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Grow Germination of ancient bagseed: an experimental thread

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
With Mom’s encouragement, I’m putting this up as its own thread, in hopes it may be of use to others.

THE STORY SO FAR: like a lot of folks, I have saved bagseed from different batches of weed over the years, from the early 80s until sometime in the 90s. Yes, that makes them 30-40 years old, and old seeds are notoriously difficult to germinate - so much so that many attempt it by damaging the seeds themselves in various ways. These are not my ways: I come from the age of scarcity, pot is precious to me, and wasting it is not in my nature.

The biggest single obstacle to germination old seeds seems to be improper storage. These seeds are in two broad groups: special batches from exceptional herb, and general bagseed (sounds like a forum handle...). The general seeds have been stored in bulk, the specials have been stored in individual batches, but all batches have been handled the same since the beginning. Specifically, each batch has been culled of white seeds, broken or cracked seeds, and seeds with gunk on them; they’ve then been placed in small baggies, rolled up tight and sealed. Many rolls were taped up; some few went into small amber bottles, but ALL were kept in a metal box, away from light, and in air-conditioned quarters.

They were left this way until I recently did an inventory, when they were examined for damage (and culled again when necessary), and then put but the way they were. They are literally all shapes, sizes, and colors - mottled, tiger-striped, grey, brown, sandy, huge, tiny, average, and misshapen. The seeds I am using for this series of trials are from the bulk, of which I have maybe an ounce.

I have been studying the germination process, grow reports, scientific studies, picking up hints and developing ideas for some time now, and in my eagerness to do *something* toward my eventual grow, I began this project.

The initial round of experiments involves one gram of seeds (0.999, to be precise) - 60 seeds, and I’ll work with them in groups of 10. The initial trial is underway, and subsequent trials will be focused on improving germination rates (assuming I don’t get 100% the first time).

TRIAL #1: ten seeds, all different, but deliberately NOT selected, left in ambient conditions (~75F, 45%RH) for 48 hours.

The seeds went into 15ml of distilled water at noon today, when they were riding high in the water. 90 minutes later, they are roughly half-submerged. Now I wait. While I wait, should I outline my plans for the subsequent trials? The goal is to reach full germination, not to torture the seeds, so it probably won’t be sexy unless you’re the same sort of geek as me....
 

Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
With Mom’s encouragement, I’m putting this up as its own thread, in hopes it may be of use to others.

THE STORY SO FAR: like a lot of folks, I have saved bagseed from different batches of weed over the years, from the early 80s until sometime in the 90s. Yes, that makes them 30-40 years old, and old seeds are notoriously difficult to germinate - so much so that many attempt it by damaging the seeds themselves in various ways. These are not my ways: I come from the age of scarcity, pot is precious to me, and wasting it is not in my nature.

The biggest single obstacle to germination old seeds seems to be improper storage. These seeds are in two broad groups: special batches from exceptional herb, and general bagseed (sounds like a forum handle...). The general seeds have been stored in bulk, the specials have been stored in individual batches, but all batches have been handled the same since the beginning. Specifically, each batch has been culled of white seeds, broken or cracked seeds, and seeds with gunk on them; they’ve then been placed in small baggies, rolled up tight and sealed. Many rolls were taped up; some few went into small amber bottles, but ALL were kept in a metal box, away from light, and in air-conditioned quarters.

They were left this way until I recently did an inventory, when they were examined for damage (and culled again when necessary), and then put but the way they were. They are literally all shapes, sizes, and colors - mottled, tiger-striped, grey, brown, sandy, huge, tiny, average, and misshapen. The seeds I am using for this series of trials are from the bulk, of which I have maybe an ounce.

I have been studying the germination process, grow reports, scientific studies, picking up hints and developing ideas for some time now, and in my eagerness to do *something* toward my eventual grow, I began this project.

The initial round of experiments involves one gram of seeds (0.999, to be precise) - 60 seeds, and I’ll work with them in groups of 10. The initial trial is underway, and subsequent trials will be focused on improving germination rates (assuming I don’t get 100% the first time).

TRIAL #1: ten seeds, all different, but deliberately NOT selected, left in ambient conditions (~75F, 45%RH) for 48 hours.

