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TAKE AUTO YIELDS TO THE LIMIT
Autoflowering cannabis strains have finally earned the respect they deserve. More importantly, they have earned a place in your marijuana grow op. With our 10 steps to maximum yield, you will crop the heaviest harvest possible from autos. As usual with cannabis ruderalis hybrids time is of the essence, so let’s get right to it.
1) CHOOSE HIGH QUALITY AND HIGH YIELD AUTOFLOWERING STRAINS
The potency of contemporary autoflowering varieties has dramatically improved in recent years. In fact, many of the latest generation autos will have comparable cannabinoid levels to traditional photoperiod versions. However, not all autos are created equal and many of our competitor’s autos still produce modest bud yields.
We recommend our proven highly potent and heavy yielding auto strains. For those looking for the bulkiest of harvests, you cannot beat Royal Critical Auto. Just like her photoperiod counterpart Critical, this auto will pack on enormous bud mass during bloom. Plus she will only take 9 weeks post germination to make it to an impressive harvest. This is the definition of high grade in a hurry.
2) START AUTOS IN FINAL CONTAINERS
Photoperiod cannabis strains can essentially be kept in the vegetative growth stage indefinitely. In contrast, autoflowering cannabis will race from seedling to stash somewhere between 60-90 days typically. Speed is an attribute. But the grower must keep pace with the rapid development of autos.
There is no time for transplants and certainly no time for stress if you desire the max yield from your autos. The best advice is to sow seedlings directly into final containers. Alternatively, germinate auto seeds first using the paper towel method or whatever your preferred method. Then put them straight into large pots. A healthy root zone must be cultivated early
3) START SEEDLINGS INDOORS
Whether you are planning an indoor or an outdoor auto grow op, make sure to get your seedlings started indoors. Again, the grower must be conscious of the fact that autos will transition to bloom in about 30 to 40 days post germination.
The grower and the plants are on the clock from day one. Therefore, it is critical to ensure seedlings root well. A cool white CFL or even a sunny windowsill are adequate. Just make sure vegetative growth goes smoothly because ready or not bloom will commence. Remember autoflowering cannabis flowers according to its age rather than a shift to a 12/12 lighting cycle.
4) 18 HOURS OF LIGHT
The optimal light-dark cycle for autoflowering cannabis strains is 18/6. This is commonly associated with vegetative growth for photoperiod marijuana. However, for autos to reach their full potential and gain enough size to produce copious quantities of bud they need 18/6 from start to finish.
Autos are the hardiest of all cannabis varieties and sure they can survive in tough conditions and with less light. But we are aiming for a huge harvest and to achieve this objective, autos need as many lumens as possible for 18 hours. More lights, more buds.
Full spectrum LED systems are the perfect choice for indoor grow ops. HID’s are great too, but CFL is really only enough for the short vegetative period. Outdoors autos will thrive in fine summer weather and in warmer regions all the way from Spring to Autumn. Sunlight for 18 hours is not essential because the sun is God’s grow lamp and infinitesimally more powerful than any artificial bulb.
5) WET-DRY CYCLE
Making sure not to either under or over water your marijuana plants is key to maintaining an effective wet-dry cycle. This becomes especially important with autos due their short crop time. This does not allow for stunted growth to recover nor soggy medium to dry out. You really cannot afford to lose a week to rejuvenate sickly autos.
Pick up pot/containers to evaluate whether they need water based on weight. This is easy to figure out and get into a rhythm. When you add water to the medium the weight increases so light containers will indicate plants need water.
Also, make sure never to leave pots sitting in pools of runoff water. It is an open invitation for root rot and pathogens. Keep the grow op hygienic. Drain that runoff after feeding.
For those that cannot easily pick up plant pots invest in a water meter or monitor device. This inexpensive piece of grow kit can be invaluable to the novice hydroponics cannabis cultivator. Water meters take out the guess work.
6) DIAL IN NUTRIENTS
Obviously, the best choice of fertilisers for autoflowering strains is the new lines of auto-specific nutrients. These products are pretty new on the scene. Most growers are unfamiliar with them but hydroponics and coco growers should definitely check them out.
Auto’s can be tricky to get feeding dialled in with conventional hydroponics nutes. But they can work. So long as you very carefully micro-dose. Autos are far less nutrient thirsty than heavy indica photoperiod cannabis. Think mini sativa when feeding an auto.
Soil growers are advised to use lightly fertilised soil to cultivate autoflowering cannabis. Heavily fertilised soils will burn these babies. Aside from supplements like enzymes, vitamin B and beneficial fungi autos don’t really require large doses of base nutes during the short vegetative stage.
If you must add some nutes early to soil, do so sparingly. Generally, bloom nutrients and boosters are all that’s required. Again even in flowering low to medium doses of nutrients and supplements will suffice. Over-fertilising plants is the most common yield stealing error growers make with autos.
7) SKIP THE PRUNING FOR YIELD TECHNIQUES
To prune or not to prune? Many growers are now dabbling with pruning and training autoflowering cannabis strains for high yield. We are not saying that it’s not possible to pull off a huge auto harvest using these methods. Rather, it’s a high-risk strategy to achieve a high yield.
Topping and bending autos with LST can be a real disaster and an auto ScrOG is tricky. Autoflowering plants rush into bloom so quickly that they don’t stay bendy for long. It’s too easy to snap off branches.
A ScrOG will need to be an ultra low profile and it can be difficult to work with. An auto ScrOG probably will not fill up as you hope, like photoperiod strains would. Plus sometimes topping auto’s leads to the development of two wispy colas if the plant can’t recover quick enough.
We prefer to skip the pruning and stick with proven low maintenance maximum yield methods.
8) SEA OF GREEN (SOG)
The Sea Of Green or SOG method is devastatingly effective when combined with autos. That trademark rapid, vigorous growth and comparatively short stature of autos makes them ideally suited for the SOG method. No pruning is needed and that suits autoflowering cannabis too. This cultivation method is the best way to utilise the fast flowering nature of autos. And harness it for maximum yield.
9) DOUBLE DOWN
In the time it takes to grow a photoperiod cannabis strain from seed to weed you could crop two batches of autos. Even fast flowering photoperiod hybrids need 8 weeks to bloom. Most photoperiod strains will take 90-120 total to pull down a harvest.
In 120 days you could definitely complete two consecutive cannabis harvests of autos. Think about it, if you can cultivate two auto crops in that time frame and grow SOG style, it’s a no-brainer to double down.
10) DONT FORGET TO FLUSH
After 2-3 months of max yield autoflower cultivation, don’t spoil that heavy harvest with absent-mindedness. Always reserve at least the final week of the bloom phase to flush cannabis plants.
Autos might be relatively light feeding and perhaps you didn’t use too many fertilisers. But you invariably used some and they could ruin the buds flavour if you don’t flush. Use pure water or a light flushing solution. This final step will pay dividends when it’s time to smoke that fat auto-weed stash.
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