You might think growing cannabis is a challenge because of all the elements that go into producing the perfect yield. But the cannabis of the 21st century grows from autoflowering seeds, so growing them is easier than ever.
That said, there are still specific steps to follow because these seeds need special care. So, we created this guide to give you tips you need to grow these newly popular cannabis plants. But first, what are autoflowering cannabis seeds?
What Are Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds?
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are seeds crossbred with a cannabis subspecies. This genetic manipulation gives the seeds a shorter stature and autoflowering properties. What does this mean? It means instead of the plant requiring a specific light cycle to flower, it automatically flowers based on time — regardless of their time in the light.
A timed flowering gives cannabis growers one less factor to worry about and speeds up the time from sowing seeds to flowering. Autoflowering cannabis plants flower in two to four weeks instead of the usual six to nine weeks. That’s exciting news for cannabis growers, but it leaves little room for error.
Top 6 Tips to Grow the Best Yield
To help you on your journey, here are the top tips you need to know for a successful cannabis growing season.
1. Plan to succeed
There is more than one strain of autoflowering cannabis, so you want to do your research to make sure you pick the strain that will work best for your goals. After you choose the perfect seeds, gather the supplies you need for your grow room. Are you using soil or hydroponics? What type of light does this strain thrive in? Figuring out all the details before you sow a single seed will save you precious time during your plant’s short life cycle.
Some items to gather can include:
- Aerated soil or hydroponics
- Containers which drain well and are large enough for a fully grown plant
- Plant food adjusted for your autoflowering cannabis seed choice
- Light sources
2. Choose the right spot
You’ve set up your grow room, you gathered all the equipment you need, and you’re ready to grow, but before you start, choose your growing spot wisely. Autoflowering cannabis plants don’t repot well because of their short growing time, so wherever you seed your plants is where they need to stay. Be sure the pots you choose are big enough for the full-grown plant.
Also, when planning your room, set up multiple areas that can handle different growth periods. Since the life cycle is short, start the next crop a week after you seed the first batch. If you do it that way, you’ll have a rolling harvest.
3. Teach your autoflowering cannabis well
As we said, you only have a short period between seed and harvest with autoflowering cannabis, so training the plant to give you the largest yield is essential. You want to use low-stress techniques (LST) for training because your plants won’t have time to recover from harsh methods.
So, as soon as you see three nodes on your plant — top it. That will encourage your cannabis to have a wider canopy. Your other option is to bend the plant to encourage additional upward growth and allow light to reach the whole plant. Either of these methods will train your plants and help increase your yield.
Pro tip: Don’t top the plants after they flower.
4. The Goldilocks consideration
Although your autoflowering cannabis seeds don’t need a strict light cycle to flower, they still need the right temperature to grow. The perfect temperature for the best growth is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you’re growing outside, the time of year is a consideration. The best thing to regulate temperature is to grow them in a greenhouse. That way, you can keep the humidity low, the temperature perfect, and provide just the right amount of airflow for the best crops.
5. Lights, please
The biggest selling point for using autoflowering seeds is that you don’t have to worry about providing an exact amount of light hours for your cannabis. In fact, autoflowering cannabis seeds will flower whether they have 12 hours of light or 24 hours. That said, there is a sweet spot. Give your plants 18 hours with the lights on for optimal growth.
6. Plants need water and pH too
One thing you need precision on is watering. Over-watering can lead to rot, and under-watering leads to death, so what do you do? Some might say to water on a schedule, but that takes out the “need” factor. What you want to do is look at the soil and literally pick up the pot. Water your cannabis when the soil is dry, and the pot is light. Watering this way will ensure there is no water sitting at the roots.
Also, a consequence of a short life cycle is that the pH in your soil must be perfect. Why? Because your quick little plants don’t have any recovery time. So, test your soil regularly and be cautious of the water you use for them. You want the pH to stay between 6.0 and 7.0, assuming you’re growing in soil. If you’re using hydroponics, you want a pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
Step Into the 21st Century with Autoflowering Cannabis
Autoflowering cannabis seeds can change your world as a grower. And if you want to be successful, be meticulous about growing them. With a few adjustments to your routine and by keeping the short flowering cycle in mind, the payoff for your diligence is high yields and rapid growth.
The truth is, adjusting your growing routine to accommodate these hybrid seeds can bring your production crop to a whole new level. And with these tips, you will have a successful time with your new autoflowering cannabis seed venture.
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