Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is a product of TGA breeder Subcool’s experiments in using outcrosses to boost the quality of backcrossed strains—in this case, blending a Space Queen male into a cubed backcrossing to work toward the original, F1 strain of Jacks Cleaner.
“The cool part is the outcrosses are sometimes better than the parent strains,” says Subcool. “I feel this is the case with Jack the Ripper. The lemon tart of Jacks Cleaner has combined with the candy mango flavor of the Space Queen to create a resinous marvel.” This cross is notable for its intense lemon smell, which while strong enough to discourage insects, does not really suggest pot—meaning that Jack the Ripper, like her fear-some namesake, might permanently evade the noses of the law.
Jack the Ripper’s seeds are huge, and may require help shucking their hull. Once plants are started, they are hardy and easy to clone, making them suitable for first-time growers. Trifoliate seedlings, and two plants from one seed, are both common occurrences. Jack the Ripper grows well outdoors in warm climates, or indoors in large bushes or SOG-style. When these plants are given moderate feeding and allowed to bush out, they finish in 8-9 weeks as a frost-covered miniature Christmas tree, just over 3 feet (1 m) tall. They may need an extra week or two of vegetative growth to compete with taller strains in a canopy.
JTR is a compact plant with dark, serrated leaves and tight colas attached to a study trunk. The plant’s five to seven leaves can show pink veining if exposed to cool air, and may curl up around the third week of budding, like the leaves of a venus flytrap, as they become plastered with heavy resin. Indeed, growers will see very little green on this plant by harvest time; instead, she will be covered by an icy mantle of trichomes, like a dwarf spruce buried by winter. This promises a good yield of bubble hash or dry kief. Bud yields average 3-4 ounces (90-120 grams) per plant.
Jack the Ripper hits you behind the eyes with an almost lemon-cleaner palate and a jolt-ing sativa buzz. About five minutes after this first rush, a long elation settles on the smoker, sometimes followed by munchies and drowsiness after a few hours. Anecdotally, medicinal users have reported an analgesic, almost body-numbing effect. Jack the Ripper has gotten many thank-yous for alleviating chronic pains. The mental side of the high leans toward happiness, chattiness, and trippy visual distortions, with potential for paranoia when indulged in heavily. Subcool notes that the lemon taste gets sweeter the longer these buds are cured.
The Story of Jack the Ripper
The story Jack the Ripper is a fine example of what can happen along the way during a breeding project. I have always wanted to have Jacks Cleaner in seed form. People suggested that I self her but I don’t believe in that type of breeding. I feel a male plays a vital role in breeding projects.
About six years ago I outcrossed Jacks Cleaner with Blueberry. Two years ago I backcrossed this Jacks Cleaner x Blueberry with Jacks Cleaner and created Jacks Cleaner backcross. Even though the JC back-cross kicks ass, has won awards and is used in breed-ing projects, it was not what I was looking for. Around that time I grew out BCGA’s Space Queen bred by Vic High and found it to be some of the best weed I ever smoked. When working with fellow TGA breeder MzJill, we found an amazing Space Queen male. MzJill used it in crosses that resulted in the Jillybean and Spacejill strains. We started calling him “Space Dude,” and after some deliberation, we decided that he was a much better candidate for outcross-ing with Jacks Cleaner. So we passed the Jacks Cleaner backcross and Jacks Cleaner Blueberry to other members of TGA and started over.
Using our standard breeding methods we worked with Jacks Cleaner and Space Dude, and started a test run of new seeds. This new hybrid had one weird trait—twin seedlings. We started seeds using rapid rooters with no pre-soaking. I never pamper test runs. Once seedlings sprouted and developed nice roots I transplanted them into 1-gallon containers and placed them under a 400-watt light. When the plants matured, the males were taken to a separate area, the best females were tagged and the rest were tossed. We ended up with three females that met our selection criteria. Collectively, this cross became Jack the Ripper.
In test runs, I feed only with water during the entire cycle to test the plant’s natural ability to produce without being pushed. These three females were topped, trained and vegged for about 45 days. They reached a size of 24 inches with multiple growing heads. Once in flowering, the plants quickly started swelling with buds and by day 25, copious amounts of resin had become visible. At week 3, the plants had the first hints of the lemon fragrance that I was look-ing for. One female stretched so much that I had to bend her severely to keep her approximately equal with the others. I am happy to report that all three plants had the exact mango lemon smell I was seeking.
In addition to other qualities, a breeding goal was to shorten the grow time, and at 50 days, we were on track. With the exception of the one tall lady, all three JTR females were very similar. To avoid numerical confusion we gave each JTR female a distinct name. Lemango became the tall one that looked more Space Queen dominant. Soylent Green had the largest colas, and the plant most resembling Jacks Cleaner with her predictable resin leaf curl was given the name Pink Lemonade. This final plant is the one that became the star during multiple sessions in front of my lens.
I feel Jack the Ripper represents the sum of what I’ve learned and collected as a breeder. To succeed in creating crosses that maintain the exact desirable traits of the mother that I wanted while improving other specific qualities is a humbling experience.