This is just my experience and not the grow bible. I know there are many great ways to grow. This is just my routine and experience. I am not telling anyone they have to do, or not do anything. I love input and other tips too. But try to not be an asshole. There are nice ways to interject, suggest, and influence besides saying someone sucks and they are full of shit. My grow will keep on growing and my soil will go on living either way. happy growing.
@CurrDogg420 , it really depends when you figure out if you have a boy, girl, or intersex plant.
When popping seeds, I like to pop them sometime around Valentine’s Day. That way I can put them outside in their 4 inch starter pots while the daylight is still short. If you live somewhere cold and snowy, then put them in the south facing discreet window. Or temporary shorten your indoor lights to 12 or 11 hours (flower). A few weeks of this interval will not fuck your plants up. It will allow you to identify boys from girls at three or four sets of leaves. It usually takes 3-4 weeks, outdoors or in the short interval grow light, to wait for them to preflower. I prefer to use the window or outdoors. You can keep your inside light on the long veg interval if you use the natural light. And then leave the plants outside or in the window until they actually show you what sex they are. That way if you get a stubborn one, you’re not holding up your lights for that one stubborn one. And you can get the rest of them right back into long interval veg with the lights. They won’t miss a beat this way if you do it on very short plants which is three or four sets of true leaves. If you did this on bigger plants it takes a lot longer to get them back vegetative again. Female or male. The trick to making this quick and painless is to do it on fucking short little plants. Skip all aspects of veg. Like on the third set of true leaves.
Now that I know the tiny little seedling males in 4” starter pots, I tag them with a couple of tags and tape so they are well identified and not to be confused as females. (Damn crows steal my tags). As the males start to develop preflower stamens you must pinch roll them or cut it off. I found once they start opening flowers they don’t usually stop. Also and more importantly, once they start popping open stamens they like to senesce and die. They are not easy to monster crop back to life like a finished female. They really seem to just die once they chuck out their pollen. Like that’s all that they ever wanted to do in life. Anyway, pinch back any male flowers before they open and start raining pollen. Then get them back vegging under the long interval light. They will keep growing.
Right at this time is the first assessment and selective reducing of the boys. If any of them just smell like hemp or hay at preflower then compost them. You do want the ones that smell aromatic with terpenes. Rub the stem to see if it feels greasy, or hairy, or smelly. Or best actually have a few crystals of trichomes. Wiggle the plant in the sunlight and if they glisten (like a mirror in the sun). Those are rare jems . I find I toss away 10 for every one or two potential good ones I find.
The whole collection (males and females) are kept Bansai under veg lights until spring. My veg lights are just a couple of cheap 13 watt LEDs (used to use T5HO, and power compacts before that). I have them up 12-13” above the soil line in old 20 gallon aquariums. I top any plants that grow up into the lights down to the first nodes boy or girl. I feed them as little as possible to minimize the growth. Lil plants don’t care and are ok with it. If you feed them up you will be one with the scissors all too often in my humble opinion. Once spring comes I plant out the females and keep the males in the 4” starter pot.
The males I rehack foliage and stems (spring time) if needed. Then I rip each out of it’s 4” pot and cut the bound tangle of roots in half. Then repot into the same size pot (clean pot if any pest issues) with fresh rich soil. I do this root hack again in the fall before pollen chucking or bringing in a keeper for the winter. Then the males are kept in trays together outdoor where they are kept small (under 12”) out of the way, but where I won’t forget about them.
Or at a friends you trust. They need to be checked at least weekly to make sure they do not flower. Pinch out any flowers and take notes. (Smells, trichomes, oils). If one is picky about nutes, or is a mess to grow, fuck it. You don’t want your plants to do that x generations down the line.
Then around august 1st I take clones of all my keeper females for next year. They are cut from the big moms I am flowering out. Of course Tag and track so you don’t mix them up. Once they root, I put them in under the veg lights and Bansai them till the next spring. I like to take 3 female clones of each so I have extra. 3 cuts per 4” pot works perfectly. If you don’t want to break them up later then just take 1 or the pot is not big enough. I figure: One female to seed, one to gift, and one to grow next year. (None ever die right ) .
