiant blooms. is a natural way to keep weeds from sprouting in your vegetable garden. Providing 4-6 weeks of weed protection, Preen Natural can be used around any plant, including established vegetables, herbs, and fruits.

Remember, every weed flower you prevent or eliminate now could translate into hundreds of fewer weeds you’ll have to deal with later.

How to germinate cannabis seeds

So, you’ve decided to grow your own cannabis plants. You purchased a pack of seeds, assembled cultivation materials, cleared a space in your garden, and are ready to grow your first cannabis crop . With everything in hand, it’s time to begin the very first step of cannabis cultivation : germinating seeds.

What is germination?

Germination is the first stage of the cannabis growth cycle : the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. After all, seeds in a bag don’t spontaneously start developing roots. Also known as “popping” seeds, seed germination begins when a seed receives environmental cues letting it know the setting is perfect to start growth.

Germination is the process that brings a cannabis seed out of its hibernation period and starts the cannabis growth process. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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When a seed enters an environment with enough moisture, it will increase in size and slowly break out of its shell. A seedling or germ forms from which roots will emerge, helping the baby plant absorb nutrients from the soil. Seeds naturally develop roots facing down and stems stretching upward, allowing the young cannabis plant to simultaneously feed off light and earth.

It’s essential to acquire high-quality cannabis seeds for germination, as these will go on to become high-quality cannabis plants. Seeds that are fresh-feeling or too green indicate that they haven’t reached full maturity, while pale-green, white, or very dark cannabis seeds may have trouble sprouting. However, it’s tricky to know the outcome of a popped seed, so trying may be worthwhile. If you’re not ready to pop your seeds yet, store them in a dark, cool place until it’s time for germination.

Preparing to germinate cannabis seeds

Germination itself is a crucial aspect of cannabis cultivation. The seed germination process is the foundation of every marijuana plant, and steps can be taken to boost successful popping. For example, some cultivators improve germination attempts by soaking seeds in 1% hydrogen peroxide or a compost tea for 12 hours beforehand to kill any dangerous pests.

The environment in which seeds germinate also plays a role in the outcome. While there are several different germination methods, each requires proper moisture, minimal handling, and warm springtime temperatures between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to germinate cannabis seeds

The best germination method depends on the cultivator’s choice. Here are some of the most common ways to pop your cannabis seeds.

How to germinate seeds in soil

Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds. The soil protects the fragile roots from any interference, and soil is, after all, where a cannabis plant would grow in the wild.

Soil is an easy, more natural method with which to germinate your cannabis seeds because the soil protects the fragile roots from any interference. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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First, make sure you use the correct type of soil, either gently fertilized potting soil or a seed starter with a pH level of approximately six (6). The soil contains the right acidity and enough nutrients to strengthen your young cannabis plants for the first two weeks. Be careful not to add more nutrients, or you risk overfeeding and killing your seeds.

Place the soil in a small pot and use your finger or a pencil to push a small hole in the dirt, a bit more than half an inch deep. Insert the seed into the hole and bury it with soil. From this point on, don’t touch your seed. The young plant is fragile and knows how to position itself in the soil bed.

Gently water the soil with a spray bottle and situate your pots under a fluorescent lamp. Keep seeds away from the windowsill, as the temperature is too volatile for germination. In general, you’ll want to keep the temperature in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Monitor your soil every day and keep it moist. Within four to seven days, you should see tiny stems sprouting from the soil.

When the seedling stems reach two to four inches in height, it’s time to transplant your cannabis into larger pots with more room for roots to spread down and out. After you’ve done this, you’ve successfully germinated your cannabis seeds into proper, young plants.

How to germinate seeds in water

You can also germinate your seeds by placing them in water. It’s slightly faster than the soil method, but you need to adjust your environmental factors accordingly. Remember, successfully germinating seeds requires a perfect balance of ideal growing conditions. When germinating in water, seeds need only 24-48 hours to pop their stems, though cultivators can keep them soaking for up to a week as needed. Water germination is faster because the seed gets all the moisture it needs immediately, and the shell softens and cracks more easily after soaking.

To employ water germination, fill a glass with tap water and let it sit until it reaches room temperature or around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Add two to three plant seeds per cup and allow them to sit, watching for any changes. Change the water to fresh tap water every two days, making sure it stays at room temperature.

The seeds should start sprouting in about two days, though older seeds can take up to a week to sprout. You can remove them from the water and place them in the soil at any point once they’ve sprouted. Once the roots are about five millimeters long, they need to be planted.

The downside of water germination is that once they’ve popped, you’ll need to maneuver them into their growing medium manually. This is a delicate process, as germinating seeds are extra fragile, and any harm risks the development of your plants. Make sure to place the seed roots down in the soil when you transfer to a pot.

How to germinate seeds using paper towels

The paper towel method is also a common way cultivators pop their seeds. Some even use this method with cotton pads instead of paper towels, but the necessary steps are the same.

To germinate seeds this way, lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel.

Lay one paper towel on top of a countertop, place a few seeds, and cover them with a second paper towel. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Maintain a temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit, keeping the paper towel wrapped seeds in the dark and away from a windowsill. In two to five days, the seeds will pop inside the paper towel sandwich and emit tiny roots, ready to plant when they reach about five millimeters in length.

