About seed... and where do you turn to for good advice?
There are more advantages. The most striking are a higher yield as a result of the absence of lateral growth, and the fact that the main buds represent 98% of your yield. Because of this flowering pattern you can also keep much more plants on the same surface. But especially being able to reduce your cleaning job by 95% is quite a boon. A seedling germinated and grown under 12 light hours hardly produces buds that need manicuring. Some extremely heavy sativa's (such as Mexican Haze) which normally show a lot of lateral growth may produce some minor side branches in this system. Generally speaking one 600 watt HPS bulb could easily light at least 30 seed plants of an average variety that were germinated under 12 hours of light and were kept that way! In 9 out of 10 cases it won't be necessary to mount a net because seed plants are better anchored, produce few if any side branches, and grow thicker stems than plants grown from cuttings. A couple of fluorescent lights in a corner of your flowering room is sufficient to germinate your seed and allow you to have young plants at your disposal every time you harvest.
Your fluorescent lights are switched on at the same time as your HPS bulbs. The thing to note here is that more than 95% of the usable yield will be produced by the main bud which. Seed plants develop one main bud and therefore require a minimum of space. If you could get seeds at less than half the price you would have to spend on cuttings... than growing from seed is a lot easier and cheaper. If you do it right, you'll get at least 75-80% females from your seed. No searching for cuttings, no pests, no dragging along big soggy boxes, no hassle with growshops, no diseased cuttings, exactly the variety you're after, a truckload less cutting to do... should I go on? And hey... seed is legal and cuttings are not. If you like to know more about growing from seed and/or the 12/12 system, check our forum and you'll find all the information you need. You can have a look at everything without the obligation to log in under your name. It's a fact that we only sell regular seed and no feminised seed. We think only female seed is honest business. At the moment we can not offer female seed, but we're working on it.
So what's the deal with feminised/female seed? Male seed is genetically XY, female seed is genetically XX and feminised seed is XXY. To some this may sound a little like jumping to conclusions, because structures develop which we humans still can not understand nor quantify. The fact remains that the difference between female seed and feminised seed is huge.
The Y factor remains hidden within feminised seed's genetics. Because of that Y factor you'll never be certain you will score 100% female plants and/or hermaphrodites always lurk. Just a little stress and you see herma's developing and your room contaminated with seed. As far as I'm concerned there's no doubt the vast majority of European seed banks are about to ruin the available good genetics. Every time a seed bank decides to keep/safeguard a specific variety by storing XXY (feminised) seed... the quality of genetics takes a little step back.
Experienced growers know seed plants usually are a lot stronger than plants grown from cuttings. A seedling has a pen root and a cutting has been tricked into growing emergency rootlets. After all, a climate of 89% humidity and 25°C/77°F that's needed to root cuttings is not exactly something Mother Nature will readily provide a plant with. In nature an annual like cannabis will not start growing new roots once the stem is broken. A seed plant originating from a germination process of 12 hours (I'm referring to the 12-12 hour system we have developed and have been propagating for years) will simply be vigorous and in most cases won't grow side branches, but instead produce one big cola from bottom to top. A cola is a unit of several buds forming one big bud.
In itself hermaphrodites are a natural phenomenon. In nature, when reproduction is theatened, it allows female plants to produce male flowers and thus auto-pollinate. The commercial hemp industry has proven on a grand scale it's possible to genetically fix hermaphroditism. When I first marketed female (as opposed to feminised) seed 13 years ago there were only a few people who envisioned where this would lead. Jos (the former chief of Top Weert) actually was the first smarty pants that recognised the huge potential. Not one single male has sprouted from the 120.000 seeds I have grown during that period. The many interviews that followed (Highlife, Grow Magazine, Canamo etc.) made several people scratch their heads. The Ministry of Agriculture even gave me a license to produce female industrial hemp seed indoors. Winni of German magazine Grow (www.grow.de) didn't have any confidence this whole female thing would lead anywhere. I was stupid enough to assume that friends and/or people who could think ahead saw the same thing I saw. On the plane to Nepal we even quarreled like little boys. My fanaticism and cast iron vision had developed so far I hardly accepted contradiction. Pigheaded as hell. And Winni, well he's still very much okay, a truely respected human being and a great writer in hour “world of herbs”. A guy who follows the cannabis scene from A to Z, looks for the essence, considers soberly and reports about it as honest and neutral as possible.
