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Marijuana Cultivation/Producing Seeds

Contents

  • 1 Producing Seeds
    • 1.1 To Feminise or not to Feminise
    • 1.2 Selecting Suitable Parents
    • 1.3 Collecting and Storing Pollen
    • 1.4 Pollinating a Plant
    • 1.5 Male Isolation
    • 1.6 Making Feminized Seed
      • 1.6.1 Colloidal Silver (CS)
      • 1.6.2 Silver Thiosulfate (STS)
      • 1.6.3 Gibberellic Acid (GA3)

Sooner or later every grower is going to want to produce marijuana seeds. Developing a new stable strain is beyond the scope of this discussion and requires the ability to grow hundreds or even thousands of breeding plants. However, just about any grower can manage to preserve some genetics by growing f2 seeds where they have crossed a male and female of the same strain, or can produce a simple cross which would be referred to as strain1xstrain2 for instance white widow crossed with ak-47 would be referred to as a WW x AK-47. You can produce some excellent seed and excellent marijuana this way.

To Feminise or not to Feminise Edit

There are numerous myths surrounding feminized seeds. Feminizing seeds are a bit more work than simply crossing two plants naturally. However it will save you a lot of time in the end. If you make fem seeds properly then there is no increased chance of hermaphrodites and all seeds will be female. This means no wasted time and effort growing males and it means that all your viable seeds produce useful plants. Since roughly half of normal seeds are male this effectively doubles the number of seeds you have.

Feminized seeds are bred to contain no male chromosomes, which will be able to produce the crop of resinous buds sought by most growers. For gardeners who require a quick and easy cultivation process, feminized seeds are the ideal choice. Some medicinal cannabis users may be deterred from growing their own supply because of the perceived difficulty of growing or of identifying the different genders and removing males early in the blooming period. Feminized seed-strains offer a simple solution to these issues, as there is no need to spend time in the first weeks of flowering checking for male plants.

Other times you will have no choice but to produce feminized seed because it will be a female plants genetics that you want to preserve and you won’t have any males. Perhaps you received these genetics via clone or didn’t keep males.

The new thing on the market for commercial Cannabis cultivation are auto-flowering feminized strains. By crossing of the cannabis ruderalis with Sativa and Indica strains many cultivators have created interesting hybrids which boast benefits from both sides of these families.

The first ‘auto-flowering cannabis seed’ which came on the market a few years ago was the Lowryder #1. This was a hybrid between a Cannabis ruderalis, a William’s Wonder and a Northern Lights #2. This strain was marketed by ‘The Joint Doctor’ and was honestly speaking not very impressive. The genetics of the ruderalis was still highly present which caused for a very low yield and little psychoactive effect. Not very attractive.

Auto-flowering cannabis and the easily distributed seed have opened a whole new market in the world of the online grow-shop, making it easy for home growers with shortage of space to grow rewarding cannabis plants in many different varieties. To grow plants indoors, a growing medium (e.g. soil or growing Potting soil, irrigation (water), fertilizer (nutrients), light and atmosphere need to be supplied to the plant.

Auto-flowers have been rising in popularity fast and there are now auto flower growers communities. These Web properties allow users to get information on how to grow these non photo-sensitive plants and what are the best practices when producing and germinating auto-flower seeds.

Selecting Suitable Parents Edit

There are a number of important characteristics when selecting parents. First are you making fem seeds? If you are then both parents will be female. This makes things easier. If not then the best you can do is select a male with characteristics in common with the females you hope to achieve from the seed.

Obviously potency, yield, and psychoactive effects are critical to the selection process. But some other important traits are size, odor, taste, resistance to mold and contaminants, early finishing and consistency.

Collecting and Storing Pollen Edit

In order to collect pollen you simply put down newspaper around the base of the plant. The pollen will fall from the plant onto the newspaper. You can then put this newspaper into a plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator or freeze it. Pollen will keep for a few months in the refrigerator and can be used on the next crop. Filtering the pollen through a silkscreen, drying, and freezing can extend viability for decades. At least one reader indicates success using pollen treated in this manner and stored at -30 c for 17 years. The chance of viability does decrease with time, even in the freezer, so the more fresh the pollen the better. Wrapping the pollen in a layer of aluminum foil and then a layer of plastic should help to protect it from freezer burn. Additionally, oxygen evacuation such as with a heavy gas like nitrogen or vacuum sealing should provide additional assurance of preservation.

