When Sweet Seeds® released the first F1 Fast Version® strains in 2013, just like all the growers I was extremely curious about these varieties and as most growers I had reasonable doubts about the quality and production of these ultra fast-flowering strains.
By then, it seemed hard to believe that yield and all the organoleptic qualities of the final product could remain intact while the plants may be harvested 1 to 2 weeks earlier when compared to their original versions. Once again I was very positively surprised by another amazing new concept in which the Spanish seed bank Sweet Seeds® was pioneer.
After growing the first strains released in the market from this family, Cream Caramel F1 Fast Version® (SWS40), Green Poison F1 Fast Version® (SWS41) and Sweet Cheese F1 Fast Version® (SWS42), I was absolutely convinced about the quality of these strains.
If that was not enough, all the grow diaries that I followed in world famous cannabic forums as CannabisCafe, UK420 or ICMag, pointed to the same direction. Every grower loved the results of these strains and some of them even decided to only grow F1 Fast Version® strains from then on as it was very clear that the quality of these strains is equally good or even better while they finish the flowering stage much faster than any other strain they grew before.
Side note -> The F1 Fast Version® strains are the first filial generation (F1) resulting from the cross between a photoperiod-dependent genetic and an autoflowering genetic. The result of this hybridization between two stable and totally different plants (at least regarding the type of flowering) is known in genetic terminology as “F1 Hybrid”. The F1 Fast Version® strains are hybrid genetics, 100% photoperiod dependent and featuring a very fast flowering stage. For more information visit www.sweetseeds.com and read our technical articles about this family of strains.
In the following years, the success of these strains led other seed banks to follow the same path, based on the same concept, adding a fast flowering range to their genetic collection, based on our research and breeding methods. That is something that we are not worried about, on the contrary, it just makes us proud as it proves the quality of our product and the high professional standards of our R&D Department.
So we kept releasing other F1 Fast Version® strains, turning most of the classics from our catalog into fast-flowering plants. For the 2018 season we introduce Crystal Candy F1 Fast Version® (SWS73) as the fast-flowering (6-7 weeks) photoperiod-dependent version of our Crystal Candy® (SWS58), a genetic awarded with the 1st Prize to the Best Indica in the Spannabis Champions Cup – Barcelona 2017.
Personally, as a lover of sweet strains, I truly enjoyed growing Crystal Candy® with all its resin production and super sweet terpenes. I also tried Crystal Candy Auto® (SWS61) and it was as delicious and easy to grow as the photoperiod-dependent version. So, when I had my first chance to get a couple of packets of Crystal Candy F1 Fast Version® (SWS73) I immediately sprouted 9 seeds to test this new strain from the Sweet Seeds® genetic collection in my grow closet with 80 cm x 80 cm and 160 cm of height (0,64 m2). I used a 400w High Pressure Sodium lamp, a 100 mm RVK extractor and two small fans to enhance air circulation inside the growing area.
6 of the 9 seeds sprouted within the first 48 hours and the other 3 seeds sprouted a couple of days later. They were first planted in small 500ml pots and then vegged with 20/4 for about 24 days. In the first 9 days they were placed under CFL lights because this type of lighting allows the grower to place the plants very close to the light as there is no significant heat produced by the bulbs.
This prevents the plants from stretching too much in a moment when it is important to keep them short and with small internodal distance. By the 10th day from germination, I turned the HPS light on and started with a distance of 60 cm between the bulb and the plants. This distance was then gradually reduced, 5 cm every couple of days, until I got to the shortest distance possible: 35 cm in this case.
All the plants shown an outstanding hybrid vigor since the first days of life and also a very interesting homogeneity regarding growth rate and structure. At around day 20 from germination the 9 plants were transplanted to the final 11 litre pots with a good light and airy soil bought in a growshop, especially designed for cannabis growing.
I added perlite in a proportion of 10% regarding the total amount of soil to make the mix even lighter. The photoperiod was changed to 12/12 at day 24 from germination and the plants started to show the first pistils about 6 days after the photoperiod change. As the soil mix was rich in nutrients, the plants found enough food on it for 3 or 4 weeks, so I only started to use liquid fertilizers when they entered the 3rd week of flowering.
After 15 days of 12/12 the first flowers started to gain shape but the plants were still stretching. All the plants developed a good number of strong and flexible side branches (between 4 and 8 per plant) around a big main cola and most of the branches had a perfect light exposition. When I saw the first yellowing signs in some leaves, I started feeding the plants with organic bloom liquid fertilizer, using half the dosage advised by the fertilizer brand.
I also used a flowering stimulator to improve flower and trichome production but also to stimulate the plants to develop the sweetest aromas possible. With F1 Fast Version® strains, after the fourth week of 12/12 everything happens very fast. The flowers thicken up a bit every day, the pistils start to show the first maturity signs and the plants stop growing to focus all their energy in bud production.
With 5 weeks of 12/12 I knew that harvest was not that far away, so I gave them the final dose of liquid fertilizer and at day 39 I performed a flush to wash out all the traces of fertilizers from the soil in order to get a clean final product with the original tastes and aromas of Crystal Candy F1 Fast Version®. In the final 2 weeks of flowering the plants also show a very fast maturing, with all the buds getting truly compact while most of the pistils acquire brownish colours. At this point some of the lower leaves start turning yellow but it is desirable in this stage as it is a sign that the plants used most of their nutritional reserves, releasing chlorophyll and ensuring a soft smoke or vapor which allows for an extra pleasant experience, without sore throats or headaches.
In the last 10 days the aromas take over the room with cotton candy notes. Crystal Candy F1 Fast Version® was developed within a special program of the Sweet Seeds® R&D Department focused on the search for curious, exquisite and subtle sweet aromas that evoke aromatic sensations of candy shop. This is why the aroma of this strain is sweet and fruity, with tones of chewing gum and fruit jellies, mixed with hints of acid strawberry and mature melon. This strain is a big producer of aromatic resin crystals that completely cover the flowers and their surrounding leaves with a very high density of long, large-headed trichomes.
As I prefer to harvest the plants a bit more mature than most of the growers, the plants were harvested with 52 days of flowering, but they could have perfectly been harvested 4-6 days earlier. The final production per plant was also a very pleasant surprise. All the plants produced between 33 and 42 grams of high-quality dried and cured flowers.
The average yield per plant was of 37 grams and the total final production was of 333 grams. The yield per square meter was 520 grams and the production per watt was 0,83 grams. One of the best yields I got in this 0,64 m2 closet. All this without taking in consideration the 8 grams of top quality dry hash that I extracted from the ultra-resinous manicured leaves with a tumbler and a 95 μm mesh as well as the cannabic butter made with the remaining leaves that was enough to make 90 cannabic chocolate chip cookies.
The plants look like Indica-Sativa polyhybrids and this is also reflected in the type of effect. Crystal Candy F1 Fast Version® allows for a well balanced effect standing between body relaxation and mind stimulation. It is possible to get a bit of euphoria, but totally controllable and with the possibility of performing creative work. It is ideal to play music, write, go to a party or to a concert but, at the same time, when you want to take a rest, you can do it and feel very pleasantly relaxed. This strain is definitely the key to get a delicious stash in the shortest time frame possible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Sweet smokes and happy fast growing!