But hey, look again... right now, in 2010? Uncle Cees was right again... grinzzz. There is hardly a seed bank to be found that doesn't sell feminised seed! They have been very busy trying to find the way to produce female seed but haven't succeeded. Various people and/or seed merchants knocked on my door. Often they represented some well known seed bank. Yes, also very large seed banks (but serious money was never offered to “get the job done” by those scrapers).
Unfortunately... it took me 14 years to actually be able to produce female seeds... so I decided to keep the formula to myself. But all hell broke loose. Henk van Dalen of Dutch Passion Seeds was the first serious seed bank that marketed 100% female seed. In an interview in Highlife magazine (spring 1999) he said he didn't want to reveal how he produced female seed. He did indicate however they used an aggressive or unnatural substance. He suggested some sort of salty solution. It didn't take long or Dutch Passion rectified as well and said it was feminised seed instead of 100% female seed. In the meanwhile things have quieted down again. The fact that feminised seed did result in a high percentage of female plants slowed down the intensity of the search for 100% female seeds. The consumer pays well for the present concept and is satisfied with the way things are going. And well, that leaves the developing space to the unstoppable pioneers.
It is not a secret I use Gibberalic Acid to manipulate. As far as possible I have always written fair and square what I did and how I did it. In Dutch horticulture Gibberalic Acid has been used for decades, especially in fruit and flower breeding. Gibberalic Acid naturally occurs in plants. Gibberalic Acid is a growth promoting plant hormone that for example is triggered by changes in light duration and amongst others induces the production of growth and/or flowering hormones. Science is not quite sure how to classify Gibberalic Acid. To simply call it a hormone would be out of line.
In the 1969 edition of Mel Frank's Green Guide I read it should be possible to create female seed by using Gibberalic Acid. When it appeared he hadn't succeeded in doing so, I was sold. Not a day passed without me being occupied with this possibility. It took me 14 long years to actually succeed. After extensive consultations with toxicologist dr Alink from the university of Wageningen I could take off. At the time he was thé authority to turn to when you were insecure about the substance you were working with. I got a unequivocal and written green light that enabled me to work safely with Gibberalic Acid in the concentration I had in mind. The reason for me to take it easy in this regard right now has to do with my private life. I'm glad I learned there is a real world besides the plant. And that was something I really needed. On the other hand... blood is thicker than water. LOL …
The way it really works and the difference between feminised & female seed!
Feminised seed originates from pollen of female plants that in some way (there are many ways) has been stressed in order to induce hermaphrodites. That happens quite often, while cannabis naturally has the hermaphrodite factor in it's genes. In other words, male flowers are called for in a female plant to produce pollen. That's not that difficult to do, and as far as I can see there's way too much paid for the resulting seeds. Seed originating from pollen (XXY) of these cheated female plants is entitled to be called feminised. Take note... the Y factor is still in the game. The fact feminised seed often produces many, or even exclusively female plants, is something that's hidden within nature. Like a female plant “knows” under which circumstances she should produce some male flowers (the hermaphroditism present in the gen) and healthy seed to secure reproduction, she also “knows” (genetic commitment) that she has to produce a lot of females the next round. Before we know exactly how that process works and wise up to it, we'll probably be dead and buried. It's a fact that feminised seed often produces a lot of females. But you know... you don't have that 100% guarantee and very possibly there will be some males. Make sure too not to shock your plants from feminised seed, because hermaphroditism is always lurking round the corner. Female (100% female) seed is a completely different story. A female plant is called a XX plant. XX signifying female and XY signifying male.
Once you're able to control female flowering hormones in the right manner, without stressing the plant any more, the male flowers that have been produced as a result of a complete “misunderstanding” by the plant, create pollen that is genetically pure XX (see picture). Every healthy female flower that gets pollinated by this pollen will produce 100% female seed. As long as there is only XX in the equation, leaving no room for the Y... it is strictly female. In the past I have tried to stress some pure females that originated from XX pollen... but that only increased the number of herma's. It may be evident that during this quest seed makers concluded that feminised seed was “good enough” to go ahead, and that's probably a shame. Most of all that progress was financially motivated,as I don't think genetics were very important there. Growers and smokers would welcome a little more candour and a little more selected information; the average grower really doesn't know the difference between feminised and female seed. The seed business sticks to this English term because it's vague, ambivalent and veiling. At a consumer's level there is hardly any information to be found about the difference between female and feminised seed. In my mind there's no doubt that when feminised seed is used in the breeding process, it has a negative influence on genetics. Within canna-world morality usually takes a back seat because money has to be made no matter what. Like anywhere else! And I know, making female seed by using honest manipulation is not that simple at all. Even I don't succeed more than 2-3 times out of every 10 attempts. Apart from that, the villains are always vigilant. At the time I was living in the province of Zeeland, 170 plants loaded with female seeds were violently ripped from me. Thanks to that rip-off a “Quality” seed company in the Netherlands got very succesful. But hey, actually I was thinking one step ahead already. Hopefully seed farmers realize that maintaining the present seed banks can only be done responsibly by safeguarding the pure lines, without manipulating, and thus free of XXY seed. Time will tell. If you're looking for regular seed that can compete big time with any competition in terms of price and quality I advise you to make inquiries with us: firstname.lastname@example.org or click here for my contact information.
