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Timewreck breeders report

2017-01-31 12:23:54

A Pause in the rotation of the planet

Timewreck!

As many of my readers may know, I am not a huge fan of the flavor of Trainwreck or even our amazing (rare) cutting which we call Bloodwreck. However, she has quickly become one of our more popular strains due to her sheer potency and ease of growing. So, many people said to me "Sub, you have to grow this thing out for yourself". Now, while I have tasted and tested dozens of batches of Timewreck, the cat was correct, so I started a 5 pack and got 3 nice females and we ran all three through the garden in TGA Super Soil.

The results blew even me away. Even the plant we deemed a non keeper, due to her shape, will knock you on your ass and the best of the three is a cash-croppers dream. With very little work we grew a massive plant whose buds were rock hard and the top cola had a crown of secondary buds that were just as dense.

I should take a moment to clear up the whole Trainwreck Versus Bloodwreck thing and how Timewreck came to be. People want to create some conspiracy about it but it's really simple. I grew the Arcata Trainwreck and documented her in my book, Dank, complete with Thomas the Choo Choo models. I found the cuttings to be lanky, they took too long and produced heavy amounts of male stamens (even at week 7 of budding) and so I decided not to work with her. Later on, the head TGA breeder, Dioxide, came across a cutting that was obviously Trainwreck dominant but very short, fat and turned an amazing shade of Blood red at week seven. We have been told she is a possible Trainwreck/Trinity cross but we simply don't know for sure. What we do know is that she is one bad ass cutting which will not hermaphrodite, she resists mold and mildew and, best of all, she passes this trait on to anything she is bred with.

I basically ignored the plants, just using Super Soil and water from my well that measures 170 PPM and is high in both Calcium and Magnesium. We use RO water on our clones and babys, but the full size plants seem to love the extra minerals as they stay lush and green up to week 6-7 before they start to naturally fade. The buds on Timewreck #2 started to get rock hard at this point and 2 days from harvest I am not sure I have ever held buds that felt like Pinecones before, I'm talking resin coated grenades!

The smell is amazing, while there is a hint of the earthy smell that comes from Bloodwreck, the Vortex added an amazing lime/citrus smell that's quite pleasing and, of course, it's a TGA strain so there is a hint of that baby poo smell as well. I couldn't wait to start taking some of these meaty buds down but this story had to wait a few more days...The plant was just a joy to trim, producing heavy amounts or sugar trim we used to make some incredible full-melt, ice water Hash. The volume of white beach sand looking trichomes was staggering and we got jars full. One surprise was that in the 160 bag, which is usually just waste, it was full of off-white resin which tastes just as good as the 120 UI. We got just over 7 ounces on this fairly short plant and this was mainly due to the density of the buds. We were so impressed that our summer indoor run will be 16 plants of this one Timewreck #2 clone.

As the flowers cured we could not wait any longer than 4 weeks and MzJill had the honor of the first hit and she loved it from the first puff. It instantly replaced Vortex as her favorite smoke because it shares that same sour fruit smell, but it has a much calmer high that allows you to function throughout the day. As time passed (pun intended) the jar of rock hard buds smelled better and better, and while Jill smoked only those flowers I matched her toke for toke with the amazing 120 and 70 UI Hash powder. As we let other people sample both the flowers and the Hash it was apparent that we had a real winner on our hands. People everywhere had just been bragging like crazy about this hybrid and now I fully understand why. While I have tasted many samples the best way to really get to know a strain is to grow it yourself for a few runs. This is one that no grower should pass by as I feel it is unique and different from anything I have ever smoked before. I must warn you though, while a few hits creates a nice euphoria just a few additional leaves you staring at the walls happy to just sit immobile until the high subsides. A bit like many of our hybrids, it serves a duel function. I use it in small doses when I have to do some chores or work on a project and just want to feel better about the day (but still be able to perform the task properly). When I want to just forget about the day and melt away into the couch, listening to some tunes I will enjoy, then I just need to rack up about 6 bowls and I'm pretty much FUBARED.

We named this one well as it is certainly capable of Wrecking Time!

Words and pictures by Subcool 

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Buy Timewreck seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Ace of Spades from TGA Genetics Grow Report

This past year, I had the privilege of growing out one of TGA Genetics' newer creations: 'The Ace Of Spades'.  This gorgeous and delicious strain is a hybrid of Sub's prized 'Black Cherry Soda' UNK and his 'Jack the Ripper' (which is comprised of a lineup of great strains including Jack Herer, Purple Haze and Romulan).  TGA doesn't have a feminized seed option in their lineup so with my small-scale type of grow, I ran the risk of getting a male and ending up with nothing - but my curiosity in this strain got the best of me.  The past few years have seen my grow-room make the big switch from soil to hydro as I tried out some waterfarm units.  With limited time and space, only one plant was grown out - but superior genetics (and some good luck) proved that was all that was needed to obtain some truly impressive results!  Fun fact: The Ace Of Spades was appropriately released on April 20th, 2011 (4/20)

Setup

With the space that I have and the size of plants achieved with the waterfarms, I'm able to run two units under 2 separate 600w HPS cool-tube/reflector lights. With a carbon-filter drawing in air from within my tent it filters out the odor and ducts it through both cool-tubes and out through the top of the tent.  For fresh air and circulation, I've got a small inline fan in the bottom corner of the tent pulling air in and another fan in the middle of the tent keeping things moving as well.  Temperatures during lights-on are kept to the 75-79 degree range this way.  The Ace is sharing the 7x4 ft footprint in my tent with one other waterfarm and each plant has its own 600w HPS light.   I use waterfarms that are a hybrid drip / DWC system, and use hydroton as a medium.  

Helpful tip:  Replace your grow light bulbs once per year for indoor grows in a perpetual grow-room, this will ensure you're not loosing lumens from used HID bulbs.

Germination and Seedlings

Using the paper-towel method, the seed took about 3 days to crack.  Most of the time my seeds take about 2 days, but this one appeared to have a thicker shell.  I've had almost 100% success with germinating seeds in a wet paper-towel.  After about a 1 day soak in a shot-glass of filtered water, the seed goes into the moistened paper-towel and in a zip-lock baggie (not closed all the way) and wrapped in a handkerchief.  I then put the handkerchief onto a dark, warm surface, like the top of my computer sub-woofer speaker, and it works like a charm!

This seedling got off to a bit of a slow start and had some early leaf damage which I suspect was due to the hydroton in the waterfarm being fresh and unused.  I've found that once your hydroton has been through one grow, it's easier to start seeds in it as it's 'seasoned' from having had water flowing through it for a few months – this can often cause plants to suffer through some early leaf damage even before the roots have made it all the way down through to the water in the reservoir of the waterfarm.  I had a Vanilla Kush plant in another waterfarm next to this one and it was almost twice the size of the AoS at about 2 weeks from germination. Now that the plant's root had reached the water in the lower reservoir through the hydroton, things really started to get into gear.

Veg Stage

The AoS proved to be a very flexible but strong plant in veg.  As soon as this plant was 6 inches in height I started low stress training.  The first 4-5 weeks included some extensive LST control and the plant really opened up.  By the end of week 6 of veg, this plant was looking amazing and definitely ready to start flowering.  We had around 15 nice tops coming in distinctively at this point and you could already see a nice even canopy developing.  All the way up until now, I hadn't noticed any serious deficiencies on the AoS and it was a very 'happy and healthy' looking plant!  Over these first 6 weeks we slowly increased the nutrient PPM from 150 to about 500.  I use GH's Flora Nova Bloom nutrient throughout my grows and using one nutrient at different levels, as needed at the different parts of the grow, has given me awesome results.  I also supplemented my last few weeks of res fills in veg with a small amount of GH's Flora Micro to give it a bit of an extra nitrogen boost before going into flower.