Pollinating a Plant Edit

To pollinate a plant you can brush the pollen on a flower with a cotton swab or you can take the plastic bag, then wrap the flower inside it and shake, trapping the pollen inside for easier transportation. In this way you can selectively pollinate plants and even individual buds and branches.

Male Isolation Edit

A male plant or a plant with male flowers will pollinate your entire crop rendering it seedy. You probably don’t want THAT many seeds so how can you avoid it? Moving the male to another room might work but if that other room shares an air path via ducting or air conditioning then pollen may still find its way. One technique is to construct a male isolation chamber.

A male isolation chamber is simply a transparent container such as a large plastic storage tub turned on its side (available at your local megamart). Get a good sized PC fan that can be powered with pretty much any 12v wall adapter, by splicing together the + (yellow or red on fan, usually dotted on power adapter) and the – wires (black on fan, usually dotted power adapter) just twist with the like wire on the other device and then seal up the connection with electric tape. Then take a filtrate filter and cut out squares that fit the back of the pc fan so that the fan pulls (rather than pushes) air through the filter. Tape several layers of filter to the back of the pc fan so all the air goes through the filter. Now cut a large hole in the top of the plastic container and mount the pc fan over top of it so it pulls air out the box. You can use silicon sealant, latex, whatever you’ve got that gives a good tight seal.

This can be used as is, or you can cut a small intake in the bottom to improve airflow. Pollen won’t be able to escape the intake as long as the fan is moving but you might put filter paper over the intake to protect against fan failures. You can also use grommets to seal holes and run tubing into the chamber in order to water hydroponically from a reservoir outside the chamber. Otherwise you will need to remove the whole chamber to a safe location in order to water the plant or maintain a reservoir kept inside the chamber.

Making Feminized Seed Edit

To make feminized seed you must induce male flowers in a female plant. There is all sorts of information on the Internet about doing this with light stress (light interruptions during flowering) and other forms of stress. The best of the stress techniques is to simply keep the plant in the flowering stage well past ripeness and it will produce a flower (with seed).

Stress techniques will work but whatever genetic weakness caused the plants to produce a male flower under stress will be carried on to the seeds. This means the resulting seeds have a known tendency to produce hermaphrodites. Fortunately, environmental stress is not the only way to produce male flowers in a female plant.

The ideal way to produce feminized seed through hormonal alteration of the plant. By adding or inhibiting plant hormones you can cause the plant to produce male flowers. Because you did not select a plant that produces male flowers under stress there is no genetic predisposition to hermaphroditism in the seed vs plants bred between a male and female parent. There are actually a few ways to do this, the easiest I will list here.

Colloidal Silver (CS) Edit

This is the least expensive and most privacy conscious way to produce fem seed. CS has gotten a bad name because there is so much bad information spread around about its production and concentrations. It doesn’t help that there are those who believe in drinking low concentration colloidal silver for good health and there is information mixed in about how to produce that low concentration food grade product. Follow the information here and you will consistently produce effective CS and know how to apply it to get consistent results.

Simply construct a generator using a 9-12 v power supply (DC output, if it says AC then its no good) that can deliver at least 250ma (most wall wart type power supplies work, batteries are not recommended since their output varies over time). The supply will have a positive and negative lead, attach silver to each lead (contrary to Internet rumors, you aren’t drinking this so cheap 925(92.5%) Stirling silver is more than pure enough. You can expose the leads by clipping off the round plug at the end and splitting the wires, one will be positive and the other negative just like any old battery. Submerge both leads about 2-3 inches apart in a glass of distilled water (roughly 8 oz). Let this run for 8-24 hrs (until the liquid reads 12-15 ppm) and when you return the liquid will be a purple or silver hue and there may be some precipitate on the bottom.

This liquid is called colloidal silver. It is nothing more or less than fine particles of silver suspended in water so it is a completely natural solution. It is safe to handle without any special precautions. [ citation needed ] The silver inhibits female flowering hormones in cannabis and so the result is that male flowering hormone dominates and male flowers are produced.

To use the silver, spray on a plant or branch three days prior to switching the lights to 12/12 and continue spraying every three days until you see the first male flowers. Repeated applications after the first flowers appear may result in more male flowers and therefore more pollen. As the plant matures it will produce pollen that can be collected and used to pollinate any female flower (including flowers on the same plant).

