Difference in seed prices

Some of the best smoke I have ever had was Afghan. Some places are advertising Afghan seed for $20-40. Does this mean that the seed selling for $300 and up is that much better for the beginning to intermediate grower?
Lansing, Kansas

It is not very expensive to produce seed. A single female plant can produce several thousand seeds. The price of the seed is determined solely by marketing considerations. Boutique producers tend to charge more for their seeds because they are rarer, and were hand-pollinated.

Dozens of cannabis competitions are held annually around the world. Winners find their seeds in demand and may price their seeds accordingly. Buyers reason they are assured of a good product if it has won a contest.

Seeds of new and novel varieties also tend to cost more than standards and classics. This is because the new varieties offer advantages over the classics. For instance, over the past 25 years flowering time has decreased by a third, from 90 days to about 60. At the same time, productivity due to genetics has increased yield from under one pound per 1000-watt lamp to one to two pounds per 1000-watt lamp.

Some breeders, including many copycat producers, price their seeds moderately to encourage sales. The quality of the genetics may be equal to high priced seeds, but the marketing strategy is based on volume or modest expectation of profit.

Good genetics is the cheapest, easiest way to improve the quality of your garden?s produce. No matter how good your gardening techniques, the bud can only approach its genetic potential. Buying the best seed is critical to growing good bud.

Buyers can get information on websites and forums. Recommendations from friends and cannabis cup competition positions can also be helpful indicators of quality.

Readers with grow questions (or answers) should send them to Ed at: Ask Ed, PMB 147, 530 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California 94117, USA. You can also email Ed at [email protected], and send queries via his websites at www.ask-ed.net. All featured questions will be rewarded with a copy of Ed’s book, The Big Book of Buds. Sorry, Ed cannot send personal replies to your questions.