Without exception our regular seed decends from ruthlessly selected plants. Apart from the F1 hybrids they originate from at least six times backcrossing on their progenitors – at least F6. Without exception those progenitors as well originated from seed fixed by inbreeding (to F6) and lengthy, merciless selection, focussed on the good properties as well as vitality. Through the years I learned to appreciate that a little bit of good luck is more than welcome here. Especially Double Fun (F6), Lucky Queen (F1 Hybrid), Royal Queen (F1 Hybrid) and Santa Maria( F8) are varieties that have proven themselves to us and many growers the last couple of years. It's great we have also grown a variety that was given a name beforehand; it's called GreenLeaf Queen (www.the-greenleaf.de) and it originates from 80% Double Fun and 20% Santa Maria. Why deal with GreenLeaf? Well, I really appreciate the things those people are doing, so collaboration is something positive. They want to reach more German speaking people and promote seed. But in Germany that's not allowed. So, other formula. Don't make a mistake about a well grown F1 hybrid. Often those are the plants with exceptional vigor, the positive result of a cross of two heavily inbred and selected varieties. In other words: F6 x F6 = F1 hybrid.
Sometimes it seems like they received a blood transfusion. There's a good reason why so many F1 hybrids are sold in the commercial flower and vegetable seed business. Double inbreeding, selecting and then crossing after 6-7 generations remains the most succesful formula up to this day. Naturally the parents of that F1 seed remain in the seed bank because breeding from F1 hybrid seed creates a mixture of all kind of things; they are not stable and all sorts of progenitors may show up. From which a seed bank would benefit of course. As far as knowledge is concerned the development of cannabis breeding in the Netherlands levels with that of commerial breeding for agricultural seed stock. Take a look on our website and/or forum. We don't have big glossy brochures, we don't wear company clothing, we hardly give away anything for free, we don't drive flashy cars... but we are the cheapest, hand out reliable information and guarantee our quality. Seed banks that can sell quality seeds to retailers at the prices we sell for, may rise now. On top of that we are easy to reach, can provide you with information 6 days a week by telephone, e-mail, on our website and/or forum. Good seed doesn't need to be expensive.
Our G.A. Special Spray should not be considered a spray to create female seed. During my search for the production of female seed I stumbled into exactly the right dosage of G.A. that stimulates extra lush flowering in cannabis plants. G.A. Spray is nothing more and nothing less than a flowering booster/stimulator. When used stupidly it can even cause hermaphrodites in your garden. So read the info sheet real well just in case!
This is how it works: when our indoor plants are flowering for approximately 22-26 days, they have realised they're not going to get fertilised. Because certain substances are hardly or not at all being used and their cycle takes a different turn than nature had planned, a “switch is flicked” and they are susceptible to fertilisation once more. There's still 12 hours of light, enough nutrition, the soil temperature isn't any cooler and there's plenty of water – all radically different from what a plant would experience outdoors. At this point they once again produce flowering hormones, which take care of the formation of more new buds on top of the existing buds. This is called the secondary internodial flowering. Only plants that are very healthy may show this. A wicked sativa like a Mexican Haze... can produce some 5, 6 or 7 internodes of flowering. It is advisable to harvest haze varieties in stages. Secondary internodial flowering is created by interaction and commands to the plant. Gibberalic Acid is the substance present within the plant that takes care of this communication. It is a matter of making sure there is more of this substance present to give flowering hormones a little more stimulation. It's a fact our G.A. Spray (amongst others) has been copied by several entrepreneurs in our line of business. Whether those imitations contain what they're supposed to contain is highly questionable.