3) Choose containers that drain well
It goes without saying that seedlings don’t require nutrients. If you’re going soilless, a mild nutrient solution is fine, but don’t go above 150–200 ppm to avoid burning them.
4) Reduce nutrient strength
Cannabis growers are always on the hunt to understand the tips and tricks to maximize yields in autoflowers. Most growers have the talent, but they lack information. And that’s a serious handicap when growing autoflowers. Autoflowers grow fast and produce yields in a short span of time, but that comes only with experience. You could grow them just like photoperiod plants, but there are several stark differences.
Containers must be proportional to the size of the plant. For example, medium-sized plants require at least 5–7 gallon containers whereas big plants need pots that are more than 11 gallons. Remember, the type of container you choose plays a major role as well. Autoflowers love aerated soil that drains very well, so use breathable containers like fabric pots that allow maximum drainage.
Autoflowers are becoming a popular choice of seed for many growers due to their ease and fast turnover. However, their small size means the nutrient requirements differ slightly from conventional (photoperiodic) plants. If you’ve been wondering what the best way to feed autoflowers is, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out more.
Calcium & Magnesium – Cal-Mag supplements are recommended if you are not growing in soil. Calcium and magnesium are both important secondary macronutrients essential for healthy growth but they are easily washed away in soilless grow mediums. They can be added alongside your feeding schedule and reduced throughout flowering.
Be sure to dilute the nutrients down when you begin feeding autoflowers to avoid burning and stunting the plants. Photoperiodic plants aren’t as dependant on time like autoflowers are, so less is better in most cases.
The preflowering stage is usually the period of explosive growth as a cannabis plant begins to flower. For autoflowers it’s a bit different because they do not mind as much about a sudden shortage of light. The stretch for autoflowers lasts about 1-2 weeks and isn’t nearly as heavy as it is for photoperiods (which happens mainly because of the drastic change in light cycle).
Tip: Normally, a strain needs to be cultivated a few times before fully understanding how it grows with certain nutrients.
Make sure to provide your autoflowering ladies with good airflow. A gentle breeze of fresh air from a ventilator ensures humidity levels in your grow room stay low, which helps prevent the growth of mould. If your plants have dried leaves, which is not uncommon in the later stage of flowering, remove them for some better airflow around the buds.
Many cannabis growers overfeed their cannabis plants. This isn’t too surprising, seeing that makers of cannabis nutrients want us to believe our plants require constant supplementation to survive and thrive. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Note: Depending on where you live, there may be legal limits on how many plants you can grow for personal use, so make sure you know how many plants you can have.
TIP 12: FLUSH
With conventional cannabis, this would involve at least two separate growing areas. Luckily, with autoflowers, you can squeeze plants in different stages of growth all into the same room. As autoflowers take about 8–10 weeks from seed to harvest, all you need to do to enjoy a constant stash is offset planting by 2–4 weeks. This way, when you harvest one plant, the next is already starting to flower, waiting patiently in line.
More than anything else, genetics will play the biggest role in determining the final outcome of your grow operation. But what makes the right strain? Well, let’s start with your personal preferences, for example, what type of effect you want from your cannabis. If you’re smoking to get blazed with the best and the latest, you can’t go wrong with THC monsters like the super dank and potent Royal Cookies Automatic or Royal Gorilla Automatic, our automatic variants of two popular strains!
When starting your seeds, and for young plants, you can also use standard fluorescent lamps such as T5 lights. These use very little energy and don’t get warm, so there is no risk of burning your sensitive seedlings.
Cannabis can only uptake nutrients when the soil surrounding the root zone has the right pH value. The optimal pH range here is 6.0–7.0. For growing in other media, such as coco, the pH should be lower, ranging from 5.5–6.5. If the pH of your water is not optimal (which is likely the case if you use tap water) and plants can’t uptake nutrients, this leads to sick specimens. The right pH is particularly important when growing autoflowers as they don’t have time to recover. You want to ensure your plants get all the nutrients they need during their short period of growth.