Are you having problems germinating marijuana seeds? Some seeds can be stubborn as hell, but by scuffing marijuana seeds you can increase your germination rates to 100%.
Most healthy marijuana seeds will germinate just fine if planted in rockwool or the correct soil and then provided the correct amount of water, warmth, and air. Unfortunately this isn’t always enough to get your prized seeds to do their thing. In order for a marijuana seed to germinate, water must seep past the hard outer shell to begin the hormonal changes in the seed’s embryo that tell it to wake up and get to work.
There are a number of reasons why the water may have trouble soaking through to an otherwise viable seed embryo. Some hybridized marijuana seeds have abnormally thick shells, others may have a layer of oil from your fingertips preventing water penetration. It is also common for older seeds or seeds that have been stored improperly to require more water than can seep through the seeds shell naturally. Whatever the case may be, scuffing marijuana seeds can give you another shot at seeds that didn’t germinate by traditional methods.
How to Scuff Marijuana Seeds
The plan is to use sandpaper to create small scratches in the outer layer of the shell that will allow more water to seep through to the embryo. You don’t want to sand all the way through the seeds shell, only to create scratches in the outermost layers. The exact grit of the sand paper doesn’t matter all that much but something between 60 and 200 grit should work fine.
If sandpaper is as foreign to you as the Lunar Lander, then it may be helpful to know that grit is measured by the number of grit particles that fit in a square inch. Therefore the lower the grit number, the rougher the sandpaper.
Sandpaper typically comes in sheets about the same size as printer paper, but for scuffing marijuana seeds you only need a quarter of a sheet. Fold the sandpaper in half in one direction and then back again the other direction along the same crease. Repeating this fold several times will weaken the sandpaper at the crease and make it easy to tear in a straight line. You could, of course, use scissors, but why dull a good pair? Take the half sheet and fold it in half again repeating the tear so that you have one quarter of a sheet of sandpaper. Making sure the gritted side faces in, roll the sandpaper into a tube with a diameter no greater than your thumb and middle finger can cover. Place a piece of tape on the seam to prevent the sandpaper from unrolling.
The seeds need to be dry to the touch but you don’t want them dried out in case some moisture has already penetrated the shell and the germination process has actually begun. Place your thumb over one end and pour in your seeds, then place your middle finger over the other end. Now hold the tube horizontally and shake back and forth so that the seeds contact the grit of the sandpaper. It won’t take much, so 20 vigorous shakes should do the trick. Remove the seeds and blow away any loose dust.
Congratulations, you’ve just scuffed marijuana seeds. With any luck, all of them will now germinate. If you have questions about the best way to proceed with germination after scuffing, check out this article on Germinating Marijuana Seeds.
Alternate Seed Scuffing Methods
In preparation for writing this article, I spoke to a number of other growers whom I know to see if they had any of their own unique methods for scuffing marijuana seeds. In doing so, a few alternate methods came up that also work for scuffing seeds but with varying degrees of effectiveness.
You can slide that same tube of rolled up sandpaper into a pill bottle, add seeds and shake.
- Pro: No Tape needed and possibly less spilled seeds if your fingers come off the ends.
- Con: You need a pill bottle.
You can add seeds and clean sand to a canning jar and shake.
- Pro: You don’t need sandpaper
- Con: You have to sift through the sand to get your seeds out, and it takes a lot more shaking to get noticeable scratches. It just doesn’t work as well.
You can place sand or sandpaper on a table (sandpaper grit up) place seeds on top and rub the seeds around with your hand.
- Pro: you can closely monitor the amount of scratches
- Con: If you are pushing too hard it’s easy to overdo the scuffing.
You can individually scuff each seed by holding it in your hand and scuffing it with an emery board.
- Pro: You can make sure each seed is well scuffed
- Con: Marijuana seeds are small and hard to hold onto. If you have a lot of seeds this is going to take forever.
Scuffing Marijuana Seeds,