Autoflowering varieties of cannabis have become very popular in recent years and are ideal for the conditions of the Central European climate. How to grow and get the most out of them?
Benefits of autoflowering cannabis
When it comes to autoflowering cannabis, there is one thing you need to focus on. The life cycle of autoflowering is relatively short – two to three months from germination. It is therefore important to give them the best possible growing conditions right from the start.
On the other hand, the genetics of autoflowering plants make them true champions of resistance. Autoflowering varieties are genetically using a classic cannabis variety (photoperiodic) with ruderalis, a species of cannabis from the cold regions of northern Europe that has adapted to harsh environmental conditions and developed exceptional speed and high resistance to adverse weather conditions.
The best thing about autoflowers is that you can time the harvest well and avoid the mould problems that come with early autumn.
Autoflowering varieties like sun and heat and depending on the length of the hot season you may have several harvests. It all depends on the area where you are growing and its climate. For example, in the Mediterranean areas of Europe, you can plant the first plants in mid-April and early May, when you know for sure that there is no more danger of frost and the days are longer.
In this way, you can harvest the first crops as early as the end of July and sow more in early August. This means that you will harvest again sometime in October. Even in the warmer areas of central Europe, this can be done, but you need help with the foil, as there is still a risk of frost in the first half of May. And even if it doesn’t freeze, the cold temperatures slow down growth, which the automatons will never catch up with, and you’ll start to get small plants flowering.
In Central and Northern Europe, it is most reliable to plan for a single crop and plant the ‘autoflowers’ in early June. The long, warm days will ensure vigorous growth and flowering will take place during the height of summer when the buds receive an intense dose of rays.
You’ll be harvesting before the cool nights and high humidity set in, which is the main reason for the mould in photoperiodic genetics, which don’t ripen until late September at the earliest. But it depends on the variety, as some automatics will ripen in as little as 2.5 months, while others may take a month longer.
Less stress means a bigger and stronger plant
The less you stress autoflowering cannabis plants, the more they will reward you with the size and quality of the harvest. Stresses to the plants include damage to the main stem, insensitive leaf trimming, extreme temperature fluctuations, over-drying of the substrate and pest damage. You will be surprised how beautiful autoflowering cannabis plants can be if grown correctly, outdoor autoflowering plants are about the same quality (during the sunny summer) as nice indoor plants.
Diseases and pests
Autoflowering genetics are less susceptible to insect attack, although they are not immune to it. This is because the life cycle of automata is so fast that insects don’t have enough time to become a problem for the plant – they usually don’t have time to reproduce enough to cause major damage.
When it comes to fungi, too much moisture, which is a risk in a greenhouse or in late summer with heavy rainfall, should be avoided.
Germination of automatic cannabis seeds and soil preparation
Autoflowering marijuana seeds such as Tokamak or Banshee from Nukaseeds do not require a different type of germination than other feminised seeds. You can choose whichever method suits you. Feel free to let the seeds germinate directly into the final pot.
Autoflowering plants require an aerated substrate to allow them to reach their full potential, develop roots properly and speed up all metabolic processes. Support the aeration of the substrate with coir, perlite or high quality peat with adjusted pH.
Flowerpot and watering
The optimum size of the pot you use must be atleast 12-18 litres (they can be larger) if you want the biggest cannabis plants possible. It is important to remember that this should be a definitive pot. Transplanting autoflowering plants is not a good idea because it causes stress. On the other hand, if you can repot the plants really gently, this may not be a problem.
The irrigation of autoflowering cannabis varieties is no different from classic photoperiodic marijuana plants, it just depends on the growing medium you choose. Water regularly to promote oxygenation. The amount of watering is relative and depends on the climate and environment in which the plant is developing, as well as its size. Do not overfill soil substrates but never let the substrate dry out too much.
For beginners, we recommend using coconut substrates that can be used outdoors and just watered (always with fertiliser) so that the coir is always wet. This avoids the problem of under or over watering.
The timing of harvest is the same as for photoperiodic plants. Keep an eye on the colour of the trichomes and the general condition of the plant and do not forget to allow time for flushing.
Based on source : Softsecrets.com
Published by Kotelnik26/05/2022