Marijuana seeds have many benefits when compared to growing from clones.
The most helpful benefit is that marijuana plants grown from seed do not introduce pests or problems into a garden like clones can.
Another benefit seedlings provide is health and vigor. Sometimes marijuana motherplants and/or clones can be old, tired, or even diseased without it showing visibly.
Many growers opt for feminized seeds, but I feel that you do best, and can have efficient seasons, using regular marijuana seeds.
One key factor for good germination is to select the right brands and strains of seeds.
When selecting seeds, do homework online and find out what marijuana strains the most successful marijuana growers are growing.
Find out which companies are creating the best seeds, and choose carefully.
A seed needs moisture and the right temperature so it can germinate.
I recommend germination temperatures between 70-80 degrees. Temperatures in that range tend to produce a higher ratio of female marijuana plants. Temps higher than that create a higher ratio of male marijuana plants.
Many marijuana growers still use the tried and true method of germinating cannabis seeds in a wet paper towel.
With the invention of rapid rooters, you can get better germination. They’re made from composted organic materials bonded together with plant-derived polymers.
These plugs are manufactured using a scientifically controlled process that yields large populations of beneficial microbes in the medium. We started using them to clone about three years ago and when I tried starting marijuana seeds in them, I knew I would never do it any other way.
I flip the cone-shaped rooting plugs upside down so they have more stability.
They’re made to fit into sectional trays, but that just adds cost and I try to keep things simple and low frills.
Wash your hands well with a disinfecting soap to remove any oils or contaminants before you handle marijuana seeds.
Make a small hole with a poker and place the seed point side up into the plug about ½ inch deep into the rooter.
Place the plugs into a domed container and place it under florescent lights. I like to use plastic/Tupperware shoe boxes stacked on top of each other. They’re low cost and easy to find at any department store. Not everyone has access to a hydroponics grow shop at all times.
Don’t let the cubes dry out. That is really the only thing to worry about.
It’s best not to drown them, but as long as they don’t dry completely I have always had great success using this method.
Once the marijuana seeds sprout, I transplant them into one gallon pots filled with good quality potting soil, but make sure the soil isn’t too nutrients-rich, or it will be too nutritionally “hot” for your plants and will damage your seedlings.
My company, Subcool TGA seeds, works hard to create unique marijuana strains and seeds that are guaranteed to have near a 100% germination rate and to grow out to be exactly what you wanted when you bought them.
Check out the many BigBudsMag.com articles written about TGA strains and TGA personnel, and my internet marijuana television program, Weed Nerd. I can’t vouch for other marijuana seed companies, and I often hear from growers that seeds from other companies have low germination rates and other problems.
What I can assure you is that my passion in live is to help more and more people grow fantastic marijuana, and this is what motivates TGA Subcool seed breeding.
Subcool’s Greatest Hits: Awesome Marijuana Cultivation Weed Nerd Videos
by Steve Davis
In the world of commercial marijuana strain breeding and seed production, there’s a guy named Subcool who creates tens of thousands of true-growing reliable cannabis seeds every year.
Subcool’s cannabis seed company TGA (The Green Avengers) offers nearly 40 strains of the finest cannabis that make marijuana cultivation very very easy.
Many TGA strains, such as Jack the Ripper, Chernobyl, Jilly Bean, Timewreck, and Jesus OG Kush, have scents, tastes, and highs that are exclusive to TGA seeds.
If you’re used to the common skunk, diesel, peppery, berry tastes and scents of most cannabis strains, you’ll be stoked by the different tastes and scents Subcool breeds into his strains.
TGA-specific scents and tastes are accompanied by cannabinoid profiles and percentages that give you a high you can’t get from regular marijuana strains.
As if creating super-stoney, unique marijuana strains isn’t enough of a gift for our marijuana community, Subcool also provides us more than 240 marijuana videos you can watch for free on YouTube.
Find Out More Online
SubcoolImage courtesy of Subcool.
Raising Arizona: Subcool Rises From the Ashes To Bring You New Strains, New Extracts
by Steve Davis
In October 2017, deadly wildfires decimated California. Cannabis seed breeder and cultivator Subcool barely escaped with his life when flames ripped through his Northern California home, destroying everything, including his outdoor garden brimming with flowering cannabis plants, some as big as 10 feet tall.
