When it's time to determining which strain is right for you, it may seem like a hard decision. It's not as difficult as you make it out to be. The key things to keep in mind is whether you are shopping for " Indica or Sativa ".
Sativas are pretty much the complete opposite of Indicas. The specifications are tall, thin plants, with much narrower leaves and grow into a lighter green color. They mature in growth very quickly and can reach heights of 20 feet.
Sativa plants grow between the equator and the 50th parallel. They include both marijuana and hemp varieties. The plants that marijuana growers are interested in come from the equator between the 20th parallel North and south. Countries from this area are noted for high grade marijuana include Colombia, Jamaica, Nigeria, Congo, Thailand, Sumatra, Southeast Asia and Mexico. Populations of plants from most of these areas are quite uniform for several reasons. It was imported to grow hemp crops and then it adapted over many generations, with human intervention. Each population originated from a small amount of fairly uniform seeds from the region between the 45th and 50 parallels. Then the population evolved over hundreds of generations with help of humans. This led to fairly uniform populations in climates that vary little from year to year.
Sativas mature in growth very quickly and can reach heights of 20 feet. Symetrical pine shaped plants. the space between the leaves on the stem, the internode, is longer on sativas than indicas. This helps to give sativas a taller stature. The lowest branches are the widest, spreading 1-1/2 to 3 feet. Plant diameters may reach 6 feet because the branches grow opposite each other. The leaves are long, slender and finger like. The plants are light green since they contain chlorophyll.
Sativa buds are not as dense as indica buds. some varieties grow buds along the entire branch, developing a thin, compact cola. Others grow large formations of very light buds. During the flowering stage, it take between 10 to 16 weeks for them to fully mature. Flavors include from earthy to sweet, spicy or fruity. The highs are described as soaring, cerebral, up, energetic, psychedelic, thoughtful and spacy.
Indica plants originated around the 30th parallel in the Hindu Kush region of the Himalayan foothills. This includes the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Northern India and Nepal. The indica hash producing countries of the world are Afghanistan, Morocco, and Tibet. The weather there is quite variable from year to year. For this reason the populations there have a varied gene pool and even within a particular population there is a high degree of heterogeneity, which results in plants of the same variety having quite a bit of variability. This helps the population survive. No matter what the weather during a particular year, some plants will survive and reproduce.
Indica plants are fairly short, usually under 5 feet tall. They are bushy with compact branching and short internodes. They range in shape from a rounded bush to a pine like shape with a wide base. The leaves are short, veery wide and darker shade of green than most equatorial sativas because they contain larger amounts of chlorophyll. Sometimes there is webbing betweenthe leaflets. At the 30th latitude, the plants don’t receive as much light as plants at or near the equator. By increasing the amount of chlorophyll, the cells use light more efficiently.
After flowering starts they will be mature in 6 to 8 weeks. Indica buds are dense and tight. They form several shapes depending on variety. all of them are chunky or blocky. Sometimes they form continuous clusters along the stem. They have intense smells ranging from acrid, skunky or musky to equally pungent aromas (sweet and fruity). Indica smoke is dense, lung expanding and cough inducing. The high is heavy, body oriented and lethargic.
Combining different Indicas, different Sativas or a combination creates hybrids. Resulting hybrid strains will grow, mature and smoke in relationship to the indica/sativa percentages they end up containing.
The actual percentages of indica and sativa that all of the strains contain, is almost impossible to calculate exactly and not all breeders provide us with this information. When you look at the strains in each category, you will see that they are all very similar in respect to their growth, size, flowering time, yield and type of high. This is consistent through each category and is the most important aspect of choosing your strain.
Whether or not a strain can be grown outdoors depends on the length of season you have. All outdoor and indoor/outdoor strains listed in the catalog include an approximate finishing date outdoor. This is most important feature to consider and is completely influenced by the indica/sativa ratio. You want plants that will mature before the danger of frost or bad weather comes along. The more sativa that is in the mix, the longer it takes to finish. If you have a very long growing season, most strains in the catalogue can be grown outdoors. These finishing dates are approximate and will vary depending on conditions. From there you go back to what you like and the descriptions of the plants.
For indoor strains, don’t choose strains that are listed as outdoors, they don’t always transfer inside as well. It can always be accomplished but it may take a few crops to settle them in. Flowering times and yields listed are approximates and can vary depending on conditions.
The heights listed for each strain are for full sized plants. When growing indoor, we have complete control over how tall these plants get, just by how long we grow them before flowering is initiated. Artificial lights do not efficiently penetrate much more than 3 feet down into the garden, so it makes little sense to grow them much bigger than that.
After the light schedule is changed to 12 hours on and 12 hours off, flowering will begin in about 7 to 14 days. During this time the plants will continue to grow another 6 to 14 inches and then stop. How much they will grow depends on the indica/sativa ratio of the strain. Sativas will stretch the most. Depending on this ratio, flowering should be initiated at around 18 to 24 inches to achieve the end height of 36 inches. How long it will take to get this tall depends on the strain and the conditions in the garden.
You’ll notice that some strains of the same name listed in the catalog have enormously different prices. Here’s how that all works; The expensive strains are coming to us from the major seed banks in Amsterdam. They have spent 30 years inventing and developing their strains, many of which have been multiple competition winners and are considered some of the best in the world and as a result command a higher price in the marketplace.
The lesser-priced strains of the same name come to us from local breeders who have taken those Dutch genetics, grown them themselves, have chosen the parents carefully and produced seeds. They have not invented the strain or done the same amount of work to command the same high prices. The quality is the same but the plants may be somewhat different from the originals, depending on the parents chosen. In all cases the result are a good representation of the strains.
All of the strains we carry are potent. The success of the eventual outcome will depend on your personal tastes and the conditions in which they are grown. Nobody tests the THC percentages of these strains and they are not really sure what the numbers mean when they do. THC is found in the resin glands that form on the plant during the maturation process. These glands act as a shield to protect the seed from the searing heat of the sun. From our experience this is needed more in a hot, dry atmosphere, than a hot humid one. To maximize resin production drop the humidity in the room for the flowering stage, the lower the better. But no matter how much resin you induce on an indica it’s still not going to give you the stone of a sativa, so it does have a lot to do with your personal tastes and expectations.
All of the yields listed for the strains are approximate and depends a lot on how they are grown and the quality of the environment. Indoor lights don’t penetrate down very far so it is better to grow a larger number of smaller plants to achieve the highest yield of top quality bud. Maximum yields indoors are coming from indicas and mostly indica hybrids, while the more sativa in the mix, the lower the yields tend to be.
Our yield indoors is really limited only by the amount of light we have not the strain we choose. Given that it is a good growing environment, we would expect the yield to be about the same from any strain in relationship to its indica/sativa content. It is up to us as growers to maximize our plant’s potential in our space. To do this we need to experiment to find out how each strain will respond best.
Flowering times listed in cataloge for each strain are an indication of how long it will take the plant to mature indoor after flowering has be induced by changing the lights to 12 hours of darkness. This will be affected by the environment to some degree, but is pretty much fixed in the plant. Indicas are faster flowering than sativas and hybrids are in relationship to the percentage of each they contain.
Equally important in the process is vegetation time, or how long you grow them before flowering is induced. Sativas grow very quickly and if we wait too long to flower them they will outgrow the limits of the space and will not fill out. On the other hand, if an indica is not grown for long enough, the yield can be greatly reduced. In the scheduling of the process they can often both end up taking about the same amount of time to grow and mature.