I want to teach you a simple task that will change your gardening forever. Making clones ? or cuttings as they are sometimes referred to ? will give you the ability to fill any size grow space with identical replicas of your favorite mother plant in far, far less time than it takes to grow from seed. There are also no worries about hermies*, males or any un-productive plants being in your precious growing space.
*Hermies, or hermaphrodites, have both male and female genders in one plant. These sex tendencies can be brought on by stress or genetics, and sometimes do not present themselves until the female flowers or buds are almost finished. Some will just produce seeds within buds without visible male pollen sacs, and some hermies will show both sexes right away when they begin to flower. They are definitely undesirable.
Here are a few things to consider:
1) If you are growing indoors, I know your budding space is limited, so why would you want any unnecessary plants taking up room and sucking up electricity unless you know they will perform?
2) The crop you are growing from seed has just started to bud, and there is one female that has exceptionally thick, dark green leaves, is taller than the rest and isn?t showing any undesirable traits. How can you save its genetics and make the next batch exactly like this exceptional plant?
3) You already have a favorite strain; how do you share it with others to protect her genetics for the future in case something suddenly comes up?
? 10? x 20? standard black plastic potting trays with tall clear dome tops
? 50-cube rockwool slabs
? Grow Tech heat mat
? standard 4? fluorescent shop light
? Superthrive* and a mild dose of flowering formula plant food in a 5 gal. bucket
* Superthrive is a highly concentrated micro-nutrient solution that should be used with every watering in every situation at the recomended dose of one drop per gallon. Don?t be caught without it!
? rooting hormone
? a good ph meter or a combo ph-ppm-temp meter, (which is what I use)
? brand new clean and sharp razor blades
? a pencil or small piece of wood to tamp rockwool around stems
? a mother plant, or better yet, many clones of a mother plant eat lifetime.
Note: every plant seen here came from one plant, Afghani Bullrider #5. AB#5 came from a batch of 6 females, all grown from seed, and have proven to be the medicine I need. You can see the whole project on www.pot.tv, Jef Tek Growcam. There are many different shows, each documenting different stages of the Afghani Bullrider project development all the way through harvesting.
Step by Step
1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket with clean water and add 1 ml. of Superthrive and about 30-35 ml. of bloom formula organic food. (I?ve had excellent results with Botanicare?s Pure Blend Pro line of Veg and Bloom formulas.) Then add approximately 5 to 10 ml. of pH Up to bring the meter reading to 5.6 pH. Place your rockwool slab into a tray, fill it with the nutrient solution, and let it soak to remove all air bubbles.
2. Place your hand over the rockwool and turn the tray a full 90 degrees to pour off the excess water.
3. Get your mother(s), razor blade, and a pencil ready. Make sure everything is within easy reach; your answering machine is on your favorite tunes playing. Pack a bowl, roll a jay or fill the bong, take a nice big hit, and let it out. Now you are ready to begin cloning.
4. Cut the first shoot you see. Train your eyes to look for two leaves and a growing top. I cut shoots as short as 2? or as long as 9? and have them all rooted in the same time frame. After you?ve got a good top with two leaves cut, insert its stem into the first rockwool cube hole, starting at the top of the left hand corner, just like reading a book. Gently close the rockwool around the freshly cut stem with your stick. This will prevent the cut ting from drying out and it also gives mechanical stability to the rootless little cutting.
5. Here you see pictures of Afghani Bullrider plants in 16-ounce cups. These all came from one single mother plant. I cut 50 clones with the intent of only needing 16 to 32 of them for a budding crop; the remaining clones simply became future mothers or were given to special friends.
6. After you?ve got 50 clones, or you?ve run out of moms to cut, cover the tray with a clear tall dome with a few breather holes cut in the top, then place it on a heat mat in a nice safe location. Two of these trays fit perfectly side by side under a 4? 2-tube fluorescent shop light. They don?t need any more light than this for the first week. After a week you can remove the dome, then double the light by either moving it closer to the trays, or switching to a 4-tube light. (Or go for broke and throw them under a 400-watt metal halide lamp like I did.) Keep the light on for 18 to 24 hours a day.
