There are many types of seed used to grow cannabis. One type that many growers are fond of are autoflowering marijuana plants. But what are they, how are they grown, and what exactly is the point?
Autoflowering strains are designed to grow indoors during seasons when a normal outdoor garden can’t produce a quality harvest. When marijuana is cultivated outdoors, its growth depends on the quality and quantity of daylight. Plants do better in the tropics because sunlight there is intense and consistent year-round.
In cooler zones, outdoor farmers are constrained to summer; by autumn there is no longer enough light in the day and in some regions, it can simply be too cold. This is what makes indoor autoflower grows so popular in the United States and other northern climes.
Instead of blooming mid-summer, when outdoor sunlight is ideal, autoflowering plants bloom automatically, usually two to four weeks after sprouting. This allows greater control over the cultivation process and makes it possible to grow more weed.
But how do you grow autoflowering seeds? Here’s a brief explanation:
First, here’s what you’ll need: “feminized” autoflowering seeds; a germinating kit; a bucket or pail that holds 5-15 gallons (with holes in the bottom); enough cannabis-friendly soil to fill your bucket to 3/4; and lights adequate for a standard indoor grow.
Once you have your supplies, follow these steps to cultivate your seeds:
(Optional) Germinate your autoflowering seeds. This can be an easy process. People use paper towel, glasses of water, and even full blown germination kits. Personally, I just stick my seed in the dirt and let it to its thing.
2. Put soil in the bucket until it’s 75 percent full. More soil is better, but only up to about 95 percent full. Of course, your choice of bucket will determine how much pot you’ll be able to grow. That goes for non-autoflowering plants as well.
3. Dig a shallow hole in the middle of the bucket, deep enough to cover the seed (and its sprout if you pre-germinated), and then carefully place the seed in the hole and cover it with soil. Make sure the head of the sprout pokes up from under the dirt.
4. Next, set up your lights. Place them above the plants, leaving 6 to 10 inches between the hot bulbs and the plant tops. Raise the lights as the cannabis plant grows taller.
6. Follow a set lighting schedule during your autoflower grow. This is usually 18 straight hours of light each day and six hours of darkness, or 12 hours of each.
7. Follow recommended steps for a standard marijuana grow. Water the soil as needed (check every day and add water if the soil feels dry). Keep the light consistent throughout the entire cultivation period. Be careful with your nutrients, though. Since autoflowers are already on a tight grow schedule, it can be harder to correct growing mistakes.
8. The final step in producing an autoflowering strain is to harvest the resulting bud after flowering is complete. Once bud start to blossom, you’ll have another 10 to 14 weeks before it’s ready to pick and process. You’ll know the time has come when you see a fine layer of white crystals on the bud.
And that’s how you grow an autoflowering marijuana plant. It’s no harder than growing any other type of cannabis seed, and it could leave you with an even better supply of dope. Give it a try!