It’s a real pleasure to have your attention and I hope you enjoy this article and its pictures in the company of the best and sweetest herbs. This time I’m going to tell you about a test grow that I performed with one of the latest released strains from Sweet Seeds, the amazing Cream Mandarine XL Auto® (variety SWS55).
Its predecessor is one of the autoflowering strains from the Sweet Seeds genetic collection that has been getting the best feedback from growers, making it one of the most appreciated autoflowering genetics. It’s very easy to grow, allows for great yields and features an exquisite and penetrating aroma. Yes, I suppose that everyone already knows that I’m talking about the legendary Cream Mandarine Auto® (SWS29), an autoflowering plant that once you try it you’ll forget about any prejudice you may still have regarding autoflowering plants and the old fashioned idea that “autoflowering plants don’t have enough cannabinoid levels and that their taste and aroma are not pleasant enough”. Both the ancestors of Cream Mandarine Auto® are very exceptional, real champions. They are a very special selected genetic line of Cream Caramel Auto® (SWS22) and an elite clone of Ice Cool® (SWS06). The result is an autoflowering plant that produces huge buds, fully covered with resin, with a very strong citric aroma of the mandarin type.
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary, Sweet Seeds has renovated the catalogue with great promotions and new products. For the most passionate fans, Sweet Seeds presents a new version of our beloved Cream Mandarine Auto®, with bigger size and production but mainly and most importantly, keeping all the characteristics that turned this strain into the favourite choice of the finest autoflowering growers. I’m talking about the new Cream Mandarine XL Auto®.
This is a 4th Generation autoflowering strain with a big size that allows for maximum production. This strain is the resulting hybrid from the cross between selected genetic lines of Cream Mandarine Auto® and an elite clone of Super Tai ’98, which contributes with interesting sativa features, such as bigger size and softer aromas of spices and dried fruits. On the other hand, Cream Mandarine Auto® contributes with mostly indica features, such as high yield and fresh sweet citric aromas from the mandarin type.
Commercial Name: Cream Mandarine XL Auto®
Indoor/Outdoor harvest: 9 weeks from germination
Height: 110-150 cm
Growing; starting the work.
Every time I speak about growing I try to be simple and as clear as possible, something I apply at a higher grade in my grows as the rule “less is more” is perfectly adjusted to Cannabis growing.
This grow was performed indoors, in a closet with two air extractors, one of them blowing air into the closet and the other one extracting it. I also used a heater to regulate the temperature since the outside temperature was very cold these days.
Here’s a list of what I have used during the whole cycle:
Light cycle: 20 hours ON / 4 hours OFF, from germination to harvest.
Potency: 1st week, growth: 200w CFL / From the 10th day, flowering: 600W HPS.
Air extraction: 24 hours ON.
Temperature: 18ºC/26ºC (with the support of a heater).
Number of plants: 9 plants in 1m2 (3 plants in 20l pots and 6 plants in 10l pots).
Total time: 63 days.
Fertilizers: Bio Canna + Magical.
Soil: Canna Professional by Canna.
Total weight of the 9 plants: 620 grs.
Maximum weight in one plant: 128 grs.
Water, good soil and adequate climate, the recipe for success.
Generally the seed banks sell their seeds fresh but not recently harvested from the plant, as they would not germinate because they need a determinate time to dry at low temperature so that they can overcome the first stage of lethargy or incubation period. Once the germination rate is over 95% they are packed and introduced in the market.
Germination is the most important part of the entire cycle, so it’s convenient to previously hydrate the seeds. To do this, I put them in a glass of water at the constant temperature of 22ºC and I add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to keep the water in good conditions and free from fungus. After 28 hours, all the seeds hydrate and swell, while more than 50% of them show the tip of the root, opening the shell. Then I wait until the first 36 hours have passed so that all of them germinate and, after this step, I plant them directly in their final pots.
With autoflowering strains, I recommend to use the final pot since the beginning because they tend to be very voracious plants, capable of filling the soil with its roots very fast during the first weeks of growth. If you limit the root development in this phase, the yield could be dramatically reduced. It’s better to use a medium or big sized pot of between 10 and 25 litres, simplifying your growing procedures and, above all, avoiding unnecessary or out of timing transplantations.
I threw six of the germinated seeds in 10 litre pots and the other three seeds in 20 litre pots with a 200W CFL light until the first pair of real leaves showed up. With a good initial watering using rested water and ½ dose of root bio stimulator, I soak a part of the soil mix and, with this, the plants have enough to go through the first 10 days of life.