Flowering Stage

There were early signs of female flowers in this strain, showing obvious white hairs at around the 5th week of veg, but I didn't change my lights to 12/12 until just past the 6 week mark.  The LST tie-downs were mostly removed at this point and the already nice canopy was looking even better - even without a scrog screen to manage the tops.  The typical first two weeks of flowering showed some nice stretch, but nothing like some other strains that have more sativa in them.  At the end of the first week of flowering, I did some fairly aggressive super-cropping by twisting and pinching all of the tops (about 4-6 inches from the top on each). I've had great success with all of my grows using this method as it both limits the stretch during this period of the grow and ultimately gives some 'heavier' buds.  My theory is that due to the high level of growth at this point, the stem-stress causes the plant to focus on repairing the pinched stems and thereby providing more of that 'growth spurt' energy to those parts of the plant.  That's why I try to super-crop in these locations of the tops, as further down the road it provides buds that fill-out better, all the way down the stem.  Upon weeks 3 and 4 of flower, the buds really began to take off and show their stuff.  The leaf structure was showing some heavy indica signs with nice, dark, wide leaves and thick healthy stems. At week 6, the developing buds were really starting to show a strong purple-pinkish colour as well, together with a bit of lime-green - a truly beautiful plant. According to the parentage of this strain, the phenotype I apparently had was the Black-Cherry Soda dominant one, showing a shorter, thicker, heavier stature – other phenotypes with heavier Jack the Ripper influence being greener, taller looking plants.  The smell in my grow tent was a back and forth mix of berries (from the AoS) and lemony-pine (from the Vanilla Kush) and the frostiness just seemed to keep building more and more on this plant!

Harvest

By the end of week 8 of flowering, we were seeing enough amber trichs on this girl to pull the plug and start chopping.  The last two weeks of flower allowed us enough time to bring the PPMs down to about 250 and the big healthy fan leaves faded out nicely right before we began harvest.  Some beautiful purplish solid buds had established on this plant which were super-sticky and frosted with orange hairs.  Trimming and manicuring took us almost an entire weekend. Maybe I'm slow, but I tend to spend extra time manicuring my buds, and keep all of the sugar-leaves and popcorn buds (small non-manicurable buds from the lower stalks and branches of the plant) for making BHO, cannabis-oil and canna-butter. Our dry climate here required us to only need a 5-day hang-dry before splitting our buds, weighing them and dividing them into mason jars to begin the curing process. This plant ended up yielding over 7 ounces of dried, sticky product. 

Cured Product

After a few months of curing, the AoS reached a nice point where it's moisture content was just perfect and broke up beautifully in our herb-grinder.  It produced that satisfying 'chill' and keen interest when taking a sniff of freshly ground sweet cannabis. Having kept all of our 'popcorn' buds from this plant in an aerated paper-bag stored in the deep-freeze, we soon discovered that those buds which were thought to be destined for oil and butter, would instead be completely smokable!  This technically added another ounce or so to our total yield.

Smoke Report

One of the things Subcool uses to describe the smell of the Ace of Spades is blue sex-wax – I think this is what best describes what we ended up getting from this heavy Black Cherry Soda phenotype; a very deep, concentrated berry smell.  The taste is difficult to explain as it's fruity, but very strong when smoked in joint form.  Vaporizing seemed to be the way to go with this strain, as we experienced some extremely tasty and pleasant-smoking tokes from the AoS.  As for the effect, we noticed this one to be an immediately 'heavy' head and body stone – very relaxing.  Late in its cure however, we noticed the AoS would not couch-lock us, but rather act as quite a motivational high when used during the day, and great to use on a weekend to easily complete otherwise bothersome chores.  We also discovered that, when used as an evening smoke, the AoS will guarantee you an amazing night's sleep – my wife thoroughly enjoyed medicating with this strain in the evenings for this reason.

Overview

It was truly a privilege to grow this strain as the true brilliance and quality of TGA's genetics really comes through here.  Looking like this at only 8 weeks of flower is an impressive thing indeed, with most quality of this level requiring closer to 10 weeks for other strains.  With minimal feeding, this plant stayed remarkably healthy in all stages of growth and we didn't exceed 1000 PPMs of nutrient by much in flower as she didn't show any signs of needing more.  It was easy to leach and flush the plant in the last 2 weeks of flower because of this and we ended up with a nice, potent, tasty result.  Being a 70/30 Indica/Sativa split, this plant makes a great candidate for producing cannabis-oil due to the heavily crystal-coated buds and leaves.

Words and pictures by Dayzt

 First published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Posted in Cannabis News

An opportunity in the great outdoors

Many self-sufficient growers prefer to grow their stash of recreational or medical pot indoors.  It allows a controlled environment, a wide choice of varieties and a reasonably predictable way of producing your pot.   But an increasing number of indoor growers are finding that growing a few outdoor plants can be just as much fun and, with the right planning it can be a great way to get a top quality autumn harvest.  But for those that have never grown outdoors before there are a few things to consider.

Why grow outdoors?

Outdoor growing can be done in a quiet sunny spot of your garden if it is concealed and safe.  If you are lucky enough to have a secure private greenhouse then you can really have some fun.  But most outdoor growers often spend time to find a secluded, sunny and private plot in the countryside.  Finding the right spot is often the hardest part of successful outdoor growing. Google Earth is an ideal tool but it has to be supplemented by hard work, which means walking and trekking to see the spot with your own eyes.  And then the hard work often begins, many successful outdoor growers spend time improving their plot and the soil.  But outdoor growing has some real advantages and for many growers it is their preferred way of growing.  The costs are low – the sun does the hard work, you just need to prepare the plot and provide the seedlings.  The risks are low – the only real risks are bringing seedlings to the site and bringing your stash home with you.  The rewards are high – even in a poor UK summer it is quite possible to regularly harvest 4-5 ounces++ from individual plants, and if you grow a real monster even higher yields are possible.

Why don’t more people grow outdoors?

There are two main reasons that people are reticent to try outdoor growing.  For those that have never done it before there is the challenge of finding and developing a good plot.  This can be tricky, but once an outdoor grower (or ‘guerrilla grower’) finds a good plot it will often provide years of service.  The other reason growers are reluctant to venture outdoors is simply a lack of experience doing so.  After the summer of 2012 it is easy to understand the sceptical view that growing outdoors is a mugs game.  But with a good grow plot, and a little bit of legwork it is really easy to be self sufficient with just a few outdoor plants.

How many plots is enough?

Indoor growers often germinate a few feminized seeds and expect more-or-less every one of them to bloom into mature females.  Outdoor growers often allow for the fact that some plants will succumb to the weather, and some plots will be compromised and lost.  For that reason the outdoor growers often has several locations to grow in, and will have few plants in each.  Having all your eggs in one basket is not an ideal position for the outdoor grower, it only takes one problem and you could lose the lot.  Far better to spread the risk and have several grow locations with a couple of plants in each.  Many guerrilla growers spend years accumulating a selection of grow locations, and many hours of hard work optimising conditions in each.  But perhaps the most important plot you will ever find is your first one, that is the one that can show you just how easy and satisfying it is to grow your own pot under mother natures very own grow light in the sky.

Is outdoor pot any good?

This will sound like a silly question to those that have been growing outdoors for years.  But to the virgin outdoor grower it seems like a straight-forward question.  Some people have only ever smoked indoor-grown pot so the idea of growing good quality weed outdoors will have a question mark over it.  Many outdoor (and greenhouse) growers will tell you that pot grown under the sun has an extra ‘kick’ to it, they will say that growing naturally with sunlight allows a more complete spectrum of cannabinoids because cannabis evolved over millions of years to respond to natural sunlight.  So yes, outdoor grown cannabis can be every bit as good as indoor grown pot and some growers would argue it is better, or at least more natural. 

