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Monday, July 30, 2018

Grow Tip - The Cannabis Hobbyist - Kathy Hess

With the promising outlook of cannabis being legal for recreational consumption as well as medical, there may be a lot more Michiganders digging into the gardening of cannabis.  For recreational growers it will be more of a hobby as the voter initiative limits the amount a non caregivers can grow is twelve plants, and that number could possibly be lowered after the initiative is ratified.  Below we’ve provided some tips for the grower, but more so for the hobbyist grower who will be greatly limited in comparison to caregivers.

Growing cannabis is a relatively time-consuming process that requires constant attention and resources. Therefore, it’s worth doing everything as correctly as possible in order to maximize your end result, especially making it “worth it” to a hobby gardener.

Start off right.
GENETICS PLAY A FUNDAMENTAL ROLE
The quality of a cannabis crop is partially determined before the first seed is ever planted. Seed selection is a massive part of the process and will heavily influence the final outcome of your buds. Every grower will have their own preference when it comes to strains. Some prefer a powerful, cerebral sativa high that leaves them feeling energized and motivated. Others opt for stony indica highs that result in calm and restful states.

Genetic considerations should also be made depending on the type of environment that a gardener has access to. For example, if growing in a small indoor space, then auto flowering strains might be the best option. However, if growing in a large outdoor space, then perhaps you would prefer genetics that result in huge, towering bushes.


USE SEEDS AND AVOID CLONES
 
Another factor to consider before beginning the garden is whether to use clones or seeds. Starting a garden using clones may have some advantages, but it is indeed risky business. Clones produce plants that are an exact genetic copy of the original “mother” plant from which they were taken. The genetic traits that carry over can include certain weaknesses and diseases that the original plant experienced. Therefore, if you receive a clone from a plant with an unknown history, you run the risk of starting your garden in a negative position.

SELECT FEMINIZED SEEDS
It’s very important to selected feminized seeds before embarking on a growing operation with the aim of producing massive, top-quality yields. Doing so will ensure you avoid catastrophes that can greatly slow down the process and even reduce the yield of an entire crop.

Feminized seeds are bred to harbor no male chromosomes, meaning that every plant grown from them will be a female plant that offers smoke-able flowers. Since only female cannabis plants produce medical and recreational marijuana, they are favored by most cultivators over their male counterparts.

Therefore, choosing to start a garden with feminized seeds allows growers to avoid the time-consuming process of identifying any male plants early in the flowering phase and removing them from the grow space.

Not only will using feminized seeds save time, they will also help you avoid potentially disastrous errors. If any males within the grow space are missed, they will start to release pollen and subsequently pollinate the surrounding females. Once a female has been pollinated, her efforts to grow large buds coated in sticky resin will cease, instead diverting her energy into creating seeds instead. This is the last thing you want if you’re hoping for a potent harvest of cannabis flowers.

PROVISIONING CENTERS VS SEED BANKS
You can purchase seeds from reputable local authorized provisioning centers and from several reputable seed banks.  Some of your local centers may have employees knowledgeable about the number of plants the seeds come from, but many do not, and many fake it to make the sale.

The benefit of seed banks is that most are pretty diligent on providing some genetic information, such as variety and breakdowns of THC/CBD percentages, if its auto-flower, and most all banks will label which seeds are available as feminized.

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