Two or three days after you?ve cut your clones, you can remove the dome lid for a few minutes every day. Cut larger holes in the top and bottom of the lid. They shouldn?t need any water for five to six days unless it is extremely hot and dry where you live. Lift the whole tray every day and you?ll notice when it feels light and looks dry; this is good because if you keep it too wet it takes longer for roots to form. You can add plain water at a pH of 5.6-5.8 if necessary.
7. Within two weeks you?ll see little white roots bustin? out of the bottom of the root cubes. You may now give them a light feeding with an organic bloom formula. I?ve found that a small dose of bloom food will increase the root development. They can then be separated and planted into the next larger sized rockwool cube/slab for your hydroponics setup, or placed directly into an Aeroponics or coco coir system or, like shown here, planted directly into 16 ounce plastic drinking cups filled with Sunshine Mix #4 soiless medium, with a hole drilled in the bottom. When transplanted, it?s time to start your vegetative feeding program.
I get 100% results using this cloning system each and every time. I need 32 1?-tall plants in four weeks from now. These cuttings will take two weeks to bust roots. I?ll transplant them to cups where they?ll veg for two weeks and fill out. The biggest, fullest and healthiest of them will be planted first, giving me 18 extra clones to continue my next crop. It?s all about timing. This is the reason why I only start timing my plants when the budding cycle begins. I don?t count the veg time because, if my timing is accurate, I?ll have the plants I need as soon as my harvest is complete, giving me a perpetual eight week harvest. If I were to split the room or start another room I would offset the two rooms by four weeks, giving me a harvest every month. In theory you could have eight rooms offset one week each and harvest one room every week ? 52 weeks a year! (You?d be a busy mo-fo cutting clones AND harvesting EVERY week; you wouldn?t even have time to burn a fatty, like I am right now.)
I like to keep a special mother or two around when space permits. Whenever they get too big for the veg room, I throw them into the bud room. I try to use my limited space wisely. My veg/clone room is little more than a bathtub, but this doesn?t stop me from producing twice as many clones as I need at any given time. Remember, each one of these little clones has the potential to produce hundreds of clones that could in turn produce hundreds of clones of their own. That?s pounds of fine Afghani Bullrider medicine!
Although slightly trickier, you can sometimes take clones well into the budding cycle if necessary. When I first received the Afghani Bullrider, it was one plant in a 16-ounce cup, about nine inches tall and budding. After some time and TLC, it slowly started to sprout new green single-bladed leaves, then three and then five.
Before this I had great results rejuvenating a Blueberry Skunk plant. It produced coffeecan sized nugs. After going through a full 10-week budding cycle with multiple harvests, when almost 99% of it had been chopped down, I decided to see if the last scraggly bits of bud at the base would re-grow. It did! After a month of just sitting on the sidelines in my veg room, that single Bluetooth Skunk plant went on to produce over a pound of fine outdoor bud after giving me dozens of identical clones for the future.
The Afghani Bullrider plant was almost forgotten with all the excellent Mikado, Jack Herer, Chronic, G-13, Maple- Leaf Indica and Blueberry Skunk that had everybody glued to my couch whenever they dropped by, but when the first testcrop of A-B was fi nished in only 45 days, I knew that this was something to focus in on. The smell and the taste are intoxicating all by themselves; the high comes on instantly with a very happy uplifting and inspiring buzz that just clicks the lock in my brain and tells me that everything is gonna? be all right.
This is not the only way to take cuttings and make clones, but it is a realistic, efficient way to produce fresh happy plants. Once you master this lesson you will have clones for a lifetime.
Jef Tek uses all-organic nutrients and flushes his plants with pure water for the last 4 weeks until harvest, when he dries them in a cool dark room for a week or more. They are potent medicinal non-molested buds. Few of these buds will ever touch a plastic bag, preferring to enjoy the freedom of a glass jar or stainless steel for their trichome-covered nugular selves.