Shantibaba's Alive and Kicking: long term keeping of strains.
Posted by 7greeneyes at MPHey Hemp Goddess, couldn't find the exact release http but found where someone copied it onto their website. Here ya go:
Article for 2009 April for Weed World, Treating Yourself, La Dolce Vita, Buds and Babes.
‘Alive and Kicking’ –the importance of a strains’ health and long term fitness… even after 10 years! Learn how!
Gardeners and growers alike, who are familiar with cloning from stock plants, know how important it is to have optimum health in a mother or father plant. Clones made from healthy parent plants will have clearly a better chance to perform well as production plants. Keeping stock plants alive and kicking, year after year, is a great scenario and establishes consistency, popularity and recognition of a plant and its effects. In fact most plants you buy at a garden center like geraniums and lavender etc…are all cloned from established mother plants…that is why we can guarantee genetic replicas time after time, and it will always be consistent, thus making it a stable and reliable product to sell, as people know what they are getting. Garden centers usually have stock plants growing outside for years to ensure this to be the case and to clone in the right season. Since Cannabis is actually a dioecious (A plant species in which male and female organs appear on separate individuals). annual herb and relies on propagating from seed each year, it was not until we worked out the critical photo fluctuations like 18hr or more of daylight it vegetates and grows and 12 hours or less it flowers and dies. Different plants are activated with different photo periods and that is the reason they flower at different times.
To achieve keeping a plant alive for years, that would normally seed and die annually, you will need a well constructed and well planned grow room (more than 18hours light per day), this is essential!!!. In this grow or vegetative room, mothers, fathers and clones can all root, grow and be cloned, making this room a big asset and the center of all operations to do with the production of a consistent strain. But management of any strain grown under artificial indoor conditions is a must if you wish to keep the same plant and a library of genetics alive and in production for the future. If this is something that interests you then read on…let’s just say cloning revolutionized the Cannabis industry in the same way it did for the traditional Plant nurseries. Controlled pedigree breeding through the principles of selection along with a mother room changed the look and possible hybrids that would not have been able to occur in Nature. This all began with The seed bank originally set up by Neville in Holland in the 80s…and from that single seed bank grew all the multi-hybrids and true breeds which are the basis for all other seed companies that followed.
Beginning with a seed that comes from a reliable source of genetics will mean some level of selection has gone into the strain/hybrid, which in turn means the starting point should be a better place to begin than with bag seed or land races or unrefined wild sown seed. Once you have selected your strain, grown the males and females, made a choice of the plants according to your criteria for selection, you are ready to begin the production side of growing for this strain. In other words initial seed work is only needed for the first stage as once you have found the plant you want; cloning makes it a stable, reliable and consistent industry, where the end product will only vary according to the climatic fluctuations it is grown in, but not genetically.
All male and female parent plants need to be kept in an indoor 18hr grow room to preserve the strain as a living plant form, otherwise we keep it as seed in a fridge. The advantage of clones is as soon as they are cut and rooted…2-3 weeks they are in production…while seed plants vary and take between 6-8 weeks to be at the same state of maturity for production. So clone mothers are valuable in the respect that many people can grow off a single 18hr mother/ clone setup…if they work together. One clone room for 20 flowering rooms or more, illustrates the importance of an 18hr vegetative room…if you want to be professional.
The single most important aspect of the mother room is air movement, in my opinion. Air movement both within the room and incoming and outgoing air exchange should be made adjustable. That way one can move large volumes of air or small volumes of air depending upon the environmental influences, and therefore allows us to play god by controlling all aspects of Climate which in turn allows us to grow plants to their full potential indoors instead of being at the mercy of Mother Nature and the seasonal fluctuations. Considering a mother room goes year round, making it the laboratory type of setup is something to consider. The better the facility, without it being too large the better chances of good clone production, stable and healthy mothers and fathers, and general good plant health is easier to maintain. Circulating air below the plants and above them will reduce the likelihood of molds settling and colonizing or laying eggs, in fact it makes it tough for all pests to settle in as the currents of air flowing between the plants do not allow for stagnation. Less plagues, infestations and disease come from rooms with large air movement…so keep the air moving!
Flowering rooms (12hours light per day or less) that are set up for rotational crops every 2-3 months, rely on a source of pest free clones, infection free and healthy clones coming from a healthy home. So it is imperative the source of the clones for these flowering setups come fit and healthy, otherwise a lot of rooms and different growers will suffer.Hygenic, clean and clear of decomposing organic matter is a must for any good mother room. Foot baths are easy to setup before entering the room and greatly reduce the chances of spreading pests or foreign bodies once inside. Simple detergent or Chlorine with water, enough for the soles of your shoes to be washed as you walk through will do the job. Weekly spraying of all working areas with Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2 30%...mixed with water) including the walls and floor will be the best form of prevention if done on a regular basis.
However the most essential part of keeping a strain(s) going for many years in great health will be this single feature. Mother and father plants used to clone from and to maintain the genetics from are usually grown under artificial lights. To manage the fitness and health of the strain it is essential to cut a clone from the old mother/fathers, root them and grow them under natural sunlight for a period of about 1-2 months then bring them or a clone of them back inside to take over from the old parents as new mother/father plants. This single aspect of growing the plant outside for part of the year will ensure the new parent plants that the clones come from will be virile and strong, instilling a certain level of fitness in the strain. Repeat this year after year and the strain will out live you! My plant library exists since decades this way and they show no sign of deterioration, nor does a single clone coming from them!
For all you hobby breeders, cloning companies, or seed companies keeping plants alive in grow rooms for many years, it is very important to keep fitness and health in a strain. An example of a plant that was only in clone form as a female that slowly lost fitness and eventually died without anything anyone could do was G13. This was one of Neville’s creations as a seed that began a lot of hype, legends and stories of exaggeration since the early 90s, but alas lost in a pure form and only found in hybrids, nowadays.
If you find something worth to nurture for the future, make sure the mother/father/clone room is clean and hygienic, and the air is flowing well inside, exhausted well and one time of the year (preferable summer) that the plants get to grow in natural sunlight for a time…this will guarantee all you can do to preserve a strain for longevity. One strain grown and cloned in a one lamp room over many years can reach a lot of different people, growers and parts of the world that most people will never have thought possible. Not to mention it creates a consistent and reliable product that people can count on. Cannabis grown with care grows into medicine somewhere!