In this guide to growing autoflowering cannabis outdoors, we’ll cover the benefits and particulars, as well as how to do it successfully. Finally, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of choosing autoflowering seeds vs feminized seeds for outdoor grows.
Don’t go strictly by the suggested time. Instead, watch for the trichomes to turn cloudy, for the pistils to change colour and shrink into the buds, and for the leaves to fade from green to yellow or purple.
WHY SHOULD YOU GROW AUTOFLOWERING CANNABIS OUTDOORS?
If you grow weed a little further south, you can fit in two outdoor autoflowering grows per summer with proper planning. Start the first between late April and early May for a late July harvest. Immediately reseed, and the second crop should be ready before the end of October.
When you check to see if your autoflowering plants need to be watered or fed, give them a quick once-over for other problems. At the first sign of mould, remove the infected bud or foliage and relocate your plants to a drier area.
When it comes to yield and potency, there’s less of a gap between autos and traditional strains than there used to be. Breeders have discovered how to minimise the amount of ruderalis required, allowing them to preserve the final weight and THC of the other parent(s), while still keeping the autoflowering trait.
How does the pH dictate the yields, you ask? Well, when the pH falls below 5.5, plants cannot absorb certain nutrients like Calcium and Magnesium even if they are present at the roots. The same logic applies when the pH rises above 7. Suffice it to say that all the nutrients in the world cannot help the plant recover if the pH is not right. With an imbalance in the pH, the nutrients cannot be absorbed and the plants produce very little yields. Therefore, check the pH constantly to ensure that the plants are healthy.
1) Prepare ahead
It’s recommended that you start autoflowers in their final containers because they don’t have a lot of spare time to recover when they are transplanted. Transplant shock can seriously stunt the plant and the loss of even a day or two in the vegetative period can affect yields greatly.
3) Choose containers that drain well
In particular, full-spectrum LEDs work the best for any type of autoflower. The higher the lumens, the better the yields, but if you cannot afford expensive lighting equipment, CFLs will work well during the vegetative phase.
Most people assume that autoflowers produce small yields, but they can’t be further from the truth. Get this straight — autoflowers can not only produce humongous yields, but the fact that they do so within 2 months isn’t a small feat! But, you gotta follow a small rulebook, so here are 7 tips and tricks to maximize yields in autoflowers if you’re struggling to get the best out of them.
Sure, some growers grow autos just like photoperiod plants by transplanting them not once by twice! However, they are experienced growers that have attained success after several failures.
The pH value of your soil will determine how well your plants can access the nutrients within. If the pH becomes too high (alkaline) or too low (acidic), nutrient lockout will occur and deficiencies will set in. Cannabis plants thrive in a soil pH of between 6.0 and 6.5. Use a pH tester to track pH throughout your grow.
Autoflowering strains typically move from seed to harvest in 8–10 weeks. However, some varieties can take up to 12 weeks to fully mature. Strains such as Bubble Kush Automatic and Quick One fall towards the faster end of the spectrum, whereas varieties like Royal Creamatic and Royal Haze Automatic take a few more weeks to ready their buds for harvest.
A NOTE ON PH
However, their yields aren’t as spectacular as those obtained from photoperiod giants, but, the trade-off for brevity makes the decision worthwhile for most growers.
Germination usually takes 1–3 days. During this time, your seeds will activate and send a root down into the soil and a shoot above the surface. To begin the germination process, you’ll need to prepare a suitable soil mix. Autoflowers don’t need as much nutrients as photoperiod varieties and prefer light and airy soil.
Learn to grow autoflowering cannabis.
Many growers elect to cultivate autoflowers because of their speedy growing rate. Their hardy genetics and forgiving nature also make them easier to grow and therefore more beginner-friendly.