What are feminised seeds? Dutch Passion created feminized cannabis seeds Feminised cannabis seeds have been one of the most important contributions to the cannabis growing movement in the Welcome to Dear Omar, a weekly Debugger column from tech expert Omar L. Gallaga. If you have questions for Omar, send them to [email protected] with the subject line “Dear Omar.” There was a kind… Growing weed in an AeroGarden: the complete step by step guide with everything you need to know along with pro-tips by experimented growers.
What are feminised seeds?
Dutch Passion created feminized cannabis seeds
Feminised cannabis seeds have been one of the most important contributions to the cannabis growing movement in the last generation. Dutch Passion were the first ones who, against all odds, created cannabis seeds that gave rise to 95%+ female plants. These seeds are known as feminised seeds, today they are the most popular and convenient choice for those growing their own stash.
The inconvenience of regular seeds
Before feminised seeds, ‘regular’ cannabis seeds were used which produced approximately 50% male and 50% female plants. This meant that growers had to germinate and grow twice the desired number seedlings in order to reach a satisfactory number of mature females. With the arrival of feminised marijuhana seeds a grower simply plants the desired number of seeds and forgets about the inconvenience of male plants. Male plants not only waste space in a garden, they also risk reducing the finest sensimilla into seed pods. For most growers of recreational or medical marijuana the male plant is simply no longer wanted. The recent boom in home-grown cannabis has been made a lot easier with the arrival of feminised marijuana seeds. No more worrying about how to identify male plants.
Feminised marijuana seeds are grown in the same way as regular seeds. They can be grown indoors, in greenhouses or outside. They can be grown in soil or hydroponic systems. Feminised seeds give more stable results than regular seeds, resulting in better potency for 80% of all varieties.
The feminisation process
The exact process of cannabis seed feminisation has been a secret for many years. The principle is straightforward. Female plants can be stimulated to produce pollen in such a way that the pollen is regarded as ‘female pollen’. The female pollen is used to pollinate a female plant which then starts producing seeds. The seeds produced by this method are feminised – they give rise only to female plants.
The benefits of feminised marijuana seeds
As an additional benefit the feminised marijuana seeds tend to give rise to more uniform plants than regular seed. For the experienced growers feminised seeds have simplified life. To the new grower, feminised cannabis seeds are the only way to go. Growing top quality strains of cannabis has never been as easy, just choose the strain, plant the seeds and ensure ample light and sufficient nutrients.
Dutch Passion invented feminised marijuana seeds and have perhaps the worlds best selection of top quality feminised strains. If you are thinking about buying some feminised seeds then first take a look at what Dutch Passion has to offer – you won’t be disappointed!
The feminized seed experiment
In a Dutch Passion experiment done in 1999 Dutch Passion grew 15 varieties of “feminized” seeds. We started with 30 seeds per variety. The goals were: 1) to determine the percentages of female, male, and hermaphroditic plants. 2) to compare the uniformity (homogeneity) among plants from “feminized” seeds with those grown from “regular” seeds.
1. The results were excellent. Nine out of fifteen varieties had 100% female offspring. Percentages of female plants from the other 6 varieties were between 80 and 90%. These plants were all hermaphrodites, producing their male flowers at the end of their lifecycle. Seed-setting hardly took place. No males were found.
2. Approximately 70% of the plants of varieties grown from “feminized” seeds were far more uniform than plants grown from “regular” seeds of the same variety. About 20% of the varieties were a little more uniform, while in 10% of the varieties no difference in uniformity was seen.
From literature and our own findings it appears that the growth of a male or female plant from seed, except for the predisposition in the gender chromosomes, also depends on various environmental factors. The environmental factors that influence gender are:
• a higher nitrogen concentration will give more females.
• a higher potassium concentration will give more males.
• a higher humidity will give more females.
• a lower temperature will give more females.
• more blue light will give more females.
• Fewer hours of light will give more females.
It is important to start these changes at the three-pairs-of-leaves stage and continue for two or three weeks, before reverting to standard conditions.
To produce our feminized cannabis seeds, we start with selected female clones. Under standard conditions these female clones do not produce any male flowers. By the method we found, we are able to have these female clones produce abundant male flowers and pollen (see photos). The pollen thus produced we use for the production of our “feminized” seeds.
Yes, Cannabis Will Grow in an AeroGarden Device
I mean, that’s what we heard… from other people. Not because we did it. (Ahem.)
Welcome to Dear Omar, a weekly Debugger column from tech expert Omar L. Gallaga. If you have questions for Omar, send them to [email protected] with the subject line “Dear Omar.”
