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New DJ Short Article Part 1


Saving the Planet, One Seed At A Time
Hey everyone! DJ Short has just released his first new article in some time. I hope that you enjoy it!

My Cataloguing System

c. 2004 DJ Short

Perhaps one of the most useful devices used in a quality cannabis breeding project is that of catalogue techniques. This refers to the method used to categorize various traits for future reference, or how to best label traits from a given population. It is also a means to track who came from where (generational references).

First and foremost, I cannot begin to describe the level of complexity involved with a breeding project that extends from the f-2 to the f-5 range. It took me over a decade and a half of trial and much error to fully comprehend and develop a system that actually works to this level and beyond. It starts out simple enough, until the f-2's, then the complexity expands exponentially with each generation.

The P-1's are simple enough, they are the original breed-stock and labeled for what they are, i.e. Highland, Purple or Chocolate Thai, Oaxacan or Santa Marta Gold, Pure Afghan, etc. The f-1's were equally simple as they were of uniform expressions and I simply chose to label them “The Cross”. The f-2 generation was equally easy to identify with the label “Double Cross”, or the progeny of the f-1 cross. However, when the f-2's were grown out, extreme diversity ruled the making of the f-3's (or the descriptions of the f-2's selected to breed further with) a tougher call to make.

It is at this level (and beyond) that some form of labeling system becomes necessary to catalogue all of the different variations found. Beginning with the plants grown out from the f-2 seeds I chose to utilize an alphabetized system with each letter corresponding to a specific trait. For example, the letter “B” came to signify the “Berry” characteristic, “F” stands for “Fruity” (sometimes “Floral“), “G” is for Grape, “C” for Citrus, “O” for orange, “L” for lemon or lime, “K” equaled “Kush”, “S” for “Sativa” “P” for Purple, “X” for extreme glandular trichome production, etc.

I must confess that it took much trial and error to finally get it right. Therefore, if one were to look at my early notes many exceptions to what developed as “the rule” can be found. I left these early “mistakes” as they were so as not to over-complicate what came next. It is also very important to note that most of these observations were relatively subjective and that no more than two traits, or characteristics were ever assigned to any one plant. Therefore, the label “BK” came to stand for “Berry Kush”, or a Kush dominant plant with outstanding berry attributes. It is also important to note that only the most outstanding plant of any given attribute was selected for future work. So the plant that ended up with the “BK” label was the most Berry-Kush of the lot.

So, my f-3 stock became labeled with a two-letter code indicating what the most outstanding characteristics of it’s parent (primarily mother) were, and only those with the strongest expressions earned their label. When the f-3's were grown out and crossed to make the f-4 generation, these labels were coupled to indicate the parents of the f-4 progeny, i.e. BK/FS would be a cross between an f-3 Berry-Kush mother (I always list the female first, male second with a back-slash in between) and an f-3 Fruity Sativa father.

F-4's and Beyond

Consider the label number: 4/5 3 96-2. This is the type of numbering symbol I use to label F-4 and beyond plants. Before we dissect this number I need to point out a few rules that I follow in a breeding project beyond the F-4 generation.

First, I only grow out no more than six varieties at any single time. The reason is to avoid too much confusion. Six is about the maximum number of varieties an individual can realistically keep track of. These six (or five, or four etc.) varieties are then labeled as “1" through “6" (or the number of varieties used). Let’s say the 6 f-3's I use are: 1. “FK/FK”, 2. “BK/PK”, 3. “FK/FL”, 4. “GK/GK”, 5. “PK/FP” and 6. “XP/FK”. Notes are made to record this fact and the seeds are then sprouted and grown using these simple, single digit identification numbers (1 through 6 in this example).

Second, I select only one male from any single breeding project. Again, this simplifies things and avoids mistakes enormously. That male is generally selected at about the third week in the flowering cycle, unless it is a clone from another project. After the single male is selected the other males are removed and the remaining females are numbered according to their variety category (i.e. if there are seven #1. females, five #2 females, etc. they are labeled #1–1 through 7, #2–1 through 5, etc.) The male simply retains the number from its variety label, in our above example the number “5" (in the 4/5), or the “PK/FP” male.