The seeds went into 15ml of distilled water at noon today, when they were riding high in the water. 90 minutes later, they are roughly half-submerged. Now I wait. While I wait, should I outline my plans for the subsequent trials? The goal is to reach full germination, not to torture the seeds, so it probably won’t be sexy unless you’re the same sort of geek as me....
I'm excited about this thread. From my own weird perspective, the soil is the most important part. When I bought my house ten years ago, the back yard was a barren, weed filled wasteland, of the sort you often see in Northern California. The uncared for soil was basically cracked adobe. The edge of the yard had a decent peach tree, and a small orange and a grapefruit tree. There was also a prickly pear cactus, but I attacked it with a baseball bat and it was no more. An Unfortunate Incident led to broken bones, and my gardening plans were halted while I elevated and endured the Boot. This gave me time to read about gardening, and I started reading permaculture books and focusing on the soil. Madri-Guy was enlisted to put down cardboard, and when a neighbor had tree trimming done, I hobbled out on crutches and begged for mulch from the tree guy ( begging for mulch has become an annual tradition). We put everything in the yard we could. When the basement flooded, we put out the books that were ruined, and we composted every scrap of paper. We went to coffee houses and asked for coffee grounds. For my birthday, M-G bought me a worm bin and worms. We didn't generate enough to both feed the worms, and compost, so after a year we released the worms into the soil, and there was soil. It was rich, crumbly and black. We started growing vegetables, and visiting the clearance area at Lowe's garden center for half dead, but very cheap plants. M-G and I started exchanging trees for birthdays, Christmas. We got into high density planting and espalier, and now have over 40 fruit trees between front and back. We had to deal with years of drought and water rationing, intentional sabotage, and my supreme ignorance, but we studied a lot, and even took permaculture and horticultural classes. When my Other Son moved in, he grew cannabis against my wishes and insisting on my help. It wasn't the way I would do things, but we got ten pounds. Last year he tried to ruin the crop before he left, but was salvaged what we could. I'd been shoved down the stairs so many times, I was too scared to go out the door, so I would read and watch videos, then tell my son what needed to be done, and he did it, which was fairly remarkable as he'd never even tried cannabis at that point. We got a crop, and I'm thankful everyday.
Oh! My son, Madri-Guy, just went to the dispensary to see if Blue Dream clones have come in. They haven't, but he bought me a Harley Tsu! It's from Southern Humboldt, and is a high CBD strain, with CBD 20 times higher than THC. I've been having seizures galore the past few days and nights, and this will be perfect!
@ClearBlueLou, I'm just trying to say I'm excited for you to be on the journey. Take care of your soil, because it all starts there. Coffee houses often give out grounds. Produce managers will often let you have veg trimmings you can compost, and if there is a Farmer's market in your town the vendors don't want to haul back trimmings and often let you take it for compost and worm food. I'm not a gardener, but I think being able to grow is one of the greatest joys available, be it tomatoes or cannabis. I want you to know joy.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Despite the awfulness you’ve had to endure, it sounds like you are thriving...though I can certainly understand why it might not feel that way. Permaculture is a wonderful thing: I had big plans for my house when I bought it, but between my then-spouse and the mortgage meltdown, I was left with no house, no credit, no investments, no savings - nothing after my early retirement crumbled around me. I have been living pretty much hand-to-mouth ever since, though I was able to resurrect my career and have been able to pay my bills these last ten years. Now that I have no access to cannabis any longer and the pains and aggravations mount, forward movement is a big deal.

I hate the thought of all the horror you’ve been through, but it heartens me to hear of your comeback, and to get word that you are overcoming the obstacles that you have been facing. Blessing on Madri-Guy’s head, for standing by you, for being a real help to you and you move forward. It is a wonderful thing, and makes me happy.

Your enthusiasm for my project is, likewise, a wonderful thing. They say the first rule of success at this endeavor is to tell no-one, and I see the wisdom in it...at the same time, it is, again, a blessing to be able to share something so important to me, so close to my heart, with like-minded and like-hearted friends. I thank you so much for the gifts your big heart bestows on the people around you.
 

arb

Semi shaved ape
Tomorrow the seeds should have sunk if not tap them to break the surface tension.
Any seeds that will not sink should be soaked longer those that sank are ready for dirt.
Having fun and watching........now what about your maters?
You may consider some type of peppers also they are very similar to cannabis in growth as are the maters and roses tooooooooo.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Three have sunk, the rest are riding low in the water - good thing they aren’t boats!
Yes, I AM having fun watching: I have no doubt I’ll be one of those growers who spends hours on end in the grow...I’ll need a tent big enough to accommodate me....

It actually occurred to me that they could well sprout in the water, if I left ‘em...seeing as how they’re not to be grown out, it’s a possibility: then I’d really have a front-row seat.

‘Maters must wait for soil to cook some, but I have been thinking about some pepper: I have a few million cayenne seeds from the last plant I grew, and I have seeds from a hot-hot pepper I was gifted with last year, sugar bush x something...still a minute to think on it.

We’re in full Summer here already...and you’re right, I ought to get out there and stir the mix....
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Well...after 24.5 hours, only three have sunk...no matter how low they’re riding, they aren’t going down it seems.
I have plenty of patience, so I think I’ll let it rest as is for another 24 to see if the situation changes.

