When it comes to cultivating marijuana, choosing the right seed type can make all the difference. Depending on your level of knowledge, where you live or the purposes of your crop, regular seed may be better for you than feminized seeds.
Growing regular seed requires identifying and removing male plants to prevent pollination of the females. This can be time consuming and challenging for beginners.
Almost all of the food we consume has been selectively bred for thousands of years. It began with people choosing to cultivate plants for desirable qualities such as sweetness and size.
Breeding involves sexual reproduction between a male and female animal or plant to produce offspring with desired traits. It may involve straight-breeding (using only one breed) or crossbreeding using two or more breeds to achieve hybrid vigor.
The process of developing commercial F1 hybrid cultivars is typically accomplished by cloning or vegetatively propagating individual inbred female plants and performing half- and full-sibling crosses with these individuals. During these hybrid evaluations, plants that display favorable agronomic traits and molecular genotypes are tagged for future use as parental clones.
Unfortunately, traditional breeding methods can have unintended effects. For example, crossing certain solanaceous plants produces crops that naturally contain a variety of steroidal glycoalkaloids that are toxic to humans and insects. Fortunately, breeders typically monitor the level of these toxins in their crop plants during the regular evaluation process long before a product is ready for commercial release.
Using clones allows growers to produce a large quantity of plants at an accelerated rate. However, clones are more delicate than seeds and must be kept in a very controlled environment to prevent disease. They also require a special rooting medium that needs to be replenished with a balanced nutrient solution regularly.
To create a clone, growers take a cutting from the desired mother plant when it is in its vegetative stage. They use a sharp blade to cut the stem from the base of the leaf and then place it in a rooting medium that will keep it hydrated.
Seeds take longer to mature into adult plants because they must go through the germination and seedling stages first. They can also be prone to males, which need to be removed promptly if growers want to produce feminized sinsemilla. Seeds are also more expensive to purchase than clones. They can also be difficult to find in stores or online.
Organic seeds are grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. They also do not contain any genetically modified organisms (GMO). Organic farmers must provide their certifying agent with documentation of their seed sources during their annual review and inspection process.
The organic industry is seeing increased demand for a variety of varieties, especially for particular geographic areas and for specific crops. To meet this demand, the eXtension Agricultural Resource Center for Georgia, in collaboration with the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies, has developed a Seed Finder to help growers and certifiers connect with one another.
When choosing between organic and non-organic seeds, consider your personal values and gardening goals. If you care about sustainable growing practices and avoiding chemicals, then organic seeds are right for you. But if cost or availability is a concern, then non-organic options are still an excellent choice. Kale, for example, is a very popular leafy green that is easy to grow from organic seed. It is high in vitamins and minerals and provides a delicious taste.
Unlike feminized seeds, regular seed is genetically unmodified. This means that the plant it grows will be a female, and it will not produce any male plants, which are a common source of hermaphrodites in cannabis plants grown from feminized seed. Feminized seeds have a much higher chance of going hermaphrodite, especially when growers use stress-inducing techniques like topping, fimming, or lollypopping.
Having access to regular seed also gives growers the freedom to create cultivars of their own, allowing them to choose strains with specific terpene profiles and unique highs. They can also experiment with their growing environment to optimize seed filling, which will help to maximize partitioning of photosynthates and assimilates to seeds and reduce the negative impact of abiotic stresses on seed quality.