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How to grow autoflowering seeds
8 July 2022
Being a cannabis grower is tasking especially if the horticulturist does not have sufficient knowledge of cannabis seed and plant types. This is because the difference between a skilled and novice cannabis grower lies in the diversity and quality of knowledge possessed by the former. An expert cannabis grower has a higher chance of applying industry jargon to increase the turnout of their yields.
It is no news that the seed is the most important element in the cannabis cultivation phase. Hence, every farmer needs to learn about the different types of seeds, their peculiar characteristics, and the factors that determine or influence the viability of seeds. Famous in the cannabis industry are the autoflowering seeds and they are usually pitted against their photoperiod counterparts.
Read on to find out more about how to successfully cultivate these seeds.
What are Auto-flowering seeds?
From its name, its meaning can already be deduced. Autoflowering seeds can be defined as seeds that transition into the flowering phase without any external effort. Another way to put it is to describe it as a seed that does not require a change in its lighting schedule to switch from the vegetative phase to the budding phase. This is in sharp contrast to what happens to a photoperiod seed as these categories of seeds require an alteration in their lighting schedule to commence blossoming.
Hence it is safe to say that grooming a photoperiod seed requires more gardening expertise when compared to cultivating an auto-flowering seed. According to Herbies, the auto-flowering variant is one of the most flexible seeds as they are compatible with any category of grower both beginner and expert. This seed is eye candy for the latter category of growers because it possesses some unique features, especially when crossbred with seeds of other cannabis strains.
For these types of cannabis seeds, time just makes the difference. After 2-4 weeks of developing leaves, they begin to produce buds and on average they are often ready to be harvested within 2 months and 2 weeks of planting.
A question that is frequently asked by most enthusiasts is which specie of cannabis does the auto-flowering plant descend from? The answer to this question is the Cannabis Ruderalis specie. This specie of cannabis has its geographical origin in Siberia which is a region in Northern Europe that experiences long harsh winters and short summers with many hours of daylight.
Due to evolution, these variants of marijuana seeds do not have to depend on the number of daylight trapped before they initiate the budding phase. It is important to note that these seeds have varieties tailored to the specific needs of each cannabis user or grower.
Some auto-flowering strains contain more CBD than THC while some others contain more THC than CBD. The former is appropriate for recreational cannabis users while the latter is best suited to the needs of customers who want a holistic experience or who require it for medical purposes.
Tips on how to grow Auto-flowering seeds (A step-by-step guide)
Growing Auto-flowering seeds can be done in several ways but an easy way to categorize its cultivation is to streamline them into Indoor and Outdoor cultivation. Both grooming styles have their pros and cons. The indoor option is the most advisable although it is capital intensive. What makes it the preferred choice of most growers is that it gives them a great deal of control over the outcome of their yields.
Outdoor growing is a cost-effective and beginner-friendly option for the duo. This is because growers do not have to purchase lights that would serve the function of Natural light which outdoor cannabis plants are exposed to and they do not have to learn the intricate principles of lighting schedules. However, this cultivation method possesses greater risks of pest, pet, and rodent attack especially if the grower does not have a protective cage or fence encompassing the plants from external attacks.
For clarity, the steps to be carried out for each grooming style are summarized below.
- Start indoors: As funny as this sounds, this tip is a wonder-working one. How this works is that the grower plants the seed in a planting pot indoors and takes it outside at regular intervals to ensure that the plant is becoming used to external atmospheric conditions. However, growers should ensure that they do not shock the plant. Hence, they should ensure the outside temperature is warm enough( always above 40 degrees Fahrenheit)
The reason for this strategy is due to the uncertainty of external conditions and their harsh impacts on the overall viability of young cannabis plants.
Doing this ensures that the grower’s plant does not get ravaged by diseases and pests which would significantly reduce the quantity and quality of the harvest. It is also important to note that different germination methods can be used by growers ranging from the soil germination method, water method, and paper towel germination method.
- Plant protection: For this grooming method, plant protection techniques must be carried out by the grower to preserve the quality of the plant. Hence, strategies like building solid fences to prevent pests, rodents, and animals from destroying the plants must be carried out.