No rush, no harm done...resisting the impulse to add a drop of Willard water concentrate...right now, the entire point is to see what happens with NO intervention
 

Killick

Well-Known Member
Sometimes if you lightly tap the floaters they will sink. I'm not sure if thats something that someone who knows what they are doing would do, but it seemed to work for me last year. Many of the seeds were floaters, but a couple of taps got them to sink, and 90% of them sprouted. I was pleasantly surprised...
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
This is a germination test: this is the first batch of 10, a beginning point

The next batch of 10 will have a couple drops of Willard water, which several (including Rasta Jeff from the Grow From Your Heart podcast) have spoken highly of as a germination aid...in fact, I may split the next batch, 5 w/ WW and 5 w/ a drop or two of liquid seaweed...or not - 10’s a nice round number. I also have liquid Karma in the wings, and another 50 seeds for this round of experiments.

I have tapped on the floaters, they ain’t budging yet...but patience, i has it.... remains to be seen, of course, but I’m guessing that the floaters may be shriveled inside to the point they can’t draw in the moisture. Gawd, I love learning experiences...wish I had my cylinder, my beakers, etc.

Ambient temp today is 80F

Killick, BD9 - thanks for checking in!
 
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Madri-Gal

Well-Known Member
Keep going, @ClearBlueLou . Plants are so amazing. I had two last year that were stripped and harvested. They were pretty good sized, so I left the stems and stalks remaining in the ground, half thinking I'd get back to it for fiber. Buds started growing on the plants. I left them alone, and had another small harvest from those plants. They just didn't get that they were done. I had no idea that could happen.
I'm loving what you are doing with the seeds. It shows me every small step matters and is worthy of notice.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you have skills, whether it seems that way to you or not: my one grow before this one, I fell in love with the plant, even though I did everything wrong and it turned out to have zero potency. Sounds like you have, too, Madri-Gal. At this point, I’d say trust your relationship with the plant - and don’t sell yourself short
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
I’ve certainly HEARD of the sea of green, definitely have plans to set sail in it at some point!

Still no change in batch #1, so batch #2 is under way as of 14:40 today: another 10 seeds, in another 15ml of distilled water, this time with 2 drops of Willard water concentrate. ALL are riding low in the water, but still floating...and a fresh wait begins
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Back to batch #1:

With 7 seeds floating and the water getting murky, I decided to drain off the water, replace it with fresh, and put a couple drops of Maxigrow liquid seaweed in. Before putting the drops in the fresh water, I noticed that 4 more seeds had sunk to the bottom! Just now! I really *do* need to make the trip to the bait shop (in the daytime: no bait sales after 6), and get these in castings *tomorrow*.

Batch #2 is still bobbing on the surface...

Why go through all this just to test germination?

Well, it’s a tangible step on the path I’ve chosen; and given the potential value of these old seeds, if I can get ANY to sprout and grow, it will be a step back in genetic time, to a point much closer to the native varieties and much further from the infinitely crossed and recrossed (modern clone-only x (skunk x (haze x Kush))) that makes up so much of modern cannabis genetics. Each one is a unique expression of genetics and characteristics, each one could be a key player in the evolution of the plant...if we can get them to grow.

The lucky thing is that I have so many of these ‘anonymous’ seeds: this means I could run an identical batch through a new experiment EVERY DAY for months and still have most of them. And I’d rather practice on these seeds than on the ones marked ‘/Belize ‘89’, or ‘Jamaican sativa’...or on “7/89-2” - of which I have only one...and I’d really like to see what’s inside it....

So, I practice on the other seeds...I got them free in bags of weed, so sure, why not?

I do also have a few modern strains (if I can use the word to describe feminized seeds), but I paid for those, and I didn’t even get to smoke the weed they came from...and I honestly don’t expect they’re even a year old yet so no experiments on those.
 

ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Mom, hope you’ll forgive me for the back-to-back posts, but these seemed like they ought to be in their own comment.

These are a few of my marked batches.
Batch 7/89-2 is actually in three parts: the baggie contained two other baggies and a single seed, so that’s why there are 3 pix with the same label.
I don’t know if these will be interesting to others or not....

I have now successfully stripped metadata and uploaded pix successfully! A first!
Hope everyone’s having a fine night...
4301F545-EDA5-4B48-83EC-6B8B4C2175E5.jpeg
4999BDEF-6289-4842-AA91-6B0BC7593B8D.jpeg
CDBE3329-900B-46B0-9C7F-56034E98460A.jpeg
7C3BC546-E8C6-4E99-A073-62678D9A1DCD.jpeg
F8C91C9A-B708-4254-91E0-B7399B3CB5CB.jpeg
 
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ClearBlueLou

Well-Known Member
Nothing new to report.

I have got myself bullied up with logistics and it’s overlapped my earning week.

I’ve not got my worms or my castings, I need a second trash barrel to hydrate my bale of coco, I need to get the soilless mix cooking for the tomatoes. Everything is out of sync. No excuses, just owning up to my poor performance.

Tomorrow there’s supposed to be no rain, I’ll get the second trash barrel, more 5-gal buckets, make the worm bucket, separate out the castings, plant the seeds, mix the medium.

I reckon the seeds have suffered from this. Fortunately, I have more:

image.jpg
 

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