First Time Grower (Unsure about Germination/Seedling Stage)

Hey guys! First time home grower. I have been researching about growing cannabis for the past couple months religiously. I have gathered a lot of the equipment and have it ready. I wasn’t able to afford higher end items like the HLG lights, etc. for this grow. I plan on purchasing them in the future, but for now, this is what I’m working with.

Equipment List:
4x4x6.5 Vivosun Tent
AC Infinity Cloudline T6 Inline Fan and Vivosun Carbon Filter (Exhaust System)
Bestva 2000W DC Grow Light (I know it is not actually 2000W)
Fox Farms Happy Frog and Ocean Forest Soil
5 Gallon Fabric Pots
General Organics GO Box
General Hydroponics PH Control Kit

I plan to have a digital PPM and PH meter before beginning this grow. If there is any other equipment or gear that would be deemed necessary, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I plan to grow 4-5 Northern Lights Autoflowers. I have been doing research into the best way to germinate autoflower seeds and have came across so many different opinions and ideas on this topic. I have yet to come across a clear answer for the best way to germinate these.

From what I have researched, I believe the best way I could germinate them is to:

  1. Soak them for 24-48 hours.
  2. Plant the seeds directly into the final 5 gallon pot.

Some of my main questions are:

  1. How will I know how much water I need to give the seedlings in the 5 gallon pot?
  2. With that much water going into the soil, could that cause fungus near the base of the pot?
  3. Do I need a fluorescent light for the Germ/Seedling stage? Or will the Bestva light work?
  4. If I plant them straight into the 5 gallon pots, will they be okay to germinate and sprout in the grow tent under the Bestva light?

I am just not entirely sure what to do and I would really appreciate some advice from you guys. This is my first time ever growing and I’m just trying to make sure I have the highest germination rate possible and give my plants the best chance of survival.

Thank you guys so much!


Soak between 18 to 24 hours. Then transfer to either damp paper towel or damp toilet paper.

Seedling don’t need a lot of water. No more than 5 ml per water. The plant will tell you if she is thirsty or not.

Make sure to water a couple inches away from where the seed comes up at.

Your light will work. I put my seeds with tap roots straight into their forever home and then into the tent which I have the lights at the very top. I have HLG lights. You will probably need to drop the light closer.


Sounds like you’ve got a real good start. Just drop the bean and keep the medium moist with a spray bottle and need to use cfl lights for the seedling stage for the first two weeks then use your led lights at about 24-30 inches from the top of your little ones.


Awesome! Thank you guys so much. So just to clarify, I’m going to germinate the seeds by soaking for 18-24 hours, and then put them into a damp paper towel. How long should the tap root be when I remove them from the towel and actually plant them in the soil?

I am still slightly confused on the light for this stage though. I know that different growers prefer different things for different stages of growth. I basically just want to make sure my Bestva light will not harm the seedlings from being overly powerful or anything.

After 48 hours in the damp toilet paper I plant. They usually around 3/8” to 1/2” tap root.

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Perfect. That was exactly what I needed to know. Thanks again! How close do you think the light will need to be to the pots once the seeds are in the soil? Apologies for all the questions. I am just a “Do it right the first time” kinda guy. I can post the specs for the light if that will help.

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image image

I’ve tried multiple methods but settled on one that works for me. I leave mine in water water 24-48 hrs total darkness temp 70-77F. By then they have long enough tails or I’ll wait longer. Then they go directly in the medium I am using. I like this method cause less handling. Plus autos hate to be transplanted and about anything can stunt them. However, I use the same method for photos but transplant them from smaller to larger containers and sometimes toss them in the ground for their final home. Once they are in their pots I use a dome for at least 1 week and sometimes 2. I don’t lose seeds this way, so I’ve kept operating with this same procedure. Good luck!!!


Awesome! Thanks guys! The light manufacturer recommends a height of 48” for when the seedling breaks through and for the first week. After the first week and the first set of true leaves pop up, they recommend lowering to 36”. Does that sound about right to you guys? @VTGROW @MrPeat

I just don’t want them to stretch like crazy at the beginning and end up being super lanky plants.