Few varieties will grow well outdoors

Many seedbanks have specialised in producing indoor varieties which combine quality with good yields.  But outdoor varieties often take many years of careful selective breeding with specially chosen genetics to produce varieties that are hardy enough to grow under borderline outdoor conditions.  The further away from the equator the more demanding the conditions and the tougher the genetics need to be.  It is far from easy to produce a solid, reliable outdoor variety that can cope with the worst of the North European climate.  Some seedbanks have been successful in their quest to produce tough and resilient outdoor genetics, but in reality the choice of dependable varieties is far smaller than the indoor grower has.   In Mediterranean climates many ‘indoor’ varieties can be grown successfully outdoors, but take these varieties into a cold and cloudy climate and most of them will be unable to ripen before winter arrives.  So the outdoor grower can’t successfully grow any variety, they are restricted to a relatively small number of varieties which have undergone years of work. 

Choosing the plot(s)

There is no substitute for getting your feet on the ground and walking the areas you are considering growing in.  Google Earth and other online mapping software will allow you to narrow down your choice of plots.  They may allow you to see how much sun your plot will receive, they will show you the nearest footpaths and parking.  They will give you an idea of potential concerns and hazards.  But you need to visit the plot yourself to see the lie of the land.  The best plots are often off the beaten track and in a spot where a normal walker, or dog-walker, would not find them.  Perhaps they are protected by brambles, ditches, a fallen tree, an earth bank.  Perhaps the only way to access them is by crawling or even wading.  Favourite locations include the inside of a large gorse or bramble patch, alongside disused railway lines, amongst the weeds that line rural rivers.   Some growers venture up hills and into woodland, others will look closely at sparsely occupied coastal regions.  Some will be prepared to drive an hour or more to find the remoteness they want, other growers will make the best of the grow opportunities in their immediate location.  Above all else, get your boots on and start looking for a sunny, sheltered and private spot. 

Preparing the plot

The best growers will often do their best to improve soil quality and fertility at the plots.  Compost can be carried in a rucksack, as can fertilisers such as manure, worm castings, bat guano etc.  The ground can be dug over to improve soil structure and aeration.  Many guerrilla growers buy themselves a cheap garden fork and shovel which they can fit in a rucksack.  If the spade has a long handle the end can be sawn off with a hacksaw so that the spade can fit neatly in.  Some growers get army-surplus spades that can be folded down, or separated into different sections.  This allows them to navigate their way around the countryside without curious hikers asking why they have a shovel sticking out of their rucksack.  Some growers will plant groups of 1 or 2 seedlings, whereas others may feel more inclined to get 5 or more plants established at a given location.  The 2 most important criteria to outdoor growers are the sunnyness of the location and the privacy of it.  Soil quality is an important factor, but soil can be improved.  The main consideration is a plot which gets lots of direct sunlight and is unlikely to be noticed by anyone else.

Growing outdoors with feminized seed

Many growers will start the plants indoors at home and establish the seedlings for 2-3 weeks before planting outdoors.  Plants are at their most vulnerable when young, so give them a good start.  When planted outdoors growers will very often make a protective tube from chicken wire or plastic equivalent.  This can be pinned to the ground with a few tent pegs and it will protect the young plant from rabbits.  Slug pellets are often scattered around the plant to deter slugs and snails.  Deer are harder to deter, some growers tie fishing line around the perimeter of their plot, this won’t hurt deer but it will encourage them to graze elsewhere.  Growers often prefer feminized seed for outdoor growing since it allows them to avoid the hassle of revisiting the site to remove male plants.  For many outdoor growers the security of their plot is paramount, and many will only visit the plot once to plant and once to harvest.  This ensures that the plot is not compromised by paths through the undergrowth.  Varieties such as Dutch Passion’s Frisian Dew, Passion #1 and Durban Poison are ones which have become outdoor favourites, with Frisian Dew having perhaps the best reputation as the toughest of the tough.  Seedlings are often planted outdoors after the last frost in May or June, and harvested around October.

Growing outdoors with auto’s

Autoflowering varieties are becoming a popular choice with outdoor and greenhouse growers.  These varieties will probably not yield quite as much as traditional varieties, but they have the advantage of requiring just 11 weeks from germination to harvest.  Again, seedlings are often started indoors under 24 hour light and planted outdoors once they are 2-3 weeks old after the last frost, typically mid-May or June in the UK/Northern Europe.  Auto’s allows the outdoor grower the chance to harvest their first weed as early as August, well grown auto’s will often produce 50-100g of dry buds per plant.  Mediterranean growers often start their first outdoor auto’s in March and will get 3 successive crops.  Auto’s are often feminized (‘Autofem’s) and this allows growers to plant their 2-week old seedlings and return only once to harvest them a couple of months later.  AutoFrisian Dew is Dutch Passion’s ‘specialist’ outdoor auto.  These days a good quality modern auto from a decent seedbank will produce great quality pot, just as good as traditional varieties.

Harvesting time!

The best part, and the most nervous, part of an outdoor grow in going to the plants to chop them down.  Hopefully all the plants are there and mature!  Most growers chop the plants down, remove the buds and seal them inside a couple of layers of plastic to transport home for drying.  There are few feelings as satisfying as enjoying the long evenings of winter with an excess of quality pot which was produced more-or-less for free.

Keeping the plot tidy

Once winter arrives the foliage that may have acted as a privacy screen for your plot will die back.  For that reason the responsible guerrilla will tidy their plot before he leaves, removing any litter, tools etc so that the plot will remain intact for the next years grow.

And that is it!  In its simplest form outdoor growing is a great way to supplement your pot requirements.  The most difficult part is selecting your plot for your first successful grow.  After that you will have found a great new hobby which may even allow you to find a wider love of the great outdoors.  Choose proven outdoor genetics from a seedbank you trust and good luck!

Words and pictures by Tony at Dutch Passion

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Posted in Cannabis News

Silver Kush Cultivation Report

2017-01-30 12:57:09

DNA Genetics strain story: Silver Kush - Legendary oldschool trio encounters OG Kush

Once again, DNA Genetics’ omnipotent OG Kush #18 male was looking for a new wife, this time capturing and pollinating Silver Bubble (a mix of 1/4 Northern Lights, 1/4 Skunk and 1/2 Haze), in order to launch this legendary old-school trio strain into a new orbit – a Kush orbit! The vigorous result is called Silver Kush (feminised seeds only) which is a new cross released by DNA’s Californian partner breeder collective Reserva Privada. Silver Bubble has been very popular in Amsterdam for ten years already and the OG #18 quickly rose to prominence after having served as a crossing parent for a a couple of outstanding hybrids and its release by DNA/Reserva Privada as its own strain. Their offspring, Silver Kush, is described as a “strong sativa dominant hybrid” (70/30 sativa/indica) delivering an uplifting high and, thanks to the OG #18, blessed with a great deal of medicinal power. High yields of 450-550 g/m2 can be expected, to be achieved in only nine weeks of flowering.

Silver Kush immediately was a hot candidate for Mr. Power-Planter’s grow room and he sowed a complete package of six feminised seeds into jiffy pots which all germinated quickly and healthily. Together with other plants placed under a 600 watts metal halide lamp, the seedlings naturally stretched a bit at first but soon developed the first set of serrated leaves and shortly after that also the first set of three-fingered leaves. Then growth became noticeably more compact, with the leaves coloured dark green; despite the 70% sativa pedigree, the OG #18 came through here. Mr. Power-Planter let the plants remain in the vegetative stage for four weeks (after some days they had been transplanted into 6.5 litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix soil). Within this time the six plants produced a lot of side branches and arrived at heights of about 63-80 cm, all looking very similar in terms of growth pattern the shape of which was reminiscent of cottonwood.

Then Mr. Power-Planter triggered flowering by switching the daily light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 hours (also replacing the MH bulb by a 600 watt HPS one) and the six Silver Kush plants did respond to that within 7-9 days, starting to develop the first white female pre-flowers. During the first four weeks of flowering, there was a considerable ongoing stretching effect that led to a bit more space between internodes and flower production had gotten into full gear, with great looking dense nuggets full of white hairs emerging from the main stems and side branches. What particularly stroked the eye was the fact that resin production had a very early and vivid onset, already occurring after one month of flowering the buds were trichome-laden with a silvery white appearance and sported medium to big calyxes. Mr. Power-Planter was very confident Silver Kush would prove to be a super resinous strain in the end.

