How To Grow Autoflowering Cannabis Outdoors
If you reside in a location where growing weed is legal, you’re in luck. Not everyone can grow cannabis especially outdoors, but if you do get this opportunity use it! With a little knowledge, you can produce loads of buds.
And, if you’re here to understand a bit more about how to grow autoflowering plants outside , read on and you’ll know everything there is to know.
Growing autos outdoors is easy because they don’t depend on light to flower. You can grow them almost all year round, by just providing good nutrients and protecting them from pests and rain. Remember that the yield will depend on the light cycle so it’s better to plan ahead.
1. What should i conside before planting?
Indoor vs outdoor
This is a huge question growers have before starting to grow their own weed because both of them have their pros and cons. To make this decision, you will have to have a couple of things in consideration: environment , smell and most important of all: cost .
Cost is the most important because you will need to spend quite a bit of money to buy a good light fixture, exhaust fan, filter and grow tent, even though it seems like a lot, this will allow you to control every aspect of the growing environment, will allow you to eliminate odor and be more discreet because unless you allow a person in, no one will be able to see your growing operation.
When growing outdoors you won’t have to spend much other than with pots and nutrients, but you should remember that when growing outdoors you won’t be able to control the climate and you can suffer from extremely cold or hot climates and this will affect your plants growth.
Another disadvantage is that your plants will be visible and the odor can be a problem if you live in a place where cannabis is not legal.
Climate region and your location
If you’re starting to grow cannabis just now, you probably are wondering When to plant? Well, this will depend on the expected weather and all the things that come with it.
There are 6 climate regions in the world, in each one of them the temperature, humidity, and sunlight vary so you should plan according to your environment.
The tropical climate can be found along the equator region, in cities like Brasília (brazil), Miami (United States) and Biak (Indonesia), and is characterized by a high temperature and high humidity with an average temperature of 18°C all year long.
The subtropical climate is characterized by hot, humid summers and cool, mild winters and is usually located near the coasts like São Paulo (Brazil), Orlando (United States), and Hong Kong (China). This type of climate can be found in all the continents with a high average of 24-27°C and lows from 10-16°C with moderate humidity.
Cold climates (Subarctic and arctic climate)
Cold climates occur in cities like Anchorage (Alaska), Sumedang (Indonesia) and Moosonee (Canada), in these climate regions the humidity is fairly low, the climate is extremely harsh, with an average of -10°C in winter and not exceeding 26°C in summer.
Temperate climates can be found in cities like Sydney (Australia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Atlanta (United States), it has moderate relative humidity, with an average low of 10°C during 6 months of the year and an average high of around 22°C .
Dry climates (arid and semi-arid climate)
Dry climates can be found in cities like Lampedusa (Italy), Reno (United States) and Jaipur (India), it is characterized by really low humidity, with extremely low temperatures at night, reaching -10°C and extremely cold hot during the day, around 45°C .
Depending on where you live, you will have to plan ahead, knowing the expected temperature, humidity, and amount of sunlight your plants will receive can make a huge difference in yield.
For example, California gets an average of 14:30hrs of sunlight in the summer 1 and around 9:40hs in the winter, so you should plan your growing cycle according to where you live.
Mold and pests
When growing outdoors it can be fairly easy to get bugs and pests.
Your plants are directly exposed to the environments so you should be careful with rain , high humidity, and temperature , the right combination of these elements can attract bugs or mold to your cannabis plants and because you can’t control the environment, it can be quite hard to deal with it.
Protecting your plants outdoors
Cannabis plants must be protected from harsh weather and predators, depending on where you’re growing your plant can be attacked by bugs or even bigger animals like dogs, cats, or rodents this is why it’s better to have a wire fence around them if needed.
The fence needs to be underground and above ground around your plant and the roots, despite seeming too much it is essential because animals like gophers and moles live underground, they look for roots to feed on and can eat a whole plant overnight.
