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Growing and breeding cannabis for new strains is a rewarding experience. Not only that you were able to pursue your passion for honing the art of cultivating cannabis. But you were able to help people whose health status highly depends on what comfort that cannabis can bring to them. And it’s not surprising that as time passes by, more and more marijuana seed banks are built in every part of the country. Plus, learning how to help grow their cannabis. But how effective is drying pot seeds before storing it?
Surely, you’ll be proud of yourself when you able to breed a new strain or two. So, to ensure that you’re going to do it right here’s a simple guide that will help you in drying the pot seeds before you store it.
Harvesting Your Seeds
Harvesting your own seeds is one of the most exciting parts of cultivating your own cannabis plant. That’s because you will be able to see if you have done a good job of growing your plant or not. However, to harvest the seeds, it has to undergo a step-by-step process because it has a big impact on the quality, potency, and longevity of your output.
When Can you Harvest the Seeds?
A seed harvest happens after the pollination process is complete. When you check your cannabis plant, you’ll see the seeds in between 4 to 6 weeks later. To check if it is ready for harvesting, you can just pick one seed and try to squeeze it with your fingers.
If the seed breaks, it only means that the seeds are still underdeveloped so it needs more time to get ripen. You can also see that the seeds are ready for harvest based on their color and patterns.
A marijuana seed that is no longer lighter in color and is completely hard is ready to go. Usually, a good for harvesting marijuana seeds are dark brown in color. Some seeds exhibit stripes or turtle shell-like patterns which indicate that they are ready for harvest.
However, not all marijuana seeds show stripes when they ripen. So use another indicator to see if you can harvest it or not.
Other Indicators for Harvesting
Since harvesting your cannabis plant timely has a great impact on the levels of THC you can have, there are other indicators that can help you determine that the plant is ready. These are:
When the pistils turn dark and are receding
The hair is the primary thing you should look at in a cannabis plant whenever you’re going to harvest the seeds. Make sure not to harvest the plant if the hair in the buds is still white. This means that the plant is still in the flowering stage. If the hairs turn dark and are curling up, it’s a sign that it’s to get harvested.
The Appearance of the Trichomes
A marijuana plant is ready for harvesting when you see almost 60 to 70% milky trichomes than the clear trichomes. You won’t be able to see it with the naked eye, which is why you should have a pocket microscope that has LED light attached. Just to clarify: a milky trichome looks like frosted glass, while a clear trichome looks like polished glass.
Color of the leaves
Another indicator that your plant is ready for harvest is the color of the leaves that are surrounding the calyxes as well as big fan leaves. Cannabis that is ready for harvesting usually has crisp, yellowish leaves that are starting to curl up.
If you still have doubts if your cannabis plant is ready for harvest despite the appearance of the indicators mentioned above, the best thing to do is to give another week for your plant before you harvest it.
How to Harvest Your Seeds
Once you have determined that you can harvest the seeds from your cannabis plants. There are ways on how you can harvest them. It’s either by machine or manual labor. However, between the two, manual labor is yet more cost-effective.
That is because you don’t need to spend that much on the machine and doing it by hand allows you to save the trichomes which are a valuable material to waste. And to get started, what you will need is a dried marijuana flower.
Harvesting the seeds by hand
To harvest the seeds, you should be able to get at least 3 to 4 branches of marijuana and put them in a plastic bag. Hold the thick ends of the branch and tie it at the ends of the bag to ensure that the seeds won’t fall out. Afterward, smash the branches hard for a minute.
Then, open the bags and check out the seeds that have fallen out of the plant. If you notice that there are still seeds sticking in the plant, this only means that the flower needs to be dried more or you can repeat the process again.
Don’t feel sorry for the cannabis plant that you smashed for getting the seeds because these parts can’t be smoked.
To ensure that there’ll be no other material except the seeds, it is best to sift the seeds using a screen to remove any unwanted plant matter that is attached in the seed itself. Brush off the seeds gently, and make sure that they are free from any remaining plant material that includes leaves, stems, or trichomes.
It is important that it is being looked up in the process of harvesting the seeds because not removing the plant materials may result in contamination and spoilage of the seeds when stored long-term.
What happens to the seeds after the harvest?
Once you have harvested the seeds, the seeds continue to develop even during the drying and curing. Christian Weidenbach, a cannabis grower, and enthusiast mentioned that although seed development continues, you don’t have to pull the seeds out fresh and dry it quickly because it will not germinate well.
After you have harvested cannabis, you have to dry it for at least 12 to 14 hours for initial curing and prepare it for slow dry. Others hang the branches in a dark room, while someplace them in a brown bag for 2 to 3 days to dry.
Drying the seeds in lower RH is important, especially if you have plans of storing it for future use. If you fail to dry it properly, the seeds may not germinate well. If these are stored, the possibility it will germinate or get rotten is high because there is too much moisture is still inside the seeds.
Steps on How to Store Your Cannabis
More cannabis seeds can be harvested if you pollinate the whole plant, rather than a specific branch. And since one cannabis plant can produce a lot of seeds, you will surely have lots of seeds to spare for planting, distribution and storing.
So if you have plans to store your seeds for breeding and growing purposes in the future there are important things to remember to ensure the success of your cannabis seeds storage. These are the air humidity, temperature, light, and storing methods.
Rapid temperature oscillations and air humidity can be destructive to cannabis seeds when not placed in a proper container. You can store your seeds on airtight packets and keep them in a cool, dry place. Experts suggest having it stored in a dark room to prevent possible germination.
The reason why it is important to keep the seeds from any contact, especially humidity is that the seeds during the preservation period are at rest. When it comes in contact with humid, the genetic substances inside the seed are awakened and released. This phenomenon triggers the germination process.
If you have plans to store your seeds for longer periods, make sure that the air humidity does not exceed 9%.
Cannabis seed should be kept on cool places in order not to lose its natural essences. So, many cannabis breeders freeze or refrigerate their seeds. However, you must ensure that the seeds are placed at the farthest back of your refrigerator where it will not experience any change in temperature whenever the door opens.
Keep in mind that when the seeds are frozen, thawed, and refrozen, it loses its viability. Aside from this, it leads to moisture buildup which can lead to germination or spoilage.
When you store the seeds, it is important that the seeds are kept from any direct light as it can lead to germination. This is the reason why most containers come in dark colors or in foil packages. If seeds come in contact with light, it can shorten the seed’s duration and can lead to sprouting.
Cannabis seeds are best kept in a cool, dry, and dark place. It helps in preserving the seeds’ genetic resources and makes it viable for future cultivation. If you will be storing your seeds for a few months, your seeds are fine in air-tight packets placed in another air-tight container or jars. If you will be storing it for longer periods, the seeds should be in a vacuum-sealed packet. Some even include food-grade desiccant to ensure that there’ll be no moisture build-up.