Monday, March 30, 2015
Grow Tip - Spring Seed Popping - by Ben Horner
April is a good time to sprout seeds of your favorite strains. Outdoor growers that are not using feminized seeds need the time prior to planting to sex their plants by sprouting some potential mothers plants. Indoor growers also find that spring-cleaning means cleaning out old genetics that have been stressed from a long winter.
Sprouting seeds is simple and most of us learn how to do so in kindergarten. Simply place your seeds in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel and in a few days the seed will crack and a small root will extent out from the seed. Plant that seed in your preferred grow medium, or dirt, and water. Be sure to keep sprouts in at least 18 hours of light per day, which means you cannot just leave your sprouts on the windowsill. A small florescent light on a timer is enough to grow seedlings, especially if they are getting some natural sunlight.
When your seedling grows big enough (3-5 weeks depending on strains) you can take a cutting of each of your young plants to determine the sex of your plant. Marijuana plants will show their sex after approximately two weeks of growth in a 12 hour on 12 hour off light cycle. Make sure to carefully mark each plant and cut with a unique label so that you know which plant each cutting came from. Female cannabis plants show small white hairs (early pistols called calyx) in between the nodes, were as males have balls (small un-bloomed flowers called staminate primordia) that grow in between the nodes. These male plant balls are pollen bearing sacks that when mature will pollinate your buds and cause them to be loaded with seeds. Most growers destroy all male plants, keeping the females only. That is the technique we call sinsemilla, which simply means no seeds.
If you start this process in the beginning of April, you can be ready in May to plant your outdoor grow knowing that those plants will be medical grade and seedless. Mother plants can produce many clones for both indoor and outdoor grows. One good rule of thumb: it’s ok to take clones from your indoor plants but not your outdoor ones. Nobody wants to bring bugs and contaminants into a freshly cleaned grow room. Be sure to routinely disinfect your grow space with a product like GrowClean routinely. I like to start out the spring fresh, airing everything out, a fully cleaned room with some new mothers started from seeds every year.