Autoflowering cannabis strains are awesome. Just a few years ago, many growers didn’t take autoflowers seriously. They saw them as something suited for beginners, as the first autoflowering varieties couldn’t really match the yield, aroma, and potency of photoperiod strains. But things has changed in recent years. Modern autoflowers have great yields, and their buds are of a quality that rivals photoperiod strains.
Whether you grow outdoors or indoors, in this article we’re going to show you the typical mistakes that are usually made when growingautoflower genetics and proposing alternatives that will make your grow much more efficient, with greater yields and higher quality of the final product.
Timing is everything…
…if you’re planning to grow autoflowers outdoors. Since autoflowers don’t depend on light to flower, you don’t need to worry too much. But, planting too early will generate smaller yields and planting too late affects yields too.
Using too small a pot…
This is a common mistake that often can often lead to disappointment for the grower, who may end up harvesting a plant that’s only 20 or 30 centimetres high, with a much lower yield than expected. To avoid this unfortunate phenomenon, we need simply use good-sized plant pots from the start, with a minimum capacity of 7L for indoor plants and 15L outdoors. This way we make sure that the plant will reach a considerable height before flowering, and be able to deliver the yields we expect.
Frost must be avoided…
Most growers begin planting when spring is just around the corner. Depending on where you live, you can plant the seeds as soon as the frost clears. If you reside in a location that doesn’t receive any snow, go ahead and plant when the temperatures range between 22°C to 28°C.
Transplanting automatic plants…
Another frequent error, and one which is often a result of the last mistake we mentioned. It’s not uncommon – in fact, in many cases it’s correct – to think that it’s better to use several pots throughout the plant’s life cycle. However, automatic plants really don’t like transplants! The golden rule: to avoid problems when working with auto genetics we should always use one single pot of the correct size from the beginning to the end of the grow, or if possible, grow in full soil.
Over and underwatering autoflowering plants…
Cannabis in general – and automatic varieties in particular – prefer an irrigation cycle by which the substrate goes from being wet (but not soaked) to almost dry (never completely dry, otherwise the roots will quickly die). Most plants die if you over or under-water them. Yes, autoflowers need water to grow, but it’s critical to supply it only when the plant needs it. It’s obvious that the timing is important even when the plants need water.
In order to get the timing right, lift the pots and check the weight. A dry pot will be easy to lift whereas container with lots of water will be heavy. The trick is to not let the soil go too dry or too wet, so water the plants only when the pot isn’t too heavy or light.
Training autoflowering cannabis….Yes or No?
There is no black and white answer.
Autoflowering plants are not exactly the ideal genetics to apply pruning techniques to. If we prune an auto plant we run the risk of slowing its growth down too much, resulting in it starting to flower at a noticeably smaller size than that which it could have reached without pruning.
There are enough growth variables across so many commercially available species of cannabis that there is room for both sides of the argument to be correct. Before making topping or training decisions, the general health, vigour and turgor of your plants needs to be considered. They should be growing fast and are lush green and healthy.
We hope that these simple tipss will help you to get a problem-free autoflower harvest. By avoiding the mistakes that we’ve outlined here, you’re already on the right track to success.