In the following weeks of flowering it was confirmed that the Silver Kush buds were developing quite a high calyx-to-leaf ratio on most of the plants, so the influence of Silver Bubble on the budding pattern was obvious. The flower clusters were becoming very tight and extremely resin-covered indeed, a real pleasure to look at and gently touch for Mr. Power-Planter but his nose was also captivated by the six plants that gave off a wonderfully deep, rich, Kush-dominant aroma. After about 7.5 weeks of flowering, almost 50% of the flower hairs had turned orange and the plants were obviously getting on the home stretch in the remaining 1-1.5 weeks. The calyxes kept on swelling and became even more sticky, jewelled with dense white resin carpets (just like large parts of the flower leaves), and that kushy smell meanwhile was overwhelming. In the end, the six Silver Kush plants had reached heights of 95-116 cm, which was considered fairly homogeneous by Mr. Power-Planter, and with finishing times of 59-64 days they proved to be pretty uniform in this regard too. After Mr. Power-Planter had harvested and dried them, the Silver Kush buds had turned into rock-hard silver nuggets that were spreading an intense kushy sweet and spicy scent. With his big storage glasses full of heavy Silver Kush nuggs in his hands, Mr. Power-Planter felt like having plundered a silver mine. He scaled the dry harvest, finding out that four of the six main top colas had produced weights of 25-31 grams which he felt was marvellous. The other buds of the plants weren’t scaled separately, so Mr. Power-Planter could only state an average yield per plant which amounted to 76.7 grams - An excellent outcome as the total was 460 grams per sqm.

The smoke’s flavour was awesome, with a lot of Kush spicyness and sweetness rounded off by hints of haze, brought in by the Silver Bubble, and an aromatic aftertaste that remained on the palate for a longer time. Silver Kush’s very strong and  intense high was affecting both body and soul, at first a mighty cerebral sativa buzz took possession of Mr. Power-Planter which after about an hour slided into a more calm feeling, leaning more towards the indica side of this strain and lasting for almost another hour. Altogether a deeply satisfying smoke experience for Mr. Power-Planter who needs extra potent strains for getting decently high. Silver Kush did fulfil all his expectations and to his mind this strain has successfully joined the great line of Kush strains developed by DNA Genetics.

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 105

Purchase DNA Genetics seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Serious 6 Strain Report

2017-01-30 12:40:18

The story of Serious 6

 

Serious 6 is the first new strain developed by Simon, the breeder and owner of Serious Seeds, in the last 10 years. This strain was developed from mixing genetics from Canada with Sativa-landraces from Africa through a time consuming process of selection and cross-breeding. The goal of this long selection process was to create an early-finishing Sativa type of plant which is very mold-resistant and will finish outdoors in the humid and cold Dutch climate at the end of September. In Holland this is an important date because after that time strong rains and winds start which will cause bud-rot in most varieties. With this plant we think we have reached that goal; in Holland the majority of the plants can be harvested at the end of September. Outdoors, in Spain, this will be much earlier and we estimate that most plants will be ready to harvest by the 15th of September or maybe even earlier!

 

We introduced Serious 6 for the first time at the Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam in November 2009 and she was greeted with much respect and love from the cannabis community; everybody wanted to get their hands on the seeds of this new strain.

We planned on releasing the seeds after that Cannabis Cup but the final indoor test for the variety was not good enough for Simon. He let a batch of indoor-plants flower for much longer than recommended (more than 3 weeks longer) and two of those plants showed one or two single male-bananas. This is a natural reaction of a sinsemilla plant at the end of her life-cycle when she feels threatened that she will die without producing seeds; although most cannabis plants will do this, because its a survival mechanism which has proven to be successful during the evolution of the cannabis plant, Simon said he will not release a plant that shows even the slightest hermaphroditic traits.

So we had to go back to the beginning and started to select for a different parent combination again.

Outdoor plants can only be tested once every year; during the summer season. Every summer for the last couple of years we have tested new parent combinations of the Serious 6, and therefore it took us so many years to create the plant that Simon desired.

Finally, after great results this summer, we feel this unique strain is ready to be released.

Outdoors she grows tall and slender like a true Sativa, with one main stem with side buds, not the christmastree-shaped plants which is more Indica-like. Despite the dutch outdoor climate the buds will grow few small leaves and build a particularly thick layer of crystals compared to other outdoor plants. Approximately half of the plants will show strikingly beautiful pink pistils, which can be seen in the photos next to this text. The pink pistils are only noticeable on the living plant as once the flowers ripen the pink hairs will turn to a normal brownish colour. At the end of the flowering cycle these pink colors are substituted by purple colors of the calyxes and leaves.

The Serious 6 is a very beautiful plant to have in the garden which is certainly one of the positive charecteristics for growers. We have noticed how much visitors loved the Serious 6 test plants from the looks alone, making remarks like, "Hey man, I want to grow this awesome plant in my garden!"

The Serious 6 is an almost pure Sativa with a short flowering time (about 8 weeks indoors) which gives also quick results indoors. Indoors she will fill up and produce dense long buds glistening with trichomes, spreading a very aromatic fragrance. The aroma of Serious 6 is a new combination of odours which cannot be compared to other cannabis varieties. She has a smell and taste that is different and new, and seems to be built up in layers; citric, anise and spicy are only a few of the recognizable aromas.

Her effect is a cristal clear head-high, once you smoke her you will get creative and active and you will want to do something creative like painting, writing or playing some music. The Serious 6 is not as strong as the other varieties in the Serious menu because we had to sacrifice strength for earlyness and mold resistence. People in Spain are lucky enough to be able to grow seeds of strong plants like AK-47, Bubble Gum, Chronic, White Russian or even Kali Mist outdoors, because in this climate they will finish without getting bud-rot. Growing the Serious 6 outside next to them, may have the advantage that the Serious 6 is ready to smoke while you wait for the other plants to finish flowering.

All in all this plant is perfectly suited for outdoor growers in a wide range of climates or for indoor growers who like a quick-finishing sativa. Serious 6 offers a very nice alternative to the wave of hard-hitting, couchlock Kush-strains that dominate the market today.

 Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 104

Posted in Cannabis News

White Berry Strain Report

2017-01-30 12:22:25

Test cultivation report - Paradise Seeds - White Berry (feminised)

White Berry was part of a „six-pack“ of new feminised Paradise Seeds strains released to the market in 2007. The strain had been called “Hashberry” during development, but was renamed by Paradise Seeds due to the fact that a strain of the same name was available on the seed market from another company already. Paradise Seeds managed to earn themselves a good name as a producer of reliable feminised seeds after having released their first feminised versions in 2005, made from classic Paradise strains such as Sensi Star, Dutch Dragon, Nebula or Sheherazade. Ever since they have been receiving a very positive feedback on their feminised strains from lots of growers worldwide who reported 100% femaleness.

Uniform and superior female plants and flowers

 Luc, the breeder of Paradise Seeds, is permanently working on feminised strains. A lot of precious and fruitful basic research on feminised seeds was done by Paradise Seeds in Switzerland several years ago. Back then, Paradise Seeds maintained huge breeding and production facilities in the Alp republic. The feminisation method used by Luc has proven to be highly reliable. Luc: “Our method is based on a scientific study on gender change in cannabis plants, dating back to the early eighties. Only if a specially selected female plant remains female even under stress, we will treat this plant in order to induce the production of stamina, the pollen of which is then used to fertilise appropriate sister plants. This method is called “selving”, and the result is feminised seeds that will produce uniform female plants. Under normal conditions, our feminised seeds will give you uniform and superior female plants and flowers. We believe they are much better than clones, as plants grown from seeds are stronger and more resilient.”  

The Jacky White strain had previously been tested by infamous German grower Mr. Power Planter in its feminised form, fully convincing him with excellent 100% female plants, there were no signs of hermaphrodism or maleness at all. So he decided to put feminised White Berry seeds to the test as well.

