The most important thing about cannabis is it’s natural healing powers. You should always use organic soil as your medium. Why would you take something good and containment it with chemicals? This just makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
Is it more profitable to use hydro instead of soil? No it is not at all. You have to look at the big picture here. Inhaling chemically produced plants will increase your medical heath bills in the future, so if it takes an extra week to finish your buds in a soil medium the added electricity costs for that extra week will be less than your medical bills and overall health in the future. Even more important than future medical bills, is the way you will feel on a daily basis, living chemically free, with more energy, more productivity and just the general feeling of being healthy. That in it self is priceless. So if it costs you an extra $5 per quarter in the short run, it’s money spent wisely. Buyer’s should be demanding only organic, and suppliers will have to change to meet demand. It’s simple economics.
With that said, lets move on to what you’re really interested in, how to get more females to grow from that 10 pack of seeds you purchased. What you need to know about cannabis is that the experience of the grower has so much to do with their female:male ratios when growing from seeds. You can give 5 people the same 10 seeds, and they will all have different results. Some growers will have 30% females, 70% females, 50% females and others 100% females. The sex is not exactly predetermined before the grower gets the seeds. It’s all about a few tips and tricks and most important of all, reducing stress on the plants, specifically right before the calyx’s begin to form.
Think about growing and controlling marijuana’s stress levels like that of a person with Diabetes. The less his or her blood sugar levels fluctuate, the less stress the diabetic will suffer.
If you over water or over dry your plants soil, it will cause stress, just like if your diabetics friends eats the wrong foods with too much sugar, or injects too much insulin, his body will not be stress free with all the fluctuations. They now have something called an insulin pump, that injects the proper amount of insulin 24 hours a day to keep sugar levels more stabilized throughout the day, instead of three injections per day which would have more fluctuations of the diabetics sugar levels and physical stress.
So the idea of good growing, it to try to be the insulin pump, making sure your plants:
- Room temperature does not fluctuate too much
- Room humidity levels do not fluctuate too much
- Soil moisture levels to not become over watered or overly dry.
- You keep the nutrients feeding regulated, not spiking or depleting the amounts of nutrients throughout each day. An equal ratio N,K and P will have reasonable results obtaining female plants. Remember the Diabetic pump theory,
- You keep your light schedule exact, and never allow light pollution (never allow, even for a second, any amount of light to contact your plants during it’s dark cycle)
- Never use 24 hours of light for vegetation, 18 on / 6 off is suitable, but not optimal. Read below for more advanced techniques.
If you maintain all of the above recommendations, you should have 60-70% females. If you want to achieve 70-100% female plants from seeds, read some more advanced tips:
Use more Nitrogen; you get more females when you have a bit more Nitrogen and less Potassium. If your Potassium levels are higher, you will get more male plants. A bit more Nitrogen is better for the vegetation cycle anyways.
Make sure your humidity levels are high right from seed with a humidity dome. If our humidity levels are low, you will get more males. Also prevent your soil from drying, this will create more males.
Temperature does have a bit to do with the strain background. Unless your growing an exotic Thailand Sativa strain that loves the heat around 85 degrees, try to keep the temperatures lower. High heat creates stress on the majority of strains people grow, and make more males. Keep your room temperature as close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit as possible, and make sure it does not drop by more than 5 degrees when the lights are off, or you will create more males. Keeping the relative humidity of the room at 70% is optimal for females to form. Higher humidity’s over 80 and under 60 will create more males.
Do not top your plants or take clones before sex is shown, this will add stress and create more males.
Use a Metal Halide (MH) during vegetation and a High Pressure Sodium Bulb (HPS) for flowering. This will create more females.
Before you change the light cycle from it’s vegetation to it’s flowering, be sure your plants are stress free. If you recently overfertilized, or treated the soil for mold or plant for pests, wait a few days for the plants to overcome that stress, then go into the flowering cycle, even if it throws your schedule off by a few days, it’s well worth it as you may get 20% more females simply by waiting the extra 3 days for them to recover from the stress.
It’s also best to vegetate under 14.5 hours of light for optimal female ratios. If this cannot be done, then use 16. And if you’re still in too much of a hurry, use 18, but never 24 hours of light or you will have too many males. You get more females using 14.5 hour of light during the vegetation cycle, slightly less using 16, slightly less at 18, but your chances dramatically decrease if you use 24 hour light. You could end up with 70% males, or 100% male plant, that means NO FEMALES AT ALL. It’s not worth the risk, especially if you’re growing higher end genetics.