Chapter 18

Seed Planting Instructions

Planting cannabis seeds is easy to do, as long as you have good quality seeds. You might be surprised at how easy it is to plant seeds. Some growers plant seeds directly into the soil, pointy side up, and they don’t do any other preparation. Other growers use paper towels and sandwich bags. However, I recommend the cup of water method as the best way to plant cannabis seeds. It is simple and effective. The paper towel method is messy and problematic. I would rather sow direct into soil than use paper towels and baggies. Nevertheless, the cup of water method is ideal! The cup of water method is my favorite way to plant weed seeds in soil.




STEP 1: Put seeds into a cup of water until they crack and show root.

Place your cannabis seeds into a cup of water. Then put them in a dark cupboard.

Sounds like the beginning of a magic trick, doesn’t it?

Leave the cupboard door open just a smidge for airflow.

In 24 – 48 hours, check to see if the seeds have cracked open. Look for a little white tap root sticking out. When you do see this, abracadabra, you’re ready to proceed to planting it. If you don’t see it, just leave it there for another day, or two, but if you still don’t see roots sticking out then, proceed to planting the seeds in soil as a last ditch effort. Give it a week or two, but if you don’t see it sprouting by then, rest assured you’ve got duds. Ideally you’ll be getting high quality cannabis seeds that will always sprout for you, and this issue will never be a problem.


STEP 2: When the seeds crack, then prepare the soil, aka, the “medium.” 

With your sprout (or your unsprouted seed) ready to be planted, prepare the soil, aka, the “medium,” by getting it thoroughly wet. You do not need to transplant seed grown plants because they have tap roots (clones do not have tap roots), so you should plant your seeds/sprouts directly into the plant’s final pot, whether it is a 4, 5, 7 or 10 or even 20 gallon pot. Mix your soil with tap water or tap water mixed with organic plant molasses, and mix it all together vigorously. Allow the water to drain well. If you squeeze the soil with your hand, there shouldn’t be a lot of water coming out. Don’t allow any dry spots in your soil.

NOTE: You do not have to water the soil for several days now. It’s impossible to give an exact number of days. Later in the book, you’ll learn how to determine when to water your plants by using a soil moisture meter.


STEP 3: Plant the seeds. 

When the soil is all moist and ready, make a small 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch hole with your fingertip (or pencil eraser, pen, etc.) in the center of the pot. Next, lay the seed with the sprout (root) facing down in it. Ideally just use tweezers or a spoon to transfer the seed. When using tweezers, you want to gently grab the seed, not the white root. If the seed didn’t sprout, place the seed point up. That’s right, place the seed point up. However, if the seeds have already germinated and there’s a root, then plant them root down. Nevertheless, if you lay germinated seeds horizontally or pointing up, you’ll likely be just fine if you have good quality genetics.

It is best practice to plant one seed per pot, but if you want to plant more, it’s not against the law. In my experience, putting 2 or 3 seeds in one pot results in one plant growing stronger than the others. None of them perform well. One seed (plant) per pot is best practice. One seed per pot is the smart choice.


STEP 4: Sprinkle some soil on top. 

After the seed has been laid down, just sprinkle soil lightly on top of it to cover it. You only need to use a pinch or two of soil, so don’t get carried away and dump a clump of soil on top. Also, do not PAT DOWN the soil.


STEP 5: Lightly mist the top soil. 

Use a spray mist bottle and lightly mist the soil you just sprinkled on top.


STEP 6: Ensure your lighting is 24/7 and at the right distance. 

Put your pot under 24 hours of light, and also make sure the seedling is close enough to the light. Most LED lights recommend seedlings to be under light about 24″ – 36″ inches. If a seedling is too far away from the light, they will “stretch” and grow long and lanky, which is not desirable. You don’t want the light too far away: like 3 ft. or more away from the light. You don’t want the light too close: 6 inches and one foot away would be too close!


Step 7: Label your pots with plant markers/labels/tags. 

