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How Much Should You Be Spending on Seeds?

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How To Pick The Right Breeder For You

This guide is written by @trichomechaser and seeks to provide some basic insight into what breeders you should be looking at for your grow level and give you an idea of costs.

For the First Time Growers

Firstly, when purchasing seeds one should probably buy within their skill level. For example, you don't want to be getting 50% germination rates and spend R5000 on a pack of seeds. So adjust your budget around where you think you are in your growing abilities. Start off with more affordable yet trusted breeders and as you feel more confident in your grows, upgrade to better genetics. First time growers are often prone to popping bag seed, and while that's a great way to practice your germination techniques, it's not going to be fun when your first grow is a 15 week flowering Sativa landrace, which is a tough (and annoying) grow for many. Instead pick up some affordable feminized seeds, there's a few breeders on Biltong and Budz which are excellent for this kind of first grow, Bulk Seed Bank is a good choice, or something from the B&B Bulk section (These are typically wholesale seeds bought from trusted breeders).

For the Newbies

So you're confident in your ability to germinate, but perhaps you still hit a few issues in veg or flower and feel like you need to still tune in the basics, this point it's worth at least looking into some breeder packs. A decent budget for a 3-pack would probably be around R300 to R600. Some breeders you can look at are: Sweet Seeds, Ripper, Dutch Passion, Barney's Farm etc. There are a lot of breeders which fall into this category, my personal favourite would probably be Ripper as they do have access to some cool cuts. This tier of breeder is typically out of Europe, in most cases Spain.

Pick a strain that appeals to you, while growing in accordance with your conditions is useful too - do some research into genetics and find out what lineages you like. For example, I'm a chem and OG kind of guy and that's what I look for when I buy seeds. I'd rather struggle with environment a bit and enjoy the product than pick something easy and not enjoy the result.

The Guys Who Have It Dialed In

So you are happy with where you are as a grower, at least for the most part and you're not worried about germination issues. You have a good lighting setup that hits all the necessary minimums in terms of your space. At this point I'd recommend starting to look at more high end breeders. You will start seeing that feminized options start to become smaller in this range, as the truer breeding practices of regular seeds is more of a sought after aspect. There are negative aspects to fem lines from a lineage perspective (especially when not done correctly, like many breeders seem to), so many breeders will focus on breeding regular seeds. I'll go into more detail in another post about WHY regular seeds are different and in ways superior.

Your budget should probably be set in the R1000 to R2000 a pack range. And there are actually some really good breeders you can find in this tier. It really is a big jump from the commercial and often outsourced breeding that takes place at lower cost prices and delves more into breeders who work their own lines and have a focus that is less and quantity and more on quality. Some breeders worth checking out in this range is Karma Genetics, Jinxproof (new stock on the way), Bodhi (could even fit into the next tier but prices are within range here), Dark Horse Genetics etc. 

Bodhi and Karma would be my top picks, Bodhi is an unbelievably good breeder and one of the most well respected in the industry. His work also happens to be affordable. Karma is a European breeder, but one of the few to have a lot of work with big breeders in the US side. They are definitely worth looking into and work with a very nice Biker Kush male in a lot of their lines.

The Production Growers / Connoisseur

If you are looking to grow top quality flower you're going to need to fork out. While both Karma and Bodhi could fit into this tier, I've reserved this for the more expensive breeders. When you have a budget of R2000 - R5000 this is where you can look for breeders who are either A) Creating really good looking bud or B) Doing good breeding work. The reason for high prices from breeders are either one of two things, a breeder looking to make money off hype regardless of whether their line is stable or not. For some people it's all about the looks, and if you're going solely for instagram bud then In House Genetics is an option. Their breeding practices aren't ideal in my view, and there are breeders I'd rather run over them, but the flower does move on the market. I personally don't like the way they breed everything back into their own lines (example, developing Slurricane and then just crossing it to everything). Though if you don't care too much about that, In House is still a really good option to get some great looking flowers in what is often a short flowering time.

What differentiates these breeders from the cheaper ones is that these are the guys who have access to cuts that only a handful of people have. For example, there may be an elite clone-only cut called "Pink Tricycle" and a cheaper breeder may say something like their strain is "Pink Tricycle x Something" and in reality, in many cases they simply created their own version of Pink Tricycle that only has a few similar traits, but is actually something completely different. But a top tier breeder will network with the guy with the real cut and actually breed with the real thing. Girl Scout Cookies is a real world example of this, happened a lot over the years and continues to.

Archive Seed Bank, Swamp Boys, Oni Seeds, Jungle Boys and perhaps Capulator would be my top picks. Sure, Capulator relies heavily on his MAC work which isn't great for breeder diversity but it will definitely move on the market.

Archive kill it with their hands on approach and excellent breeding techniques, Fletch works close with his plants and everything they do is tested in house (no pun intended), a lot of the breeders in this price range still don't do in house testing and outsource some of their work. I prefer the hands on approach. Swamp Boys are another breeder that are heavily slept on in South Africa, it may not all be just trichomes and dense buds, but they work with legitimate cuts and are well respected in the breeding community. I'll go deeper into this at another point but what you should really be looking for is a breeder who is well-liked/respected in the industry, as those are the guys who will have the real cuts (news flash: half of what breeders say is in the lineage isn't the case, that's why you need to find a good breeder).

