This is a beginners introduction to cultivating fine herb. The paper was written for ReLeaf Magazine in November of 2012.
Connoisseur Cultivation by Gage Green Group
Some days, it seems like the cannabis market is flooded with the same old strains. Growers who are relying on purchasing unverified clones or germinating feminized seeds have seen a general shift towards lower quality medicine. The connoisseurs in today’s competitive environment know that the best way to stay ahead of the curve is to have the best quality bud. True boutique cultivators can get high price for their product because they focus on the genetics. Genetics are the key. The most gifted cultivators will dedicate a portion of their lives discovering the genetics that people will desire.
Most people are oblivious towards strain selection because it involves a little more time and a little more space and lots of patience, but, for true boutique growers, the benefits far outweigh the costs. This article focuses on the strain connoisseur’s method for phenotype selection and care. Strain connoisseurs are on a never ending search for the best cannabis in the world and harvest nothing but the best. After this technique becomes part of your personal cultivation style, you will no longer need to work with second-rate clones or waste any your time with anything but the best every harvest. At Gage Green Group, we open the door to the world’s premier connoisseur genetics and offer patients the chance to find their very own champion genetic.
Even the best grower in the world cannot produce a dank flower from weak genetics. The genetics determine what the maximum potential of your buds! So unless you choose from a strong genetic library, your entire grow might be compromised by poor genetics. You might witness weak yield, lack of smell, lack of frost, or even hermaphroditic tendencies. Hermaphrodites are a result of poor breeding practices. A plant with these traits might switch sexes due to stress or natural habit and form male pollen sacs which will lead to a bud full of seeds with hermaphroditic tendencies-the last thing anyone wants. Reliable strains from a reputable breeder will yield good results in almost any grow environment. So choosing the right genetics is the most important thing when preparing to grow.
Each individual strain of cannabis (also referred to as the phenotype – a collection of all observable physical characteristics that make the cannabis plant unique) expresses different traits and an expert cultivator will take the time to learn all the preferences of each strain to perfect their technique. Some strains are suitable for different types of grow setup. Certain phenotypes have thick top colas and are more suitable for Sea of Green (SOG) type setups, while other strains are more suitable for Screen of Green (SCrOG) setups, some are only good for outdoor, and much more. You want the genetic that will grow best in your environment. Another difference between each cannabis strain is nutrient uptake preferences. Some strains prefer more nitrogen during vegetative growth. Others can tolerate fewer nutrients during flower. Usually, experimenting with multiple strains and understanding their behaviors takes time and experience. Fully understanding the growth characteristics and preferences of the plant genetic you are growing will help maximize your efficiency and yield.
So how does one begin to source and collect elite phenotypes? First, always have a space to store your cannabis genetics. If you have verified clones (grown it out, tested it, and learned preferences) then you will want a nice place to keep them healthy. We want to keep each phenotype in vegetative state so that we can take clones from it when needed. There are multiple ways of doing this depending on the space you have set aside. You could technically store your cuts in a small closet with CFLs. You always want at least a few vegetative plants of each strain at all times. Some prefer to keep a large mother plant at all times. When the mother gets too big, take clones from it and cull (dispose of) the mother when the clones’ roots are established. Other growers will always have perpetually small mothers that will be cloned over and over again. Some scientific reports have shown that clones may show mutated DNA from the original mother, so to cloning over and over again is not recommended unless absolutely necessary. Cloning and maintaining the library of prized cuts can be a full time job in the life of a connoisseur grower.
When you need to begin preparation for your next run, simply take your favorite clones from your storage space and prepare them for vegetative growth. This might require a larger mother to provide a sufficient number of clones.
Once you have your strain storage space, you can start searching for strains. This is the part that requires the most knowledge. Finding the right genetics is the key to a successful grow. One method is to search the internet, local forums, or local medical centers for elite clones. Connected growers will know trustworthy individuals who can help source cannabis cuts. Each clone should be properly stored and have its identity verified in flower before it becomes a part of your next run. There is too much to lose when growing unidentified cuttings.
You can choose to grow something that most people are familiar with like Blue Dream or Sour Diesel. But what if you could to find something completely new and exciting that nobody has ever seen before? Connoisseur cultivators value potent and eye-catching genetics that are not flooding the market. These strains are highly desired and fetch a higher price.