Silver Thiosulfate (STS) Edit

Silver Thiosulfate is a substance that has similar principle, application and results of CS, but is more difficult to make. STS is more difficult to acquire, but it can still be obtained directly from a chemical supply company. STS is not an expensive or controlled substance.

Gibberellic Acid (GA3) Edit

This is probably the most popular way to produce feminized seed, but at the same time the least effective. GA3 is a plant hormone that also causes the plant to stretch uncontrollably. It can be purchased readily in powdered form, a quick search reveals numerous sources on e-bay for as little as $15. Simply add to water to reach 100ppm concentration and spray the plant daily for 10 days during flowering and male flowers will be produced.

Marijuana Cultivation/Producing Seeds Contents 1 Producing Seeds 1.1 To Feminise or not to Feminise 1.2 Selecting Suitable Parents 1.3 Collecting and Storing Pollen

Saving vegetable seeds

Quick facts

Green peppers and red tomatoes on brown table cut open to show their seeds

You can save vegetable seeds from your garden produce to plant next year. Seed saving involves selecting suitable plants from which to save seed, harvesting seeds at the right time and storing them properly over the winter.

Self-pollinating plants

Tomatoes, peppers, beans and peas are good choices for seed saving. They have flowers that are self-pollinating and seeds that require little or no special treatment before storage.

Seeds from biennial crops such as carrots or beets are harder to save since the plants need two growing seasons to set seed.

Cross-pollinated plants

Plants with separate male and female flowers, like corn and vine crops, may cross-pollinate. It is difficult to keep the seed strain pure.

Popcorn can pollinate a stand of sweet corn from a nearby garden on a windy day. This will affect the flavor of the current sweet corn crop, and a crop grown from these seeds will be neither good sweet corn nor good popcorn.

Insects can cross-pollinate cucumbers, melons, squash, pumpkins and gourds.

Although cross-pollination will not affect the quality of the current crop, seeds from such a cross will grow into vines with fruit unlike that of the parent plant. This often results in inferior flavor and other characteristics.

Open-pollinated plants

When saving seed, choose open-pollinated varieties rather than hybrids. If open-pollinated varieties self-pollinate or cross-pollinate with other plants of the same variety, they set seed that grow into plants that are still very similar to the parent plant. These plants bear similar fruit and set seeds that will produce more plants that are similar.

Open-pollinated varieties may be “heirlooms.” Gardeners pass these varieties down through the generations, or they may be selections that are more recent.

Some tomato varieties are not hybrids. They are open-pollinated types such as ‘Big Rainbow’, ‘San Marzano’ and ‘Brandywine’. Seed produced by these varieties will grow into plants very similar to the parent plants, with nearly identical fruit.

Likewise, ‘Habanero’, ‘California Wonder’ and ‘Corno di Toro’ peppers; ‘Lincoln’, ‘Little Marvel’ and ‘Perfection’ peas; and ‘Kentucky Wonder’, ‘Blue Lake’ and ‘Tendercrop’ beans are all open-pollinated varieties that will come true from seed.

Once you have planted an open-pollinated crop,

  • Select the plants from which you want to save seed.
  • Choose only the most vigorous plants with the best-tasting fruit as parents for the next year’s crop.
  • Do not save seed from weak or off-type plants.

Hybrid plants

Hybrid vegetable plants are products of crosses between two different varieties, combining traits of the parent plants. Sometimes a combination is particularly good, producing plants with outstanding vigor, disease resistance and productivity. Hybrid seeds are generally more expensive as they cost more to produce.

Hybrid plants, such as ‘Big Boy’, ‘Beefmaster’ and ‘Early Girl’ tomatoes will produce viable seed.

  • Plants grown from that seed are not identical to the hybrid parents.
  • They will be a completely new combination of the good and bad traits of the plants from the initial cross.
  • It is impossible to predict just how the seedling plant will perform or what qualities the fruit will have.

Tomato seeds

  • Allow fruits to ripen fully and scoop out the seeds, along with the gel surrounding them, before you eat or cook the tomatoes.
  • Put the seeds and gel in a glass jar with some water.
  • Stir or swirl the mixture twice a day. The mixture will ferment and the seeds should sink to the bottom within five days.
  • Pour off the liquid, rinse the seeds and spread them out to dry on paper towels.

Pepper seeds

  • Allow some fruits to stay on the plants until they become fully ripe and start to wrinkle.
  • Remove the seeds from the peppers and spread them out to dry.

