Luckily for us, cannabis was made illegal. After all, if the U.S. government had not decided to criminalize marijuana, starting with a tax for growing it, we wouldn’t have nearly as many different types. When cannabis growers and breeders were forced underground, they used male and female plants to create their own seedstock. The illegal distinction borne by the cannabis plant has led to it being one of the most diverse botanicals on the planet. When the War on Drugs meant Americans could no longer get landrace genetics like Acapulco Gold from Mexico, we looked further toward Amsterdam’s marijuana melting pot. The fusion of American cannabis enthusiasts and High Times legends like Sam the Skunkman, Ed Rosenthal, and Steve Hager with Dutch seed companies blessed the world with delicacies like Super Lemon Haze and provided the platform to promote them. Today, the worldwide cannabis seed market is a thriving industry.
Seed germination for outdoor growing starts in spring. Seeds require 10-15 days longer than clones, so the end of April is an excellent time to pop them to get the 2022 outdoor harvest outside by Mother’s Day. We checked in with three ganja growing all-stars to see what cannabis combinations they’re excited about this year.
Senior Content Manager, Leafly
What seeds are you excited about for this planting season?
For this planting season, I’m super-juiced to re-run Humboldt Seed Co’s Squirt (feminized) for year three. I can smoke that super-optimized modern Tangie cross all day, every day, and it makes a great salad with another sativa during the day or some gas at night.
I’m also hyped to bring back HumSeedCo’s Hella Jelly (fems) for year two as a super-agronimized modern sativa that finishes early and has mad cherry and cotton candy taste and zippy daytime effects.
I’m stoked to run Archive Seeds Dosi-Tree outside for the first time for that Dosi gas plus Lemon Tree’s size and syrupy lemon smell. Yum! Last year it was In-House Genetics’ Slurricane IX—that killed!
And lastly, I’m pumped to run Terp Hogz Geneticz Z3 for the first time this year! I think I’ll always want some Zkittlez in the garden, and Z3 is a way to get at the root of some optimized Z terps, as opposed to chasing new Z crosses. I can’t wait to have a pound of Z3 for Thanksgiving! Terp Hogz is selling seeds direct to your door on NXTLVL delivery in the Bay Area—if you don’t know how cool it is to shop, buy and get Terp Hogz genes delivered in a couple hours—now you know! It’s so clutch.
Do you typically grow from seed? If so, why?
Yes! I like the vigor of seeds, especially regulars—they get huge outside! There’s also less chances of a virus or pest infection from seeds vs. clones. I buy seeds all year and they keep well until it’s time to plant. (But I still might get a clone of Jokerz from Compound Genetics for this year, and if I do, I’m all about it!)
What does your grow setup look like?
I start popping indoors the first day of spring and raise babies inside where it’s warm, then sex the juveniles, and harden them on the porch in The City, before transplanting the keepers into 30-gallon fabric pots outdoors in the NorCal sun by Mother’s Day! We try and KISS (keep it simple, stupid). We use Fox Farm Ocean Forest soil plus amendments and well water on a drip timer. And BT to fight the caterpillars!
Are there certain types of cannabis or specific cultivars that do well where you are growing?
Yeah, I’m an outdoor NorCal Bay Area grower, and I’m deliberately running Humboldt Seed Co, Archive, and Terp Hogz because I think their gear tends to be tested and screened for outdoor runs. I know HumSeedCo does a bunch of mixed-light testing, and Terp Hogz in Mendo also works in mixed light. Archive’s stuff seems to be developed more indoors in Oregon, but I know that Lemon Tree has killed it outdoors in Santa Cruz.
I want to run stuff that’s been tested outside, for sure. Lots of the latest crosses are bred and tested inside and many breeders and growers don’t know how they’ll react to the variations in heat, humidity, etc. outside. I want stuff that’s hard to fuck up, as opposed to some diva that molds the second it rains, or some crazy sativa that won’t finish until November. But that’s just me! Everyone’s needs are pretty specific!
Horticulture Instructor, Oaksterdam University
What seeds are you excited for?
I am fond of recommending and growing varieties that produce well-rounded plants with new tastes and smells.
Do you typically grow from seed? If so, why?
No, but I have done so with Oaksterdam University students over the years often.
What does your grow setup look like these days?
A simple 4′ x 4′ area light up with LED lights in a larger room that I have found no need for AC to cool.
What has been your experience growing autoflowers?
To me, this is the best reason to grow from seed. They only come this way and are getting better varieties all the time.
Are there certain types of cannabis or specific cultivars that do well where you grow in Oakland?
We have a mix of urban growers that are survivors. Many obstacles to keep from having a successful harvest in tight city living. I grow inside due to this better neighborhood policy. I find less issues and arise with having long-term success. But I do know a few good areas that have outdoor gardens with little to no worry for either the garden or neighbors with bad smells.
Podcast Host, Shaping Fire
What seeds are you excited about this year?
Since I live on Vashon Island in the Pacific Northwest, I have to choose seeds that will finish flowering fast enough during our short summers. I’ll mostly be growing autoflowers so I can germinate them on June 1 and harvest at the end of August before the rains start. I am excited to grow the Purple Pope collaboration between Gnome Automatics and Night Owl Seeds. The flowers smell of sandalwood, lemongrass, and yuzu. Northern Cheese Haze from Mephisto Genetics is always a winner for me too. It captures some of that fresh sunshine-dried linen sweet smell of haze with the bloomy-rind cheese funk that we love cheese strains for.
The most reliable photoperiod for where I live continues to be Mandelbrot’s famous Royal Kush from Mendocino, which will often finish in 50 days. There is a new collaboration between Emerald Mountain Legacy and Mean Gene From Mendocino called Royale with Cherries that blends the gas and shorter flower times with Mean Gene’s Cherry Lime Pop which contributes a complex Maraschino cherry sweetness. It is exquisite. Last summer, it finished well ahead of all the other photos. And it hashed well for us too.
How was the 2021 Autoflower Cup? Are you experimenting with autoflowers?
The 2021 Autoflower Cup was a great gathering. For so long, autoflowers really didn’t perform as we wanted. But the modern era of autoflowers are so much better tasting and yielding. And because they can be grown nearly everywhere in the U.S., they are quickly gaining a following. And, of course, since autoflower enthusiasts are so often ridiculed by photoperiod growers, it is nice to hang with a big group of people who share this special interest.
I am past simply experimenting with autoflowers at this point and have fully embraced them. Before this season, I have grown 156 varieties. I’m at the point now where I believe in them, understand their advantages and disadvantages and can really work with them to meet my cultivation goals.