Hello everyone! Its that time again! Time to beat the brush, beat the cops, the deer, the woodrats, and the mold, once again!
I am sure most know me, so I won't go into a long explaination.......
I will give a run down of my climate normals, and what it is doing this year
Normally, my planting season starts in late April/early May, high temps are usually in the mid-upper 60s, this year however I have been having highs in the 40-50s and lows below freezing many nights through late April. I have had snow several times in the last couple weeks, which is very strange and pretty much unheard of.
I usually have a warmish/mild spring to help with getting starts going outdoors(I avoid starting plants indoors for my familys compfort), but this year I have had few warm weeks, and lots of cold/dark ones.
I started my first waves of seedlings in mid-march, when the weather wasn't too bad(for march), but week after week of cold weather followed, and many of the first wave became stunted, or died. Some did survive, but I was forced to plant a second wave later on to replace the dead and un-healthy.
The big downfall is that I am not able to sex my plants like I did last year, by placeing them outside early to bloom under the naturally short days of mid-spring. Now if I want to sex them, I'll be forced to do it the old fashioned way by covering them and uncovering them everyday to shorten the day length.
The problem is, my normal time for planting out is rapidly approching, and none of my seedlings are ready for sexing. This means I'll have to move my plant-out time back further into late May/early June, or else plant out lots of unsexed plants.
My original plan was to plant out 3 plots with 4 plants each, and hook them up each to their own automatic irrigation system, but without guarranteed females its not practical.
I have decided to try and get some of the older first wave of seedlings sexed, and just put out one or two 3 or 4 plant plots with a system, and use the rest of the seedlings to establish stand alone grows in the deep mountains on spring water seeps and next to year round creeks.
Oh yes! I forgot to mention that my summer climate is very dry, the rains shut off from July to mid September, and the temps go into the 90s or better most of the time, so I have to either provide water artificially, or else find places where groundwater seeps up naturally or where year round creeks flow, which are there to be found in the mountains, but very rare, and sometimes already exploited by other growers.
One good thing is that a indoor grower freind of mine is going to provide me with "God bud" clone in late May/June, these will be used for breeding with my personal varieties, and I will also be using them to test out some self-watering planter prototypes.
So this is the plan:
1. Plant out 4-8 of my oldest sexed seedlings in 1-2 automaticly irrigated plots by May 20th.
2. Plant the remaining seedlings unsexed in multiple stand alone grows in the mountains. I'll continue to start more seedlings and plant them out in similar fashion until its getting to late to do more in late June.
3. I'll plant 4-6 God bud clones in self-watering planters in Late May.
There you go! Hopefully this much changed plan will be able to go as planned with no more changes. The long range forcast seems to indicate that this summer will be normal, without the cool temps I had last year, we will see.
OK, here are the seedlings I have going, and how I got them started:
For germination, I start by folding a paper towel 3 times, and wetting it. Then I lay my seeds to be germinated on it.
Now I fold the paper towel one more time, and slide it into a ziplock bag marked with the strain name.
Now I take the bag and tack it to the wall at eye level in a area of the house where it is comfortable warm enough to wear a T-shirt. I check the bag everyday until I see white roots starting to poke through the seed pods, it usually takes 1-4 days.
In this picture I show a variety of started seeds, the 2 seeds at the end of the pen are perfect length, the seeds around the pen are acceptable, the seeds on the far right are getting a bit too long and will be hard to handle without damaging the delicate roots.
Now I get some 16oz Solo cups, I trim a small sliver off the corners of each as shown, and mark the cup with the name of the strain.
Now I fill the cups with a good quality potting soil meant specificly for seedlings, in this case Jiffy brand seedling mix, but almost and potting soil will work. I thoroghly wet the soil, and fill the cups firmly but not to packed.
Now I use a pen to poke a hole into the soil for the sprouted seed.
Now I carefully place the seed with the root down, and carefully pack soil around it until the seed pod is just visable at the surface.
Here is what my first wave looked like a couple day ago, before transplanting to quart planters, they are about 6 weeks old.
Here is a Train wreck x (C99xOR95) seedling and its new home, now that the seedlings are established, I am using a cheaper, coarser potting soil.
Now I'll give it the first feeding of its life, good old Miracle grow! If you don't approve, I don't want to hear it, cuz I've heard it all!
Here is the first wave survivors, mostly TWx(C99xOR95), they seem to be tough plants!
Another pic of the largest TWx(C99xOR95).
OK, the adventure is officially on!!!