Growing autoflower seeds can be a rewarding experience, offering a quick and relatively easy route to harvest. These unique strains automatically switch from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage without depending on light schedule changes. With their fast-growing cycle, they are a popular choice among beginners. This guide will walk you through the process.
What are Autoflower Seeds?
Autoflower seeds come from cannabis plants that are genetically modified to flower automatically after a certain period, typically within 2 to 4 weeks of germination. Unlike photoperiod cannabis strains that require specific light exposure to kickstart the flowering stage, autoflower strains transition irrespective of the light conditions.
Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Autoflower Seeds
1. Source Quality Autoflower Seeds
The first step to growing autoflower cannabis involves sourcing quality seeds from a reputable supplier. Remember, your crop’s future health, potency, and yield will depend on the quality of seeds.
2. Germinate Your Seeds
After acquiring your seeds, start the germination process. Place the seeds in a damp paper towel, fold it over, and leave in a warm (but not hot), dark spot. Within a few days, the seeds should start to sprout.
3. Choose the Right Soil
Autoflowering cannabis prefers light and airy soil, as it allows the roots to get enough oxygen. Avoid nutrient-rich soils during the first couple of weeks to prevent nutrient burn.
Once your seeds have sprouted, they should be carefully transplanted into a pot or final growing medium. Autoflowering plants typically do not like the stress of repotting, and it’s recommended to plant them directly where they’ll grow until harvest.
5. Set Up Your Lighting
Autoflowering plants typically need about 18-24 hours of light a day throughout their entire lifecycle. However, they can tolerate less if necessary. LED lights are often a good choice due to their energy efficiency and minimal heat output.
As a general rule, it is essential not to overwater or underwater your plants. Give them a good soaking and then wait until the top inch or two of soil is completely dry before watering again.
7. Nutrients and Feeding
While autoflowering cannabis strains don’t need excessive amounts of nutrients, they do need some to grow properly. Utilize a cannabis-friendly nutrient line and stick to the instructions provided.
8. Pruning and Training
Autoflowering strains do not need much pruning due to their small size and short life cycle. Low-stress training techniques can, however, be beneficial. This involves gently bending and tying plants to create a more open structure.
9. Harvesting and Curing
Autoflower strains are typically ready to harvest approximately 8-10 weeks from seed. The actual harvest time will depend on the strain. After harvesting, cure your buds by drying them slowly in a controlled environment to guarantee the best taste and strength.
Choosing the Right Autoflower Strain
The right strain for you depends on your specific requirements. Some strains might be more resistant to diseases and pests, while others might provide a higher yield or faster flowering time. Compare characteristics, read reviews, and consult with experts or experienced growers when making your selection.