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Success With Exotic Strains

Success With Exotic Strains

We have all seen the exquisite photos in our favorite cannabis publications, on Instagram and social media, of those exotic-looking, fantastically colored strains of cannabis flowers, in all their blazing glory. We’ve wondered if we would have any luck growing one of those strains that well.

When research reveals the costs of these amazing strains are often $20.00 or more per seed, you really don’t want to spend a great deal of hard-earned cash for seeds that may still turn out to be males or hermaphrodites or not survive the seedling stage.

To achieve the best results with these types of strains, optimize your chances of success by taking careful preparation & precautions throughout the growing experience.

To ensure that your seeds are free of mold spores, be sure to do your initial seed-soaking in some safe solution such as The Amazing Doctor Zymes & water. This way, you have a better chance of the seedlings surviving the early growing period, when they are the most fragile and susceptible to any problems.

After the seeds have sprouted, be sure not to keep the lights so close that they burn the tender seedlings. Make sure that air circulation is good, but don’t have fans too close to the young plants, as they can easily be desiccated to death. Sprouting seeds and young seedlings like warm bottom heat, so heating mats with a thermostat are helpful. 75-78F is a good temp.

Plants will need to be monitored with a hand-held microscope daily to ensure that no pest populations or powdery mildew start to get established at all! If such a thing occurs, pest management steps must be increased dramatically to get the problem back under control as quickly as possible with the minimum of stress to the plants.

Plants need to be constantly monitored for male flowers, which may appear at any stage of the grow, even if fully in flower with all the other flowers appearing females!

Plants should not be fed at all until they have a couple of sets of true leaves on them. Then, feeding should start light & organic, only gradually increasing feeding quantities as the plant age. Don’t forget the silica. In most cases, you can use much less fertilizer than the manufacturers recommend, but don’t forget the trace minerals, particularly the essential calcium, magnesium, & sulfur.

High-quality humic acids can ensure that you get all the aminos, trace minerals, and chelation you want for your precious plants. The highest quality humic acids are actually obtained from your own finished homemade compost! You can leach it out of your compost or top-dress with it and water it in with each watering.

It pays to be gentle with the application of nitrogen during the vegetative stages, as an overdose of nitrogen not only weakens the plants and their immune systems. It also attracts a variety of plant-eating pests in very disturbing numbers.

Never over-water and use a sand-barrier mulch to retain soil moisture and thwart many pests, which like to pass through the soil. Get a moisture meter to monitor the soil moisture and try to keep it close to 50% moisture as much as possible.

These special beauties will want plenty of organic potassium and phosphorus to develop the flowers and terpenes during the flowering stages.

Growing organically with biologically living soils is ideal for seeing and tasting the intangible qualities you are looking for with these varieties.

Your plants pick up on your energy and respond to it, believe it or not, so one important tip in plant care is keeping a happy, positive attitude while working around your plants and not worrying about what kind of music they like. They respond to emotions, so if you like the music, it will make them grow better because they respond to your positive energy. Intangibles count.

Topping plants and other low-stress training techniques will greatly increase flowering sites, but be careful; breaking branches can occur if you aren’t experienced in this.

1-2 times weekly, preventative maintenance spraying should be done to keep microscopic pests away, such as the dreaded russet mites, aphids, etc. Nothing beats prevention for avoiding the worst sorts of problems, and safe products such as The Amazing Dr Zymes can be sprayed on the flowers, all the way to harvest.

In fact, it also makes the perfect bud wash to cure a perfectly clean & tasty flower, and true-taste terpenes shine through when the dust, debris, dead bugs, feces, etc., are cleaned from the plants. Clean plants will have a longer shelf-life due to the lack of contaminants that speed decay.

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The simplest method of bud washing that I have ever heard of is just 5 gallons of warm water and one cup of The Amazing Dr. Zymes. A strong swishing, shake off excess and hang it up to dry in a cool, well ventilated (with fans) space. No rinsing is needed! Slow and steady wins the race.

These exotic-type strains will often have a long flowering period, so patience is required, and a long growing season for outdoors. Outdoor growing is actually considered to be the superior method for growing these types of strains because only natural sunlight and terroir seem to bring out their full potential expressions.

One of the most important parts of achieving the utmost from the exotic strains is being extremely slow and patient during the drying and curing process. Don’t be tempted by quick-drying techniques and fail to obtain the flavors and intense effects you paid so much for when you purchased the seeds.

There is no substitute for real-time and patience. If you rush this part of the process, you may as well burn your hard-earned cash. Quick-drying will destroy the finest efforts that you made while the plant was growing.

The final cured product should be stored in air-tight glass jars in a very cool, completely dark place. Don’t forget to frequently burp the jars to release built-up gasses and prevent possible molding from insufficiently dried flowers. (Boveda 62% humidity packs can be helpful, but not everyone likes them, so that is your call. Experiment with those if you haven’t tried them yet.)

The strain pictured is Putang, bred by Mass Medical Strains and part of the Pupil family of crosses bred by the company. The seeds are available from a variety of purveyors of high-end cannabis seeds. All of the crosses in this family have marvelous colors, aromas, flavors, terpenes, and uplifting effects. They are known for their anti-depressant qualities and appear to contain the highly desirable and elusive THC-V cannabinoids!

The time and resources spent cultivating Putang were well worth the effort.

Author Marybeth Sanchez is an Agriculture and Horticulture Consultant who shares tips, resources, and expertise for sustainable organic farming and gardening practices. To try a free sample of Eliminator, the all-natural, all-in-one insecticide and fungicide used to keep her garden clean, happy, healthy, and natural, go to www.doctorzymes.com/skunk.

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