Planting Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds
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Planting autoflowering cannabis seeds is a relatively easy process, but to get the most out of your plants you need to follow a series of steps that are completely different from those that seasonal seeds have. An autoflowering cannabis seed needs a bit more care than normal seeds. You need to speed up the growth as much as possible so you don’t get teeny plants with no more than 5 blunts on them. We’re going to give you a series of things you’ll need to do in order to get the most out of your plants.
Germinating Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds:
The first thing that you’ll need to do is germinate the seed properly, using the paper towel method that we’ve talked about here before.
Once your seeds have germinated or opened, however you prefer to call it, you’ll need to prepare some small Teku 7×7 pots with soil, don’t use jiffy pellets or anything like that as the roots need plenty of space to grow.
Fill the pots with soil first and then water them; once the plant breaches the top of the soil you mustn’t wet it again. If you water it before the seed has come out then it will probably move up towards the surface which can cause a whole list of other issues. The best thing to do is to water first and then wait to water it again until the sapling grows a bit.
Bury the seed about half a cm to 1cm down into the soil, making a hole with a pen or a toothpick and putting the seed inside with the little root facing downwards. Cover it with a bit of soil without compacting it too much and leave it there until the plant begins to grow above the soil. What we usually do is leave it for 24h with light during this process until you transplant the seed to its main flowerpot. If you don’t have grow lights then use the most powerful one you can so that it doesn’t get too cold in the pot.
Up until this point the process has been exactly the same for seasonal seeds, but that’s about to change. You’ll need to wait for the plant to break the surface and have that little growth spurt that cannabis plants tend to get when they’re looking for light. This can take 4 or 5 days, and you’ll need to keep a close eye on them so you don’t leave them for too long. Make sure that the plant doesn’t begin to develop in that flowerpot, the maximum time you should leave the plant in it is 6 days.
Now is when you’ll need to transplant your autoflowering plants to their permanent home. Autoflowering strains that take two months prefer pots that are about 7L, whereas those that take three months much prefer pots that are 11L, no bigger.
Fill the flowerpots to the top with soil, nice and compact so that when you water the water doesn’t go all the way to the bottom, although make sure you don’t compact it too much as the plants need a good oxygen/water ratio to breath and grow; with no oxygen the roots won’t be healthy at all and you’ll end up with a dwarfed plant. You’ll need to keep the light at 20h until the end, or make sure it’s in a spot where it can get the maximum amount of sunlight hours.
Once those pots are full of soil, you’ll need to make a hole to stick your small plant in. Make it deep, as you’ll need to bury part of the trunk as well, to the point where the bottom of the trunk is just 5cm long from the soil to where the first leaves are. Then, water the edges of the pot little by little so the soil gets properly humid.
The reason you need to bury part of the trunk is because even more roots can come out of that small piece of stem, and it also gives the plant stability and strength so that it doesn’t bend and break and it can spend more energy on growing branches and foliage. The more roots it grows the more the plant will grow, which is how you can easily speed up the growing process. Once you’ve buried it, water the plant with about a liter of water mixed with a low concentration of growth fertilizer; some substrates absorb water easier than others, so it might be trial and error in your case and you’ll need to adapt the amount of water to how absorbent your soil is.
I use a liter of water with Canna Terra Professional, and no excess water comes out of the holes in the flowerpot which means it’s adequately watered. You can read all about substrates here.
From this day onwards you’re going to need to check and see if the soil is dry; until it is completely dry you shouldn’t have to water it again, and this should take about 7 days. The best way to check if the soil is dry is by lifting up the pot; if it’s still pretty heavy then it still has water in it.
The next step is watering with growth fertilizers once it’s dry after that first watering. You should be at around day 13 or 14 and you’ll have noticed a bit of growth in the last couple of days. For watering, you should make your mix in a bottle with just one glass of water per pot at this stage. The next day check and see if the pots are heavy; if they’re dry then give them another glass of water but if they’re not don’t water them again until the next day. If the soil is extremely dry the next day then you’ll need to give it two glasses of water. Up the dosage as time goes by little by little and this process of dryness and water will make the plant grow a nice root system, as well as an amazing production.
Before you realize it, it will be day 25 and your plant should be beginning to flower. It no longer looks like the plants you had before, does it? You haven’t changed the seeds, just the method. Now all you have to do is follow the typical flowering steps that every seed needs; a flowering stimulant to begin with, a flowering base, a fattening products once the buds have formed, and end it all by washing out the roots. Flowers take about 20 days to properly form and the fattening period lasts about 2 weeks rather than four weeks for a seasonal seed; once you see the flowers forming properly then you need to use the fattening product.
We’re sure that if you follow these steps you’ll be extremely happy with the results that your autoflowering plants will give you compared to other grows you’ve tried. You might even see some of the mistakes that you made corrected in this article. Many people will probably say to never transplant autoflowering plants, but those people won’t get specimens as big as you will if you follow this guide!
You can find a wide range of cannabis seeds by clicking here.
Author: Javier Chinesta
Translation: Ciara Murphy
A complete guide to planting autoflowering cannabis seeds; get the most out of your plants with these fool proof steps to growing autoflowering strains.
Best Pot Size for Autoflowering Seeds
Once you have purchased your Fast Buds seeds and have germinated them, full of excitement and anticipation, next you will need to decide on the pot size, medium and location. In this article we explain the best pot size for cultivating autoflowering Cannabis from seed until harvest, which pots are best, the importance of drainage, including our top tips.