It’s also a good idea to build a simple structure to help protect your plants from snow and rain, this structure can be built with wooden stakes and a plastic sheet and will ensure your plants don’t freeze or get mold.
There’s no need to spend too much to protect your plants, a wire fence is fairly cheap and if you want to make a hoop-house it can be easily made with a plastic sheet and plastic tubes, if you want a sturdier one you can build a metal or wood but the structure will be basically the same.
Tips For Beginners
If you’ve never grown cannabis before, there are a couple of things you need to have in mind. Depending on the city you live in, you have to be sure your growing space is discreet, this means not only the plants shouldn’t be visible but also neighbors shouldn’t be able to smell the plants.
This not only applies to the plants themself but also the light. Usually grow light fixtures are super bright and can be seen from far away if you don’t make sure there are no light leaks.
Masking the smell outdoors can be a little bit tricky because you don’t have a way to eliminate the smell.
You can guerilla grow on your balcony using lots of aromatic plants that will help to camouflage your cannabis plants, it’s not a guarantee that the smell won’t bother your neighbors.
Even though you can train your plants, the best way to avoid this is to grow Indica dominant, they tend to grow shorter and compact, so you don’t need to train them (if you don’t want or know how to).
If you wish to grow a specific strain that grows tall, you should grow them in smaller pots or train them so they can’t be seen by people walking by or from other balconies.
You can also build a structure similar to a hoop house around your plants, by covering them with a plastic sheet you can keep the rain off, reduce light like most outdoor growers do with the light deprivation technique, and have more stealth cannabis grow.
2. Optimal conditions
Light cycle and best time to start
It is important to understand the life cycle of an autoflowering Cannabis plant, and how they differ from normal photoperiodic cultivars. As the name suggests these strains will begin to flower automatically thanks to their Ruderalis heritage .
Originally found in Siberia, the dwarf-sized, low potency Ruderalis had the ability to grow in a vegetative stage and then flower automatically independent of the light cycle. An incredible trait that autoflowering cannabis strains carry nowadays.
|Hours of light||18||12|
|Hours of darkness||6||12|
|Pros||Allows plants to rest and develop good buds||Easier to plan ahead, available almost all year long|
|Cons||Not available all year long||Underdeveloped and aery buds|
Once you understand that it’s possible to plant automatics outdoors at any time of the year, you can begin to plan your growing cycles based on the temperature , humidity, and sunlight where you live, although you need to have in mind that outdoors, the light cycle depends on the season you’re in and can differ from one place to another, resulting in more or less plant growth and consequently better (or worse) yields.
The best time to start growing photoperiodic cannabis depends on the amount of light you get, but with autoflowers, things are different. Because they grow fast and don’t depend on light to start flowering, you can grow them outside whenever you want. Of course, the temperature may have an influence on the result but you most likely will have beautiful flowers after every harvest.
Due to the tough resilient nature that autoflowering Cannabis possesses, depending on the strain, it is easily possible to harvest buds during the coldest time of the year with the shortest daylight hours, as well as during the hottest and longest days.
It is this incredible ability to adapt to any climates from harsh and cold to lovely and hot that allow for any grower to achieve a harvest all year long, although there is an optimal environment that all plants prefer, even though autos can withstand harsher climates, the best temperature to grow auto cannabis plants is from 18-25 °C , with a 60% relative humidity and preferably 18 hours of light per day.
Growing in summer
If you’re growing in hotter climates you will need to adjust watering and the amount of nutrients. This is because higher temperatures tend to accelerate the plant’s processes, so you will have to adjust feeding to your plant’s necessities. Also, have in mind that in summer there is an increase in humidity levels so it is good to perform LST techniques to keep good airflow in between the buds and branches and avoid fungus or bugs.
Growing in winter
In colder climates plants tend to slow down their rate of growth, so you will usually use less nutrients . Also have in mind that in the winter the humidity levels are lower, so you’ll want to water sporadically so your plant has time to absorb the nutrients . Have in mind that if the temperature is below 4°C , water can freeze the roots, so it’s better to feed your plant when the temperatures are higher.