A single-cola dominance

As with all of his strains, Master Luc keeps the exact pedigrees of this strain a secret. So we can only speculate about the genetic source of White Berry’s “White” attribute… while one thing is for sure according to Luc – it’s not White Widow. Also because of White Berry’s short flowering time of 50 days, Mr. Power Planter was interested in this strain. However, there was very little space in his grow room at that time and he realised that he could cultivate only four White Berry plants in addition. The four seeds germinated well and Mr. Power Planter placed the seedlings into two litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix. They thrived well under two 115 watts MaxGrow Dual Spectrum lamps  and under a 400 watts Plantastar HPS respectively beginning from day 12. Then the plants were repotted again, this time into six litre pots. When Mr. Power Planter induced flowering by cutting down the light cycle from 18 to 12 hours, the four White Berry plants were moved under a 600 watts Osram NAV-T, sharing the cultivation area with several other plants. As stated by Paradise Seeds, their flowering reaction was very fast, indeed, with the first pre-flowers being visible after about a week. Their growth pattern also matched the breeder’s description, slender and medium in height, with a single-cola dominance. However, there were certain differences in height, one of the plants was about 25-30% taller

Amazing: Like all the other Paradise strains

than the other three. During flowering, the upper foliage of the plants turned purple and red, giving them a remarkable beautiful look, all the more in combination with the tremendous layers of white resin that had built up during flowering. These four White Berry plants really deserved their “white” attribute, oozing with resin. In addition, the flower structure was impressively dense and tight, also exhibiting a high calyx-to-leaf ratio that would make harvest work very fast and comfortable. Their sweet and fruity berry perfume was a sheer pleasure to Mr. Power Planter’s nose. Once again, he couldn’t find any male flowering on the plants, they all turned out to be purely female. However, one has to concede that the rather small number of four plants was not that representative. With an end height of 65-85 centimetres, the plants had remained small and medium-sized, being easy to handle. Their yield was 24-30 grams, a very solid and satisfying result for plants grown from seed and cultivated on soil. Flowering lasted a little bit longer than stated by Paradise Seeds (50 days), but 50-55 days are clearly within the range of tolerance.

Purple and red colours

Paradise Seeds promises that “White Berry’s hybridised genetics create a complex and versatile smoke, with the typical result being a crystalline sativa head high”. But the smoker should also be aware that “when smoked in higher quantities, an Indica-style body stone comes forward”. So Paradise Seeds come to the conclusion that “tokers who smoke lightly throughout the day, but want a deeper stone at night, may find that White Berry meets all their needs in one attractive, easy-growing package.” Well, Mr. Power Planter found out that all these information proved to be true. The dry White Berry buds effected a strong and long-lasting uplifting high when smoked in moderate amounts, and made him more kind of stoned when smoking a lot of them. But this is pretty normal, isn’t it? We all end up stoned after having enjoyed the Green to the fullest... White Berry`s taste was sweet`n fruity and somewhat berry-like, indeed, very delicious.

On the whole, once again a reliable high-quality feminised strain from Paradise Seeds. Amazing: Like all the other Paradise strains, White Berry can be grown outdoors, too, ripening already at the beginning of October under natural light. The colours must be incredible then, regarding the fancy purple and red colours White Berry exhibited even indoors…

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 104

Purchase Whiteberry seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Original and Best

2017-01-30 12:09:14

Original And Best - Why are some of the classic pot varieties still going strong decades after they were first released?

The enduring appeal of time-honoured classic cannabis varieties continues to surprise many people in the cannabis industry.  Some of the most famous and best selling varieties today can be traced back to the 1980’s and earlier.  White Widow, Orange Bud, Blueberry, Mazar etc are some of the original classic lines that come to mind when we think of the best strains of yesteryear, no doubt you will have a few personal favourites of your own to add to that list.  Quite a few of the established seedbanks will tell you that they are pleasantly surprised to see the continued popularity of their ‘classic’ cannabis strains.  This is despite lots of work to bring out new varieties and lots of time and money spent travelling the world looking for fresh new genetics.

One of the consistent messages we hear from growers, head-shop owners and seed-resellers is that there are too many ‘ordinary’ and bland cannabis varieties on the market today.  Hybrids, and hybrids of hybrids, the problem is that no-one really knows where they came from, not even the breeders themselves. 

We hear a lot of people asking for some of the retro-varieties to be re-introduced, often growers have original seedbank catalogues from the 1980’s and they want to know what has happened to their old favourite varieties.  In the case of Dutch Passion all of our work remains safely stored away in several deep-freeze genebanks.  We use several locations to store our ‘legacy’ seeds for two reasons.  Firstly it is safer if the genetics are spread across different locations.  Secondly, we have so many seeds from various stages of numerous original breeding projects that there are too many for a single location.  In some cases we have several thousand seeds from a single part of a single project conducted decades ago, yet we are now so glad that we did keep these seeds when so many other people simply threw them away or sold them without thinking about the future. 

Although Dutch Passion began selling seeds in the 1980’s our breeding work, seed stock and genebank date back to the 1970’s.  These seeds are priceless to us, they can never be replaced.  They are especially important because they are from pure original cannabis varieties at a time when there was very little cross-breeding taking place.  Contrast that with the modern situation where there are literally hundreds of new seed producers, many of them who simply take seeds of unknown origin from other seedbanks to hybridise and cross, not really sure what they have ended up with or what genetics they really have.

If you want a totally pure original version of e.g. Haze or Afghani where would you go?  Probably you have 2 choices, you either go exploring the relevant part of the world yourself looking for the best wild specimens (and try to bring them home), or you go to one of the original seedbanks.  If you are really lucky you will know a professional breeder with original cuttings/seeds but the average home-grower doesn’t know these people.

Those with the foresight to start their genebanks in the 70’s and 80’s have the seed equivalent of gold-dust when it comes to breeding.  It allows new plants to be grown, plants that can be guaranteed to be free from unwanted modern genetic contamination.  Of course germination rates from seeds that are 30-40 years old is low, but some seeds will always germinate.  The oldest seeds ever to be germinated are 2000 year old Judean Date Palm seeds which were found by archaeologists excavating King Herods Palace in Israel. 

Dutch Passion have pretty strict rules which govern how many of our seeds we can recall from our genebank, we have to balance the importance of ongoing breeding work with the fact that the seeds themselves can never be replaced.  The difficulty is that you often need several hundred very old seeds to get a viable breeding program going from a small number of seedlings.   Breeding with original genetics is a serious business and you can’t afford mistakes.

One example of a recent reintroduction of an original is our pure indica Night Queen variety.  Night Queen was hugely popular in the early days of the Dutch Cannabis scene but fell out of popularity when indoor growing took off in the 1990’s and more exotic tropical varieties were able to be grown indoors for the first time.  Night Queen was retired to the genebank but we were often asked to re-introduce her.  In 2012 we did introduce her, but only because we were able to work decades-old original seed stock.  We are also re-introducing Blue Velvet following repeated requests.  Blue Velvet is a sister of Blueberry and comes from the 1990’s collaboration between Dutch Passion and DJ Short.  Again Blue Velvet is a reintroduction made possible only because original seeds were carefully stored for later use. 

 

So why do some of the older legendary varieties remain so popular with the self-sufficient medical and recreational home-growers?  One reason has to be the fact that the older varieties have had many years to be stabilised by breeders who know the varieties intimately and can assure a reliable and predictable performance.  The safety of growing a best-selling variety from an established seedbank is an important factor that influences seed sales.  The average home-grower often grows around 10-20 plants over the course of a year, sometimes less than that.  You can see the logic from their viewpoint, the preference to select ‘safe’ choices for their grow-rooms rather than take a perceived risk with an unproven variety from a newer seedbank.

