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Letters to Rev – Home Grown Cannabis Breeding

Letters to Rev – Home Grown Cannabis Breeding

Home Grown Cannabis Breeding

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Home grown cannabis breeding indeed! Starting off with the tricky biz of going from f2 to f3 generation breeding, handled! Then, a little seed storage situation along with an issue sexing long flowering sativas. Handled! Also, striving towards uniformity in the f4 generation and beyond. No simple answer here, but I show you how to play the odds. Nice trio of stuffs, no?

Alright then earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…

Home Grown Cannabis Breeding, Question #1: My F3 Problem…

FROM: Mr. Jones

“Hi Rev. Longtime fan. I have your second book and you’re a genius mate! I have never smoked higher quality flowers. Thanks. I have been experimenting with breeding my own strains, and it seems like whenever I have the f3s they kind of suck compared to my f1s and f2s which are awesome. I’m just not sure what to look for early, I guess? Can you offer me and advice here?”

Rev’s Answer to Q1

Howdy Mr. Jones, mi amigo. I think I just might be able to set you on a good path here to solve this situation you find yourself in.

In the f2 Generation I prefer to have at least 12 Good Healthy Vigorous Plants to Choose From
In the f2 Generation I prefer to have at least 12 Good Healthy Vigorous Plants to Choose From

Size matters, especially when breeding the f2 generation to f3. When I say size, I mean numbers of plants. I almost always plant 16 seeds of any given strain/variety and end up with about 12 by the time they are a couple or a few weeks old. The f2 generation normally has a broad spread of phenotypes. Some of them are okay. Most are good to very good. But some, some are extra worth the search amigo. They are standouts. In the f2 generation I like to select 2 males and at least 4 to 6 female individuals to inbreed. And that’s just to start things rolling.

I break down every individual female after harvested and dried. Females I have watched closely. I make dry sift hashish from every plant’s leftover crumbled bud with the seeds removed. So then, I can sample them all individually. Whoever the very best females are for smells, punch, flavors, and yields are the females I continue the line with. You must be a dedicated hunter; if it was easy, everyone would do it well—Yup.

All things being chaotic and equal, most of your plants in your f3 generation will be like or better versions of the females you selected. You will have some outlying phenotypes here as well, and these can be way-off-the-chain spooky. In a very good way. Start with planting 16 seeds at a time, sample plants individually, and I think you will see a big difference.

Home Grown Cannabis Breeding, Question #2: Sexing Plants and Shortened Seed Viability?

FROM: B. Salazar

“Hello Mr. Rev. I have two questions for you. First one is why my seeds, stored properly in a refrigerator only stay mostly viable for a few years max? Second question is, how do you reliably sex your more exotic sativa plants? I am having a very hard time with this. I know early sexual expressions well; my problem lies with the lack of those expressions until the plants are much older. Occasionally not until I flower them. This is a problem for me. Space, resources, etc., Can you help? I appreciate you man.”

Rev’s Answer to Q2

Ya mon, I do believe I can help you. Bigtime in fact. First of all, I am going to assume you allow your pollinated/seeded up plants to go at least 30 days to make viable seeds. That’s all good. I am also going to assume you use synthetic fertilizers. Yup, gotcha! Seeds made from plants grown using synthetic fertilizers have a very short shelf life. Even if stored properly. This is inarguably true and empirically gained knowledge. I’ll assume—heh heh—this has solved your problem here.

Synthetic nutrients include things like Superthrive, pH-Up and Down, most Botanicare products, some Cal-Mag products and etc. So, just be wary.

Sprouts Spending Their Formative Youth Under Intense 300-watt LED Lighting
Sprouts Spending Their Formative Youth Under Intense 300-watt LED Lighting

Your second problem is easy-peasy. Sprout your plants under intense lighting—like a 200-watt+ LED or a 250-watt+ HID—using a 12/12 photoperiod (12 hrs. ON / 12 hrs. OFF). Keep them under this photoperiod for 14 days once they are above ground. Then move them to a photoperiod you use to vegetate under; like 16/8 or 18/6. Once they are 30 days old, start checking and you’ll be happy to see the sexual expressions easily right around that time.