There was a kind of boredom that happened during the pandemic shutdown in 2020 that we may never feel again. It felt like you couldn’t go anywhere or do anything that didn’t involve puttering around your home like a 70-year-old. Knitting was suddenly hot. Home improvement projects abounded. Gardening was suddenly something a lot of us began to dig as a new hobby. We became more comfortable with puns.
It may have happened that during this extended period of new-hobby adoption and exploration of The Old Ways that one might have purchased a gadget called an AeroGarden to grow veggies and herbs. AeroGardens, which can grow plants out of Keurig-like seed pods with only water and liquid nutrients, were hard to find last year as the pandemic increased demand. They were coveted by people like me who wanted to learn how to garden and grow edible crops, but were also really bad at growing plants with soil and sunshine and water.
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Once the AeroGarden arrived and proved bountiful in its ability to grow green things, it might have led one to wander over to Google late one night and type, completely out of curiosity and with no intent of action, “AeroGarden can it grow marijuana?”
Not me, of course. I live in Texas, where cannabis is still very, very illegal. It would be foolish even to type such a thing into a search engine because what a waste of time that would be! Ha ha ha! Can you imagine?
But let’s say you had just purchased an AeroGarden, you had access to the internet and its many gray virtual alleyways, and you didn’t live in Texas. How would that even work? You know, for someone who could do it legally. Not me, certainly. Maybe you or someone you know.
It turns out, if you bothered to look, as I obviously did not, that there are lots of very easy-to-follow guides online on how to go about taking everything pot growers have been trying for decades and applying them to the modern technology of an AeroGarden.
Aeroweed.info, for example, is an entire site devoted to growing buds from the seed to vegetative to flowering stages with simple directions and friendly graphics. It details all the basics that a new grower with an AeroGarden (not me!) would need to know, as well as more nitty-gritty details such as testing the pH balance of water, special nutrients to buy, and add-on products such as additional water reservoirs or oxygen-pumping water stones that can help raise yields. Yields are how much actual usable cannabis you’d get from a plant grow, not that I know anything about that because I never pursued it or read much about it, as I’ve mentioned before.
Several sites that deal in selling cannabis seeds (illegal in some states, read the fine print!) and reviewing hydroponics products also have guides with different methodologies for getting good grows.
If you want to know what these guides suggest, or how this would all work without clicking on those links (don’t blame you, I wouldn’t!), I suppose I could summarize for you, although you shouldn’t take my word for it because I don’t know anything about it.
First, you’d need to invest in some AeroGarden Grow Anything Seed Kits. These allow you to put any kinds of seeds into new pods that you’d label and grow in one of the AeroGarden’s holes. You’d then order seeds from a reputable online dealer that probably doesn’t accept credit cards, but will discreetly ship seeds to someone in the U.S. but only for the expressed purpose of using the seeds as a novelty gift, or as a collectible, not to grow a cannabis plant because that would be a strange use of a seed, right? You’d want to pick a strain of seed that is autoflower, and that grows very very short because most AeroGarden models have a set of lights that only rise about two feet at most. A full-grown dwarf or short cannabis plant (such as Blueberry Kush or Fastberry) will barely fit into that space. If one had to guess and didn’t know firsthand, I mean.
Because cannabis plants have lots of thick roots, it’s advisable to only plant one to three at a time. Any more will create clogged roots and will take up too much space in the AeroGarden. If, in fact, this were even a thing someone who is not me would try to do.
Some sites suggest soaking the seeds in distilled water in a dark place for at least 18 hours before planting. Once you plant the seeds in the AeroGarden, if they germinate, it may only be a few days before the first leaves emerge. Then, allegedly, it’s just a waiting game as the plants begin to grow and grow and grow, and the stress of trying to keep it alive begins. Some online guides suggest eschewing the AeroGarden nutrient mix for the kinds of grow chemicals that marijuana farmers use. One who experiments, but not in Texas, might find that the AeroGarden nutrients work fine, but adding a calcium-magnesium mix called “CalMag” also helps.
Autoflower seeds, which are cannabis seeds that won’t need to be pollinated by other flowers and pretty much just do their thing without much help, typically take about 10 weeks to reach the bud stage, according to online guides, but I can imagine a scenario where it could take four or five more weeks than that, especially if one was completely inexperienced and wasn’t exactly sure what the harvest stage looked like, despite the proliferation of YouTube videos on the subject.
Before things even got to that stage, I could also picture a scenario where one would get so obsessed with the health of their beautiful, growing cannabis plant that one would get stressed over spotty, burnt, or browning leaves and wonder what to do about the water or the hours of simulated sunlight the AeroGarden is giving off. (20 hours on, four hours off a day might be a good rule of thumb; I wouldn’t know.) One might go down the internet rabbit hole wondering how to get rid of the smell that comes from growing cannabis in an AeroGarden in, say, a bedroom closet, and learn that people have come up with incredibly elaborate (and pricey) workarounds using plastic tent material and carbon filters. You might buy a humidity and temperature reader just to make sure conditions in the grow room (or closet) are ideal.