Use a spray bottle to moisten the paper towels and then store the cushioned seeds between two plates, under a face-down bowl, or gently place them in a plastic bag. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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The paper towel method also has its risk, as the fragile seedlings can be damaged during the potting process. The tiny roots can also get tangled in the paper towels, so make sure to move the seeds to potting soil before roots grow too long. Use your hands or tweezers to gently remove each seed from the paper towels and place them in a prepared growing medium.

How do you germinate seeds indoors?

Whether you’re planning an indoor cultivation or outdoor grow, it’s best to germinate your seeds indoors. It’s easier to maintain proper temperature, light exposure, and moisture inside, and you can protect your seeds from the elements. Indoor germination, whether using soil or paper towels, will ensure your cannabis seeds have the best chance for survival.

To germinate seeds indoors, use any of the methods described above. Within a few days, you’ll have popped seeds ready to transfer to a growing medium.

Do you need to germinate seeds before planting?

While many plants can be germinated in the ground, cannabis seeds are fragile enough that you should germinate them before planting.

Once your seeds have sprouted roots, they should be planted in soil, a soil-less medium, or in your hydroponic setup. Make sure not touch the root, caring for and navigating the seedling so that the roots face downward. Plant the seed about one inch deep in your growing medium, cover lightly, and allow for about a week for the seed to emerge from the soil. If the seed hasn’t poked through by day ten, it likely didn’t survive.

What To Do With Your Spare Weed Seeds

If you find seeds in your cannabis and were wondering what to do with them, you should know that you have quite a few options.

Ever find seeds in your cannabis and find yourself wondering what to do with weed seeds? When you buy a bag of weed from a competent grower, you should be getting sinsemilla, which is seedless clusters of cannabis flowers from female plants that have been protected from being pollinated. When female plants are not pollinated, they continue to grow more and more flowers, sticky with resin and potent in cannabinoids.

But if female plants are pollinated because there are male or hermaphrodite plants growing nearby, the flowers will contain seeds. You’ll want to separate the seeds from the herb before you smoke. The burning seeds have an unpleasant acrid taste, and won’t get you high anyway. So what can you do with marijuana seeds?

What Can You Do With Marijuana Seeds?

What to do with weed seeds depends somewhat on how many you have. If you only have a few seeds, you might consider planting them and trying your hand at growing pot. Cannabis cultivation can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Many a master grower got their start by wondering what to do with weed seeds they had laying around.

If you have a lot of heavily seeded pot or have been collecting cannabis seeds for a while, you might have a source of food for yourself, or perhaps even your furry or feathered friends. And if smoking pot gets your creative juices flowing, another answer to what to do with weed seeds is use them as a fun new artistic medium.

Weed Seeds Uses #1: New Plants

What can you do with marijuana seeds? Plant them, of course! All flora that produce seeds do so in order to create the next generation of plants, and cannabis is no exception. If you give your seeds the right environmental conditions including moisture and temperature, they will germinate, or sprout, and begin to grow. Nurturing young plants with the proper light, water, and nutrients will allow them to grow to a size suitable for flowering.

When the nighttime period of darkness gets long enough, either through the change of seasons outdoors or by adjusting the on/off light cycle in a grow room, the plants you started from seed will begin to flower. If you observe your plants closely, you’ll be able to determine which are female and which are male. Unless you want to produce seed, remove all male plants as you identify them. A couple more months of diligent care, and you will be ready to harvest your own free weed! All because you wondered what to do with weed seeds left in the bottom of a baggie.

Weed Seeds Uses #2: A Tasty Snack

Some research suggests that humans have cultivated cannabis as a food source for millennia. Cannabis seeds are rich in healthy fats and have protein, all nine essential amino acids, potassium, iron, Vitamin A, and dietary fiber. The seeds also have zinc and magnesium and are naturally low in carbohydrates.

Whole pot seeds can be made into hemp milk by adding water and mixing well in a blender before straining. Whole seeds can also be eaten whole roasted or raw, but some find the shells unappetizing or difficult to digest.

Marijuana seeds can also be shelled and used as hemp hearts. To shell seeds, place as many as possible in one layer between two cutting boards. Tap the top board with a hammer just lightly enough to crack the shells without flattening the seeds. Place in a bucket of water and stir vigorously. The shells will float. Skim them off before straining and drying the hemp hearts.

Sprinkle hemp seeds over yogurt, salads, or oatmeal to add a mild nutty crunch that is packed with healthy nutrients.

Weed Seeds Uses #3: Animal Food

What can you do with marijuana seeds if you’re an animal lover? Share them with your bird and rodent friends! The nutrition found in weed seeds is good for more than just humans, so add some to the feed for pet birds, hamsters, mice, and rats. Or add them to an outdoor bird feeder as a treat for wild feathered friends.

Weed Seeds Uses #4: Be an Artist!

A recent visit to Etsy, the online marketplace for hand-crafted goods and art, revealed jewelry made from pot seeds suspended in acrylic for earrings, necklaces, and more. Pot seeds are also an interesting subject for photographers, particularly those who create macro images.

Marijuana seeds naturally come in a range of colors including white, cream, and green when they are immature. Fully mature seeds can be found in shades of tan, brown, and nearly black. An abundance of the full palette of colors could be the perfect medium for a 420-friendly mosaic for a patient and talented artist.

Usually, you won’t want to find yourself with a bunch of pot seeds. But if you do have a steady supply and are inclined to collect them, you can put the seeds to use in a variety of ways. Have you thought of any more?