Yo, good peeps! Random home breeding questions are the flavor of today with Letters to Rev. Just a Q&A with yours truly regarding various breeding questions from home breeders. Grab some kick-ass genetics to breed with over at Kingdom Organic Seeds. Enjoy.
In the photo above, you can see a Vietnam Black (landrace) male clone, along with 2 clones of a single female Black Forrest female—yup—that’s EXACTLY what’s happening in the world of KOS right now.
Alright then, earthlings, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…
Home Breeding, Question #1: Virgin Breeder?
“Hey Rev, longtime fan here. I have been following your growing advice for a decade, and my gardens show it. I have become a really good indoor grower, and so I thought I might try my hand at making some of my own strains. My collection of seeds is nice, including several from KOS 😉 and I just wanted to hear your advice to me when doing this. Not getting into the seed business whatsoever; I just want to have some good strains that I made from my own favorites and have these strains reflect all my favorite things about those plants.
I know you have said often that plants I have bred in my own grow room will extra kick ass in that environment, and I like that a lot. Since my very first breeding run will be in about 30 days, I am just looking for any pearls of wisdom you might have for me. Thank you so much for what you do.”
Rev’s Answer to Q1
What an excellent adventure you are on, my friend. I am a huge fan of home breeding because I think you need a lot of semi-isolated gene pools turning out the (real) goods. If it all becomes too centralized with just several large breeders, it’s going to get very limited as far as diversity. Diversity… That’s the thing, amigo, and what I mean by that is mostly (the many many) different resin properties, especially as they relate to high type. Here’s the important things I would tend to if I were you…
La Home Breeding Bullet List…
- Cloning Skills and Resources: You absolutely NEED to have or get this skill and have a dedicated space for it. If you are going to breed well, you must be able to root cuttings with at least an 80% success rate.
- Growing Space Allotments: Whatever space you think you are going to need, triple it. It’s okay if you start out with space to spare, be happy. It won’t likely happen often, if ever again. Get your rhythm down, so you are sprouting, cloning, and flowering all at once in a perpetual cycle.
- Familiarity: If you “get to know” the lineages/strains you are working with, it makes your life so much easier. Starting from scratch with essentially unknown genetics, you need to flower out and sample clones while saving clones of those plants. Then you can choose from what you absolutely know regarding who to breed with.
- F2s are Your Friend: The F2 generation is where most of the magic happens. Use multiple males (F1 individuals) in the breeding of the F2 seeds. Isolating homo and hetero expressions are literally a matter of if you see it, you got it (homo/truebreeding) here almost always.
- Intense Lighting: Sprout, vegetate, and flower all under intense lighting. You can use something like T5s to keep mother clones under as your weakest lighting.
- Dry Erase Boards: These are super handy to have, hang them on opportune walls, and you’ll see what I mean. Observational notes are one thing I use these for.
- Hash Making Skills: If you are making a lot of seeds, you can make a lot of killer hashish. You should get these skills baybee.
Home Breeding, Question #2: Soil Mix for Seeds?
FROM: Rob R.
“Hi, Rev. Hey, I was wondering if you could help guide me to the best way to germinate seeds for breeding purposes. I am a TLO (True Living Organics) grower, and last time I tried to pop seeds, they kind of fried. Is TLO soil too powerful for sprouting with? What should I use for this, anything special for sprouting? Thanks for your help in advance.”
Rev’s Answer to Q2
Hey Rob, sure thing man, I think I can help you out here. If you are sprouting seeds that were not bred/created using TLO soil, or another powerful living soil, then I would run the following…
- 2-parts good, bagged soil mix (Ocean Forrest for example).
- 1-part TLO soil mix.
- 1-part compost/earthworm castings (optional).
- A little extra perlite and vermiculite (optional).
I like to plant 16 seeds for any breeding run. You can normally (75%) find what you want using healthy good genetics to start with using this number. Also, you could use just straight Ocean Forest, or any G&B potting soil and others here. The thing is, you will want to get them “acquainted” with your TLO soil, and this mix does just that.
Home Breeding, Question #3: Male Breeding Space?
FROM: Coleen M.
“Hey ya Rev, hope you are well. Please share with me how you flower your males in tents. As in, do they get their own space like females do? I thought I remembered reading how you put males in the middle somehow? Thank you. I would like to use all my space for females since the males are so transitional.”
Rev’s Answer to Q3
Hells yeah, Coleen, love to share this with you. Okay, first of all I usually slow-down my males prior to flowering by putting them under weaker lighting, like T5s for example. Check out this photo…
You can see in the photo above how that male is in just a 1-gallon container, while the females are in 3-gallon containers. I could have had that male in the center of four females just fine, no worries. In this case, the flowering tent is also being used for sprouting, but I’ll still have an open space when the male goes by-by. I just had that male under T5 lighting for about 10 to 15 days prior to warming it up for flowering lights. Delayed transplanting was also used to slow down the male(s).
Being able to slow down some of your plants from time to time is a very good thing indeed. I just use two bedrooms to grow and breed at home; one room is all flowering and sprouting, while the other room is all mother clones, rooting clones, freshly rooted clones, and vegging plants about to flower. Everything works out well, especially when you can give yourself some breathing room when it comes to your timetable.
Grab a copy of my TLO book, and check out this old article about making hash: Making Hash from Cannabis the Easy Way– with Rev. Hope you all enjoyed today’s home breeding Q&A. L8r G8rs…
- REv 😊
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.