By Stoney Tark
The diversity in Cannabis breeding is at an all time high, especially how marketing and branding play such a major role in the modern day market. Soft Secrets had the privilege to sit down with Banana Man from Trichome Jungle Seeds, to find out as much as possible about breeding, his philosophy, the current scene, his top tips and much more.
SSUK: Can you tell us about your background and where did the name Banana Man originate from?
I’m a UK breeder but live in Spain, who started Trichome Jungle Seeds in 2008 and moved to Spain about 7 years ago. The name came from the days of the forums, I liked the cartoon as a kid but the name was because I was spending more time picking bananas out of my friends female seed flowers .
What does breeding mean in your opinion and what is your philosophy?
I just love to create new flavours and smells and always looking for something unique . Growing indoors and outdoors, allows me to test and see which plants are resistant to set things like insects, or mold which is a big thing also.
How important is working with regular seeds when making new lines?
Back in the day I was big on regular seeds and would not use fems to breed with, but some of my newer lines are selected from female seeds and had great results. Also a lot of the elite clones that circulate the scene came from female seeds from random hermaphrodites.
What do you think is a good number of seeds for a selection process, and when should a breeder start to label plants and make notes?
A 100 seed count is great for working out the percentage, however can work from much less if you already know the genetics you are working with. From the day the seed is started, notes should be written from how fast or slow germination, was to how vigourous the seedling is.
Which desired traits do you look to enhance when starting a new project, and how do you know which are the best male and female plants to use?
It all depends on the project most of the time, and if I want to add more unique terpenes, vigour or resistance. As far as the best male and females,I have a few sets of criteria they have to meet for females that bit is much easier. With the males, it all comes down to final testing and the results of the offspring. Unless it’s a proven male and you know what it adds already and a simple stem rub and selecting a male from proven females is always good.
How many generations of crosses does it take to achieve hybrid vigour?
All depends on the genetics you are starting with, and if you are using true breeding plants. Hybrid vigour can be achieved in the F1 generation using two P1 parents.
So how important is resistance and you can explain more about it?
Resistance is very important as I have seen a lot of breeders (pollen chuckers) over look it, and it shows in their seeds and crosses from their plants. I have also noticed a lack of resistance in plants grown in Morocco, from female seeds to mould and powdery mildew.
Can you talk us through how you pollinate females and what are your top tips for collecting, applying and storing the male pollen?
Sometimes i’ll do an open pollination and other times hand pollinate. It all depends but most of the time I will leave the male to do his thing naturally. As far as storing pollen, you can store your male pollen in the freezer as long as you dry it fully first and make sure it’s totally vacuum sealed.
How important is the yield factor when making a new strain?
I personally try to work with big yielding cultivars but have seen a drift towards more small tight solid nugs, than the old school big fluffy flowers from back in the day. So I try to have both type structures in my lines.
Which tests do you do on new seed lines once they are produced?
Always stress test to see how they perform in low and high temp conditions, and also with different pH ranges to see how they cope.
As a UK breeder, what is your view on the European and U.S breeding scene, and what are your top 3 tips for someone new to breeding Cannabis?
The Spanish scene is really gathering momentum but America is steaming ahead with legalization. I do like how the club system works in Spain and Barcelona is fast becoming the european center for cannabis. My top 3 tips are make your crosses and give those seeds out for people to test. Do not rush things and have a goal in mind, as we don’t always start with a goal but we all start somewhere .Finally and most importantly…do what you love!
Massive Thanks for your time today Banana Man…where can our readers find out more about your social media and work you have done?
They can see regular posts and lots of info on my instagram page and breedbay as for buying seeds simply souvenirs and attitude seed bank both have info on each strain also.