If you are planning to grow a marijuana crop, choosing which type of seed is essential. Consider your growing experience, location and goals when choosing between feminized or regular seeds.
Regular seeds are a popular choice among growers and breeders. They are known for their natural proportion of male and female plants and their ability to produce new strains with unique phenotypes.
Regular seeds operate exactly as nature intended, producing male and female plants with equal frequency. This makes them a great choice for breeders who want to create new cultivars or high-quality clones.
Cultivating regular seeds requires a more meticulous approach. Growers must carefully monitor each plant to identify and remove male plants before they pollinate the females. This process is known as sexing. It can be difficult at first, but with proper observation and experience it will become easier over time.
Regular plants are also more sensitive to stress and contamination than feminized varieties, so it’s important to keep them healthy during the entire growing cycle. Make sure they have a stable environment and that the nutrient regime is tailored to their specific needs. This will help them to thrive and produce the highest quality buds.
Regular cannabis plants grow sturdier tap roots than their feminized counterparts, making them more suitable for cloning. Clones are cut from a mature mother plant and are essentially young seedlings that skip the germination stage. Clones can be ready for the flowering stage in just one month, a fraction of the time required for seeds to reach that point.
To make a clone, simply cut a healthy branch from your chosen mother plant that has three to four nodes up from the base of the stem. Place the cutting immediately in a rooting medium, such as a container of soil or starter cubes, to promote its development.
A drawback to cloning is the slight chance that the clone will develop hermaphroditic plants (possessing both male and female reproductive organs). To prevent this, proper environmental conditions should be maintained, stress is kept to a minimum, and male flowers are monitored for and removed promptly. Breeding hermaphroditic plants can lead to the development of new strains, but this requires considerable cultivation experience and patience.
Regular seed is useful for cannabis growers who want to cross and produce new strains. This requires working with plants that show both male and female sex characteristics to pollinate flowers with the male stamens and ovary of another plant of the same species, or flowers from different species (crossing).
For this, the flower must attract and reward pollinators like bees, bats, flies, birds, moths, butterflies and other insects. These pollinators carry pollen grains between flowers, either on their bodies or from one flower to another. Eventually, these grains are transferred to the stigma of another flower where they fertilize the ovary. The fertilized flower then produces seeds and fruit.
Many plants require cross-pollination to reproduce, including many foods that we eat. For example, one in three bites of apples, almonds, avocados, kiwis, tomatoes and coffee depends on pollinators to carry the pollen. Other plants self-pollinate, such as peanuts, orchids and peas. Often, these self-pollinating varieties are not available in feminized form.
Seed saving allows you to re-stock your garden with a variety of seeds without purchasing them from a large seed company. By saving and replanting seeds, you can widen your genetic pool, improving the chances of good germination and performance.
The easiest types of seeds to save are those that are self-pollinating, or annuals that don’t need pollinators to grow. Avoid hybrids and other varieties marked with code-like notations such as F1 or F2.
Depending on the type of plant, seeds can be harvested from either dry pods (such as beans) or fleshy fruits (such as tomatoes). Once you’ve removed the seed from its fermented goo, it must be thoroughly dried for storage. Dry seeds can be spread out on screens in a warm location and sprayed with a mist of water from a fan to hasten the process. Wet seeds should be pressed dry or spread out on drying racks. Seeds need to be completely dry for optimum preservation, as they will rot or mold in wet conditions.