The internet is also a good place to figure out what to do with cannabis once it’s actually grown enough to harvest. Did you know you can buy a tiny jewelers’ loupe online that allows you to peek into the strange and beautiful world of mushroom-like trichomes? I did not and continue not to know that.
Once the hairlike follicles on the weed are to the grower’s liking, it’s time to cut, dry, and cure the cannabis, a process that takes another few weeks before the weed is usable for recreational purposes. This doesn’t involve the AeroGarden, but if the yields are very bountiful, it may take several rounds of cutting, drying, and curing. The AeroGarden may continue doing its work growing some of the cannabis while some of the stems that were cut are on their way to drying and curing for five to 10 days.
The most fascinating thing that someone who isn’t me might find from growing cannabis in an AeroGarden is that it opens one up to lots of knowledge from a lot of different online sources on best gardening methods that can apply to lots of other plants and even to growing traditional veggies and herbs in the AeroGarden. You learn a little bit about chemistry, a lot about how plants actually grow through their various stages, the ways that the duration and intensity of daylight spur leaf growth, and why harvesting at just the right time is so important. You learn the satisfaction of taking a product from a humble, tiny seed into a gigantic, barely manageable plant that is producing ounces and ounces of a valuable product that can help relieve stress, sleep issues, and body pain if used correctly when the time comes.
Sometimes technology comes back around to teach you a thing or two about something very analog, something tactile, and real-world that makes you feel a little more connected to an unlikely pursuit, such as agriculture.
I mean, that’s what I hear online. It’s not like this is something I would ever try myself.
How to Grow Weed in your AeroGarden
Miracle-Gro AeroGarden™ is an exciting hydroponic system. You can grow fresh herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, year-round, in the comfort of your home.
You may be wondering: Is it possible to grow weed in an AeroGarden? And is it worth it? The short answer is Yes.
In this guide, I’m going to show you everything you need to know to grow weed your AeroGarden™ successfully including the best practices, the material needed, and exclusive pro-tips by experimented growers.
The best part? It will pay for itself in only 2 or 3 grows in weed value!
Table of contents
1. The Best AeroGarden Models For Weed
At the time I wrote these lines, the available models are; Sprout, Harvest, Classic, Bounty, and Farm family. To grow weed successfully, you will need a garden with 24 inches of growing height capacity and a powerful grow light panel.
So here are the AeroGarden models I recommend:
The AeroGarden™ Classic 9 is one of the most powerful models. It comes with a 45-watt LED full spectrum growth light and a growing height extendable up to 24 inches.
The Classic 9 also includes a touch screen control panel that makes things very easy and fun to control!
Classic 9 Bounty model has been replaced recently by a new design and this one is now obsolete but still one of the best to grow weed.
The most recent AeroGarden Bounty comes with a 40-watt grow light. The Bounty Elite (WiFi and Alexa Compatible) comes with a 50-watt grow light and both have 24 inches of growing height capacity.
Finally, the bigger models available are the AeroGarden™ Farm family with 60W of dual LED power and 24 inches of growing height.
2. Weed strain and seed type for the AeroGarden
Since the maximum grow height is only 24 inches (when the LED panel is fully deployed), it’s crucial to choose a strain that will stay small and compact.
Some strains can grow big plants that are not suited for the AeroGarden small reservoir. The strains also determine the effects and medical attributes.
2.1 Cannabis seed types
Autoflowering seeds are perfect for beginners because they grow very quickly and stay smaller. Also, there’s no need to change the light cycle to induce the flowering stage, and you will get only female plants.
Some strains can take only 10 weeks from seed to harvest.
On the other hand, yields are usually smaller with autoflowering seeds and most have a lower THC percentage.
Feminized seeds are also great, they allow growers to apply training techniques that aren’t recommended for auto and they can be cloned.
You will have to change the light cycle from 18/6 to 12/12 to trigger the flowering phase. Increased darkness hours tell the plant the fall is coming and start creating buds.
Key takeaway: Feminized seeds give more control to the experienced grower while autoflower seeds grow faster and are suitable for beginner grower.
2.2 Recommended marijuana strains for the AeroGarden
– (Hybrid) – (Hybrid) – (Indica) – (Indica) – (Hybrid) – (Hybrid) – (Hybrid) – (Hybrid) – (Indica) – (Hybrid) – (Hybrid)
3. The shopping list
Now you have your AeroGarden™ and your seeds, you will need the material below, and the optional list will help to have more yield out of your grow.
