Photo: Dark Heart seedlings in a hoophouse trial run 

Dark Heart is thrilled to announce two new products for growers to plant this spring: autoflower and feminized seedlings. Designed with the farmer’s success in mind, these seedlings allow growers to harvest more crop cycles per year by maximizing production space.

Both autoflower and feminized seedlings received positive reviews from farmers in northern and southern California. Seedlings are overall more resistant than clones to pests and disease due to having a taproot and “seedling vigor.” For this reason, seedling plants require less care and maintenance than clone plants.

Here’s how these innovative seedlings are helping farmers thrive in 2020.

 

Autoflower Feminized Seedlings

Autoflower seedlings are relatively new to the commercial cannabis scene. Until recently, professional cultivators ignored autoflowers due to the belief that autoflower quality was sub-standard. This is no longer true thanks to increased interest and advances in breeding. Today’s autoflowering varieties are more potent and productive than ever. Now cultivators use autoflower seedlings to maximize flower production and revenue per square foot by adding another crop cycle early in the season.

Pictured here is Nat Pennington, founder of the Humboldt Seed Company, with a Magic Melon autoflower seedling planted in May as a row crop and harvested in August. Yields averaged 2-6 ounces per plant.

Autoflower seedlings are valuable because they will automatically flower and finish. Whether the days are getting longer, shorter, or even in 24 hours of light, autoflowers are ready to harvest around 70-80 days after transplanting.

What farmers appreciate about autoflowers is they are extremely versatile and can be planted early and late during the outdoor season. Because autoflowers are not susceptible to premature flowering or reverting back to veg due to light exposure or stress, they can be utilized in ways that photoperiod sensitive plants cannot. No more messing around with light dep tarps and covers!

Dark Heart autoflower seedlings come in 128-cell trays. They are germinated in the nursery for 14-16 days until 2-3’’ tall with at least 3 nodes. Thanks to a taproot, autoflower seedlings have aggressive vigor and quickly grow into sturdy 3-4’’ tall plants. Each plant will yield an average of 3-5 ounces in ideal conditions.

Test farms also reported excellent results using autoflowers to fill extra space in between plants or “row crops,” autoflowers planted in rows alongside full-term photoperiod sensitive plants.

 

Feminized Seedlings

Dark Heart’s feminized seedlings come from feminized seeds created by award winning breeders like the Humboldt Seed Company and Purple City Genetics. Feminized seedlings provide large-scale growers with a cost-effective solution for planting large areas. They are perfect for growers that need to plant and fill a field, greenhouse, or large space. Like autoflower seedlings, feminized seedlings come in 128-cell trays and are about 21 days old and 2-3’’ tall upon delivery.

Feminized seedlings provide growers with terpene and flavor profiles that are difficult to secure in clone form, especially in large quantities. Crosses made with in-demand varietals like Purple Punch, Watermelon Zkittlez, Magic Melon, Strawberry Banana, and more are available for bulk ordering. Previous test growers were extremely happy with terpenes, yield, and quality of feminized seedlings.

Another reported benefit from test growers is that seedling crops can provide a richer, broader cannabinoid profile than clone-only crops. This is due to the minor phenotypic variation between plants, each with a slightly different, unique expression. Seedling crops are an excellent option for cultivators focused on yield and growing for concentrates or extract.  

 

Maximizing Yield

Early season runs with autoflowers are started in February-April and harvested around May-July. A second planting of feminized seedlings or clones can be started May-July and if planned right, some growers could plant a late season run of feminized seedlings in September or October.  Feminized seedlings will veg for 30-45 days even late in the season during their “juvenile period.”

 

How to Order

Both autoflower and feminized seedlings are now available to order. Retail configurations of these seedlings are also available for Dark Heart retail partners. For questions on availability and order, please use the direct order link. 

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