Handling Cannabis Seeds
Individuals new to cannabis farming must take care when handling the seeds, as they are vulnerable and at risk of contamination. It’s very frustrating when trying something new to have it not turn out as expected, especially when gardening. Contaminated seeds don’t germinate in many cases. When they do, the plants often fail to thrive, leaving the grower with nothing to show for their hard work. There are ways to avoid this. What are the best methods for working with premium cannabis seeds from i49 USA seed bank and how can they be protected from damage?
When seeds fail to germinate, growers wonder where they went wrong. Many assume genetics played a role in the failure or state the problem lies in the quality of the seed. The grower handling the seed impacts its success or failure as well though. Professional growers frequently warn of the dangers associated with handling marijuana seeds with your bare hands. Fortunately, you can learn from other’s mistakes and avoid contaminating your own seeds while handling them.
Humans collect bacteria and oils on their hands throughout the day. Hand washing removes some of these bacteria, but they return rapidly. The bacteria and oils will transfer to the cannabis seeds when the grower handles them. In most cases, the seeds germinate even with the presence of these pollutants. Handling the seed for extended periods of time, however, increases the risk of the seed not sprouting. Growers must take this into account and avoid taking steps that could interfere with the germination process.
Disagreement Within the Industry
Countless breeders handle their seeds with bare hands, and the same holds true for marijuana growers. They believe doing so doesn’t harm the seed in any way. Biologists and botanists disagree, stating every time a seed is touched, pollutants remain behind. These pollutants influence not only the germination process but also the growth of the plant.
While many growers touch the seeds with bare hands and never have an issue, why take the risk? Growers need to understand exactly what factors influence the germination of the seed. For instance, don’t handle seeds that will go into storage for any length of time. The oils deposited on your Tangie strain seeds or wedding cake seeds will reduce the quality of the seeds over time. Seeds that germinate after being handled with bare hands and then stored tend to be of low quality. Using other seed handling methods prevents this from happening.
Indoor and outdoor cannabis growers must determine how comfortable they feel using their bare hands when handling cannabis seeds. The use of the following methods can help to eliminate the risk, as the hands never make contact with the seeds. Nevertheless, growers need to take care when handling the seeds with tools to ensure they don’t contaminate the seeds as well.
Tweezers provide a seed handling method that eliminates all contact with a grower’s bare hands. Working with the tweezers allows for neatness and precision when working with the seeds, and the risk of pollutants negatively impacting the seeds decreases. Metal tweezers in good condition offer an excellent means of moving and transplanting cannabis seeds. However, growers must keep the tweezers clean so other pollutants cannot do harm to the seeds.
Clean tools ensure the health of cannabis seeds. Wash the tweezers using soap and hot water and remove rust using a steel wool pad. After the tweezers dry, disinfect them to eliminate fungi and bacteria that could contaminate seeds in the future. Mix ⅛ cup chlorine bleach in 16 ounces of water and soak the tweezers in the solution for ten minutes. Rinse in hot water and dry with a freshly laundered cloth.
The tweezers help growers in other ways as well. They become very useful when separating small seeds to ensure the correct amount goes into each hole. Additionally, mark the tweezers at the appropriate place when planting germinated seeds at a certain depth. For instance, if the Fire OG strain seeds or Cherry Pie seeds need to be planted at a depth of ¼”, simply mark a line at the ¼” on the tweezers and use this line as a guide when putting the seeds in the grow medium. Keep in mind here that to qualify for i49’s germination guarantee, you must use our recommended paper towel method to first germinate before transplanting to soil. Even still, the tweezers will be helpful in handling the small and delicate seedling during this crucial step.
Wear disposable gloves when handling either thc-rich or cbd seeds as this reduces the risk of contamination. Choose high-quality gloves, so they won’t tear and allow for this contamination. In addition, change the gloves regularly to avoid the transfer of pollutants between seeds and plants.
Disposable gloves provide no benefit when used incorrectly. Gloves that are too tight break easily, while gloves that are loose don’t provide the desired level of protection or dexterity. This is only one concern growers need to be aware of when handling cannabis seeds and using disposable gloves.
Change gloves frequently to prevent contamination. Once the gloves touch any surface other than the cannabis seeds, contamination becomes a risk. Replace them with a new pair of gloves to protect the seeds and your crop. Sadly, many growers assume they are protected fo ras long as the gloves last, and end up contaminating the seeds as a result of not changing them often enough.
Don’t use hand sanitizer on the gloves. Replace them when they become dirty or contaminated. Hand sanitizer may reduce the effectiveness of the gloves and germs end up on the bottle when this product is used. Growers inadvertently spread germs to the seeds when they use this bottle of hand sanitizer to clean the hands before handling the seeds.
A paper towel or a cloth kitchen towel protects seeds from contaminants as well. Choose a clean towel for this purpose, as a dirty towel pollutes seeds as well. Any dust or debris on the towel transfers to the seed when the grower handles it, so make certain the towel is clean and has not been used for any other reason. Doing so protects the health of the seeds.
A study conducted at the University of Mauritius examined 100 multi-use kitchen towels. Participants used the towels in their kitchen for a one-month period without washing them. At the end of this period, the researchers tested the towels and found that almost half were contaminated with bacteria, and most of the bacteria came from human intestines. These bacteria transfer to cannabis seeds when they are handled with the kitchen towel if it has been used for other purposes before handling the seeds.
Why Washing Your Hands Isn’t Enough
Growers wash their hands before touching seeds and question why this isn’t enough. Research shows humans touch surfaces in public spaces more than three times each hour on average. In addition, they touch the nose or mouth approximately 3.6 times each hour. Most people don’t realize they are doing so, and the germs picked up when they touch the nose, mouth, or surfaces might transfer to the seeds when handled.
Heat kills bacteria, but certain germs remain. Humans frequently cannot withstand the water temperature required for the elimination of the germs. For instance, salmonella survives temperatures of 131 degrees Fahrenheit for more than ten minutes. Burns would occur within 30 seconds if a human washed their hands at this temperature.
Using the glove-juice technique, researchers in Florida studied the presence of microbes on human hands after hand washing. This study found there was no statistically significant difference in the number of germs remaining on the hands after they were washed in different water temperatures. Individuals cannot assume that the use of hot water kills more germs and will allow them to handle cannabis seeds safely.
Antibacterial soap doesn’t reduce the number of bacteria present on the hands when compared to conventional soap either. Growers must take care when handling cannabis seeds knowing that germs likely remain on the hands. This holds true regardless of the type of soap used or the temperature of the water.
Drying the Hands
After washing their hands, humans tend to dry them. Exposing the hands to the air to allow them to dry reduces the germs present or does it? People cannot touch anything while their hands are wet, as germs transfer to the hands more easily at this time. They must dry completely before coming into contact with anything. People often open the door, touch items, or touch the face after washing their hands. Germs transfer to the hands at this time, and then to the seeds. For this reason, it’s always best to dry the hands after washing them. Doing avoids these common issues.
Single-use paper towels remove the most germs from the hands. Electric hand dryers take 45 seconds to remove excess moisture from the hands. Most people don’t spend this long drying the hands and therefore risk picking up germs. These germs transfer to cannabis seeds when they are manipulated.
Handle cannabis seeds with care. Proper handling methods increase the odds of the seeds germinating. If there is any doubt as to how to care for these items, err on the side of caution. While doing so may take slightly more time at the early stages, it pays off in the end when you have a bumper crop from your i49 seeds that you can’t wait to enjoy.