To collect seeds, it’s important to wait until they are fully mature and ready for harvest. Cannabis with seeds takes longer to mature than cannabis that only produces flower.
Out in the open, pollen may be viable for one or two weeks under normal conditions. However, when frozen and sealed, it can last up to a year and even longer. Pollen is more unstable than seed and even under the most optimal conditions, it isn’t expected to have as long of a shelf life.
How to Collect Seeds
Male cannabis plants will produce pollen several weeks into their flowering cycle. Once their pollen sacs have opened up and released, the plant will begin to senesce and eventually die. It is important to collect pollen right as the sacs are beginning to open up, as this is the time pollen is most viable.
Cannabis is for the most part dioecious, meaning that the male and female reproductive organs exist on two separate plants (although hermaphroditic plants do occur). It is also a wind-pollinated plant, so pollen must be transferred from a male stamen to a female pistil via the air in order for pollination to occur and seeds to form.
For a cool environment, store seeds in either the refrigerator or freezer. Seeds need a consistent temperature without fluctuation to remain dormant long-term.
You’re probably thinking: grow plug? Propagator? Root stimulator? What?! No worries: germinating is 100% natural. All cannabis seeds really need is light and water. Check out my preferred germination method here, or follow this grow guide to plant germinated seeds directly into the soil. Find out what works best.
I continue the growth stage until I’m happy about plant size. It usually takes about three weeks, but my perfect size will differ from your ideal dimensions. It’s all up to you, and when you’re done, it’s time to start growing flower buds. Let’s start the flowering stage!
Baby Steps: Germinating Your Weed Seeds
Welcome to the sequel to my first post on growing cannabis at home. In it, I explained what you need to get set up for your very first weed grow. After that, you ordered your perfect seeds to work with. That means we’re all ready to roll up those sleeves and get growing! Your weed plants will go through a lot between the moment your seeds germinate and that first taste of your harvest. In this blog, I’ll discuss the stages you’ll go through before you get to enjoy the fruits of your very first cannabis grow at home!
SCReen Of Green (SCROG) instead accommodates fewer plants per square metre. Bending branches allows you to weave them through a screen or wire frame. That improves light distribution, allowing for SOG-like results using fewer plants in the same space.
Well, you’ve made it: at this point, your cannabis plants are in full bloom! Some strains have a 7-week flowering phase, while other flower for up to 14 weeks. Decide what you want before you start. Keep a tight grip on your grow climate in the flowering phase. If it gets too cold, bud development stagnates. High air humidity invites bud rot, mildew, and other pests to ruin your harvest.
Later down the line, these glands begin to become more cloudy or milky in colour. This change in complexion signifies increased cannabinoid production. Keep a close eye on these structures as this milky colour begins to dominate. Trichomes will reach maximum THC production when over half of the glands have become cloudy. Buds harvested during this time will provide a potent head high defined by euphoria and increased energy.
Calyxes begin to swell as buds near maturation. This is because they are preparing to hold seeds if they are successfully pollinated by a male plant. Routinely hover your magnifying tool over calyxes to track their size.
Carson Microbrite Plus Pocket Microscope
The next port of call is to get your bounty into the drying room. Drying cannabis is essential to removing moisture from the exterior of buds to prevent mould formation. Plus, smoking wet weed isn’t pleasant. Before you begin drying, dedicate a space to your operation. This can be a spare room or even the grow tent you used to cultivate. If you’ve left your flowers on branches, then you’ll need to set up a washing line to hang them from. Otherwise, simply place your buds on a drying rack.
Harvest time isn’t as simple as plucking buds and placing them on a drying rack. There are nuances involved, and the more precise you are with your timing, the better. Harvesting your buds at different moments will result in differing THC levels, and curing them at the right humidity will have a large impact on mould resistance.
Also called a partial harvest or staggered harvest, this method is so simple, you’ll be surprised that you didn’t think of it on your own. Simply clip off the individual buds that are ready, trim back the remaining branches and leaves as needed to expose less mature flowers to more light, and watch for signs that they’re ready to pick.