Jungle Boys need no introduction, I'm sure. They are one of the biggest producers in the US for the rec market and they have HUGE facilities. Why does that matter you may ask? SELECTION! The more plants a breeder is able to run through, the better. They do 500+ plant hunts, meaning they have a huge selection of breeding stock and pick only the best. The prices aren't cheap, but it's some crazy fire.

Oni Seeds I find to have a good balance between integrity and photogenic bud. Oni have some great cuts they work with, produce some excellent flower and while still not being unethical about their work like others.

Remember though, when you work with real cuts you do sometimes have to hunt through herms. Clone only strains may have herm tendencies - if you are opposed to tossing out herms (all part of the pheno hunt) then you should do some research on the lineage and the cuts used and try find some information on how stable they are with intersex traits. Things like Cookies and Chem D for example do have herm traits in them, and they always will if the clone-only was used (as it should).

There are definitely more breeders than listed, so if you have queries just shout and I'll try assist.

Edited by Biltong and Budz
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Very nice guide.. the variety is just so vast right now.. is really hard to name all great.. and in many cases also just personal preference. In my case I would add 42FastBuds, Mephisto Genetics and for sure HSO to the mix of breeders knowing what they do. When you pop 10 seeds, 9 grow fine and the resulting plants look like images of each other and provide same taste experience.. you know you have some really stable genetics in front of you.

I just ordered 11 strains from Fastbuds (same offer as on 420 running right now).. and finish my test run of their stuff.. have more or less tested every strain they offer. So far.. i have no complain about any strain tested.. looking forward to the ones I haven't tried yet. (Their stealth packaging is prime.. had on the last delivery a checked by customs sticker on.. but they didn't got the seeds 😎)

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1 minute ago, Prom said:

Very nice guide.. the variety is just so vast right now.. is really hard to name all great.. and in many cases also just personal preference. In my case I would add 42FastBuds, Mephisto Genetics and for sure HSO to the mix of breeders knowing what they do. When you pop 10 seeds, 9 grow fine and the resulting plants look like images of each other and provide same taste experience.. you know you have some really stable genetics in front of you.

I just ordered 11 strains from Fastbuds (same offer as on 420 running right now).. and finish my test run of their stuff.. have more or less tested every strain they offer. So far.. i have no complain about any strain tested.. looking forward to the ones I haven't tried yet. (Their stealth packaging is prime.. had on the last delivery a checked by customs sticker on.. but they didn't got the seeds 😎)

For sure... I actually meant to add HSO (Humboldt Seed Organization) as an excellent budget breeder. I definitely respect HSO for that market.

Fast Buds I've heard great things from, but my personal experience has been pretty negative so I just couldn't get myself to do it. I think I just got unlucky though, got some really terrible phenos from the beans I popped. Flowering at week 2... Mephisto are up there as the top tier autoflower breeder though, Mephisto and Nightowl are the top tier of autos.

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Just now, Biltong and Budz said:

For sure... I actually meant to add HSO (Humboldt Seed Organization) as an excellent budget breeder. I definitely respect HSO for that market.

Fast Buds I've heard great things from, but my personal experience has been pretty negative so I just couldn't get myself to do it. I think I just got unlucky though, got some really terrible phenos from the beans I popped. Flowering at week 2... Mephisto are up there as the top tier autoflower breeder though, Mephisto and Nightowl are the top tier of autos.

😁 Thx, i have a look at Nightowl. and sorry you had bad luck with FastBuds 😞

 

Also to add.. i spend more than 25k Rand a year on beans to test and play. Personal seed vault growing 😎 can't have enough 😂 So don't feel bad if you spend 500 Rand on your first beans, guys.. there are some weirdos out there hehehe 

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Nice post @Biltong and Budz , can I add that guys interested in breeding more seriously could consider the two higher price tiers. :-greenthumb

Also shoutout to JBeezy, his beans start at $500 reserve price, im saving up so long.

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5 minutes ago, Dank said:

Also shoutout to JBeezy, his beans start at $500 reserve price, im saving up so long.

Just checked them out on Instagram, some sexy stuff indeed.

You can buy a single clone of their wedding cake for $225.00 😳

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11 minutes ago, Bakstein420 said:

Just checked them out on Instagram, some sexy stuff indeed.

You can buy a single clone of their wedding cake for $225.00 😳

Cheap if u think what oomies are willing to pay for a stud bull 🐂 or cow.

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Jbeezy is/was Seed Junky. We had a lot of Seed Junky gear available last year at around the R3000 price point. But they joined up with Cookies 🙄 and stopped producing seeds, moving more to the rec flower market. Now the price of their beans have shot up dramatically (happens when breeders retire)

With that said, there's still a lot of real Seed Junky / Jbeezy cuts around on the market here (Including Wedding Cake), it may not be the breeders cut but it is the original breeder seeds. You'll find a few more pieces of their gear floating around the market here in S.A as well.

