Growing From Seed, Mendo Dope.
If you want to grow some of the biggest cannabis trees possible you have to start from seed.
The very first plant that my brother Bleezy and I had ever grown was from a bag seed that we planted in our mom’s backyard around 2006. It was so cool seeing this happen for the first time and watching one tiny seed sprout up from the soil naturally and turn into a beautiful plant. This was the start to our ganja farming journey and we were on the road to becoming the planters of the trees.
Over the years we have germinated new strains each season specifically searching for special, one of a kind phenos and of course to get the biggest plants we could. There are so many great reasons for growing a plant from seed.
One of the biggest reasons we grow from seed is for the pheno hunt. Pheno hunting gives you the chance to find something unique that nobody else has. It is very important these days for farms to have their own special in-house flavors that they can become known for and also to help them stand out from the rest.
Another reason we like growing from seed is because we are able to eliminate the chances of bringing any bugs or health issues into our garden. We have all got clones from a club or a friend that had spider mites or powdery mildew and it is not fun.
Taking out this factor can help relieve a lot of stress and save a lot of time that you would be spending on bringing a plant back to a healthy condition. Some of the bugs that farmers are having to deal with now are not easy to battle. Russet and Broad mites have the ability to winterize and live not only on the plant itself but also in the soil. When you bring an infested clone into your garden you are putting every other plant at risk. If you do decide to bring in a clone that could have issues be sure to quarantine it for a couple weeks minimum and treat it with sprays.
Another really cool thing about starting from seed is being able to grow monster plants. Although we have seen and grown some very big clones over the years we have always found that seed plants grow much bigger. When planting clones outdoors you aren’t able to start as early as seeds without them going into a pre-flowering stage.
Plants that are started from seed have a full life cycle to complete so they will not flower as fast as clones. Seeds are in tune with the season and they know not to flower even when the hours of sunlight aren’t at their longest. With the ability to start your grow sooner, seed starts have another huge advantage over clones. This is why the majority of clones you see are medium sized, bushy plants while seed plants are usually a lot more vigorous growing therefore, they end up much bigger.
Roots also play a major factor in your plants overall growth. What you’re seeing above ground with your plant is also happening under the soil in the root zone. Clones have what is called a “fibrous root system” which is characterized by lots of roots with similar sizes.
Seeds develop what is called a “taproot system” which is a large central dominant root that grows directly downward branching off smaller side roots. This tap root allows the plant to anchor better, find minerals and water from deeper into the ground which in return helps the plant become more drought tolerant.
Don’t forget that without seeds we would be stuck in the same bubble of strains because you need males to breed new genetics. If all of us grew from clones we would eventually all have the same flavors. Seeds give us a canvas to paint on and the opportunity to create. We have had the honor of working side by side with breeders like Subcool and Mark Greyshock who taught us a lot about what goes into the creation of making a new strain.
It can take years of work to make a great strain but when you do, you now have so many more varieties to work with and expand on. Breeding strains is more than just blending flavors together. The goal is to pass along special traits, improve strength and resistance, add resin production and sometimes just experiment to see what you can create. If we don’t grow from seed we miss out on the whole other side of the game.
When we set out to grow our big trees we usually start our seeds in mid February and plant around mid April or early May. Depending on where you are growing you will want to adjust as needed to ensure you have the best start possible.
As these seeds grow, tap roots will begin to penetrate deep into the soil and they will start to transform. You need to make sure you have plenty of room for these roots to spread so they can pull up as much water and nutrients as possible back to the plant. Training and supporting these big plants is a key part to keeping them on track and happy.
Seed plants usually have very large stalks and shoot off big branches which need support to keep from breaking under the extreme weight they put on. As they grow we continually top and spread branches to form a wider canopy using trellis and a double cage system. As you tie out branches light is able to penetrate to the inner layers helping improve the plants growth and overall strength. This technique will help you manipulate the plant to grow exactly how you want it to.
Don’t be tricked by the fancy bottle nutrients and bud hardeners. Of course you can pump chemicals into your plants to try and make them grow bigger but that isn’t what you need. It is all about genetics and timing. You can have beautiful dense frosty buds and big healthy green plants organically with the right strain and by planting at the perfect time.
Over the past couple of years we have been getting deeper into living soil and no till style growing and have seen nothing but great results. When these seed plants are rooted directly into the ground they have unlimited room to grow and spread into the native soil.
The bigger the roots the bigger the fruits. Our feeding regimens are a variety of dry amendments from kelp meal, crab meal, guanos and compost which is all done as a top dressing. By using cover crops and adding teas into the soil you can help improve your plants performance and push them to reach their maximum potential.
With trees reaching 12ft x 12ft+ and yielding over 10 lbs on one single plant. We have proven that you can grow monster plants organically. We have been cultivating in the Emerald Triangle for over 10 years learning from some of the best growers in the world so we can help spread this knowledge to every farmer.
Growing from seed is fun and exciting because you don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. It keeps our interests growing and we love seeing the different variations that seeds have to offer. If you have yet to grow a plant from seed we highly encourage you to give it a try and see what you can find.
Coming early 2021 we are planning the release of our next “How To Grow” DVD titled “No Till Revolution” which will feature new grow tips and techniques starting from the germination process to harvesting. You can also follow along with this year’s grow on YouTube, “The Green Dope Project” Season 3 to see more of what’s growing on in the garden with Mendo Dope and Greenshock Farms.
Written and Published By Mendo Dope in Weed World Magazine issue 147