Growers who operate planting spaces that are visible to the public eye can mask the sight of these short plans to prevent a situation with the law enforcement agency or cannabis regulations of the grower’s city. This technique is called the guerrilla planting technique and it is targeted at subduing the aroma of these plants to prevent them from being detected by neighbors who would rat you out to the state or federal authorities.
Growers should also ensure that they spray their plants with pesticides in the right doses. Too much insecticide can contaminate the plant and seeds which make it poisonous to ingest. Also, growers should ensure that they do not overwater the seeds/ plants. While sufficient water is necessary for plant growth via transpiration and translocation, over-watering strips the root of oxygen. And once this occurs, the plant dies.
Indoor growing tips
- Choose the right strains: The difference between quality cannabis plants and underwhelming ones lies in their genetic traits. According to Herbie’s head seed shop, a grower needs to understand the peculiarities of the seed to be grown. This is because genetics is often a pre-indicator of the planting techniques to be adopted.
Knowing that some seed varieties are more susceptible to pest attacks, mold formation, and transplanting shocks makes a whole lot of difference.
- Repotting is fatal: Unlike other cannabis varieties that can withstand the shock often associated with transplanting, the auto-flowering variant has to be treated like an egg as the slightest stress or strain may stunt its growth.
Hence, it is advisable to use the same pot from the planting phase to the harvesting phase. The pot to be used doesn’t have to be extremely spacious. A decently spaced pot would suffice as it would prevent the plant root from being bound or choked.
- Root stimulation: Contrary to public opinion, the root is the most important part of the cannabis plant as it is through the root that nutrients are distributed evenly to all parts of the plant. Using a root stimulant helps a grower to make the most of the vegetative phase of the plant by building healthy roots. This is particularly useful since the v vegetative phase of this plant last only for a short while.
However, the stimulant must be sparingly applied to prevent the occurrence of leaves curling at the tips and being blighted.
- Using light and airy soil: Cannabis farmers who use airy and light soil would have more yields than growers who make use of a soil profile that is nutritionally packed and dense. This is because using the latter type of soil prevents the root of plants from properly the required micro-nutrients. In cases where the grower uses readymade pots that are over-packed with nutrients, the plant may suffer a nutrient burn.
- Using the appropriate light type: Growers should ensure that they use the right lighting materials. Although auto-flowering varieties do not need a rigid lighting schedule, growers would need to purchase LED lights for their grow rooms. It is advisable to ensure that these lights are equipped with UV light as we have found out that they improve plant taste and potency.
However, it is advisable to use fluorescent lamps for young seedlings and they create a warm atmosphere. Hence, growers can be assured that they would not burn their sensitive seedlings.
Also as an extra tip, using the 18/6 light schedule which translates to 18hrs on and 6hr off gives more yields while consuming less energy when compared with the 24hr schedule.
Other tips that should be employed include using soil pH up and down products to ensure that the soil’s pH is commensurate with the normal pH range. The optimal pH level falls between 6.0- 7.0. Growers should also prevent overfeeding their plants with excessive nutrients to prevent overfeeding.
The humidity level of the growing room should also be optimal to prevent mold from appearing on the plants. This can be regulated by providing a good ventilation system using a ventilator. A temperature of 20-25°C is needed to keep the atmosphere warm.
Before harvest, growers should ensure that they flush the soil by supplying pH-adjusted water to wash away the mineral salts that have accumulated over time. Doing this ensures that the plant’s buds are not adulterated by the presence of chemicals that are toxic to both the digestive and respiratory tract.
It is also helpful to harvest gradually as the buds which are under the top buds that haven’t received sufficient lighting can be ripened by their top counterparts.
After all is said and done, what makes the difference between good auto-flowering seeds and awful ones is the quality of their genes. Hence, you need to buy from a reputable seed shop like Herbies seed shop which sells auto-flowering seeds that are compliant with industry standards.
Herbies auto-flowering seeds are rich blends of different cannabis varieties that can satisfy even the pickiest cannabis enthusiast or farmer. On the Herbies website, growers can find the different strains on offer and a detailed description of their genotypes and phenotypes.
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