Peas and beans

  • Save peas and beans by allowing the pods to ripen on the plants until they are dry and starting to turn brown, with the seeds rattling inside.
  • This may be as long as a month after you would normally harvest the peas or beans to eat.
  • Strip the pods from the plants and spread them out to dry indoors.
  • They should dry at least two weeks before shelling, or you can leave the seeds in the pods until planting time.

Keeping your saved seeds

Store seeds in tightly sealed glass containers. You can store different kinds of seeds, each in individual paper packets, together in a large container. Keep seeds dry and cool. A temperature between 32° and 41°F is ideal, so your refrigerator can be a good place to store seeds.

A small amount of silica-gel desiccant added to each container will absorb moisture from the air and help keep the seeds dry. Craft supply stores sell silica gel in bulk for drying flowers.

You can also use powdered milk as a desiccant. Use one to two tablespoons of milk powder from a freshly opened package. Wrap the powder in a piece of cheesecloth or a facial tissue and place it in the container with the seeds. Powdered milk will absorb excess moisture from the air for about six months.

Be sure to label your saved seeds with their name, variety and the date you collected them. It is easy to forget the details by the following spring. Use saved seed within one year. The older the seed the lower the germination and vigor.

Start with clean seeds and transplants

Preventing disease

The tomato disease bacterial canker has been found in local community gardens and small vegetable farms in Minnesota. There are other diseases commonly found in home gardens that are more easily managed.

Bacterial canker is difficult to control once established in the garden so it is important to prevent it.

  • Bacterial canker can be brought into the garden on infected tomato seed or transplants.
  • The bacteria can be attached to the outside of the seed coat or carried within the seed.
  • Infected transplants and seeds rarely show obvious symptoms of infection.

There are several steps you can take to improve the chances of starting with healthy seeds or transplants.

  • Purchase seeds from a reputable supplier. Most seed companies will not guarantee disease free seed but a good seed company will take steps to reduce the chances of seed borne pathogens.
  • If you are saving seed or swapping seed with neighbors, save seeds only from healthy plants.
    • In Minnesota it is difficult to grow a completely disease free tomato in the garden. There are many fungal and bacterial pathogens that infect garden tomatoes.
  • Choose healthy fruit from healthy plants whenever possible.

If you suspect seed may be contaminated, there are two seed treatment options that can help to clean seed. Both treatments can reduce germination of seed that is old or of poor quality, but have minimal effect on fresh, good quality seed.

Bleach treatment
  • Make a solution with one part bleach (5.25% hypochlorite) and four parts water.
  • Add a few drops of dish soap.
  • Add seed to the solution and allow it to sit for one minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Seed should be able to float freely so that all surfaces come in contact with the solution.
  • Pour the solution through a thin mesh sieve or a cheese cloth.
  • Rinse the seed in cool running tap water for 5 minutes.
  • At this point seed can be directly planted or dried completely on a screen, then stored. Direct planting is preferable.

Bleach seed treatment can be used on any kind of seed including tomato. It will remove pathogens from the surface of the seed coat but not from within the seed. This means for bacterial canker, bleach treatment only partially reduces the risk of infection from contaminated seed.

Hot water treatment
  • Soak tomato seeds in water heated to 100 F for 10 minutes.
  • Move seed into water heated to 122 F and soak the seeds for 25 minutes.
  • Pour the seed through thin meshed sieve or a cheese cloth.
  • Rinse the seed in cool running tap water for 5 minutes.
  • It is critical that to precisely meet the exact time and temperature requirements. This can be done with a laboratory quality hot water bath. A sous vide, is a cooking device designed specifically to maintain exact temperatures in water and can be used instead of a water bath.
  • Finally seed can be directly planted or dried completely on a screen, then stored. Direct planting after treatment is preferable.

Hot water seed treatment is effective in eliminating the majority of bacterial plant pathogens from both the surface of the seed coat and from within the tomato seed.

The time and temperature requirements for hot water treatment varies by plant and some seeds like peas, beans and squash may be seriously injured by hot water treatment. The description above covers only tomato seeds.

Tomato transplants should be purchased from a reputable local grower. Inspect plants carefully and reject any transplants with discoloration of leaves or stems, or any signs of wilting. Avoid any transplants that have been pruned or cut back, as bacterial pathogens can easily spread on tools.

Avoid all types of garden diseases by following the tips in Growing healthy vegetables.

You can save veHow to save vegetable seeds from your home garden.