Without doubt there is also a strong nostalgia value associated with some of the old classics.  After 25+ years in the business of supplying seeds and speaking on a daily basis with customers, re-sellers and head-shop owners around Europe we get a good picture of the seed market for the home-grower.  There are lots of growers that rarely grow any varieties outside of a small group of their personal favourites.  It’s a strange business to be in.  You can spend weeks and even months looking for new genetics from different parts of the world and then spend years to bring them to market only to find your customers are happy to stick to their old favourites.

Some customers have been growing the same 3 or 4 varieties for years and see no purpose in risking a change even though there may be some new varieties which we feel quite sure they would like.  In some cases we have offered free seeds to regular customers to try, yet the customer will still insist that they are content with their existing varieties.  It sounds a bit weird, but for some home-growers the best way to guarantee the quality of their future crop is to stick with their most trusted varieties, why change a winning formula?  We see the same thing in the new market for AutoFem seeds.  AutoMazar is the best selling auto in our collection but that is probably because it was also one of the first; we have lots of customers that refuse to try growing other auto’s because they are happy with AutoMazar.  Perhaps in 10 years time we will be referring to AutoMazar as a classic original AutoFem.  One thing for sure is that we have stashed away thousands of AutoFem seeds to make sure we are prepared for whatever the future of AutoFem breeding may hold.

 

During the last 20 years there have been hundreds of seedbanks emerge in Holland, Spain, Canada, USA and almost everywhere else.  In that time there have been thousands of new varieties made commercially available.  Yet it is notoriously difficult for them to challenge the success of the established classics.  One reason may be the coffeeshop influence.  Many people walk into a coffeeshop during a holiday in Amsterdam and take a look at the menu, often the well known names are the ones that still sell the most, especially if they come from one of the top growers.  Varieties like Power Plant, Skunk #1 and White Widow are still a regular feature on the coffeeshop menu’s today many years after they were first released.  How many people have grown a variety primarily because they had a great first experience of it in a coffeeshop?    It must be thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands.

The fact that some of the original Dutch cannabis varieties are still going strong means that the genebanks are still alive with plenty of good original genetics.  Long may it continue.

Words and pictures by Tony at Dutch Passion

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 104

Posted in Cannabis News

MK Ultra Strain Report

2017-01-30 11:48:30

MK-Ultra - Hypnotist marijuana at its best

 

MK-Ultra’s strain naming goes back to a program of experimental trials with LSD conducted by the US government from the early 1950s until 1973 under the title of Project MKULTRA. It led to controversies due to the fact unwitting Americans and Canadians were used and exploited as test persons for this project. With T.H. Seeds’ MK-Ultra it’s a different approach, any willing growers and smokers can voluntarily take part in the grow and smoke experience provided by this award-winning strain so every ambitious cannabis aficionado can run his own private MK-Ultra experiment. But beware... its heavily hypnotising mental effect may force you to grow it again and again…

According to T.H. Seeds, MK-Ultra is blessed with “addictive qualities that cannot be underestimated” which is made possible by vast hypnotic indica power coming from the mighty cannabis genes involved: G-13 was married to LA’s finest, O.G. Kush, to produce a plant with thick and tight buds, heavily coated with resin glands and ripening within 8-9 weeks of flowering. MK-Ultra is furthermore characterised by a pine flavour that lingers on the palate for an age. She’s expected to grow 100-120 cm tall and yield up to 350 grams/m2.   

MK-Ultra received early honours when she was chosen as Best Indica at the 2003 High Times Cannabis Cup and a 2nd place was awarded in 2004. German grower Growolf felt highly attracted by MK’s profile and decided to conduct a botanical and psycho-active MK-Ultra experiment using a pack of five feminised seeds. He sowed the seeds into Jiffy pots and they quickly sprouted, enjoying a good start placed in a Secret Jardin 1 m2 grow box under a 250 Watts CFL at 18 hours of light per day. He planted the young seedlings into 11 litre pots filled with Bio Nova coco ground and after ten days moved them into his 6m2 grow room equipped with 4x 600Watts lamps (2x HPS, 2x MH / 4x HPS in the flowering stage) where a range of other more regular strains was already growing at a daily light cycle of 18 hours. The five MK-Ultra plants were adopting a very compact growth pattern; growing very uniformly with vigorous side branching, clearly pronouncing their share of sativa traits as well.

One week later Growolf induced flowering by switching the daily light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12. At that point in time the five plants measured 34-41 cm in height. They quickly responded to the reduced light cycle with all of them producing female pre-flowers one week after the switchover. During the first four weeks of flowering they kept on stretching, increasing in height by about 10-12 cm every week. Also, in terms of flowering behaviour, the five MK plants proved to be very homogeneous and they had produced lots of indica-style flower clusters along their main stems and side branches with resin production appearing vividly, so it all looked very promising. Bud formation became thick and tight in the following weeks of flowering and the plants were building quite impressive top colas and lots of excellent side buds with a high calyx-to-leaf ratio. They were increasingly oozing with resin, spreading a deliciously strong pine fuel odour, very much to the delight of Growolf.

After 57, 60 and 62 days of flowering the five plants had fully matured, perfectly in accordance with the flowering time of 8-9 weeks stated by T.H. Seeds. Growolf happily harvested his five marvellous MK-Ultra plants, the sticky buds of which had become really fat and super resinous in last weeks of flowering; densely coated by multiple silvery white layers of resin glands. Their heavy, most intense pine fuel odour alone had an almost anaesthetic and addictive effect on Growolf and he just couldn’t turn his nose away from those ripe fragrant buds; he was caught in a sort of natural, hypnotic aroma therapy act. In the end, the five plants had arrived at final heights of 76, 81, 84, 89 and 93 cm. When the MK harvest had been carefully dried, Growolf read a total yield of 286 grams from the scales i.e. the five plants had produced an average yield of almost 60 grams of superb MK nuggets per plant which he considered a very good outcome. In a future MK-Ultra grow he would leave the plants in the vegetative stage for 1-2 more weeks to obtain bigger plants and accordingly even higher yields.

Smoking the MK, in the form of a good fattie, quickly effected a mightily strong indica turn in Growolf’s head. Indeed, he felt kind of hypnotised in no time and also paralysed. After a few tokes he was nailed into his couch, being dazed but not confused. His inner server was widely shutting down and, with his mouth wide open, he watched a football match on TV. This most heavy effect would last for almost two hours and only the thrilling qualities of that match kept him from falling asleep. MK-Ultra’s taste was as delicious as expected - piney, sweet and with a long aftertaste.

So, Growolf’s own MK-Ultra experiment was a very positive one, yielding great results in any aspect - “This really is hypnotist marijuana at its best”, he enthused.

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity (G.B.I.)

Originally published in Weed World Magazine edition 104

Purchase MK Ultra seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

AK47 Fem vs Reg

2017-01-27 13:25:10

Serious Seeds: AK-47 regular vs feminised!

 

There are a couple of classic strains in the world of extra potent marijuana that have been around for a very long time, permanently fascinating both growers and smokers with their superb qualities, and having reached a legendary status. Serious Seeds’ AK-47 for sure is one of these outstanding evergreens. For Simon, owner and breeder of Serious Seeds, finding the unique AK-47 genetic profile was the rare case of a “lucky punch” every cannabis seed breeder dreams of. Back in 1992 already, after having tested thousands of experimental plants of different breeding lines, he finally achieved his goal of creating a high-quality sativa/indica strain with excellent overall properties and a lot of charisma - the legendary AK-47 was born. Although Simon keeps the exact pedigree of AK-47 a secret, like the composition of Coca Cola, he reveals that it was bred from Colombian, Mexican, Thai and Afghani seed stock, resulting in a 65:35 sativa/indica hybrid with predominating sativa traits.