- Some automatics can take very cold weather as well as intense heat.
- It is possible to plant from early Spring until late winter with great results.
- Autoflowering Cannabis is very resistant to mold, mildew, and wind.
- Avoid planting seeds if your garden is showing signs of frost.
The humidity levels are super important for a cannabis plant, if the humidity is too high or too low the plant will have a hard time “breathing”, so it’s crucial you know what humidity levels to expect for each stage of plant growth before cultivating.
In the seedling stage, your plants will develop better in 60% relative humidity because baby plants don’t like a drier environment and actually need the extra moisture to develop properly in the first weeks of life.
You have to gradually decrease the humidity from 60% down to 50% in the vegetative stage, this is because at this stage plants have already started photosynthesizing and need that relative humidity level to be able to do it properly.
Once your plant has entered the pre-flowering stage, you will have to gradually decrease the humidity level to around 40-45% , the buds are full of water so this will prevent them from molding and will result in a healthier plant.
Because cannabis plants will grow and develop a lot of branches, it’s necessary to leave space between them, if you don’t know how much space you should leave between the plants you need to think about the size they will have.
For example, in 1m2 you can fit around 10 small plants, 6 medium plants, and 3 big plants or have around 30-45cm in between small plants, 50-60cm between medium plants, and 65-100cm between big plants, although autoflowering plants usually don’t grow too much so if you leave around 40cm in between you should be fine.
By providing enough spacing between plants you prevent problems you may have further into the growth cycle, like the light not reaching deep enough, taller plants overshadowing the smaller ones, and other issues like the lack of airflow.
Depending on what you can find (or want to use) there are two options for feeding your plants: organic or synthetic nutrients, both of them will work just fine but each one has its pros and cons.
Organic nutrients can be harder to use for new growers but can result in a better tasting, better smelling flowers and will be harder to burn your plants while synthetic nutrients are super easy to use, you just have to follow the instructions on the package and maybe adjust the dose with some plants, but it’s fairly easy, just have in mind that synthetic nutrients can burn your plants easily so you need to feed with care, paying attention to the signs your plant gives you.
Either way, as long as you provide an NPK ratio of 2-1-3 in the vegetative stage and 1-3-2 in the flowering stage, your plant will grow great.
A big issue when growing autoflowering strains is the genetics, even if you do everything perfectly you can still be disappointed with the quality and amount of flowers your plant produces, that is because you need good genetics to have a good harvest.
Depending on where you live, a certain type of strain will have a better result than another.
If you live in a part of the world that has hotter weather, you are able to grow any type of autoflowering strain but it is recommended to grow Sativa-dominant hybrids.
This way you’ll make the most out of every seed because Sativas usually grow taller and with more flowering sites, resulting in a bigger yield.
Growing autos outdoors is easy and it's a very good option for beginner growers, especially if you want to get good quality buds since the first harvest.
Easy ways to grow cannabis seeds outdoors
Easy ways to grow cannabis
More people than ever will grow a few outdoor auto’s in the coming season. In this blog we will explain some easy ways to grow Autoflowering cannabis. Here is what you can expect.
Your auto’s should take about 3 months from start to finish.
The auto’s will probably be around waist-high at finish. In good conditions the best auto’s can reach 1.5m.
A good outdoor auto will yield well in optimum soil/sun conditions. Outdoor harvests of 150g per auto are possible. In cloudy and cooler conditions 30-50g per auto are more likely.
Growing auto’s outdoor is easy
Growing auto’s outdoor is easy. If you have a poor growing climate then you need to decide which are the three predictably best months for weather and grow in them. It can help to germinate the seeds indoors and grow them indoors under e.g. fluorescent light for the first couple of weeks. This allows the seedlings extra protection during the most vulnerable period of their life.
Varieties such as StarRyder, AutoDurban Poison, AutoFrisian Dew and AutoMazar are all proven outdoor varieties that have been bred with strong outdoor/greenhouse performance.