You can also add a plant label to the soil. Write the date down and the name of the strain.



The seed you’ve planted should sprout into a seedling in just 2 – 3 days. Sometimes the seed shells get stuck on the newly sprouted seedling. In this case, you can use tweezers or your fingers to very gently nudge, tap, or pull the shell off. If you have strong hands and grip, BE VERY CAREFUL trying to tap the seed shell off. In fact, if you have strong hands, then I recommend getting help from someone with a gentle hand to assist you.


How To Water Seedlings – The First Few Weeks

You don’t actually water the seedlings, you water the soil. So don’t spray the plants with water!

Soil moisture readers will tell you if your soil is wet, moist, or dry, and there’s a spectrum of wet, moist and dry, too.  It can be very wet, wet, very moist, moist, almost dry, and dry. You always water the soil when it is “almost dry.” Not wet, not moist, and not dry, but “almost dry.” At this stage, you can your pinky to gently assess the soil around the seedling, or you can use a soil moisture reader.

You can use tap water and ph it to 6 – 6.8. Tap water is usually high. I recommend using plant molasses to bring the ph of your tap water down, since the molasses also improves the soil health. By getting the water to a ph of 6 – 6.8, you ensure the nutrients in the soil can be immediately taken up by the plants. Mineral water or spring water are good alternatives if you don’t have access to tap water, or if your tap water was deemed unsafe for human consumption.

Your freshly sprouted seedlings typically won’t need to be watered at all the first week. That’s because you already got the soil wet upon planting the sprout or seed initially. However, if you are in an extremely hot environment with 80 + degrees Fahrenheit temperatures, then it is possible you’ll need to water the soil during the first week.

For the first couple weeks of your seedlings growth, only mist / spray the soil with more water when you see/feel the topsoil drying out. When the topsoil looks and feels wet around where you planted the seed, do not add additional water. If you see or feel the topsoil drying out, then you should mist it with water. You can use your pinky to gently assess the soil around the seedling to feel it, or you can just use a soil moisture reader. But be careful not to disturb the main root (tap root) when sticking it in the soil.

For the first few weeks of a seedling’s life, growth is slow compared to how it will grow later on. Be patient and do not expect seedlings to grow very fast. Once the root system is developed, then the plant will grow develop leaves and branches.

Many new growers think they should water their plants in soil every day or every other day, but that is not a good practice. Overwatering will stunt your plant’s growth or kill them, and it is the #1 cause of new growers giving up. Since seedlings are especially sensitive and vulnerable to overwatering, don’t overwater!


How To Water Seedlings – After The First Few Weeks

Use a soil moisture meter to determine when to water the seedling after the first few weeks. As a rule, you need to water when the soil is “almost dry.” Don’t wait until the soil is dry, and don’t water when it’s moist or wet. The best time to water is always when the soil is “almost dry.” On the “dry, moist, wet” spectrum, “almost dry” is just between “moist” and “dry.”

To water established seedlings, just use a spray bottle and mist water gently around the stalk, as well as around the entire perimeter of the pot. Give the water time to seep in. Once everything seems moist, do not water again and risk overwatering.

After watering, use a soil moisture reader to determine if the soil is moist or wet, or still almost dry. Check multiple places throughout the pot. If one side of the pot is “almost dry” and the other side is “very moist,” then only water the “almost dry” side.

Sometimes you’ll see the water come rushing out of the pot right after you water. If the water seeps out of the pot immediately upon watering it, it means the soil is too dry, in which case you’ll have to apply more water until it gets retained. 

Don’t worry if a seedling ever bends over and falls down. All you need to do is just push a bunch of soil around it to prop it back up again. If that’s not possible, as a last resort, use a toothpick or pencil and prop the seedling up with it.


Marc Eden’s DIY Cannabis Cultivation Book For Beginners
Published by Green Carpet Growing, Inc.
San Diego, CA 92103
© 2021 Green Carpet Growing, Inc
All Rights Reserved

No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law.

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