How to grow Autoflower outdoors
If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow and low-maintenance cannabis strain, then autoflower seeds might be the perfect choice for you. These plants have a unique growth cycle that allows them to flower automatically, regardless of the light cycle. This makes them ideal for outdoor growing, as they can thrive in any climate and require very little attention. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to grow autoflower outdoors, including actionable tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your plants.
Choose the Right Strain
Autoflowering strains come in different varieties, each with its unique characteristics. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right strain before starting your outdoor autoflower grow. Some strains are more suitable for warmer climates, while others are suitable for colder climates.
When selecting a strain, it is essential to consider factors such as yield, size, and potency, as well as your personal preferences. For instance, if you prefer a plant with a high THC content, you can consider strains such as Auto Mazar, AK-47 Autoflower, or Auto Blueberry. Alternatively, if you prefer a CBD-rich strain, you can opt for strains such as Fast Eddy Automatic or CBD Critical Cure Autoflower.
You should also consider the expected size of your plants when selecting a strain. Some autoflower strains, such as Lowryder, are known for their compact size, while others, such as Auto Lemon Haze, can grow up to three feet tall. Therefore, it is crucial to choose a strain that fits your growing space.
Another consideration when choosing a strain is the expected yield. Some autoflower strains, such as Northern Lights Autoflower, have a higher yield than others, which can be a crucial factor if you’re growing for commercial purposes.
In summary, choosing the right strain is the first step to growing healthy and productive autoflower plants outdoors. Consider the strain’s size, yield, and potency, as well as your preferences, when making your selection.
Prepare Your Growing Space
Preparing your growing space is crucial when growing autoflower plants outdoors. A good location for growing should have access to plenty of sunlight, well-draining soil, and a stable microclimate. Here are some tips for preparing your growing space:
- Choose a Sunny Location: Autflowering plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to grow and produce healthy yields. Therefore, it is important to choose a location that receives plenty of sunlight throughout the day. Consider areas that are not obstructed by trees or buildings, and that receive maximum exposure to the sun.
- Choose a Well-Draining Soil: Autoflowering plants require well-draining soil to prevent overwatering and root rot. Test your soil’s drainage by digging a hole and filling it with water. If the water drains away quickly, your soil is well-draining. If the water takes longer to drain, consider adding perlite, vermiculite, or sand to improve the soil’s drainage.
- Prepare the Soil: Before planting your autoflower seeds, prepare the soil by loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. You can also add compost or other organic matter to improve soil fertility.
- Choose the Right Container: If you are growing in containers, choose pots that are large enough to accommodate the plant’s root system. A pot with a capacity of at least three gallons is suitable for most autoflower strains. Make sure the pots have good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
- Consider Using a Greenhouse: If you live in an area with unpredictable weather or harsh climatic conditions, consider using a greenhouse to protect your plants. Greenhouses provide a stable microclimate and can help regulate temperature, humidity, and light.
In conclusion, preparing your growing space is critical for the success of your outdoor autoflower grow. Choose a sunny location with well-draining soil, prepare the soil, choose the right container, and consider using a grow tent to provide a stable microclimate.
Start Your Seeds
Once you have prepared your growing space, the next step is to start your autoflower seeds. Here are some tips for starting your seeds:
- Choose High-Quality Seeds: To ensure healthy and productive plants, choose high-quality autoflower seeds from a reputable seed bank. Avoid using seeds from unknown sources, as they may not germinate or may produce low-quality plants.
- Germinate Your Seeds: There are several ways to germinate autoflower seeds, including the paper towel method, soil method, and water glass method. The paper towel method is the easiest and most reliable method. To do this, place your seeds between two damp paper towels and keep them in a dark, warm place. After a few days, your seeds should sprout.
- Transplant Your Seeds: Once your seeds have sprouted, it’s time to transplant them into their final containers or growing space. If you are using containers, fill them with soil, leaving enough space for the seedling. Carefully transplant the seedling into the soil and water it gently.
- Provide Proper Lighting: During the seedling stage, autoflower plants require 18-24 hours of light per day. You can use fluorescent or LED lights to provide artificial lighting if your plants are not receiving enough sunlight.
- Maintain Proper Temperature and Humidity: Autoflowering plants require a temperature range of 68-75°F (20-24°C) and a humidity level of 60-70% during the seedling stage. Use a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your growing space.
In summary, starting your autoflower seeds is a critical step in the outdoor growing process. Choose high-quality seeds, germinate them using the paper towel method, transplant them carefully, provide proper lighting, and maintain the correct temperature and humidity levels. With proper care and attention, your seeds will grow into healthy and productive plants.
Provide Adequate Nutrients
Providing your autoflower plants with adequate nutrients is essential for healthy growth and maximum yields. Unlike photoperiod plants, autoflower plants have a shorter life cycle and require a different feeding schedule. Here’s a week-by-week feeding chart that includes micronutrients to help ensure your plants receive the proper nutrition.
During the first two weeks of growth, your autoflower plants require a light feeding schedule. Water your plants with plain water or a mild nutrient solution with a low nitrogen content. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
In the third and fourth weeks of growth, your plants will require more nutrients to support their rapid growth. Use a nutrient solution with a balanced N-P-K ratio (e.g., 5-5-5) and micronutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and iron. Start with a half-strength solution and gradually increase the concentration.