The fire also destroyed Subcool’s collection of rare male and female plants, plus thousands of seeds. Many growers feared that their favorite Subcool strains were lost forever.
Even before the fires, Subcool was having a terrible year. He has long suffered from a genetic form of emphysema called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is almost always incurable, makes breathing very difficult, and can be fatal.
In the smoky days before the flames burnt his home and grow op to a crisp, Subcool was “drowning in his own lungs.” Breathing became something he had to work at, rather than something his body did automatically.
At the same time, as health problems and the fire devastated him, he experienced further personal and business-related betrayals that broke his heart and cost him a fortune.
“It was the year from hell,” Subcool laments.
Growing Cannabis In The Subpool
And yet, less than a year after the fires, Subcool is now living in Arizona and surrounded by a diverse network of friends and associates who provide him with support, companionship, medical care and business assistance.
Moving from the devastation of Northern California to a house in Arizona, Subcool drained its swimming pool, turning the empty pit into a trellised cannabis garden. He calls this garden the “Subpool,” and donates its buds to needy medical marijuana patients who can’t afford their own cannabis.
The lush Subpool garden is just one of many new cannabis ventures Subcool feels blessed about, especially seeing as he spent the last few years in California wasting tens of thousands of dollars trying to comply with protocols put in place by Proposition 64 and its legislation.
No matter how much money he spent on cannabis compliance attorneys and grow-site upgrades, Subcool says there was always some new hurdle to contend with.
Having made the move to Arizona a permanent one, Subcool rejoices that the state’s medical marijuana laws and regulations are far more workable than those of California. Indeed, Arizona’s medical marijuana laws were narrowly approved by voters in 2010 and had relatively straightforward implementing rules — at least, compared to California’s rules.
Current Arizona medical marijuana laws closely resemble California’s Proposition 215, the landmark law that created a burgeoning, barely regulated black-market industry from the time it was passed as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 until recently, when licensed dispensaries opened and wholesale cannabis prices began to plummet.
In Arizona, qualified medical marijuana patients and designated caregivers are allowed to cultivate up to 12 plants of their own if they don’t have a dispensary within 25 miles of their homes. Dispensaries are required to be “nonprofit” entities, and are allowed large-scale cannabis cultivation, plus retail sale of whole cannabis, edibles and various extracts.
Subcool is now working with a team of scientists, investors, patients, growers and dispensary owners to expand the scope of his cannabis businesses. He’s created Subcool.com, a new website to take over from his TGA Genetics legacy site, which offers grower education training, as well as descriptions of his marijuana strains and new types of weed products.
Making a new website was Subcool’s choice, but other “choices” were not his own. Famous for his The Weed Nerd YouTube channel, with around 325 episodes posted, Subcool is now worried over the video-sharing site’s recent purging of cannabis-related channels.
On his YouTube channel, Subcool has been known to share music, grow-room footage, cultivation and breeding advice, clips of outdoor grow ops, and road trips to cannabis events.
The clips focus mostly on insider wisdom for growing, breeding and consuming cannabis, but The Weed Nerd can also be poignant and personal when Subcool opens up about COPD and the endless risks growers are subject to.
Currently, he’s working on alternative avenues to get The Weed Nerd clips to his audience.
“I’ll keep making Weed Nerd no matter what internet censors do,” Subcool insists. “I’ll host the videos on my own website or find other ways to share the plants and the news like we always do. The kind words, inspiration and ideas I get from weed nerds keep me alive as much as cannabis does.”
Subcool is also working on old-school media in the form of a follow-up to his Dank book series, which features vivid cannabis photos, along with his fascinating descriptions of how he breeds and grows specific strains.
Subcool’s The Dank products consist of 100 percent pure, organic cannabis extracts. (Image courtesy of Subcool)
Terp Sauce, THCA Crystals & Seed Testers
Aside from making the new website, recruiting a solid crew of new friends and business partners, and relocating to arid Arizona so his COPD lungs find relief in the dry air, Subcool created a brand of cannabis products he markets in licensed dispensaries as Subcool’s The Dank.