After the first week they go into the flowering room with Sodium light and they start to develop side branches with very short internodal distances. The heat and light potency, together with the vertiginous growth performed by Cream Mandarine XL Auto®, made me water them once every 4 days during the next 2 weeks. At this point I still don’t add liquid fertilizers to the water, except for ½ dose of root bio stimulator.
By the 3rd week since germination, the plants have an average height of 65cm and it’s already visible that flowering is about to start. The plants show a very branchy structure, with strong stems and lush foliage. I water every 3 days and at this point, adding 1 full dose of flowering bio stimulator while keeping the root bio stimulator at ½ dose.
5 weeks have passed and at this point the plants have ceased growing and cover all the space. The flowers are very well developed and all its pistils are still white. In some plants it was necessary to add a bit of Cal/Mag due to its high consumption. The soil helped to keep the plants perfectly vigorous and fertilized, but from now on, it is convenient to add bloom fertilizers to satisfy their needs for these nutrients. I keep them on a diet based on ½ dose of organic flowering nutrients and root bio stimulator, but also 1 full dose of flower bio stimulator. Using catalyst enzymes on a weekly basis is a great help in order to keep the soil mix healthy.
Within the 60th day from germination almost all the plants reached maturation, with big resinous flowers that deliver a fruity smell all around the house, making me think about harvest.
Something I’d like to enlighten as it is easy to do and allows for very good results is:
When should we perform the flush?
1 – If you used mineral fertilizers it is recommended to do the flush 15 days before harvest.
2 – If on the other hand you are an organic grower and you only used organic fertilizers, then you can do the flush between one week and 10 days before harvest.
Why should we do the flush?
Because it improves taste in a great extent, allowing the grower to taste the original characteristics of each strain with its most subtle tones, more intense tastes and aromas and most importantly because it is much healthier as the liquid fertilizers are prone to accumulate mineral salts in the soil after continuous waterings, which are very dangerous for your health. And this happens with every fertilizer, whether they are mineral or organic!! And we could also talk about the effect, which is much more clear and optimistic when the soil is properly clean in the right timing before harvest.
Recently, I had the opportunity to see some microscopical pictures of flowers that were not adequately cultivated and the quantity of mineral salt crystals accumulated inside them was clearly visible. These salts are toxic to the human body. A good way to know if the cannabis you are using is well clean is paying attention to these two things: the ash, that should be light grey coloured, showing that there are no impurities. If it produces very dark or black ash… then you’re doing something wrong. The other indicative could be the way your joint burns. If it does not burn well, or if it sparks, then it’s obvious that you are smoking something else together with your marihuana.
The next time your joint sparks you should be aware that you are burning and introducing into your lungs very toxic smokes, which means that next time you’ll have to clean your soil better.
How to do the flush?
It’s easy. Use 3 times the water that could fit it the pot where you have the plant and water it until it soaks, dragging everything out through the drainage holes. First time the soil soaks it releases coloured water, dark brown. And then, when the flush is almost finished, the water released should have the same colour of the water you are using: transparent.
After this first flush it is also advisable to make a second one, but with less water than in the first. By doing this we will progressively clean the soil until harvest time arrives.
A better way to make sure that all the salts were expelled is by using more specific products that help to decompose the crystals that are created due to the accumulated mineral salts. This is very important if you use mineral fertilizers in your grows.
These products are also a good choice to help decomposing the dead roots that remain in the soil and for that it’s very advisable to use catalyst enzymes, which clean the soil in an entirely organic way, providing sugars to the plants and improving taste and aroma to a great extent. These enzymes are of great help throughout the whole cycle, helping to keep an optimal soil. For all this, it’s very important to have a bottle of catalyst enzymes always at hand.
A plant that has been well treated, with a flush performed in the right moment, ends up with a leaf colour that is very different from the one it featured during the entire life cycle. The leaves usually acquire light green tones, orange-coloured or purple but, above all, they lose all their shine.
If your plant is dark green and shining, but it’s already mature, then you should consider using a softer fertilizer next time, in a lower dosage, or start washing the soil earlier.
This Cream Mandarine XL Auto® has already used all the nutrients available and is ready to be harvested.
At first sight, the buds are very compact and resinous, spreading a magnificent sweet citric perfume with exotic tones that are reminiscent of mandarin. Very soft and tasty in the mouth, it becomes much more noticeable when you expel the smoke through the nose. This multiplies if you use a vaporizer. The effect of this autoflowering plant from the Sweet Seeds collection is energetic but very easy to control, adequate to creative tasks or social occasions. One of the most vibrant plants I ever had in my grows.
Thanks for reading,
Article extracted from the Weed World magazine, march 2015.
Pics and words by Jaypp