How to start cannabis seeds with pool noodles

Published Jun 3, 2020 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / mguttman

Out of all the different options that are available for starting cannabis seeds, it might sound a bit far fetched that something so strange as a pool noodle could be one of the best ones out there. This idea is trending all over social media and YouTube as people who have been stuck at home over the last couple of months have gotten creative with little access to stores, and it’s an excellent one that you’ll just have to see to believe the results.

What is a pool noodle?

For those who don’t know, a pool noodle is a Styrofoam floating device that is shaped like a long cylinder or, as the name implies, a spaghetti noodle. They come in various colors, but they’re also cheaply made, which means they tend not to last through more than a couple years’ worth of use.

Why you’d want to use one to start cannabis seeds

Though it might not be the first choice that comes to mind when starting marijuana seeds without a prompt like this one, pool noodles can make excellent plant pots for several different reasons, including:

  • It’s cost-effective

Pool noodles are only a couple of dollars each, and you can get anywhere from 20-40 plant pots depending on how thick you would like them to be.

  • Reduce reuse and recycle

Pool noodles are often disposed of once they get pitted and worn as they are designed to be an effective floatation device, and that is compromised the moment there is too much damage. So instead of just tossing them out, you can get a bit more use out of these highly disposed of materials, which would make the whole project free, aligning even further with our first point made.

  • It works

Pool noodles make excellent plant pots for starting cannabis seeds because they are just the right size.

  • Space-saving

Since pool noodles are thin, they don’t take up much space once they’re all cut up, which means that you can fit dozens of them in a tiny space with no problems at all.

How to germinate marijuana seeds in pool noodles

If you’re just learning how to germinate marijuana seeds, then it really doesn’t get much easier than this, as it’s a one-shot deal that doesn’t require various stages like germination using a paper towel or other substrates. It also doesn’t take much for tools, and all you really need is some cannabis seeds and soil.

  1. Use a sharp knife to cut the pool noodle into discs.

  2. Take the tip of the knife and dig out a small pit that is large enough to house a small root system.

  3. Use a toothpick or other poking tool to drill small drainage holes in the bottom of the pucks.

  4. Fill the hole with nutrient-rich soil that does not contain harsh fertilizers.

  5. Plant one of the cannabis seeds approximately ½ inch deep in each of the pool noodle discs.

  6. Line a drainage tray with the pucks and then water them generously with lukewarm water.

  7. Leave the marijuana seeds in a warm dark place until they sprout.

  8. Once the first leaves appear, your cannabis seedling will need light, so this is the ideal time to either set them outdoors or get an appropriate light setup and going.

Transplanting cannabis plants out of pool noodle pucks

Once your marijuana seeds sprout, it will only take a few weeks for the fragile seedlings to start feeling overcrowded, and unfortunately, you can’t plant pool noodle pucks as you can with peat pucks or other biodegradable options, so you will have to transplant each one to its forever home. Luckily, this is really easy, as the pool noodle materials can easily be torn up the side to release the dirt and roots while causing minimal disturbance and damage in the process.

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