This new product line consists of 100 percent pure, organic cannabis extracts, including THCA crystals and terp sauce, the latter of which consists of fractionated terpenoids carefully separated and recombined. Terpenoids offer medical and psychoactive benefits that cannabinoids just don’t offer, Subcool explains.
“On The Weed Nerd shows, we featured terp sauce, rosin, live resin [and] bubble hash,” Subcool says. “The taste and high you get from these extracts is a new way of experiencing marijuana. Our audience wants these concentrates, which are made with special laboratory equipment, so we decided to make the best extracts and market them.”
Subcool will soon offer vape pens and pressed bubble hash as part of his repertoire, which will all be made from clean buds and safe processes, and certified by the most thorough third-party testing available.
Growers who rely on Subcool seeds will be glad to know he rejuvenated his seed program to recover some of his most popular legacy strains, while also creating potent, delicious new strains.
One facet of his seed breeding and selection process is the use of civilian testers, with Subcool evaluating the quality of candidate strains by sending tester seed packs to hundreds of skilled growers worldwide.
Growers who want to test candidate strains must first fill out an online form, proving to Subcool they’re professional cultivators who’ll give detailed feedback on how a test strain performs.
These details include phenotype characteristics such as growth rate, bloom-phase stretch, nutrients management, harvest weight, scent and taste, and of course, potency and high.
After Subcool receives the strain reports from these testers, he compares the metrics to that of his own cultivation experiences and the experiences of his partner breeders.
Only if the strain offers something truly phenomenal and different to the current range on his menu will he officially release the new and tested strain.
“The worst thing a seed breeder can do to growers is sell inferior seeds,” Subcool says. “It’s more than a breach of contract. Medical growers rely on their seeds to grow into strains that provide relief for their specific illness. When seeds don’t grow out to be what the breeder promises, it leads to extra pain and illness for medical [consumers].”
Since the losses brought about by the California wildfires, Subcool expanded his network of seed breeders and developers of rare clones to create several new strains, including Queen Anne’s Revenge, Cherry Cordial, Sangeria and Scarlet Queen.
He’s testing 60 new strains, and expects at least 5–10 of them will be cannabis champions worthy of release under the Subcool brand.
“There are thousands of people making and selling marijuana seeds, but growers tell me most of those seeds aren’t giving them what they want, or have quality problems such as failure to germinate, or feminized seeds that turn out to be dual sex, or male,” Subcool explains. “I go to great lengths to find the rarest cuts and breed them with rare male plants. There’s no use making mediocre hybrids. I want to keep hearing from growers that they love my strains.”
Among Subcool’s new strains is the tasty-looking Queen Anne’s Revenge. (Image courtesy of Subcool)
Surfing The Wave Of Change In The Cannabis Industry
Subcool is greatly concerned by what legalization has done to small-scale, home-based growers and dispensaries.
“The home grower created the marijuana industry. Now they’re seeing corporate interests take over, and legalization blocks or limits their growing,” he says.
Based on his frustrating attempt to comply with California’s regulatory Prop. 64, Subcool predicts cataclysmic shifts in the cannabis growing and selling industries that will ultimately limit our cannabis freedom.
“Things are changing fast, not always for the good,” he says. “The volatility in the marijuana and hydroponics industries is worrisome. There could come a time when most people buy weed at the local drug store or even Walmart. Many growers will decide it’s easier to buy retail weed than grow it themselves. It’s already happening in states with legal dispensaries.”
These industry changes have altered his breeding and marketing strategies.
In the past, Subcool explains, his breeding programs focused on developing strains with novel tastes, scents and cannabinoid-terpenoid profiles, along with ease of growing, genetic reliability and heavy yields.
Now, he’s focusing on research into specific cannabinoids and terpenoids, most notably cannabidiol (CBD), to create strains and extracts that treat specific medical conditions such as chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, arthritis, depression, anxiety and epilepsy.
This focus is none more evident than with his Deadlights and Pennywise high-CBD strains, which have long been his most popular crops.
Cannabis Is A Good Reason To Live
Subcool says his virulent opposition to cannabis prohibition fuels his will to keep living, despite the devastating wildfire, personal betrayals and health setbacks he’s endured.