In the course of time, AK-47 has won an impressive total of sixteen(!) prizes at several kinds of cannabis cups. The most recent of which were the victory of AK-47 in the sativa category of the Treating Yourself Expo 2010 in Toronto and the third place in the category Hybrid at the High Times Cannabis Cup 2011 in Amsterdam. The Treating Yourself Expo Cup was a seed company cup and was judged by a panel of 24 exemptees (patients with a governmental license to grow their own medical marijuana) using 12 Digital Volcanos. Another outstanding appreciation of AK-47: It was chosen “Plant of the year 2003” by High Times Magazine readers in December 2003. But also in the form of hashish, AK-47 yielded big success for Serious Seeds, for example when it took the first prize at the High Life Cup Barcelona 2005 in the hash category.

Simon describes AK-47 as follows: “This easy to grow plant is a living legend and our most popular. Medium height, produces good yields quite quickly. Extremely strong odour (take extra care!) and long lasting indica dominant high. AK-47 plants have a short flowering period for a sativa, producing compact, not too leafy buds gleaming with a coat of resin crystals. The name was given not out of any idea of violence, but more in association with its “one hit wonder” effect. An independent lab test showed 21.5% THC in the samples at the Cannabis Cup 1999, the highest of all entries that year. Medicinal plant.” Simon recommends a 5-10 days vegetative clone growth period. AK-47 delivers yields of 350-500 g/m2, has a flowering time of 53-63 days and reaches maturity around 15 Oct. under natural light. It has a sativa typical high calyx-to-leaf ratio which means lots of flowers and only a few leaves. The single AK calyx size tends to be unusually large, resulting in fat clusters grouping together very decoratively and densely, contributing to the trade-mark appearance of AK-47. These compact nuggs ooze copious amounts of glistening trichomes and break up nicely, leaving plenty of resinous crystals on your fingers, unleashing an unusually strong, sweet and fruity aroma. There’s so much resin on AK-47 it could also carry the attribute “white” in its strain name.

As Simon says, the AK`s name shall by no means be understood as being intended aggressively or following any military tradition, but rather express the special effect that sets in when one smokes the AK, sometimes proving as a real “one hit wonder”, made possible by that extraordinarily high THC content mentioned. AK-47 is also famous for outstanding results on hydroponic mediums, as reported by many international growers, and has also been very successfully grown outdoors in Spain in the past.

Since last year, AK-47 is also available in the form of feminised seeds. That made famous grower Mr. Power Planter curious, and he decided to run a great project: A head to head comparison of both regular and feminised AK-47 seeds. Never before such a direct comparison has been reported about in any magazine, so here it is, Serious Seeds facing the challenge of letting their own regular and feminised seeds competing with one another! Would the feminised AK-47 seeds prove to be likewise brilliant as their long established regular counterparts?

Mr. Power sowed a full package of eleven regular AK-47 seeds and five feminised ones. Germination proceeded very well, and after four days, all of the seeds had sprouted and reached the soil’s surface. Right from the start, they were grown under three 600 W ‘Green Bud’ metal halide lamps equipped with adjust-a-wings reflectors (without spreaders), so they had abundant light to thrive and prosper. One week after germination, the plants were transplanted into 11 litre containers filled with Plagron Standard soil mix. All of the 16 plants did very well, growing very compact with a quick onset of side branch development and dark green leaves. Also, they were very homogeneous, both in their own plant group and also femi and regular plants compared to one another. Three and a half weeks after germination, Mr. Power Planter induced flowering by reducing the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 hours of light, at the same time replacing the metal halide lamps with three 600 W Osram HPS lamps. Within ten days, all of the plants had revealed their gender, with five of the eleven regular AK-47 plants being males that were removed. And as expected, the five femi plants did present only female preflowers. In the first weeks of flowering though it was the case that the femi AK plants obviously reacted a bit slower to the flowering period, the regular plants were getting somewhat faster into vivid flower production. Otherwise, from a growth pattern point of view, both the regular and femi plants still had the same appearance. And soon all the eleven plants were about building very fat main colas, but also many impressive side tops in addition. The femi plants were about one week behind in their flower development, but also flowering in a most promising way. A very strong sweet odour took possession of the grow room, arising from the richness of massive resin layers on both the femi and regular plants. All the eleven plants were literally oozing with resin when getting near to maturity, having appeared whiter and whiter every single flowering week. Also the flower structure was of outstanding quality, these buds had an extremely high calyx-to-leaf ratio, very few flower leaves, with the fewest leaves on the top colas of each branch. The buds consisted of many thick, dense and rock-hard, chubby round flower clusters – that trademark AK-47 look - and also those many smaller side buds along the branches were made like that, giving Mr. Power Planter any reason to expect a true heavy-weight harvest.

The six regular AK-47 plants were harvested on flowering day 63, just in time with the 56-63 days flowering time window stated by Serious Seeds. They had produced tremendously fat main and side colas from the bottom to the top, with some of the huge main colas measuring more than 30 cm in length - really big impressive chunks! The flower structure of these six plants was identical or in parts at least very similar. And the same was true for their rich resin amounts. In the end, they measured between 85 and 102 cm in height, while five of them were almost similarly tall (85-93 cm), only one single lady (102 cm) towered the other plants a little bit.

As for the five feminised AK plants, they did require about one extra flowering week and were harvested after 69 days. They had grown lower than their regular counterparts, measuring between 65-85 cm in height only (with three plants of about 75 cm height), apart from one plant that was subject to a much stronger sativa influence and growing accordingly taller, but it was bent down at a certain early point of flowering. But the femi plants’ side branches were longer than those of the regular plants for the most part, while their fabulous fat flower structure and copious resin amounts were equal to them, with one difference though: The side buds, even the lowest ones, were even somewhat bigger, quite amazing! Both the regular and femi plants had the same powerful aroma, sweet, but quite mild.

The five femi AK-47 plants didn’t show any male flowers until the very end, so another Serious femi strain did pass the fem exam most successfully. All the eleven plants were a quick pleasure to harvest, very little work was involved due to the unusually high calyx-to-leaf ratio of the buds. After the buds had been carefully dried and slightly fermented, Mr. Power Planter put them on the scales, and it was no wonder to him it turned out the femi AK-47 buds had achieved an even higher average yield than their regular counterparts: 86, 98, 99, 114 and 120 grams = 103.4 grams/plant, while the regular buds yielded 73, 86, 87, 95, 98 and 106 grams = 91 grams/plant. This was the first time a deeply impressed Mr. Power Planter experienced that a feminised version of a certain strain really delivered a higher yield than its regular counterpart. Often officially promised, but never the case in practice before. So that extra week of flowering the femi plants took was really worth the wait to Mr. Power Planter.

The deliciously smelling, very silver dried buds were of the highest order, a sheer pleasure to look at and smoke. No difference between regular and femi buds was found by Mr. Power Planter in terms of odour, aroma and high. While AK is a strain that doesn’t have the most intense taste – it tastes mild and slightly sweet, with a slight sandalwood undertone, but not very charismatic – its high proved to be quite a sensation: It was very complex and extremely strong, clearly pronouncing elements of both sides of the cannabis spectrum – at the same time! Under the influence of a good deal of indica power, Mr. Power Planter felt like having to take a seat, but he simultaneously felt clear and euphoric in the head and didn’t get ‘hypnotised’, totally blasted away by the indica stone. That made him a little bit confused at first, but after a while he liked that state a lot and highly estimated that ultra strong and complex effect the AK-47 strain has.

All together, Mr. Power Planter was stunned about the superb outcome of both the regular and feminised AK-47 plants, he considers AK one of the best strains ever bred – and Mr. Power Planter has grown a pretty damn lot of strains in his life. And of course those outstanding femi plants did particularly impress him with their overall quality and even higher yield than the regular ones.

Also ‘The Doc’ grew two feminised AK-47 plants by the way, and his results turned out to be likewise impressive, with the two plants looking precisely like the ones of Mr. Power Planter, and also their yield, aroma and high was likewise spectacular.

Like many other evergreens, AK-47 has been adopted many times by other seed banks, and either been used as a component for creating a “new” strain or just been plainly copied. But one thing is for sure about Serious Seeds’ AK-47: You can`t beat the real thing!

