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A Beginner’s Guide with Kyle Kushman. EP 5: Choosing Your Seeds

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Choosing your seeds
Author avatar By Kyle Kushman
June 11, 2020
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Here You Will Find:

    Hi there! Welcome to Grow Your Own with Kyle Kushman!

    Growing cannabis from seed is a great experience that is quite different from growing from clones. Plus, this route offers these advantages:

    Advantages from cloning

    Variety

    The range of cultivars as seeds is available by thousands. In fact, awesome, huge dispensaries might offer a good selection of clones, but it is nowhere near the variety open to growing from seed.

    Diversity

    Seeds deliver an amazing variation of phenotype within the same genetic family. You can plant 10 White Widow seeds and, while they’ll mostly be the same, you might get one that’s taller, fruitier, or with a more Sativa or Indica-leaning high. This is called genetic diversity, and it’s the cornerstone of evolution. It is also a gift to consumers as not everyone shares the same palate or endocannabinoid system.

    No genetic degradation

    With seeds, there’s no fear of genetic degeneration that is sometimes associated with over-cloning. Genetic drift is wrongly associated as the cause, but the degeneration is really caused by environmental factors — from plant diseases that can be introduced through the cutting scissors to repeated heat and stress factors. It is scientifically known as epigenetic change, which leads to phenotypic plasticity.

    Far better availability and accessibility

    Unlike clones, seeds can be delivered quickly and easily anywhere in the world. No need for dispensary down the road and no worries of introducing pathogens into your shiny new space.

    Stronger cannabis plants

    While it may seem easier to pop a clone into your soil, clones do not have taproots. Seeds give you stringer roots and potentially a more vigorous plant.

    Before choosing a variety of cannabis seeds, you need to ask yourself these questions, among others:

    • What kind of high do I want?
    • How experienced am I in growing?
    • How much space do I have?
    • Do I grow indoors or out?
    • Do I want feminized or regular seeds?

    The answers could affect your decision. Nonetheless, most focus on just these two critical factors – the seed type and the strain.

    Seed Type

    Regular

    If you are planning to breed (create more seeds), you need regular, unfeminized seeds. They have roughly a 50/50 chance of becoming a male or a female, and you need both for a successful breeding program.

    Feminized

    Female seeds won’t grow a male plant, but poor growing conditions and rare genetic anomalies can, in extreme cases, cause a plant to hermaphrodite. The fact that feminized seeds only produce female plants come with these two advantages:

    • They grow beautiful, smokable flowers full of cannabinoids; males don’t, only providing pollen to propagate the species.
    • They remove the wasted hour locating and discarding male plants from your grow. Not to mention the space they take up.

    Autoflower

    If you are a novice or too busy to take care of photoperiods, you might want to start with an autoflowering strain. Here are the reasons why you’d want an auto despite their smaller yields:

    • It can be planted all year round.
    • It automatically flowers after 2-4 weeks of growth regardless of how many hours of light they receive.
    • Autos tend to be robust plants and very easy to grow.
    • Most autos complete their entire life cycle under 3 months.
    • They generally finish smaller than your photoperiods at just around 3-4 feet. This means they thrive in limited spaces.

    Strain

    Apart from the seed type, you must also choose which strain to grow — a Sativa, Indica, or hybrid (a mixture of both).

    Pure Sativa or Sativa-dominant

    Sativa plants are tall, thin plants with long flowering time, which generally translate to higher yields.

    Pure Indica or Indica-dominant

    Indica plants are easier to grow because they evolved in harsh climates. They mature faster with short, compact bud clusters.

    Hybrids

    Hybrids make up most of cannabis cultivars, comprising different combinations of Indica, Sativa, and, for autos, the Ruderalis genes. This makes it tricky to generalize the growth pattern of individual strains, so always look to the breeder or seller for guidance.

    Once you already have your seeds. How do you know they’ll sprout? Good seeds are usually dark brown, hard with stripes.

    In Episode 5, I’ll show the easiest way to germinate your seeds – the first step to growing strong, healthy plants. See you soon, homegrowers!