“I got busted for marijuana in the 1970s and saw the corruption and brutality in the police forces, courts and prison systems,” he explains. “I vowed to fight back. My goal is to help the world grow so much weed that prohibition collapses. That’s why I breed and sell marijuana seeds.”
There remains in Subcool’s heart a special place for military veterans, and true to form he’s donated significant amounts of money plus cannabis to help veterans who are suffering or injured.
“They suffer without marijuana medicine or get busted for attempting to grow their own medicine. When you sacrifice for your country and come back home to find yourself attacked by police and the VA for growing your own medicine, it’s unacceptable,” he says.
When talking to Subcool for the purpose of this story, I noticed he was having difficulty breathing. Several times during our discussion, we had to take breaks because he felt he was going to pass out from lack of oxygen.
I asked if he’d made peace with the realities of COPD and its infringement on his life.
“Everything but my life was taken from me last year,” he explains. “Now, I’m in Arizona with really good people around me, creating incredible new strains and concentrates, finding joy in life. The best thing that ever happened was when the California home burnt to the ground, because it forced me to start over and create a way better life.”
Years ago when I traveled to Amsterdam one of the first heavy Indicas I tried was AK-47. I loved the spicy fruity taste and if memory serves we actually got so high I was dosing sitting in Grey Area and Steve poked me and gave me a look that said I like ya Sub but you cant sleep in my tiny shop. We headed outside for fresh air and then across the street for Handmade Gourmet chocolates. I never forgot that experience, so we took some seeds back to grow out for nighttime medicine. This was 12 years ago and over the years I lost my female and lost contact with the guys that I gave cuts to or the other growers that I split the seeds with. In 2002 I grew out some seeds of AK-47 and I was really disappointed in the results. The strain was nothing like I remembered and each female was quite different from seed. Even Simon the breeder and owner of Serious seeds has stated openly that up to 100 AK-47 seeds would need to be started to find the one cherry female that everyone knew and loved back in the early 90s. I felt the male or something was lost and the AK-47 seeds sold now were in name only and I moved on to other clone only strains for my medicine. One famous grower Nebu was able to keep a cut and its regarded as one of the best Indica clones around but he is very tight with it as he uses the female to breed with.
Over the years from time to time I run across samples of AK-47 and I am always disappointed until this year. I have friend that is a caregiver that I give advise to, his first garden ever was featured in the Last TY in the article Whats in Your Garage we call him Dave. Dave called me two months ago and said one of his patience had a cutting of AK that came from seeds bought in 1994. I quickly looked online and found the release date of AK-47 of 1992 and at this point I got very interested. I asked if a bud sample was possible and he told me the plants were at 9 weeks and went 70 days and he would have some samples soon. True to his word he showed up about 2 weeks later with a few thick buds and shoved one under my nose. Smell like cherries? he asked. The thick oily smell was infused with Cherries and Spice and was the exact smell I remembered from the Grey Area so many years back. I asked for a cutting and sure enough 10 days later a little baby clone was delivered to me. I transplanted her into my soil and placed her in the vegetive room under a 1000 watt metal halide Hortilux Blue Bulb set up. She grew fast and immediately started pushing out wide Indica dominant fan leafs. She grew really fast and it didnt take long at all before she was a nice short bush with many heads. When she reached 30 in total plant height I placed her into 12/12 HPS lighting with 1200ppm CO2 added to boost growth rate. By day 30 nice colas were forming and we can already see resin in heavy concentrations on all leaves and even the stems. Even this early I am impressed with what I see and the cherry smell is starting to come on. The one trait we didnt like on this strain was the leaf weight it carries into the finish. I was asked my the owner of the cutting to cross her with Space Queen in hopes to improve her Pistil to leaf ratio. If she passes our taste test we are going to proceed and call the outcross Tommy Gun. The clone goes 70 days so we still have some time on ours but since I have such a good relationship with Marco I am hoping he will let me submit a part two with the final results. As I put this article to keyboard our girl is 33 days old and I will do a final photo shoot tonight and get the shots to Marco so you can se her as up to date as possibly.