Autoflowering cannabis plants are very easy to grow, they have short flowering times, do not grow very high and they provide great herb.
An auto-flowering marijuana plant automatically starts making buds about 3-4 weeks from germination, and most plants are ready to harvest by the time they’re 3 months from seed. Auto-flowering strains produce plants that are ready to harvest earlier than almost every “regular” (photoperiod) strain and don’t need special light schedules.
A lot of growers see pictures on social media and are blown away by the size and yield of the monster autos on display. How do they do it? Well, we’ll run down five simple things you can do to ensure your next harvest is a bumper crop.
Autoflowering strains with better yields
To get the best possible results when growing autoflowers, it is important that you choose seeds of good quality. You may have a crack for plants and keeping them happy, if the seeds are not good, you will have a backlog from the start. So choose autoflower seed that is known to have good quality in terms of germination and harvest.
To identify those automatic strains with better yields, cannabis seedbanks have used names that remind you to those characteristics. Just naming a few: AUTO Chronic Monster, Auto Bigger Bud, Auto Red Russian XXL…
Choose a Grow Medium/Soil that is Airy
Airy growth mediums like rock wool, perlite, vermiculite or cocomat ensure that a plant and its roots can develop well. An autoflowering plant can grow from seed to harvest in just 60 days. It is therefore important to stimulate as much vegetation growth as possible in that short period of time. This makes it possible for the plant to develop a maximum number of buds.
Better Not Repot Your Autoflower Plants
One of our most successful tips for maximizing the yield of your autoflowering plants is to avoid stress. Ensure that as few changes as possible occur. Autoflower plants do not like changes.
The first way to do this is to prevent your auto’s from being repotted. Instead, grow them in their final container from start. So, if you plant the seedling, use a big pot or container in which the plant can grow for the rest of its life cycle.
Keep in mind that autoflower strains have a very short life cycle. Repotting always places a plant under some stress and affects their growth a little. With regular strains this usually is no big deal, but autos are so to speak a bit sensitive.
Start Seedlings Indoors
Whether you are planning an indoor or an outdoor auto grow op, make sure to get your seedlings started indoors. Again, the grower must be conscious of the fact that autos will transition to bloom in about 30 to 40 days post germination.
The grower and the plants are on the clock from day one. Therefore, it is critical to ensure seedlings root well. A cool white CFL or even a sunny windowsill are adequate. Just make sure vegetative growth goes smoothly because ready or not bloom will commence. Remember autoflowering cannabis flowers according to its age rather than a shift to a 12/12 lighting cycle.
Use More Light
Autoflowers will bloom regardless of what light schedule you keep them on, so there’s no reason to limit how much light they receive. Growers report having excellent results, on a program of 20 hours of light and 4 of darkness. A few enterprising cultivators swear by 24-hour lighting. Light, it’s what plants crave. So don’t skimp on it!
Best Season to Grow Autoflowering Strains Outdoors
As we said above, autoflowering strains are not photo-dependant, so bigger amount of light they recieve, bigger the yields will be. Outdoors, in northern hemisphere, the best season to seed autoflowering cannabis is between May and August. If we grow autoflowering plants during this season we will get the best results, with plants growing and flowering more vigorous.
Watchout for Pests
Even though the autoflowering strains, due to its quick cycle, usually aren’t affected by pests, talking about plants, everything could happen, so all kind of insects, mites and molds can appear, so it is recommended to use something against pest along vegetative stage just to prevent.
The Sea of Green
The Sea of Green (SOG) growing method is extremely popular. It involves growing various smaller plants per grow surface, rather than fewer larger plants. With regular plants this generally cuts down the need for long vegetative phases, allowing you to get to harvest a lot faster.
SOG is a great technique to use with autos because it takes the focus away from maximize the vegetative growth of each individual plant. Instead, it lets you take advantage of the naturally smaller stature of your autos and maximize on that potential.
Get The Nutrients Right
Just like with regular cannabis plants, you’ll want to give your autos the right nutrients throughout their entire cycle. Remember to give them grow nutrients during their vegetative growth phase before switching to bloom nutrients at the first signs of flowering.
Like repotting, topping, and SCROG-ing, over watering creates stress for your plants. Hence, always avoid over watering your cannabis autos and only give them water when their soil is nice and dry.
Avoid Stress By Any Kind Of Plant Training Technique
Training techniques like FIM, SCROG, or simply topping, cause stress for a plant. Regarding regular marijuana plants, training can pay off, but with autoflower plants it is not a good idea. Reason is that auto’s have a short life span. Hence, the period it takes for an autoflower to recover from the stress or any training technique is just not worth it. Chances are these methods turn out to be counterproductive and lead to lesser yields.
In the time it takes to grow a photoperiod cannabis strain from seed to weed you could crop two batches of autos. Even fast flowering photoperiod hybrids need 8 weeks to bloom. Most photoperiod strains will take 90-120 total to pull down a harvest.
In 120 days you could definitely complete two consecutive cannabis harvests of autos. Think about it, if you can cultivate two auto crops in that time frame and grow SOG style, it’s a no-brainer to double down.
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