After I started growing my own medicine as a registered patient and while helping veterans and people in need acquire genetics for our “A Friend Indeed” program, I quickly learned why most growers preferred feminized seeds to regular seeds.
For those who do not grow, feminized seeds produce female plants, while regular seeds (on average) produce 50% male and 50% female plants. With Illinois’ limit to grow five plants, most patients don’t want to waste time and resources to grow a plant for weeks just to realize it’s a male trying to ruin the party.
For my third growing cycle, though, I wanted to run a few medical strains from my regular-seeds library. Eventually, I plan to learn how to recognize the sex of plants during the growing cycle, but for now, my focus is having in my tent five female plants that produce throughout the year the medicine I need. So I decided to take a different approach.
I picked up from the newly opened GroUp Gardening in Champaign an EZ-XY kit from Farmer Freeman. The EZ-XY is a DNA-based sex identification test for plants that allows patients to identify the sex of plants at just seven days old. And I could not wait to sex my plants.
The kit can be purchased at GroUp Gardening, other local grow shops, or via Farmer Freeman’s website. The kit contained five test-samples envelopes. Inside each envelope was a sample number stake that matched the sample number on the outside of the envelope to help identify each plant.
I followed the simple directions and placed the stake in the soil of the chosen plant and then took a 1/2 to 1 inch of a healthy leaf from the chosen plant (or rub DNA onto a smash card) and place it inside the same numbered envelop. I submitted all five test samples for three different strains, including three Sweet Annie 1:1 by Humboldt, one Pop Tart 1:3 by Seattle Chronic Seeds, and one Golden Lemons from Casual Fields.
Four days after submitting the test samples and two days after Farmer Freeman had received the samples, Farmer Freeman emailed the results to four tests samples, and the fifth test result came the next day. The results were three females and two males. Two-out-of-three Sweet Annie 1:1 strains were female, the Pop Tart 1:3 was male, and the Golden Lemons was female.
Some patients may not be able to afford an additional cost to their grow, but eventually, the test prices will come down with more test companies, competition and time. Overall, this was a great way for me to maintain five plants in growth and expand my medication options by popping a few regular seeds. Now that I know I have two male plants, which I tossed in the trash, I can pop two more seeds without pausing my grow.
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