Auto’s will be slowed down if the night temperatures regularly dip below 12ºC, this could add an extra couple of weeks to the grow. But outdoor growers can’t do anything about the weather conditions. However if you are growing autos in a greenhouse or a polytunnel the you can add a greenhouse heater which will allow the plants to grow faster.
Its always good to wait until the last frost has gone before you think about putting your cannabis autos outdoors. Remember, if you live in a cool and cloudy climate, select the three warmest and sunniest summer months to get the best results.
Growing in a hot, sunny climate
If you are growing in a hot, sunny climate such as the Mediterranean then you may be able to get 2 or even three consecutive auto crops per year.
For some growers this allows them to grow small numbers of autos throughout the year, which allows a steady supply of cannabis from a minimum number of plants.
Auto’s are easier to hide
One advantage of autos is the they are easier to hide than a 3 metre tall photoperiod plant. A few small auto plants between 50-100cm tall are easy to conceal. And auto’s only live for 3 months, thats half the time you need to keep a taller photoperiod plant hidden.
Many urban auto growers are happy to have a few plants on their roof terrace, window, patio or back garden. A few cannabis autos are easily hidden behind some ornamental garden plants or vegetables and these days lots of urban growers grow a hidden plant or two outdoors at home.
Possible grow locations
And lots of outdoor cannabis growers are now planting a crop of autos in the countryside for a mid summer harvest. Autos stay short and bushy, they are ideal for hiding in areas of unused urban land near cities. A couple of autos can grow easily hidden in a patch of nettles. Unused building ground, land near canals, railways etc can often allow an auto to grow without anyone knowing.
Google Earth is a great way to look for possible grow locations, but you will need to visit them yourself before final approval.
And if you can get out to the countryside you will be spoilt for choice, there are countless places to hide a few autos. Forests, mountains and woodland are full of places, just look for an area which receives maximum sunlight.
Grow close to streams/water
River banks are ideal, and if you grow close to streams/water it makes it easy to get water to your plants in hot weather. Unused land between farmers fields is also a good place to hide an auto, the land is rarely checked and is usually good quality for growing. If the soil quality is poor (e.g. too sandy) then simply buy some supermarket soil and dig it in.
Successful and experienced auto growers work hard to improve soil quality by adding nutrients, manure etc. This can really improve the structure and aeration of the soil and allow larger harvests.
Prepare your grow location
Determined outdoor growers will often spend hours preparing a grow location in the middle of a large bramble bush. A hidden grow location which has been created by clearing surrounding scrub can take a long time to create, but will often provide years of use since accidentally discovery is extremely unlikely. Such hidden grow plots are often accessed by well concealed entrances, sometimes these are accessible only by crawling.
Over a period of several years the determined outdoor grower can find and use numerous local grow plots and successfully grow and auto, or two, in each one. Its a easy way to grow yourself a steady supply of top quality cannabis.
Protect your crops
Protecting your outdoor crop from animals is usually necessary. Slugs and snails can be kept away with slug pellets from the garden centre. Or you can try broken egg shells as a more organic alternative. And you will need to stop rabbits, goats and deer from eating your cannabis plants. You can protect your plants with a circular frame made from standard garden wire (‘chicken wire’) and held in position with tent pegs.
Your autos only need 3 months outdoors before you can harvest them, and will need little care or attention so long as they have reasonable quality moist soil and sun. Once you have made your first successful outdoor auto grow you will wonder why you left it so long. Growing autos outdoor is fast, simple and easy. You can grow autos in the countryside or hide them in your own garden. All you need is a few seeds from a good quality seed company.
2 Comments . Leave new
Thanks guys just received my seeds today I got the auto berry feminized hidden very well nearly thought I got stooged. I got 5 free seeds as well but didn’t get the name of them would you guys know what free seeds you get with the auto berry feminized ?
More people than ever will grow a few outdoor auto’s in the coming season. In this blog we will explain some easy ways to grow Autoflowering cannabis.