Starting Marijuana Seeds Under Led Lights

Grow lights are a great tool for making the growing process more efficient. Here are 10 things you should avoid doing when using LED Find out how to germinate cannabis seeds with our different techniques and quick & easy guide. You might be surprised to know…

10 Mistakes to Avoid When Using LED Grow Lights

Grow lights are a great tool for making the growing process more efficient, but they can also be harmful to the plant if not used correctly. Here are 10 things you should avoid doing when using LED and other types of grow lights.

Source: Maximum Yield, May 31, 2019

For people who use cannabis derived products on a regular basis, it is very tempting to try growing the plant at home. The benefits are quite obvious: the cost is drastically lower and there aren’t any hassles related to the actual purchase of medical marijuana.
Many people all around the world grow cannabis at their homes, be it for recreational or medicinal purposes, and while some of them do quite well and manage to produce a good product, for others it doesn’t work so well – their plants wither quickly or produce insignificant yields.

These issues can be related to improper usage of lighting. (The same issues affect other types of plants as well.) Grow lights are a great tool for making the growing process more efficient, but they can also be harmful to the plant if not used correctly.

In this article, we’ll provide you with the 10 most common things you should pay attention to when using LED grow lights so you can grow healthy looking plants and avoid any unnecessary hassle. This information is extremely relevant to beginners.

Overheating the Plants
You will know the plant is taking too much heat if the leaves that are closest to the light start turning brownish. The first signs look like thin outlines on the outside of the leaves, so if you catch this quickly you will have a chance to avoid further damage. If some of the leaves start curling up, it might also be a sign that the plant is too close to the light. Good ventilation usually also helps with this issue.

Providing Insufficient Lighting
It is important to consider the scale of your operations. Think about how many plants you’re growing and how many LED lights you’ll need in order to illuminate them properly. You should also be aware of the luminosity of the lights you’re using. For example, a 200W LED light is said to be sufficient for a yield of about 100 grams. Make sure that you have enough lamps but still look for a good balance between providing sufficient lighting and not overdoing it.

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Setting the Lamps at an Improper Distance
Overheating or insufficient lighting can result from having too many or not enough lights, but it can also result from placing the lights too close or too far from the plants. There is no universal rule for setting the distance but it’s recommended that LEDs are placed 12 to 18 inches away from the plants.

Using Inferior Products
Light is among the most vital factors to consider when growing plants because it triggers the photosynthesis process. If you’re using regular incandescent lights, you’re not very likely to grow strong and healthy plants. Therefore, for best results it is recommended that you use full spectrum LED grow lights. They are specifically designed for the purpose and have the feature to deliver light in the exact spectrum the plant needs.

Selecting the Wrong Light Spectrum
In order to grow efficiently, plants need different types of light for each growth stage. With full-spectrum LED lights this is easily achievable, but if you select the wrong setting, the plant will not develop well. You should also take into consideration the conditions in the room where you’re doing the growing. For example, plants benefit most from light in the blue spectrum when they’re in the vegetative stage of growth. That means that if you set the light to emit light in the red spectrum, you will only be hindering the plant’s growth.

Using the Wrong Light Schedule
You should be careful not to leave the lights on all the time, or worse, the opposite – forget to turn them on. It might sound trivial but it’s quite easy to mess up the light schedule and even a minor change might have a negative impact the plant’s growth. Cannabis needs about 18-24 hours of light during the vegetative stage and 12 hours of light during the flowering stage.

Forgetting to Adjust the Lights
Many people forget to adjust the height of the lights as the plants grow bigger and end up with burnt leaves. Another important thing is to occasionally rotate the pots in order to prevent the plants from leaning towards the light too much.

Not Protecting and Maintaining the LED Lights
LED grow lights are your friend and an important investment, so you need to take proper care of them. They bring numerous benefits to the growing process and a little maintenance and preparation can save you a lot of trouble. It is recommended that you set up a power stabilizer and connect it to the lights in order to equalize the incoming voltage, thus protecting the chip inside the LEDs.