We at Gage Green Group seek to provide the highest quality hybrids of rare connoisseur quality cuts that will provide the most unique variation, derived from our elite males and luscious females, intended for elite phenotype discovery. We give strain connoisseurs the chance to discover completely unique phenotypes. By sourcing and selecting for the finest cannabis in the world, we have built a library of the best strains to use as parent stock. Because every parent we use is vigorous and tested for perfection, the chances of finding a keeper are extremely high. We keep things fresh by making new and improved hybrids, in limited quantities, so that every batch of seeds is unique.
Our Grape Stomper was a cut selected from our Purple Snowman hybrid which tested at 25.7% THC and 1.7% CBD. It is by far one of the frostiest and sweetest smelling genetics we ever discovered and it has become our resident resin monster. Few cannabis strains rival the Grape Stomper in frostiness and its progeny will forever change the mankind’s understanding of resin production. We found our Inferno Haze Uno Pheno from a test run and it turned out to be the only female we obtained from an entire pack of seeds, hence the name “Uno.” The Uno Pheno has become one of our staple genetics. Testing at 23.6% THC and 3.0% CBD, this plant is an amazing specimen in almost every aspect. These are just two of many, many examples of great cannabis cuts that we have obtained from seed. Gage Green Group takes the best cannabis from around the world and makes them even better by breeding for increased potency, flavor, and experience.
Many seeds available in the market today are rehashes of old genetics. These rehashed and watered-down genetics lose their character after multiple generations of inbreeding. Gage Green Genetics adds life and vigor to the best genetics available. It is up to you to explore the limitless combinations of genetics that our elite cannabis parentage creates. We make crosses in search of new and unique strains. A few of our new projects combine sativa landrace genetics like Colombian Gold with refined indoor genetics. These result in some of the most unique and exotic buds you have ever seen! The Colombian Gold crossed with the Joseph male created a wide range of huge-yielding buds with aromatic flavors with a bud structure that we have never even seen before. In addition, our F1 hybrids experience hybrid vigor, a phenomenon of F1 hybrids being able to grow significantly better than inbred genetics. Nature rewards diversity!
Once you have obtained the right seeds, you need to germinate them and grow out all the beans. Eventually when they get to the right point in their vegetative cycle, the plants will start showing sex. Some growers will kill the males and dispose of the weak females. In our experience, some of the weakest females become our best, so we recommend giving every female the opportunity to show her true colors. Take clones of each new plant before flowering in order to back them up in your strain storage space. Flower them under an HPS without topping to understand how the plant grows naturally. Use this initial grow to take notes of each genetic and learn its likes and dislikes, especially related to nutrients and the environment. Look out for problems such as hermaphrodites, mold tendencies, and other characteristics that might affect your growing method.
Make your selection based on the observations you make. When you have fully harvested all the females, you should wait for a complete cure before deciding which keepers to select. Once you decide which plants are the best for you and your patients, you may cull the plants that were inferior. Some may find multiple phenotypes that they want to keep and others might find none. Luck is a factor in this search for keepers, but using proven genetics gives you the best chance for success. Some cultivators will germinate hundreds of seeds at a time to select from a broader range of phenotypes.
Things you may want to base your selection on:
- Growth structure
- Bag appeal
- High/medicinal effects
- Nutrient preferences
You have now begun your exploration through the world of cannabis. You will come across millions of different cannabis phenotypes, each with its unique character. Access to the best strains is your only option. By germinating seeds and selecting phenotypes, you are playing an active role in creating better cannabis for the world to enjoy.
Once you have built up a collection of distinguished genetics, do not be afraid to share. Sharing is caring and sometimes you get some interesting things in return! The more dank genetics that get around, the faster cannabis can evolve to help patients treat themselves throughout the world. There is a perfect strain for everyone. Your discovery might be the cure for someone’s illness! And by sharing those genetics, you are expanding the cannabis gene pool with your plant’s unique traits.
You have now learned how the best cultivators distinguish themselves from the masses. Our F1 hybrids have unlimited potential for the most unique and amazing combination of genes that are created to help you succeed. The possibilities are endless if you have your hands on the best and most unique strains on the block. Be in control of what you are growing. Help further the discovery of new and improved cannabis. Grow Gage Green Genetics.
To find out more about Gage Green Genetics, please visit https://www.gagegreen.org. We are a thriving community that works together to push cannabis to it its limits.