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity

First published in Weed World Magazine edition 103

Purchase (both feminised and regular) AK47 seeds from our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

Auto White Russian strain report

2017-01-27 13:15:13

Autoflowering White Russian #1 – Serious Seeds’ autoflowering premiere  

It took a while until Serious Seeds jumped onto the auto flowering wagon, with its own auto strain; such things always take a bit longer there, but of course the laudable reason for this is to be found in the high quality demand that Serious Seeds is committed to for the sake of the customer. They never get into a rush; don’t hastily throw poor or mediocre strains onto the market just to follow a current hype as fast as possible.

For a long time now, the auto flowering breeding experiments had been going on in the test gardens of Serious Seeds and it took Simon, the owner and breeder of Serious Seeds, more than two years to develop his very first auto strain, which is Autoflowering White Russian #1 (AWR #1).  This legendary strain with 22% THC, is a superb evergreen which ranks amongst the most potent strains there are, being mostly indica cross of Serious Seeds’ own AK-47 and the famous White Widow. Simon chose Joint Doctor’s Lowryder #2 as a breeding partner for White Russian to create Autoflowering White Russian #1 (Lowryder #2 x White Russian). The addition “#1” indicates that Serious Seeds aims at advancing this strain in the future, so Autoflowering White Russian #2 will follow one day and Simon honestly admits that AWR #1 isn’t perfect yet. While its flavor and potency are already excellent, it still produces two different phenotypes, one with a more airy flower cluster formation, yielding less than the second one, which has denser buds and is predominant, luckily. So yields can vary between 10-20 grams according to Serious Seeds, which may sound quite little compared to the auto strain harvest figures other seed banks are promising. But according to my experience, quite a lot of other auto strains do fall into the 10-20 grams category as well in truth… while Serious Seeds doesn’t promise any misleading figures. AWR #1 has a life cycle of 70-80 days from seed (after germination) to end and arrives at heights of between 70-100 cm. However, Serious Seeds puts much emphasis on the fact that using large pots right from the beginning is of the upmost importance for tapping into the full potential of AWR #1. While of course also other factors such as light and temperature have an influence on this, he has found out in two big pot comparison cultivation experiments that for bigger heights and yields, it is crucial to use big pots, e.g. 9 litres and also to directly plant germinated seeds into a big pot and not into a small pot first:

“In one grow we used small pots with soil first, when the plants had a few true leaves, they were transplanted into bigger pots, 9 litres. Final plant heights were around 40 cm mainly, some about 60 cm. But a second test of 80 seeds, which we put into the same 9 litre pots right after germination, yielded plants of generally 80-100 cm with some of 110-120 cm. This led me to believe that the response given from the taproot when it hits an impenetrable wall, (the bottom of a small pot) apparently directly influences the end height of the plant. Also, if the plants are root-bound in a small pot at an early stage already, flowering seems to set in earlier. But I still have to run a direct 50% small pots / 50% big pots head to head comparison to ultimately prove all this.”

The results of a German outdoor grower reconfirmed what Simon had found out, so using pots of at least 9 litres and direct seed planting is a rewarding thing and can be considered an essential factor already. The more light you give to the Autoflowering White Russian #1 the better the growth and bloom performance will be, so lights on all around the clock is recommended.

As for outdoor cultivation, Simon underlines that AWR #1 may be susceptible to mildew in periods of continuously rainy weather, recommending controlling the plants every day and possibly harvesting a bit earlier if there is mildew found and the plants are close to maturation.

Two other German growers, Mr. Power Planter and Ellis D, put Autoflowering White Russian #1 to the test this summer, both under natural light, in the garden and on the balcony respectively. However, Ellis D started his cultivation cycle three weeks earlier than Mr. Power-Planter, on June 2th. At that time he didn’t know about the rule to use big pots and not to transplant from smaller to bigger pots, nor did Mr. Power Planter. So Ellis D started three seeds in Jiffy pots and after germination, he planted the Jiffies into one-litre pots first, filled with seedling soil. As the weather was bad, cold and rainy, he decided to put the seedlings under two fluorescent lights when the weather was cloudy or rainy and only put them onto the balcony when there was sunshine. Also, he extended the photoperiod to about 22 hours by using the lights. He kept it like this for five weeks. In the meantime, after 12 days, Ellis D had transplanted them into 6.5 litre pots filled with Plagron Standard Mix soil. After three weeks, the three AWR #1 plants had grown very compact, measuring 18, 21 and 23 cm in height. At that point of time, all of them had produced their first female pre-flowers, so they were just about to enter into the flowering stage. After five weeks, the weather got much better with lots of sunshine and there was a good stable forecast for the following weeks as well, so the plants were solely grown on the balcony now. Both the flowering effect and sunshine encouraged the plants to keep on stretching a bit in the first three weeks of flowering, but at the age of six weeks, height growth seemed to have stopped, at a height of only 24, 30 and 33 cm, with short side branches, which as we know, was a result of the small pots Ellis D used in the beginning and the white blue spectrum of the fluorescent lights used in the first five weeks probably added to this.

But while the three AWR #1 plants were small in height, they were quite big in bud production, luckily! After eight weeks, i.e. five weeks of flowering, flower formation was already very dense and handsome, with the buds looking very much like indica, however, with a very appealing ratio of calyxes to leaves. And there was also a good amount of resin on the buds, spreading a fruity sweet scent. The medium plant though corresponded to the phenotype with a not so dense flower production, while equaling the others in terms of resin production. About two weeks later, when the plants had reached full maturity after life cycles of 71, 74 and 79 days, the three plants had built beautiful top colas of very respectable sizes, the two fatter ones even were chunky and rock-hard, reminding of the original White Russian strain. Ellis D was very pleased with the resin amounts produced by the three plants and their odor was fantastic, totally sweet and a bit fruity as well. Harvest work was done quickly and after Ellis D had dried the AWR #1 buds, he was not too surprised that the two better plants, in spite of their small height, with yields of 15 and 17 grams were ranging in the upper region of the harvest amount potential stated by Serious Seeds, thanks to an excellent bud structure. The third plant yielded 12 grams. Smoking the AWR #1 buds proved that this first Serious auto strain is amazingly potent, delivering a strong indica head and body turn that lasted for over an hour, not totally paralyzing Ellis D, but deeply relaxing him and in the end, when the effect was gone, also leaving him feeling kind of refreshed. Thumbs up also for the pleasantly sweet and mild taste.

Mr. Power Planter also grew three Autoflowering White Russian #1 plants, but in contrast to Ellis D, he directly planted the germinated seeds into 9 litre pots and he started three weeks later than his test colleague, which proved to be a good decision, as the weather improved two weeks later, getting warmer and brighter. Mr. Power Planter placed the AWR #1 plants into his south-facing garden one week after germination. Where they did very well, soon growing larger and taller than Ellis D’s plants, also with longer side branches. One plant was a bit smaller though than the other two. The auto flowering effect set in after 3-3.5 weeks and in the following weeks yielded surprisingly fat roundish top buds that also were pretty resinous, just like Ellis D’s plants, in fact, even a bit more, leading to a stronger odor but otherwise was very much the same, fruity sweet. Mr. Power Planter’s AWR #1 plants were ripe after 72, 74 and 79 days. In the end they had arrived at heights of 37, 49 and 55 cm, yielding accordingly more than Ellis D’s ones: 18, 21 and 23 grams, so the yield figures stated by Serious Seeds were even slightly exceeded by two plants, and the rule to use big pots and plant seeds directly into the end pot was once again confirmed.

Mr. Power-Planter also was impressed very much by the indica strength of Autoflowering White Russian #1, considering it the most potent auto strain smoke experience he has had so far. Now both Ellis D and Mr. Power Planter are looking forward to Auto Kali Mist (the next Serious auto strain to be released in the future, already under construction), Auto AK-47, Auto Bubble Gum and Auto Chronic...

Words and pictures by Green Born Identity

First published in Weed World Magazine edtition 102

Buy Auto White Russian seeds in our online store!

Posted in Cannabis News

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