How to Properly Collect and Store Your Cannabis Seeds
For any aspiring or existing cannabis grower, the proper harvesting and storage of cannabis seeds is essential.
Preserving cannabis genetics through its seeds correctly and for the long-term is an efficient way to save both time and money as you expand your growing journey. Seed collection enables you to keep genetics that you enjoy, cultivate them, and even mix them with others in the future. It would be ideal to start off with the best quality cannabis seeds as possible, so that you can keep harvesting premium marijuana as well as premium seeds.
There’s one thing that cannabis growers should keep in mind though: the seeds are actually alive. But improper collection and storage can greatly deteriorate its quality. Since cannabis seeds are essentially living organisms that are similar to animals while hibernating, it’s critical that you are cautious when engaging in any process that interacts with them because you want to prevent the death of seeds.
In this guide, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know when it comes to collection and storage of marijuana seeds.
How to Collect Marijuana Seeds
The nature of the cannabis plant is dioecious, which means that reproductive organs of male and female plants are found on separate plants most of the time (since it’s possible for hermaphroditic plants to happen). Additionally, it relies on wind pollination for pollen to be transported from the stamen of a male plant, into the pistil of a female plant, so that pollination can occur and seeds are produced.
Female cannabis plants that have been pollinated will generated many seeds when in maturation. The female plant is ready for harvesting in senescence, and this is when you can begin collecting. You will know that a seed is completely mature and ready for collecting by simply observing its color and shape: mature seeds are dark brown and may sometimes have black stripes; they are also fuller in size and shape. Meanwhile, premature cannabis seeds are much smaller; they are also lighter in color and usually beige.
You can collect cannabis seeds either by machine or by hand. Home growers shouldn’t have a problem harvesting seeds by hand, but it will all depend on the size of your grow and your own personal preference. Seed collection should begin after cannabis has already been dried for at least a week or two following harvesting so that the seeds reach optimum maturity. It’s also easier because the plant would have been brittle enough due to the drying process, making it simpler to break them apart.
If you will be using your hands to collect seeds, the help of a fine screen can make this process more efficient. A fine screen will also enable you to preserve valuable trichomes that are full of THC and cannabinoids which typically fall off during this procedure. Use your hands to then break the dried buds apart on the screen and the seeds will naturally fall out, though you can also rub flowers between your fingers and palms together.
How to Store Marijuana Seeds
There are three things that will immediately destroy the quality of your cannabis seeds, and possibly kill them: humidity, light, and temperature changes. Humidity in particular is a massive threat; 20-30% humidity is always ideal for seed storage while for germinating seeds, keep humidity at 40-60%.
This is why it’s important to store marijuana seeds in a cool, dry, and dark place. If you purchased seeds that you aren’t going to use immediately, keep it in the original bag until it’s time to germinate them. Ziplock bags are another great way to store cannabis seeds since you can remove the air inside, though vacuum-sealing is highly recommended if you have a sealer. What’s important about the container is that it should be completely free from air, so any air-tight container will do.
When it comes to storage options, it will depend on how long you plan to keep them. For short-term storage, it would be appropriate to keep it in a drawer or cupboard away from the light as long as you can keep temperatures stable. They should be in parts of your home that are protected from temperature changes.
Meanwhile, if you intend to keep the seeds for the long-term, they should be in a sealed container inside your refrigerator. But a refrigerator you use regularly will be prone to temperature fluctuations each time you open it, so if you have a spare refrigerator or have the budget to buy a smaller one that is intended specially for seed storage. Another thing to keep in mind when using refrigerators is that they have extremely dry environments inside so be sure that you can monitor the humidity levels.
Additionally, you can freeze cannabis seeds for long-term storage but keep temperatures low so that they don’t decline quickly. Freezing is an option but it’s not necessary as long as you meet the environmental conditions that it needs.
When cannabis seeds have been stored properly, they can last you many years. They can be dormant but they will still be alive and can be germinated though of course, the longer you keep them, the more they may lose viability. Germination testing is recommended to ensure that seeds are viable; to do this, occasionally plant one of the seeds and see if it has the potential to germinate. Fresh cannabis seeds will usually have a germination rate of 100% or close to it, while seeds that are somewhat older may decline in its ability to germinate.
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