Crystal Candy - Finally turning your grow area into a classy candy shop

Some of us growers still remember how special it was to visit a candy shop when we were kids. The colours, the aromas and that inevitable mouth watering sensation produced by our brain while imagining how happy our taste buds would be just a few minutes later, always led to big smiles. I got me with that same silly smile on my face when I rubbed my fingers in some flowers of Crystal Candy (Sweet Seeds variety SWS58) that were in the final stage of flowering. I was really happy while my nose was filled with that glorious fragrance of sugary sweetness, but this time the candy shop was mine. Only mine. Courtesy of Sweet Seeds.

My small candy shop was big enough to allow for nine 11 litre pots on its area of 80 x 80cm and 160cm of height, so I sprouted ten seeds in case one would not make it. In the case that they all make it I would then select the best nine and discard the worst looking one. Eight of the ten seeds sprouted in less than 48 hours and the other two sprouted 24 hours later. This is the usual time frame for germination of fresh and properly stored Sweet Seeds seeds. They were germinated in a wet paper towel, closed inside an hermetically sealed plastic container that was opened for a few minutes every 12 hours to prevent mould formation around the seed shells.

After germination they were put into a 500ml pot with BioBizz LightMix and 10% of worm humus to contribute with some nitrogen (N) to the mix. They were carefully placed about 0,5cm below surface. 36 hours later they started to show their cotyledons and photosynthesis started. They were watered with only 100ml of water in the first week and in the second week the amount of water was raised to 200ml, in order to make all of the 500ml of soil wet. Since the first days they grew with a vigour that was visible to the naked eye. But this vigour was even more noticeable after the second week.

At day 15 from germination they were transplanted to their final pots. These 11 litre containers were then filled with BioBizz AllMix, an extra 10% of perlite and one full tablespoon of Guanokalong powder for each plant. The powdery guano was mixed in the lower layer of soil so that the roots only reach to it when they most need it, which is when they are already flowering. Since AllMix is a strong soil mix, very rich with respect to the most important nutrients for our plants, I knew I would not need to use liquid fertilizers for a long time. So, from then on, I only watered the plants with pH 6,2 ordinary tap water every 2 or 3 days.

They grew as real champions, developing firm side branches and stretching the main cola to around 70cm of height when they reached to the third week of flowering. Oh, and the plant that was discarded was also looking great, so it was taken to an outdoor garden from a friend and maybe one day I will share some pics of the plant with you readers. Crystal Candy was recently released (it reached the market in the spring of 2016) but already conquered my admiration and  it is already positively surprising a lot of growers that have some of these wonderful plants in late flowering as I write this article.

Sweet Seeds has been on the market since 2005, so in the last 11 years we have been working with some of the best elite clones in the cannabic scene while continuously improving our breeding procedures. We would not release a strain named Crystal Candy if the trichomes were not a terpene trait of authentic sweetness themselves. All of them. And that is something that starts to become noticeable at a very early stage, by the end of the third week of flowering. The first flowers start to crowd all together giving form to marvellous buds that start to cover themselves with shiny trichomes. So, at this point the plants start giving us a clue about how their final aroma will be.

These shiny trichomes spread into the surrounding areas of the flowers, making all the small leaves around the buds look very frosty. Even the big fan leaves feature an admirable gleam on their stem and near-to-stem areas. They look like lollipops and they smell exactly like it if you break some of them to release their sugary terpenes. This organoleptic complexity becomes clearly noticeable especially in the third stage of flowering, so we will return to that later.

At this point the nine Crystal Candy plants were flowering for 5 weeks and I kept on licking my fingers every time I touched them, just as an inveterate sugar addict. The plants seemed to finally ask for some extra nutrients at this stage. I knew that harvest was still 3 or 4 weeks away so I decided to feed them twice with BioBloom from BioBizz, one dose of 4ml per litre of water at day 36 into flowering (5 weeks) and a second dose of 2ml at day 43 (6 weeks). By the 6th week the structure of the plants was completely defined and with my grow parameters I managed to get at least 4 side branches with a good calibre from each one of them. All the side branches produce flowers that are very compact and resinous.

This grow closet (aka candy shop), with an area of 0,64m2, asks for a 400w High Pressure Sodium lamp, so I used one. On the other hand, the 400w High Pressure Sodium bulb asks for professional range extraction. In this case I used a 125mm RVK extractor, more than enough to keep a constant renovation of the air inside the growing area. I also got 2 Sunon fans blowing air into the top buds area and 1 other Sunon blowing air directly to the bulb to dissipate the heat and drive it to the top of the closet where the RVK tube is extracting the air.

This kind of air renovation and air circulation, together with the fact that High Pressure Sodium lighting tends to lower the humidity levels inside the closet, helped not only to avoid heat stress but also to raise the frequency of the “wet-dry-wet” cycle on the soil. The soil will dry much faster and the plants get to be watered more frequently, benefiting from a dry soil (due to increased oxygen intake) for a few hours every 2 days. So, it is very important to water abundantly, until water comes out of the drainage holes, but then it is even more important to let the soil dry almost completely before watering again.

With about 6 weeks of flowering the pistils started to show the first signs of maturity, turning to a light orange colour. At the same time the aromas became much more noticeable, featuring a sweet and fruity background with tones of chewing gum and fruit jellies, mixed with hints of acid strawberry and mature melon. A strong smell that fills the room. The taste is also amazing, a truly sweet organoleptic experience. Crystal Candy is a big producer of aromatic resin crystals that completely cover the flowers and their surrounding leaves with a very high density of long, large-headed trichomes.

In the last 2 weeks of flowering I only used water so that any trace of fertilizer eventually present in the soil could be cleaned and washed away. All the plants matured at the same time and when they reached to their 9th week of flowering more than 30% of the trichomes were already amber coloured and it was harvest time. They were harvested with 64 days of flowering, when they were already showing some yellow leaves, a proof that the roots were well cleaned from nutrients. And in the harvest day, when I emptied the containers, I also observed how the roots filled all the available space inside the 11 litre pots, a clear sign that the plants were happy and healthy while growing and flowering.

The nine plants produced a total of 340 grams of high grade, dried and manicured flowers, making it a 0,85gr per watt grow operation. Or, for some who might prefer to judge it like this, a 531gr per square meter grow. A very interesting result taking in consideration the outstanding quality of the final product. Hard, compact buds that drop a cloud of trichomes into the air when we brake them. They were dried for 12 days, then cured for 3 weeks and the smoke+vape report was performed with 50 days of ageing in crystal jars.

This superior quality strain from the Sweet Seeds genetic collection is a hybrid slightly leaning to the indica side (60% Indica / 40% Sativa). It features a very well balanced effect that brings about relaxation, calms the mind and spirit but leaves the user with enough energy and motivation to perform physical activities. The effect can even be creative sometimes and tasks that are usually boring can be taken in a very enjoyable way, converting work into play.

It was a long journey but it was worth the wait. After more than a decade dedicated to find, select and improve sweet and aromatic genetics, we can say that Sweet Seeds finally reached to the apogee of sweetness with Crystal Candy. Sometime in the past a kid said: “One day these candies inside the crystal jars will make me happy” ...and I have to agree he was right. That day is now.

Words by Tommy G.

Pictures by Tommy G. and Sweet Seeds

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 124

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