Ran the Temple all-night and checked it this morning. Temperature is nearly perfect at a temperate 72 degrees. The humidity is a bit low at 36%, but within reason. Reset the thermometer so I can check the extremes next time.
The temperature is great, but the humidity is quite low. Ganji will have to watch carefully, and make sure things don't get too dry. If the humidity drops any lower or stays around 35% continuously, he may need to add a humidifier to the set-up. -- Max
Decided to go ahead and plant. Mixed the potting soil and vermiculite I bought yesterday about 3:1. Drilled holes into the bottoms of forty party cups for drainage, and labeled each one. Filled them with soil mix, and saturated good. Poked holes in each one with a pen and dropped in the seeds.
The addition of vermiculite to the soil is a good choice. It'll help with drainage and keep the soil loose and aerated. The soil itself appears to be good quality with enough NPK to sustain the new young sprouts, but he'll probably need to add some fertilizer to the mix to carry the plants through an entire life cycle. Labeling is a must, particularly if you wish to establish a clone mother and begin perpetual harvests. You'll need to know which plants are which to pick the best cloning or breeding stock. -- Max
Planted 20 NL #9's and 20 Sweet Tooth's. Covered lightly and watered again. I'd like to end up with 12 or 16 females from this crop, so I'm planting 40. Assuming half are males, that should give me around 20 -- depending on how many don't make it -- from which to choose the best for flowering. Running low on Afghani's, and I don't want to seed this first crop, so I'm saving them for later.
Ganji tells me he's collected his seed stock during his travels over the years. His oldest variety is the Afghani #1, which he acquired on his first trip to Amsterdam almost 10 years ago. It holds a special place with him, as it was the first variety he ever grew, and was all he ended up with after a tragic double cross that cost him all his equipment and (almost) all his seeds a few years back. He picked up the NL# 9 from a Canadian seed bank while traveling in Vancouver, BC, and the Sweet Tooth, his most recent acquisition, was a gift from a dear friend just returned from last year's Cannabis Cup.
He's got the right idea, planting two to three times more than he eventually wants. Ganji's method for germinating seeds is just to drop them in soil. This may reduce the percentage that will sprout a little, but he's left himself a margin for error. Apparently he has more than enough NL #9 and Sweet Tooth seeds, so he's going to sex the garden, remove the males, and grow sinsemilla right off. With so few Afghani #1seeds, he'd have to allow the first crop he grew to produce seeds for future generations. -- Max
Found some old planting trays to set them in, and put them in the Temple. The trays are leaking a bit so I put down some plastic. Dropped the lights down to around two feet away and marked the day on the calendar. Off we go!
Ganji's got the light in just the right spot. It's far enough away not to cause any damage to the newly sprouting plants, but close enough to warm them and provide enough light to get them started. He'll have to move the lamp much closer when they begin to develop and need more intense light. I'm somewhat concerned about the containers being right on the floor however. Basement floors can be quite cold -- even in the trays on plastic, the temperature of the soil may be significantly lower than that of the surrounding air. Cannabis germinates best at warmer temperatures. He may need to raise the lamp and get the trays off the ground to warm the soil a bit.
Ganji takes a very no frills approach to gardening. He's started with a basic potting mix, and is germinating his seeds right in the soil. He'll need to keep it very moist for a while, but he's got a good mix and plenty of drainage, so he just needs to keep an eye on things and re-saturate periodically. Germination should start to take place in the next couple of days, and sprouts should start appearing before the week is up. Stay tuned! -- Max