Home Grown Cannabis Breeding, Question #3: Producing Uniform Offspring.

FROM: Michael F.

“Hello Rev. Why can’t I get a stabilized plant at f4? Twice I have tried now to get some uniform inbred plants. I always have at least a few distinctive phenotypes that are very different from each other. I don’t do open blow pollinations or anything. Can you figure out why I can’t get uniform plants? Can you help? Thank you very much.”

P.S. What cloning method do you use Rev?

See Also
cannabis world news Seeds, Strains, Genetics Breeding zest mints bulletproof strain plant and weed package

Rev’s Answer to Q3

Howdy Michael. Well, there’s a lot I don’t know here. So, what I’m going to do is just tell you how to have the best percentage chance of creating uniform offspring by f4. I mean, in my experience. Okay, first of all…

Your initial selections of strains/varieties to breed with is keystone! Using two very different long inbred lines (IBLs), cultivars/heirlooms, and/or landrace lines to begin serves your end goals well here. Percentage wise. If you are starting out with either of your P1s (original breeder plants) being poly-hybrids, the possibilities get exponentially crazy. Read my answer to question 1 above. This also applies to you as far as your selection game goes. It will save you a lot of time doing it that way. I suspect you are using poly-hybrids and that is the reason for uniformity escaping you.

However, sometimes—especially with old world heirloom/landrace sativas—you can never totally lock down uniformity within the offspring. Something basic will always be a wildcard. Like morphology of stems/nodes. Or leaf expressions. Be very critical selecting the f4 seeds you keep from your f3 breeders. Hope that sets you on your path to success here, Michael. Nothing is 100% sure when breeding. You just want to play with the best percentages for success.

Home Grown Cannabis Breeding Additionally…

Oh yeah, about that P.S. on the last question of what cloner do I use. I use Clone-King 36-site Aero Cloners. I have used them for 20 years now. Super dependable—like crazy dependable actually. They also work like a dream with about a 90%+ success rate using just tap water, chlorine and all. I also add a very small 100-watt aquarium heater to it to keep the water from getting below 68-70 degrees in the wintertime.

One of My 36-Site Clone King Aero Cloners That I Love Dearly for 20 Years Now
One of My 36-Site Clone King Aero Cloners That I Love Dearly for 20 Years Now
  • You could use a vaporizer to sample crumbled buds with seeds removed alternately to making hash. Sometimes I keep the seeds from just one single f2 female to continue the line with. Sometimes I keep 2 or 3 female’s seeds. I have had to do 2, even three runs of 16 seeds to find special breeders. But as a rule of thumb here, 16 seeds, ending up with at least one special female plant, is fairly common among good genetics. Often more than 1. I also like to use 2 male breeder individuals, if possible.
  • When using the 12/12 photoperiod sprouting trick on regular hybrid varieties you should keep them under 12/12 for a shorter time period. Like 10 days. Before switching to normal vegetative photoperiod. Only longer flowering exotic cultivar, or landrace sativas require the 14 days.
  • A poly-hybrid is a variety that is a hybrid, of hybrids, of hybrids, that continues on being F1’d over and over again having at least 5 contributing strains  involved.


The Rev

That’s it for today my esteemed homeskillets. One of the giant perks about home grown cannabis breeding, is that the offspring will be extra suited to your environment. Yup, you’ll see what I mean. Make sure to make your seeds organically/all-naturally. Here’s another article by yours truly, TLO Druids Guide, that I think you may like. Pick up some healthy exotic and organically bred seeds at Kingdom Organic Seeds  today to start your breeding adventures! Wanna preorder my newest TLO book? Here ya go, TLO Druid’s Guide Preorder Link!

Keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down my friends. Until next time, L8r G8rs…

  • REv ?

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