@Doobert I run my lights at the top of my tent which is 80” but they are HLG lights. I can see where they recommend the 48” due to the seedlings being fragile. One way to test is to raise or lower the light based on the following…if its to hot on the hand, raise the light till it isn’t. :+1:

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I would generally start with the manufacture suggestion. You can adjust accordingly after a couple grows.

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Im pretty close to @VTGROW same germinating procedure…
I soak seeds for 24 hrs in distilled water with a few drops of peroxide, sometimes they crack open sometimes not…but regardless I place them in damp, not soaked, soil and cover with a clear dome/cup.
Orientation of the seed has proved to be helpful.
Place the seed Base down/tip up about 1/2 inch deep.
Seed Direction
If you look at pics of sprouted seeds you will see the root naturally turns toward the base.
Root Direction
When the seedling roots deep enough it will start to push up to break ground. Because the hull is spread open with the opening upwards it gets left behind and I no longer ever have to deal with helmet head sprouts. Doing it this way I have not lost any sprouts like I did at first. Its almost always a 4 day process. Soak day one…plant day 2…sprout day 4.
I do all seeds this way, tomato, beans, herbs, it works well.

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Right on! So it sounds like the soak for 24 hours, then planting directly into the final pot seems to be the general consensus of the best overall way to germinate autos. I think this is going to be my plan.

My only question is what type of cup should I use as the dome and do I need to ventilate that cup with any holes so it doesn’t get to 100% humidity? If so, how big should the holes be on the cup?

All of my equipment has now arrived to my house with the exception of the Digital PH/TDS Meter, the Hygrometer and the Ventilation System. Those should all be arriving within a week or 2.

I currently have no way to measure PH, Temperature, or Humidity. I am very anxious to get started, but I know that patience is a virtue when it comes to cannabis.

Am I good to germinate now with the equipment I have or would it be better to wait until the PH Meter and Hygrometer come in?

Thanks again for all the help!
I’ve attached a picture of the room so far as well for reference.

@Spiney_norman @MrPeat @VTGROW

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clear solo cup,…or just cut a clear water bottle in half and use the bottom as a dome.
no need for holes.And when you spray mist do not spray the plant. Just spray the inside of the dome.
Soil shoul just be damp…over watering kills more plants than you can imagine.
My seedlings are just over a week old and have not been watered yet.

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Thank you for the info about the domes! @Spiney_norman

I do have just a few more questions about watering and soil and then I think I will be set.

I know the soil should be damp, but how much water should I put in the pot roughly to make it “damp”?

I am using 5 gallon fabric pots. Do I need to make sure the entirety of the soil is damp or just the area where the sprout will be?

I also was wondering about whether or not to use just the Happy Frog or a mix of the OF and the Happy Frog… Ideas?

I take the soil and put it in a clean plastic bucket…
I take a big paint stick or spoon and pour something like 10 to 16 ounces of water in and mix it all up. This moistens the soil without soaking it. If you take a handful and squeeze it, it will not stay clumped up. If it stays in a clump add more soil to dry it out. I have had bags so dry they took almost twice as much to just dampen them. I have had bags so wet they needed to dry out some. But generally speaking 10 to 16 ounces should do 3 or 4 gallons of soil.
This is a good visual…i go for just a bit dryer than they show…

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Perfect! That was the most informative thing I’ve seen yet so I know exactly what to look for in my soil. Thank you!

So my only other question is. Am I good to start germinating without the PH/TDS Meter and without a Hygrometer or even a thermometer in my tent?

Or would I be better off to wait until those things come in to begin the process? I’m just getting incredibly excited about all this and I appreciate all you guys advice a lot! :grin:

If you water the seedlings with distilled or Reverse Osmosis water for the first week or so you have time to get that stuff. Even then you wont use much till they get a couple sets of leaves.
A pH meter is a must by then. A ppm meter is handy just to know what you are mixing up so you can duplicate it if it worked. This is the thermometer lots of us use.

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I will definitely be purchasing that thermo for the grow. I have been looking to purchase the PH meter and PPM meter too but, every one on Amazon says it “cannot be shipped to my address”?

Is this something I would need to purchase at a local hydroponics store? I am over 2 hours from the closest one, that is the main reason why I ask.

Meters have been discussed here a lot.

If you are in the US you should be able to find one on amazon.
Local store should be good too. Just know what you want before you go.
gonna go for the night…others will chime in too if you have more questions…

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