I have high quality seeds from a plant my friend grew in a nearby area that was very good and ripened September 15. Should I use those seeds? What do I need to know about outdoor growing to make my crop a great one?
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
If the bud you harvested was ripe, it is apparent that the plant was acclimated to your area. These seeds would be good candidates for cultivating next year. Here’s the schedule:
Start the seeds indoors under an HPS light and grow them to the point where you can take cuttings for sexing (4 weeks). Remove the males by sexing the clones under a consistent regimen of 14 hours light off/10 hours light on. The cuttings can be kept in a dilute nutrient solution in frequently changed water. Eliminate the mother plants of the male clones. (2 weeks). Then take clones of the remaining plants so that you have enough plants to place outdoors (4-6 weeks).
If the plants are placed outdoors after May 15 in your area, they will need to be hardened off before placing in full sun. This can be done by placing them in filtered sun for about 10 days.
If you decide to try some new varieties as well, look for varieties which have been acclimated to your latitude or higher. A number of companies specialize in northern acclimated seeds.
In Minnesota, the plants will surely get enough water and the soil is fairly rich, but the light drops off in Fall and comes in at an angle low on the horizon. This is the time when plants need light the most: bud formation. Try to make sure that the plants are situated where they will receive full days of direct sun in the fall or use row covers daily to hasten flowering. If the plants are covered daily for 12 hours (7PM to 7AM) starting July 1, they will immediately start to flower and will mature by the end of August.
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