3.2 Optional products
Cannabis, like any other plants, needs calcium and magnesium.
Your tap water may have calcium and magnesium in small concentrations, but likely not enough.
If you’re using distilled water, you will need to add a Cal-Mag solution to your water as they are essential secondary nutrients for healthy plant growth.
Botanicare Hydroguard® is well known for their unique beneficial bacteria that help to increase root mass and health.
In my installation, I have added an external air pump with an air stone to make more bubbles in the root zone. This helps to prevent roots rot, and bring more oxygen to the roots.
The external pump also helps to reduce the usage of the AeroGarden™ built-in pump. The water temperature will stay low, and you will be able to keep an optimal temperature (between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit).
On the top of the AeroGarden reservoir, you will find two water/air ports with rubber plugs that you can remove.
They are the same size as the standard aquarium airline tubing. Just place the tubing inside one of them and put the air stone in the center of the bowl.
4. Nutrients and the importance of pH
Important: don’t use the provided plant food that comes with the AeroGarden™. This will not work, and you will lose your time and seeds.
I use General Hydroponics Flora Series, and I always have great results with these nutrients. Some other popular alternatives are Advanced Nutrients and Botanicare.
Your AeroGarden™ Bounty holds approximately 4 liters of water. I pour this amount of water into a big stainless steel mixing bowl. Let the tap water sit for 24 hours to become chlorine-free or use distilled water.
Now it’s time to add nutrients to the water. Begin with half of the recommended dosage by the manufacturer.
If you’re using GH Flora Series, take a look at this fully-tested nutrient schedule.
4.1 pH control
The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. The pH of the AeroGarden™ solution should be between 5.5 and 6.5.
So I target 6, and I check with the pH pen tester every day and make the required adjustments with pH buffers (do not use pH up and pH down in the same solution).
In the vegetative phase, the pH tends to go higher, and in the flowering stage, it tends to go lower. Keeping the pH in the target zone is essential. Out of this zone, the cannabis plant may be unable to absorb some nutrients, and this leads to nutrient deficiencies.
If the pH fluctuates a lot or is out of control for a long time, your plant leaves will become distorted especially in the new growth areas.
This can be reverted, but the affected leaves will not return to normal appearance.
Key takeaway: pH problems can slow the growth of your cannabis plants and lower your yield.
4.2 Total dissolved solids (TDS) & parts per million (PPM)
Before pouring the solution into the AeroGarden’s bowl, you need to verify the concentration of nutrient in the solution with the TDS digital meter.
In the first weeks, the PPM should be around 400, and this amount increase as the marijuana plants grows. In the early flowering stage, the TDS could be around 1000+ PPM.
High nutrient concentration levels will not help the plant to grow faster and can lead to problems like nutrient burn.
5. AeroGarden setup to grow weed
Now the fun part! I assume you have already assembled your hydroponic system and you have transferred the solution to the AeroGarden reservoir.
Now let’s take a closer look at the control panel. First, set the clock, and if you’re in the quick plant menu, select the grow anything option.
5.1 Grow light settings
Select the sun icon, and follow the steps to configure the grow light. If you have autoflowering seeds, I recommend 20/4 light cycle. My settings are as follow; light open at 6:00 am, and close at 2:00 am.
For feminized seeds, I suggest 18/6 for the vegetative stage, then switch to 12/12 to trigger flowering stage.
5.2 AeroGarden™ Pump settings
Select the water icon, and then change settings. Follow the steps until you reach the pump on/off screen.
In the vegetative stage, I recommend setting the pump 30 minutes on, and 60 minutes off.
In the flowering stage, it’s better to give an oxygen boost in the water for the increasing root masse of your plants. So, if you don’t have an external pump, set the pump to 60 minutes on, and 30 minutes off.
If you have the external air pump with an air stone, keep in mind this one should run all the time from seed to harvest. You can configure the AeroGarden built-in pump 10 minutes on, and 60 minutes off when you run the external pump.
5.3 Nutrients settings
Finally, select the nutrients icon, and then settings. Set your nutrients cycle to 7 days. This is a simple reminder, and the AeroGarden™ will give you a warning every week to add nutrients and replace the water.
6. Seed germination
I strongly recommend growing only one or two plants at a time. Your marijuana plants will need an increased amount of space while growing and try to put more plants will decrease the yield.
Take two grow sponges and baskets, then place the seeds into the small holes. Be sure seeds are not falling too deep, (1/2” would be awesome). Cover the two pods with the provided transparent domes and put duct tape over the remaining pod holes.
From my experience, it could take anywhere from 2 to 4 days to see the first tiny sprout.