1. What To Consider Before Planting
Before you just pick any pot and throw your seedling in there, it is a good idea to consider a few variables that may help sway your decision. Thanks to the diversity of autoflowering Cannabis and how well they adapt to all climates, the options to grow one large plant, use SCROG, grow several smaller plants packed closely together, or simply plant directly into the ground are available. Each has their own benefits and are better explained below.
1-4 Large-Sized Plants (10-15 liters)
If you are limited to plant count, or grow space then deciding to grow 1-4 large-sized plants will warrant the need for big pots such as 10-15L. The bigger the pots then taller the final plant should finish once harvest time comes around.
There is no need to grow an autoflowering seed in a pot bigger than 15L, and much of the medium will not be fully utilized, as if using a 10L pot for example.
6-10 Smaller Plants (6.5-8.5 liters)
Cultivating autoflowering Cannabis in a Sea of Green setup, using the right cultivar can reward a grower with great returns. An excellent way to use up all of the growing space and work with homogenous and uniform cultivars. Smaller pots of 6.5-8.5L will be fine.
You may have smaller sized plants resulting in lower yields, however, it will make up for that with the high number of plants.
Screen Of Green (10-15 liters)
For the more adventurous grower skilled in plant training, using a screen to grow your auto-flowering plants through has advantages when increasing yields. However, the screen may limit the mobility of your plants as they will be built into a net frame.
Using Custom Soil Beds
Another alternative if you prefer not to use mobile plant pots, is to plant directly into the ground. Preferably an organic soil bed that has been specially created for cultivating autoflowering Cannabis and is teaming with microbial life.
2. It’s All About The Roots
In the gardening world there is saying that the bigger the roots then the bigger the fruits, although when discussing autoflowering Cannabis, the root growth is somewhat limited. It is during the first 3-4 weeks where auto-flowering plants will use up Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium to aid the development of photosynthesis, chlorophyll production, and anchoring a well-established root zone into the medium.
It is the root zone that is responsible for the uptake and distribution of nutrients, minerals, and the distribution of growth hormone to the rest of the plant pathways. How deep and wide the root zone is will make a huge difference in what is occurring above the soil.
3. The Importance of Drainage When Growing Autos
There are a number of qualities your pots should have, and the most basic yet often overlooked is drainage. How well your plants can drain, promoting air exchange through the root zone, and allowing the medium to dry out, will play a big role in the growth and development of the cultivar.
Hydroton is small clay balls that are a bright orange color. Traditionally used in landscape gardening, and recirculating hydroponic systems, these nutrient-free and totally inert expanded clay balls work wonders to allow water to freely pass through.
Paired with coco coir at a 50/50 ratio or used to line the bottom 1-2 inches of your pots, hydroton will increase the number of air pockets present, encouraging roots to expand outwards in search of new oxygen-rich pockets.
Inadequate drainage will cause the growing medium to become waterlogged, over time reducing the oxygen around the roots. Not only will roots suffer when this occurs, but nutrient uptake and transpiration will also temporarily cease until the preferred conditions are met.
4. Which Pots Are Best?
Fabric pots are far more beneficial than traditional plastic pots with holes in the bottom. Not only are felt pots more environmentally friendly, but they can also be easily washed, re-used, and most importantly will promote root pruning.
In the same way, topping a Cannabis plant will cause the two crown shoots to grow in replacement of the one that was topped, root hairs will do the same. This, of course, occurs in the dark, warm environment that exists in the medium when root hairs travel to the side of the pots. As they come into contact with the outside air, they will form two root hairs and then turn back until the same process takes place repeatedly.
• Root pruning will produce a far superior plant in comparison to one grown in plastic pots.
• The concern for root-bound plants that will become stunted is eliminated with felt pots.
• They can be made at home to your custom size and easily washed and cleaned between use.
5. Top Tips On Choosing The Best Pot Size
1. Decide in advance based on your space what format of growing, works to your advantage. If 1-4 large-sized plants are more practical, or if a Sea of Green has more advantages.
2. No matter if you are choosing plastic or felt, make sure the pots have been totally cleaned and sterilized to the best of your ability. Especially if re-using the pot for a second or third run.
3. Lots of smaller-sized plants will yield the same amount as fewer large-sized plants, so do not be tricked into thinking a Sea of Green is not advantageous or worthwhile.
4. Do not use more than 15 liters of medium per auto-flowering plant. It is best to work with sizes 6.5-15 liter depending on the chosen style of growing, the cultivar, and the climate you are living in.
5. If you have a sewing machine, ordering a large roll of thick felt will allow you to customize your own pots, making them the exact size and shape you prefer.
6. Adding a bottom layer of hydroton clay balls at the base of your pots will improve drainage and the exchange of oxygen around the root zone.
6. In Conclusion
There is a balance between growing in a pot size that is too small and growing into something so large that the medium, nutrients, and vital grow space are not fully being taken advantage of. Fabric pots will increase root mass, prevent air pruning, and help save the planet at the same time. Learning which autoflowering cultivars adapt better to which scenario takes time and experience and will help give you the upper hand when it comes to efficiency and productivity. For smaller sized pots we advise Zkittles Auto , Gelato Auto , and Stardawg Aut o.
Once you have purchased your Fast Buds seeds and have germinated them, full of excitement and anticipation, next you will need to decide on the pot size, medium