During the fifth and sixth weeks of growth, your plants will enter the flowering stage and require a nutrient solution with a higher phosphorus and potassium content (e.g., 5-10-10). Continue to add micronutrients to the solution to ensure your plants receive a balanced diet.
In the seventh and eighth weeks of growth, your plants will be in full bloom and require a nutrient solution with a higher potassium content (e.g., 0-10-20). Be sure to continue adding micronutrients to the solution to support your plant’s overall health and maximize yields.
Micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and iron are also essential for healthy plant growth. Calcium helps strengthen cell walls and prevent nutrient deficiencies, while magnesium is necessary for photosynthesis and energy production. Iron is essential for chlorophyll production and overall plant health.
In conclusion, providing your autoflowering plants with the right nutrients is crucial for healthy growth and maximum yields. Use a week-by-week feeding chart that includes micronutrients to ensure your plants receive a balanced diet throughout their life cycle. With proper feeding and care, you can grow healthy and productive autoflowering plants.
|1-2||Plain water or mild nutrient solution with low nitrogen content||200-400 PPM / 0.4-0.8 EC||None|
|3-4||Nutrient solution with a balanced N-P-K ratio (e.g., 5-5-5) and micronutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and iron||500-700 PPM / 1.0-1.4 EC||Magnesium, Calcium, Iron|
|5-6||Nutrient solutions with higher phosphorus and potassium content (e.g., 5-10-10) and micronutrients||800-1000 PPM / 1.6-2.0 EC||Magnesium, Calcium, Iron|
|7-8||Nutrient solutions with higher potassium content (e.g., 0-10-20) and micronutrients||1000-1200 PPM / 2.0-2.4 EC||Magnesium, Calcium, Iron|
Remember, these are just general guidelines, and your plants may have different nutrient requirements based on their genetics, growing conditions, and other factors. Always monitor your plants’ health and adjust your feeding schedule as needed.
Water Your Plants
Watering your autoflower plants is just as important as providing them with proper nutrients. Here are some tips to help you water your plants correctly:
- Water thoroughly: When watering your plants, make sure you saturate the entire root zone. Water until the excess runs out of the drainage holes.
- Avoid overwatering: Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can cause your plants to die. Make sure you allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions.
- Check soil moisture levels: Use a moisture meter or stick your finger into the soil to check the moisture levels. If the top inch of soil feels dry, it’s time to water.
- Use pH-balanced water: Autoflowering plants prefer a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Test the pH level of your water and adjust it if necessary using pH-up or pH-down solutions.
- Consider using a water filter: If you’re using tap water, consider using a water filter to remove any chlorine or other harmful chemicals.
- Use a watering schedule: Create a watering schedule based on your plant’s needs and environmental conditions. During hot and dry weather, your plants may require more frequent watering.
- Don’t water during the night: Watering your plants during the night can lead to fungal growth and other issues. It’s best to water your plants early in the morning or in the late afternoon.
In addition to these tips, it’s important to pay attention to the size and stage of your autoflower plants. As they grow, they will require more water, but also be careful not to overwater them. Use your best judgment and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Overall, proper watering is essential to keep your autoflower plants healthy and happy. With the right amount of water and attention, you can ensure that your plants reach their full potential.
Monitor Your Plants
Monitoring your autoflowering plants is crucial to their success. By keeping a close eye on your plants, you can identify potential problems early on and take action to address them. Here are some tips for monitoring your plants:
Check for pests and diseases: Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and diseases, such as yellowing leaves, spots, or holes. If you notice any issues, take action immediately.
Monitor growth: Keep track of your plants’ growth rate and size to ensure they are developing properly. If they are not growing as expected, you may need to adjust your nutrient or watering regimen.
Watch for environmental stress: Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and light can all impact your plants’ growth. Monitor these conditions closely and make adjustments as necessary.
Take notes: Keep a journal or notebook to track your plants’ progress, including feeding and watering schedules, environmental conditions, and any issues that arise. This can help you identify patterns and make adjustments to optimize your plants’ growth.
In addition to these tips, it’s important to trust your instincts and take action if you notice anything unusual with your plants. By monitoring your plants regularly and taking proactive steps to address any issues, you can ensure that your autoflowering plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.
Harvest Your Plants
Harvesting your autoflower plants at the right time is critical to ensure you get the best yield and potency. Here are some tips for harvesting your plants:
Check trichomes: Trichomes are the small, resinous glands that contain cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Check the trichomes using a magnifying glass to determine when to harvest. When the trichomes are cloudy or milky, it’s usually a good time to harvest. If they are clear, you should wait a bit longer.
Look at the pistils: Pistils are the small, hair-like structures on the buds. When the pistils start to turn brown and recede, it’s a sign that the plant is nearing maturity.
Flush your plants: About one week before harvest, stop giving your plants nutrients and flush them with plain water. This will help remove any residual nutrients and improve the quality of the final product.
Harvest with care: Use sharp pruning shears to cut the branches at the base of the plant. Hang the branches upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place to dry and cure.
Trim the buds: Once your buds are dry, trim off any excess leaves and stems using sharp scissors or pruning shears.
Store your harvest: Store your dried and cured buds in airtight containers in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will help preserve the potency and flavor of the buds.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you harvest your autoflower plants at the right time and with the best quality possible. Happy harvesting!