Selecting quality Onion seed
How to Grow Onions from Seed
Onions take a while to develop from seed. Sowing inside in January or February under growing lights then transplanting to the garden in early spring is the only way that I can grow onions from seed and have them mature in my zone 5 garden. If you live in more southern areas, you can plant onion seeds in late summer to early fall, overwinter, and they will begin growing when the weather warms.
Select Your Onion Seeds:
Onion seeds do not last long so only purchase seeds that you will use within one or two years. If you are planning on storing onions for winter use, select varieties that are known for their long-term storage capabilities. Also be sure to select varieties for your growing area. Onions are divided into short-day, day neutral, and long-day:
- Short-day onions are ideal for the plant hardiness Zone 7 and warmer where the mild weather allows them to grow through the fall and winter months and harvested in March, April and May. Short-day onions are triggered to bulb when sunlight increases to 10-12 hours. Some common short day onions are Red Burgundy, Vidalia, and Red Creole.
- Day-neutral, or intermediate-day onions can be grown in almost all climates. Day-neutral onions are prompted to bulb when sunlight increases to 12-14 hours. Common day-neutral onions are Candy and Cabernet.
- Long-day onions are what we grow in the North in plant hardiness Zone 6 and cooler. They are sown early under lights and transplanted to the garden in spring so they have plenty of time to grow before forming bulbs. Long-day onions are triggered to bulb when sunlight increases to 14-16 hours. Some common long-day onions are Copra, White Sweet Spanish, and Ailsa Craig.
Selecting Quality Cannabis Seeds
You may not be able to tell what type plant you’re smoking, but you can tell what you like. Choosing cannabis seeds from high-quality cannabis will grow into high-quality cannabis plants. If you like the grass you’re smoking, you’ll like the grass you grow.
The name of your cannabis seeds has little to do with potency and may have originated in the mind of some enterprising dealer. Always choose your seeds from what you consider to be the best grass seeds. Don’t be swayed by exotic names. If you are not familiar with choosing cannabis seeds of connoisseur quality, ask someone whose experience you respect for seeds. We have found that people to be very knowledgeable. Smokers tend to save seeds from exceptional grass even if they never plan to plant them.
The origin of your grass even if you knew it for certain, has little to do with whether it will be dynamite or worthless smoke. In both India45 and Brazil, hemp is grown which is worthless for cannabis. Likewise, extremely potent cannabis plants grow which are useless for hemp fiber. These plants are sometimes found growing in adjacent fields. Most of the fine-quality cannabis varieties develop in those countries nearer to the equator. How much this had to do with environmental conditions or cultural practices is unknown. In either case, cannabis traffic has been so heavy that fine varieties now grow all over the world. For example, in the United States thousands of people now grow varieties from Mexico. These fine varieties originated in Asia and Africa, and many were brought to Mexican farmers by American dealers during the 1960s. As more farmers grew these new varieties, the quality of Mexican grass seeds imported to the United States improved. Already people are speaking of varieties such as Maui Wauwie and Kona Gold.
The color of the grass does not determine its potency. Cannabis plants are almost always green, the upper surface of the leaves a dark, luxuriant green, and the undersurface a lighter, paler green. Some varieties develop reds and purples along stems and leaf petioles. Occasionally, even the leaves turn red/purple during the last stages of growth (plate 6). Grasses termed “Red” more often get their color from the stigmas of the female flowers, which can turn from white to a rust or red color, giving the cannabis buds a distinct reddish tinge. The golds and browns of commercial grass seeds are determined by the condition of the plant when it was harvested – whether it was healthy (green) or dying (autumn colors). How the plants are harvested, cured, and stored also has a serious effect on color. Commercial grasses from Colombia, Mexico, and Jamaica are often poorly cured and packed. Too much moisture is left in the grass, encouraging microbial decomposition; with warm temperatures, whatever green was left disappears, leaving the more familiar browns and golds. By the time they reach the United States, commercial grasses lose about five to 20 percent of their weight in water loss and often smell moldy or musty.
Color also depends on origin – when choosing cannabis seeds of high quality remember varieties adapted to tropical or high-altitude areas have less chlorophyll and more accessory pigments, giving the plant their autumn colors (accessory pigments protect the plant from excessive sunlight). Varieties adapted to northern climates, where sunlight is less intense, have more chlorophyll and less accessory pigments. The dying leaves often turn light yellow, grey, or rust. Variations in pigment concentrations are also influenced by local light particularly the soil conditions under which the plants are grown.
The taste of the smoke – its flavor, aroma, and harshness – also depends more on when the cannabis was harvested and how it was handled after it was grown than on the variety or environmental influences
When you’re choosing cannabis seeds you can detect subtle differences in the overall bouquet between freshly picked varieties. The environment probably influences bouquet too, but with most commercial grass seeds the harvesting/storing procedures for outweigh these other, more subtle factors. A musty, harsh-smoking Colombian cannabis can give the mildest, sweetest, homegrown smoke when properly prepared. Don’t be influenced by the cannabis’s superficial characteristics. Choose grass seeds from the most potent grass.
Grasses of comparable potency can yield plants of different potencies. This is because fine sinsemilla (homegrown, Hawaiians, Thai weeds, and some Mexicans) are carefully tended and harvested at about peak potency. They are also cured and packed well; so they are fresh when they are distributed in the American market. When you smoke them you are experiencing the at about its peak potency. The seeds you plant from this grass will produce plants, at best, of about equal potency. Sometimes they are slightly less simply because of differences in growing conditions. Colombian grasses are not usually harvested at their peak potency. A significant amount (20 percent and up) of the active cannabinoids (THC,CBD) are converted to much less active cannabinoids (CBN,CBS) or inactive ingredients (polymers-tars, resins, oils, etc.). This is also true of many Mexican and Jamaican grasses that are heavily seeded and poorly handled. Homegrown from this grass can produce plants of higher potency than the original, simply because the homegrown is fresh, and is harvested and cured well so that the THC content is at its peak.