Starting growing cannabis can be incredibly exciting and can give you a sense of freedom like almost nothing else. But now that you’ve decided you want to grow, the real work starts.
The first thing you need to decide what kind of seeds you want to grow, and where you’re going to get them. This is arguably one of the most important choices you will make since your plants can only be as good as their genetics.
There is a universe of options out there, however, so trying to choose seeds without some sort of basic idea of what you are going to be looking for will only be an exercise in frustration and intimidation.
That’s where this article can help, hopefully. By considering these factors and thinking about your garden in terms of what you want from it, you should be able to make an educated decision on your seed and strain choice.
Should I Buy My Seeds Or Grow/Gather Them?
Seeds are only produced by the female of the cannabis species, and only after a male pollinates them. In order to grow your seeds, you will need to have stable genetics on both sides of the cross, and you will need to be ok with the large degree of chance that goes into it.
Seeds grown this way may look and act like either parent, both parents, neither parent or even any of the ancestors in between. It can take several generations of backcrossing to get stable seeds that grow predictable strain representatives.
Gathering your seeds can be much easier since you can find them here and there in the cannabis you consume. Another upside is the cost, you already paid for them when you paid for the flower they came in, so bonus! The drawback here is that they are often not stabilized genetics either, and may not give you the same product you just enjoyed.
Buying your seed stock is often considered the best option for beginners. Not only are you getting a stabilized strain, with a predictable yield, known growing requirements, and a standardized flowering time. This takes all of the guesswork out of your first garden.
Botching your first grow because you got a strain way outside your league and weren’t prepared for it can be disappointing and discouraging. Likewise getting random seeds and having no idea what they need or what you’re getting can make the results underwhelming and feel like a waste.
The Look Of A Healthy Seed
When you’re looking at seeds, you will see a lot of variation. There will be dark seeds, pale sees, seeds with stripes and spots, and more. You want to stay away from seeds that have any green on their halves since this is a sign that they are premature and will not germinate.
The size will not matter much, healthy plants come from both small and large seeds. There is some anecdotal evidence that indica strains have larger seeds, as well as seeds that are darker or more heavily pattered, but most strains are hybrids to some extent anyway, so visual determinations are nearly impossible.
What About Feminized Seeds?
Female plants are the ones that produce the flowers that we all know and love, so why would anyone want the possibility of male seeds? Well, like many other things, it often comes down to price. For example, if Strain A is available in non-feminized seeds $100 for a ten pack, the feminized versions would likely be between $200 and $300 for the same quantity.
Most people don’t mind culling a few males, particularly if it’s their first garden. This provides the opportunity to learn how to sex your plants, as well as a significant break on the cost of the genetics for your first run. Feminized seeds are geared toward growers that know what they want, how to grow it, and want the least amount of wasted time.
Consider The Effects You Want
Indicas are the heavy, sedative strains, and are good for inflammation and pain relief, but tend to lock you into the couch. Sativas are upbeat, energetic, and cerebral strains that are ideal for creative workers, and those who need to shake off a little mild depression.
Decide On Indica, Sativa, Or A Hybrid
The space you have can impact your choices as well. If you choose a sativa, or a sativa heavy hybrid, expect tall and slender plants that may hit 8 ft+ in the flowering stage, and they also have much longer flowering periods. Indicas are often short, stout, bushy plants with incredibly pungent smells, that can go through their flowering stage in two months or less in many cases.
Pick A Strain Or Two
Don’t get too crazy when it comes time to shop, I know there are a lot of strains that are just begging you to grow them. Pick one, or two, and make sure you get down the fundamentals. Then you can branch out and start trying things. The big takeaway here is to not spend more money than you need to on your first grow. You’re learning, and you have to expect some mistakes.
If you find a strain or few that you like, or maybe your situation suddenly changed and you can’t grow, you can always save your seeds. Cannabis seeds stay viable for years, just keep them cool, dry, and in the dark, and you should be able to pick up where you left off when you’re ready.
Choosing The Best Cannabis Seeds For Your Grow
One of the best ways to get some reliable genetics for your garden is to leverage a respected distributor or seed bank. Not only will they organize all of their available strains, but they will also give detailed growing information so that you can grow your best flower. They will also have a detailed list of the effects of each strain, so you don’t go in blind.