Now we may examine the above example: 4/5 3 96-2. The first two numbers, “4/5" are the variety number of the female first and male second. So in this case that would be: a “GK/GK” female crossed with the “PK/FP” male. The third number in our example, “3" means female #3 from the #4 (“GK/GK”) batch. The next number in the example, “96" is merely the year and the final number is the crop number for that year. So, translated, the number 4/5 3 96-2 is the third “GK/GK” (or #4) female crossed with the “PK/FP” (or #5) male grown from the second crop of 1996.

Please note that the “/5” male-used indicator will be /5 for all of the seeds labeled from this batch as the #5 (“PK/FP”) male is the only one used. If a male clone from a past crop is used it may be indicated by using the #7 in the initial notes (if six varieties are sprouted) and described as the male-clone-used in the #7 description. Likewise, if any of the six varieties tested are from a past clone (female), they may be selected as one of the #1 through #6 varieties, labeled and described accordingly.

It seems complex at first, but I assure you that it works great. The same system is used for the F-5 generation, and beyond. The system merely requires that dated notes be kept and catalogued. That way, any crosses may be backtracked and referenced via one’s notes and a simple, six or seven digit code is all that is needed to label and catalogue one’s plants.

Finally, this system works best for forward crosses mainly. Backcrosses will need another connotation to note their use . The “clone-used” labeling described prior works well for backcrosses involving clones.

This system is good for only one grow out at a time. If multiple grows, or facilities are used then they will need to be noted as well, perhaps with a lettered “A”, “B”, “C” etc. appended onto the catalogue number. Also, detailed notes of each individual plant are necessary to fully utilize any cataloguing system and are obviously required for success. Other than that, I have found this to be a relatively simple and foolproof system for cataloguing one’s breeding projects beyond the f-3 generation.
Mr. Burns Voice >EXCELLENT<

Mr. Burns Voice >EXCELLENT<

Great info Red, Thanks for sharing. Printing a copy for the research binders, of course, after being thoroughly examined. :chin: I think I complained about breeders now following a standard of denoting the mommy and the daddy. I always used mommy x daddy but there seems to be no consistency. These notes crafted by DJ will provide a more systematic approach, save time and help standardize breeding. Of course, all that doesn't mean anything, if no one uses it. :rolleyes: I am working on marker-assisted breeding. More to come shortly...


:eek: I think I will just stick to growing me some smoke /

Nice to see such research being done on our fav plant

Capt. Crip

Strain Seeker/Mirage Reading Master
Thanks Red

Thanks Red

read it over at CW a little while ago,killer info........................CC


Everything from DJ Short has always ALWAYS been a good read.

Thanks Red!


Active member
And people still bitch about the high price of seeds! One read through that system of DJ's and you begin to understand the amount of work, thought process and dedication that it takes to bring us stoners a pack of ten seeds. Hell, even at two hundred or more per pack, I'm still not sure there would be enough money in it for me to justify that amount of work! Makes you wonder how Nirvana survives at $15.00-20.00 a pack.

My hat goes off to all of you fine dedicated individuals that take the pain-staking time to bring us your fine genetics! May your hard work not go unnoticed or unrewarded. :friends:


Yeh im glad to see he is still around and working on what we all love. Please keep posting his articles. Thanks Jubei


THANKS for the free book priceless information YOUR BOOK ON GROWING EXCEPTIONAL CANNIBIS WAS GREAT!I have enjoyed all your articles in cannabis culture.
YOU are the man om stablized breeding we all could learn a trick or two from one of the masters of our time


Superb Info guy's DJ thank you very much for sharing this within the comunity and my thanks also to JLP for the follow up's... JLP many thanks sir for your kind donations to the community also and the endeavours both you guy's along with many others in the breeders section for all the wealth of good solid Information. It's helped me a great deal in learning the Basics too start producing good quality back X stock as well as understanding the whole genetic and scientific facts.

My Thank's too all envolved with in the superb ICM Community. Good luck to all breeders and growers.



i heard that djshort has some of the best colors of indica in the world....... what do you guys suggest for a small enclosure but with some great colors?


blue moonshine slow to come on but nice indca i have a sativa blueberry that is crossed to strawberryblonde surprise stablized 6 generations for outdoor southern IL. now the mutation in this cross is extream causing only 10% approx to make it through veg they are all females as far as i can tell.

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