Overwatering When Switching from HIDs to LEDs
Regular HID lights produce a lot of heat and generate lots of infrared light. This dries out the plant and the soil and results in the need to water the plant more often. However, LED lights generate no infrared light and don’t emit nearly as much heat, so there is no need for abundant watering.

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Not Considering the Other Factors
LED grow lights are a great aid when growing plants indoors but by themselves they cannot do much. In order to produce big and healthy yields there are a lot of factors that need to be considered – room temperature, airflow circulation, soil, nutrients, plant genetics, and many others things. Don’t just focus on a single part of the growing process. Instead, try to get an overall understanding of the whole chain and how everything is interconnected.

Grow lights are a vital piece of equipment that every aspiring grower should have. Although they are easy to use and set up, you should pay attention to this list of common mistakes and save yourself from headaches.

How to Germinate Cannabis Seeds (Quick & Easy)

Getting cannabis seeds to sprout is known as germination. In nature, this happens underground, but it isn’t an entirely reliable process in a well-organized grow-op.

In the case of cannabis, it is often better to germinate a seed before planting to ensure that the plant will indeed grow and eventually lead to a successful harvest.

Duds are a common issue, even with quality cannabis seeds. Taking care to rear these fledgling plants in a more controlled environment than dirt can help reduce the amount of non-sprouting seeds and save the grower from some amount of disappointment.

There are a few techniques to consider when germinating cannabis seeds.

The 3 Common Methods to Germinate Cannabis Seeds

Cannabis seeds only need three ingredients to be able to grow: heat, water, and air. Anything that provides those will result in a sprout, as long as the seeds are viable, so some precautions should be taken when storing seeds in warm or humid climates.

Photo by lovingimages on Pixabay

The following methods are all tried and true alternatives to the direct planting of the seeds. However, growers should take note of the color of their seeds before attempting any germination, as immature seeds will not be successful.

Always avoid seeds that are light green, as they have not aged long enough to sprout. More mature seeds are darker in color and almost brown.

1. Paper Towel Method

This technique is really popular and recommended even for the most novice of growers.

Simply take the seeds and place them between a couple of wet paper towels. Next, take the towels and put them between two plates to create a sort of protective, dark dome. Finally, make sure it all stays relatively warm (70F-90°F) and after several days the seeds will begin to sprout.

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They may end up soaking up more moisture than expected, so be sure to check on them throughout the process and add more water if needed. Not too much though, just enough to keep the paper towels damp.

2. Soaking Overnight

When older, dried out seeds need to be revitalized, a good soak can wake them up when done properly.

Place the seeds in a glass of warm water, move them to a dark environment, and within about 24 hours, the taproot should begin to poke through.

If it has not, the seeds should be moved to a different environment as too much water can drown them. 24-36 hours is the maximum recommended time for this and is only needed on seeds that have dried out for a long period.

This is slightly riskier than the paper towel method because of the aforementioned risk of drowning, but it has the potential to revitalize older seeds.

3. Peat Pellets

The concept here is to use a piece of growing medium, such as widely available peat pellets, and to plant the seeds directly into it.

Soak the pellets in warm water and then poke a small hole into them, about a half-inch deep and just big enough for the seed to fit snugly into. Here, they can be watered, kept warm, and even begin to take root. The whole pellet will eventually be transferred to wherever the germinated plant will be grown.

Setups involving many pellets on a warming rack are colloquially known as “germination stations” and are very commonly used in both amateur and professional grows. Very little trauma to the seed can occur here, and the trauma of transplantation becomes a non-issue.

Transplanting Seedlings

  1. Once the seeds have begun to split the seed and the white taproot begins to reach out from within, the seeds are ready to be planted.
  2. Small pots are recommended for this stage; these should be prepared with soil before transplanting.
  3. Poke a hole into the soil, about a half-inch down, and gently place the germinated seeds into the ground. Tweezers work well here since they are very delicate at this stage.
  4. If using the peat pellet method, that can be planted with the seed, which reduces the risk of any mishaps during this process.
  5. Once transplanted, the soil should be watered with something like a spray bottle or mister to gently saturate the ground, as too much moisture can be detrimental to the seeds.
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After a few days of being kept moist, and at the correct temperature, a sprout should poke its way out of the ground that is ready to be grown.