As legalization rolls forward it seems like more and more people are cultivating cannabis. Springtime and early summer of course are the perfect time to plant pot outdoors, especially here in Northern California. And this leads to a run on clones.
“This year has been particularly bad, as the “spring season” began exceptionally early and demand for our clones was exceptionally high,” Says Dan Grace the owner and operator of Oakland, California’s Dark Heart Nursery, a premier provider of top notch cannabis clones. These dudes deliver large batches of baby pot plants to shops throughout the Bay Area—including Santa Rosa, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and Berkeley and stoners are waiting are clamoring to get their hands on their clones. In fact we still see stoners waiting in huge lines before Oakland’s Harborside Health Center opens its doors on drop days. (HERE’S where DHN posts the what, when and where about their wares.)
“Last time I went into Harborside Oakland to pick up some weed for review, I noticed a ton of people waiting in line just for starter plants,” says our scribe, @StonyStuff. Who knew cloning cannabis was such big business?”
To boost production during clone season Dan and his crew are currently developing a tissue culture protocol for cannabis propagation. Tissue culturing is basically taking a small, sterile sample of a plant, placing it in a nutritious medium and ultimately nurturing it into another plant.
“We think that this work will help solve the seasonal demand problem, as it will allow us to scale up and down production quickly to match the market,” says Dan.
Tissue culturing delivers other benefits as well. The process allows more weed to be grown in a smaller spaces. And unlike taking clones from a mother plant, tissue culturing requires far less water, light and nutrients to produce new pot plants. Plus it allows growers to breed out molds, viruses and other undesirable shit. You’ll definitely see more tissue culturing techniques used to propagate pot in the future.
Seeds vs Clones
Why would someone want to start with a cannabis clone rather than a seed? Primarily because with clones you know what you’re getting, and your crop will be more consistent, Dan says. “Typically with seeds you need to sex and then phenotype a strain before putting it into production. Then at the end of all that you end up cloning it anyway. By purchasing clones to begin with you get consistent tested genetics right from the start.”
Dark Heart Nursery puts a tremendous amount of work into its Integrated Pest Management program and so should you—they have six certified pesticide applicators on staff plus a sophisticated pest scouting and treatment process. No one is 100% pest-free, but we’re pretty dang close, says Dan.
Even still bugs can sometimes be a free gift that come along with new clones. Ask any experienced grower and they’ll tell you to always assume newly acquired clones have bugs—even if you get ’em from reputable dealers like DHN. Why? Always error on the side of caution, man. Once pests enter your garden, you’ll have one hell of a time eradicating ‘em. That’s why many growers give their clones a preventative treatment before bringing them into their garden. A quick dip will ensure that shit like spider mites, fungus gnats or whiteflies don’t hitch a ride into your grow room and destroy it.
Cultivating any cannabis from clones this growing season? Let us know how it’s going in the comments below…
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