An Interview with Trichome Jungle Seeds

23 Jun 2022

All Cannabis plants start from a seed, and where and how that seed is made plays a big role in genetic diversity. There are more home breeders now experimenting with making their own personalized cross. As a beginner grower, understanding breeding can be difficult and the opposite of producing only female plants and buds to smoke. So we sat down with Banana Man from Trichome Jungle Seeds, to pick his brains about breeding and his thoughts and advice, to allow you to become a successful home breeder and apply his top tips to your next breeding project!

How long have you been breeding for and who is Banana Man?

I started making some crosses around 2005 using plants and seeds i had collected over a  period of time and 3 years later when I was on the forum breedbay i setup Trichome Jungle Seeds, the name banana man came from the forum days when people never used their real names. You could consider me one of the old school generation that was around way before social media.

What exactly is breeding, and how would you explain it to someone new to the industry?

Breeding is combining two plants with desired traits and combining them to make something better or unique.  Breeding for me is when you work towards a set goal using a library of plants and genetics selected and collected over time. Selecting plants with the desired traits and combining them to create new flavors and smells is what I concentrate on. 

What does it take for a breeding project to happen, and how long is the process?

It requires time, patience and to be organized and clean. When using plants from my library used multiple times over years, I can save so much time. If it's a new selection and cross however, then it's a year or two at least and if a back cross, it can take much longer working through each generation and testing. Some crosses could be made on a small scale and ready to test within a few months, but the more extensive the project then the longer it can take. 

How can someone tell which plants are the best ones to use and why?

That all depends on the person and what they want. One person's best plant might not be another's. For me, a strong flavor which coats the mouth is a must and then the high depending on if I want a strong stone or an up high. Flavor is the main one, and some people might want a fast flowering plant with big flowers. The only way to know your plants and what each one can produce in terms of desirable traits, is to grow them, flower them out, smoke the flower, and take clones. 

What traits do you personally look for when making a new cross?

It all depends on what I'm looking for, smells and flavors play a big role for me. Plant structure, flower time and resistance to things like mildews, molds, and heat stress. A rich and prolific terpene profile are what makes a new cross for me, before yield and other things. 

What is the difference between the F generations, and does IBL mean?

F generation like F1 and F2 are crosses of brothers and sisters from the same line, that can also be called an IBL which is an inbred line. A back cross, which is when offspring  breed back to one of the original parents, so even that can be classed as an IBL as well. Once you pass the fifth generation, you are pretty much on the way to an IBL, or a very uniform and stabilized version. 

Can you explain what resistance means with plants and how breeding can influence that?

Resistance to pathogens like powdery mildew and also mold resistance can be bred into a line over generations. This requires a lot of testing, so outdoors can be good for this. Outside you get to see many pests and a lot of mold and mildew. This helps as you can then spot which plants are the special ones that don't get attacked.

How are feminized seeds made, and what is the difference to making regular Cannabis seeds?

Female seeds are made using two female plants instead of a male and female.  One female is made to reverse into a male and that pollen is used, which creates 99% female seeds. Some people use colloidal silver, but I prefer STS myself. I recommend starting off with making regular seeds only and learning the ropes, as using silver can be a little difficult and require a certain process and window of opportunity. 

How long do regular or feminized seeds take before they are fully mature?

Cannabis seeds can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 5 weeks to mature,  depending on how many seeds are in the plant. The calyx that holds the seeds will pop open on some, revealing a seed. You will be able to see it change from a green, to a speckle or striped brown and black ripe seed. 

What is the best way to store seeds once they have been harvested and cleaned up?

Once they are totally dry, they can be sealed and kept in a fridge. Any seeds you buy should be kept in a refrigerator, and will help to store them for a much longer time. As seeds get old, the germination can go down so keeping them cool is crucial.

What are your top tips for anyone who wants to start breeding at home?

My top tips are buying a good book on vegetable breeding and learning about the basics. Grow as many varieties of Cannabis plants as possible, selecting only the best to make a library of plants you can work from. Do what you do with love and passion. Always label clones and seedlings, don't work with more than one male at a time, do proper pheno hunts before selecting keepers and finally make regular seeds before making female seeds with silver.

An Interview with Trichome Jungle Seeds

Are there any mistakes a breeder should avoid when starting out?

Yes, don't rush anything and take your time and always test! Label and take notes of all the plants you are working with. Avoid using feminized seeds if making regular sexed lines, and avoid using hermaphrodite plants. This will only cause the seeds you make to have the same unwanted traits and is a waste of time and money. 

Finally…where can our readers find out more about your work and follow you on IG?

Instagram @trichome_jungle_seeds where you can see all my work. There I showcase all my creations and you can see some of the breeding work I do and the process there.

An Interview with Trichome Jungle Seeds