5 Top Tips For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis Strains in a Greenhouse
As spring approaches and we prepare our autoflowering outdoor crops, having as many tips and pieces of expert advice will help take your crop to the next level. Below you will discover 5 top tips to make you a better grower, increase yields as well as what to avoid when growing autoflowering Cannabis.
1. Pick The Right Location Outdoors
One of the reasons why autoflowering Cannabis strains have become so popular in recent years, is down to the fact they are capable of producing top-shelf buds under the most demanding conditions. If you live in a cold and wet climate that experiences short summers and harsh winters or live in the luxury of the Mediterannean or California, autoflowering strains are extremely reliable and can be grown all year round in many cases.
Our top tip here is to pick the right location and think everything through before planting your seedlings straight into the ground. There is nothing worse than watching your precious plants become shaded after a certain point early in the day time, so it is a good idea to grow your automatic strains in either plastic or fabric pots that can be easily moved. There are many benefits to doing this including the speedy removal of any plants in the event of an emergency. The main reason is to allow your plants to receive as much direct sunlight as possible, without the restriction of being planted into the outdoor soil.
Avoid shaded areas
Fabric pots work best
2. Fast Flowering Varieties Are Better
Thanks to the recent evolution in autoflowering genetics, hope is given to those who always suffered from challenging weather such as Northern Europe, Russia and the more harsh environments for Cannabis plants.
Our top tip here is to find strains that will mature in time so you do not need to be concerned about the threat of rainy days, mold or mildew taking over your garden. That being said, Fast Buds pride themselves on offering the fastest flowering automatic cultivars on the market. For those who have a short inconsistent summer followed by a chilling early Winter, they can find comfort in fast-flowering, rapid growing autoflowering strains that can be harvested in as little as 10 weeks from seed until harvest.
3. The Ideal Pot Size
The average root depth for large-sized Cannabis plants is close to 14 inches. This is considering a photoperiod cultivar that depends on both vegetative and flowering periods. Autoflowering Cannabis strains do not depend on a body clock in the same way and will begin flowering approximately three weeks after the seedling has sprouted.
Our top tip here is to use fabric pots as they allow for the roots to be pruned, and will eliminate root-bound plants. The recommended size is 10L as this gives the 12-14 inches the root ball will need and allows the plants to access nutrients and minerals for the duration of the life cycle. Of course, it is possible to grow in pots smaller than 10L, yet be prepared for a much smaller sized plant. It can be a good idea to consider this option if your end goal is to grow a Sea of Green. However, if you’re growing only one or two plants, remember, the bigger the pot generally reflects the bigger the harvest.
4. Try Building Polytunnels
One of the best ways to grow outdoors and with an initial low-cost investment. By using wooden stakes, thick bendy pipe, and a polystyrene sheet cover, building a highly durable, wind-resistant, waterproof home for your autos is easily achievable. The materials will not cost much and the life span of your polytunnel will far exceed the low cost to make.
Our top tip here is to build your polytunnel south facing, meaning your autoflowering Cannabis plants will receive direct sunlight until the sunsets each day. Not only will your polytunnel keep your plants out of sight from neighbors and helicopters, but it will allow you to grow all year round and not only Cannabis. By installing a hose pipe with spray nozzles, it is very easy to create an indoor tropical grow-house that has the ideal temperature and humidity throughout the year.
5. Harvest All Year Long
If you are fortunate to live in a sunny climate such as the Mediterranean, California or anywhere with tropical weather, you are blessed with the ability to harvest automatics all year long. If you can harvest every 70-80 days, this means you can produce a crop every quarter.
Our top tip here is to invest in plenty of seeds so you can easily fill a polytunnel with a Sea of Green, perpetually every 10-12 weeks. The more seeds you plant then the more you will harvest, so get in the habit of farming all year long, making the necessary adjustments when required.
6. What To Avoid When Growing Autoflowering Cultivars
Autoflowering Cannabis plants much prefer to be left alone once they start life. It is a wise idea to re-pot photoperiod cultivars, however with autos, transplanting them will only slow growth down and oftentimes shock the plants. Decide on the final pot size, or flower bed site you wish to sow your seedlings and then leave them. An undisturbed autoflowering plant will perform much better than one that has been moved around during the pinnacle weeks of development.
It is not possible to take clones from autos and have them stay in a vegetative state. Due to the nature of the Ruderalis, the clones will begin to flower once rooted and the removal of the lower branches will be detrimental to the yield of the plants.
Avoid being too heavy when it comes to training, and stick with low stress training and pruning. Topping and fimming can cause plants to flower with a short height. Autos react very well to being tied down as it exposes the inner canopy to more direct light-enhancing growth and production.
Just because your plants are autoflowering, does not mean it is necessary to hammer the plants with nutrients. This is how many inexperienced and overzealous growers over water their roots, causing issues with nutrient uptake and inviting bad bacteria to grow around the roots. Water in moderation and treat auto the same as you would any other plant.
Forgetting To Flush
Flushing makes such a big difference to the overall experience when smoking your harvested flowers. There has to be a point where you only feed your plants plain water or a solution of water with enzymes.
As spring approaches and we prepare our autoflowering outdoor crops, having as many tips and pieces of expert advice will help take your crop to the next level.