we will start off with a preselected male and female. i have been working with a few strains for several years and made my choice. to determine which plants to breed i look for several traits. some are personal preferences others are for the benefit of growth.
one of the first things i look at is the thickness of the side branches at the stalk. the plant will form a "ring" at the base of the side branch where it meets the stalk. this will be re-enforcement for the branches once they get heavy with bud growth. a nice fat ring at early stages of veg growth can show a lot.
this is a plant that has dropped the fan leaf but left the "ring" it has grow to be nice and supportive.
i also look at node spacing.
this plant has very poor node spacing. i would not use this for breeding purposes. it is tall and leggy.
this branch exhibits traits that i desire.
i also look for early resin production. i've seen resin start on seedlings that only had it's first 3 sets of nodes.
then we can go into all the other traits. overall appearance, leaf patter, strain, flavor, high, color.............
so i have selected my male, now what? i have the advantage of several grow areas. i will start my seedlings indoors under floros. i will let them veg until i see the first preflowers. then it's off to the flower room. i will put the male into the flower room on a 12/12 light cycle. i let it do it's thing for several weeks. all the while keeping a very close eye on growth. i pay attention to growth rate, stretching, vigor, speed of flower production... all the while deciding if this is still the plant i want. i've killed many a potential pollen producers during flowering because of undesirable traits that appear late.
so my male is getting close. the pods have appeared and started to hang. once they get to this point it is time to remove them. i do most of my breeding during spring and summer. when the male is close to opening flowers i simply put him outside. i have no need to worry about accidental pollination if none of my outdoor plants are in flower. by bringing the males out during the spring i can be assured of no mistakes. i will kill all males when my outdoor plants begin to flower. i will gather and store pollen from the males to pollinate the females with later down the road.
now we collect the pollen. by watching the pods i can determine what they look like just before they pop. i watch several pop first then note the size and shape just prior. i now know when to harvest my pods. i try to get them just before they open. this way i get the most pollen i can out of the pod. i will pluck them as they ripen and drop them into a glass jar. the pods will be taken inside and left out in the open to allow the pollen to fully dry. i lace then on a paper plate on a dark shelf to dry. then they can be crumbled and the pollen can be sifted out. i usually just dump it all back in the jar and lightly stir it to get it to crumble and release the pollen.
pollen is dry. we are ready. i use a small paint brush. if i am only doing a partial seed i like to use lower branches on the female to seed. or i will pick one side branch and seed the whole branch. i can pick one single bud to seed if i so desire. once i have the bud located to be seeded i simply dip the brush into the jar and swirl lightly. the pollen will stick. i lightly knock off any loose pollen. then i dab the tip of the brush into the hairs of the lucky girl. by using this method i can pollinate one small bud within a garden of otherwise seedless plants. i am careful to remove the plant from the room while i am pollinating her. turn off all fans and wash hand when done. then after i pollinate i try to knock any loose pollen off the bud before she goes right back into the flower room.
within the next day or so the hairs that were pollinated will die. they dry up and turn brown. this is a good sign that it took. now we wait. seed production takes quite some time. indoors i will seed about the second to third week of flower. the seeds will be done by harvest. i like to wait until i see the skin of the seed pod start to peel back and the exposed seed poking out. premature seeds are no good. the longer i wait the better. it does not hurt to let them go until they fall off on there own. i can shake a branch and seeds will litter down.