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Could explain why this weddingcake cut donated to me last year is so dope, seriously gassy with sweetness (even a bit of grape pop in there) and potent. 

Some pics of her during the winter run.

20200810_145929.jpg

20200719_143047.jpg

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1 hour ago, Dank said:

Cheap if u think what oomies are willing to pay for a stud bull 🐂 or cow.

I completely understand. My sister is in the equestrian community and the amount of money these peeps pay for a stud to cover their mare is stupid 🙄 😒 😑 

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Posted (edited)

Interesting read. Being on the other side of the audience as a breeder and reading this, I still find myself in complete disagreement with the prices some breeders are expecting for their seeds. Our exchange rate betrays us big time. I do suppose a certain amount of culture is influential, as well as the core motivation behind the breeding. Passion vs. Profit.

The amount of sacrifice, time, dedication that goes into breeding a strain is worth something yes, but I cant bring myself to charging even R100 a seed. Even for a seed I know will grow into a world class plant.

Edited by Totemic
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32 minutes ago, Totemic said:

Interesting read. Being on the other side of the audience as a breeder and reading this, I still find myself in complete disagreement with the prices some breeders are expecting for their seeds. Our exchange rate betrays us big time. I do suppose a certain amount of culture is influential, as well as the core motivation behind the breeding. Passion vs. Profit.

The amount of sacrifice, time, dedication that goes into breeding a strain is worth something yes, but I cant bring myself to charging even R100 a seed. Even for a seed I know will grow into a world class plant.

For sure brother, but remember that these guys are investing hundreds of millions in their breeding operations. 

If you're running 5 or 6 lights and breeding, you may not need to charge much to cover overhead, but a lot of these guys are running 100 light+ in large facilities with paid workers etc

 I have big problems with small or new breeders charging high prices cause their genetics are pretty. But when you are running a 500+ plant pheno hunts in your selections each time, I can respect the increased price to cover that. 

 

 

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This is all good info. For the outdoor guys around. Go and see who selects phenos from outdoor pheno hunts. Those plants will probably do better when you run them outdoors. I also find that plants expresses them selves better on the 2nd run, clones from the original seeds. Its as if they or yourself adjusts to what they need or want.

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7 hours ago, Bakstein420 said:

@Biltong and Budz and @trichomechaser can i please get your guys opinions on Ethos. They claim consistently high THC numbers with all their genetics. Any knowledge on their breeding practices?

Now this is a fun one... And it's bound to get some reactions. One could argue (and many do) isn't really a breeder and more of a 'seed maker'. Breeding involves working with both males and females in selections, as you are generally working towards a goal in the progeny. Or at a very minimum, working with your own males and not just crossing Strain A from Breeder A with Strain B from Breeder B.

With that said, Ethos has a different approach in that he tends to work reversing females and crossing it back to another female, without having done much work on that line in many cases. 

The result from that is that you end up with seeds that express crazy cool qualities and may look good, but you're not doing any good for the gene pool. I think Ethos are good for people looking to have a cool headstash grow or something, but in terms of being a 'good breeder', there's many who would argue against that being the case.

Personally, I grew some Ethos out and enjoyed my plants, but I was put off by how certain terpene profiles seem to come across in almost everything I grew. I like pheno hunting, finding cool recessive traits and unique aspects that come from the fathers, but I didn't get that with Ethos.

Nothing wrong with anyone growing them though - I've smoked some great Ethos - had an amazing Orange Kush Cake cut I found.

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1 minute ago, trichomechaser said:

Now this is a fun one... And it's bound to get some reactions. One could argue (and many do) isn't really a breeder and more of a 'seed maker'. Breeding involves working with both males and females in selections, as you are generally working towards a goal in the progeny. Or at a very minimum, working with your own males and not just crossing Strain A from Breeder A with Strain B from Breeder B.

With that said, Ethos has a different approach in that he tends to work reversing females and crossing it back to another female, without having done much work on that line in many cases. 

The result from that is that you end up with seeds that express crazy cool qualities and may look good, but you're not doing any good for the gene pool. I think Ethos are good for people looking to have a cool headstash grow or something, but in terms of being a 'good breeder', there's many who would argue against that being the case.

Personally, I grew some Ethos out and enjoyed my plants, but I was put off by how certain terpene profiles seem to come across in almost everything I grew. I like pheno hunting, finding cool recessive traits and unique aspects that come from the fathers, but I didn't get that with Ethos.

Nothing wrong with anyone growing them though - I've smoked some great Ethos - had an amazing Orange Kush Cake cut I found.

This!

I have an OKC and a slurricane cut running at the moment. They are super sparkly and all, but I'm disappointed with the yield so far. I'm used to working with heavy yielding thai genes. 

Yet I do see major potential for working those lines further with an outcross and stabilisation thereafter. 

When I compare the inhouse and ethos to the older school Afghan and Thai lines I'm primarily working with,  Humbolts GC and my own Chocolope cross, are just better built plants.

I think both ethos and inhouse push out some crazy phenos. Their plants are good enough for me to explore them further, and improve them. 

 

 

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