The potential seedling males (and any held over clone keeper males from previous years) are moved inside under veg lights too at this time. Alternatively, I also frequently move males out front directly under my street light. There is a big laurel hedge there that I nestle (hide) my males into. Right where the street light beam shines. This keeps the males from going flower, keeps them cold hardened, and I keep them hacked off short and tight. If you live somewhere cold and frosty this probably won’t work for you. Better to just pull the males in at the same time as the keeper females. Keep them all under 12” short Bansai in 4” pots nestled inside. After rooting back early to mid august. (Still with me?)
The only wait now is for the main flower crop. Wait until it is in for harvest. Then I immediately put the males back out (or move from the street light) under my pop up temporary greenhouse. I throw the males up onto the milk crate of honor and let them rain pollen. All over the sacrificial extra female clones out to be seeded. Rinse repeat until spring planting or you run out of males. You will have so many seeds.
If I end up with a larger plant that shows male, I like to just take a clone off a lower branch. Then Bansai the new boy clone. This happens to the best of us. I always get fooled once or twice every year with a surprise boy past sex determination. I find more than females, the male flowers tend to really build in the tops. The lower (think boy larf) branches rarely show stamens while the tops are yellow dusty male storm. That makes it easy to steal a clone and ditch the 4’ tall dad in a big pot.
Why do I like to Bansai? I love the Bansai for high plant counts, it takes low space, low lights power draw and all on one shelf. And then I release it out into the world every spring. I find it fun and exciting, I guess not always logically, to use the sun. I guess more of a personal challenge to do as many steps as I can naturally under the sun. Sometimes it’s fucking hard and I’m stubborn. Thank goodness I can always turn to the lights in a pinch.
My final thoughts, on at least outdoor males, go like this. I have found that 3/4 of the male plants will sex around the summer solstice. If a grower just let them grow out naturally and did not preflower sex them early. Then I find the rest of the males will stamen out late August. I virtually never see males in between. (But still keep an eye out). These are the most important times to watch if you are growing new regular seeds for the boys.
Also, I must mention intersex traits thoughts as well. What I have noticed is that true intersex plants will have female flowers up in the tops when they start to flower. And then have one or two small male flowers down in the lower nodes way below the tops. Isolated from the female clusters. At the places you would first presex young seedlings. The plant will look male here despite the tops solid female flowers. This usually happens earlier in flower like week 3-4. But even later if they are below the female flowers and at an isolated node you have a hermaphroditic intersex plant.
In contrast to plants that Rodelize male “bananas” up in the flower tops. Usually later in flower. Even on lower larf the male stamen (banana) is up at the tip of the flower cluster. Vs down isolated at a node below. These seeds tend to be randomly precious few in a plant that fully buds out. Often the grower doesn’t even see the very few random seeds until consuming the final product. These rodelized “banana” male flowers tend to overwhelmingly produce feminized (in my humble opinion and my well tracked experience) seeds. Don’t chuck them. (Usually < 20 seeds in the whole plant).
In contrast to true hermaphroditic intersex plants there will be a lot more seeds. Say if you get closer to 100 seeds. Or more. Those go right into the bird feeder.
On purposely seeded (pollinated) 12” clones I usually get 100-200 seeds each. Very little of the bud will be usable in any way. It is mostly seeds. Sacrificed to make seeds.
Don’t be surprised, you will make some total shit seeds. Even with the male that you thought was the best. Chuck those, don’t keep them unless they are better than what you started with. I like to go for mold resistant, and terp content. I like stinky weed. If they suck I put them in the bird feeder. If they are good I share them with my local grow buddies and they help me with the pheno hunts.
Also, if you find a keeper male you want to save, you want to have a clone ready first. What I mean is make sure to take an extra clone of any male you let go to pollen. The males will usually die once they release their pollen. I find them very difficult to re-grow. I already said that but it’s something else important to think about if you find a keeper. You want to have that clone first. If you find a male is not a keeper then fucking chuck that extra clone too. Don’t keep trash.