There are numerous advantages to starting with autoflowering marijuana seeds that are often overlooked by traditional growers. Based on the success of my last blog, Why I Love Autoflowering Marijuana Strains, I’m going to try to write less passionately and more convincingly for this piece about these unique strains.
1. Autoflowering seeds lead to short plants
For the most part autoflowering cannabis strains are short in structure. Some people refer to them as dwarf plants, but their size is dependent on its genetics and the container it’s grown in. To achieve bigger plants with heavier yields, start autflowering seeds in larger containers and to keep the plants small, simply start the autoflowering seeds in smaller ones. Unlike regular seeds, autoflowering seeds grow plants that rarely outgrow their space.
2. Autoflowering seeds make plants that can be easily hidden
In outdoor grows autoflowering plants and their characteristic shortness is a huge advantage because they can be easily hidden among other foliage. A well-hidden cannabis plant is safe from recreational rippers and police. These plants will also grow in short spaces like under balconies, but it’s best to disguise them with tomato plants. Autoflowering seeds can be used indoors just as easily—in the smallest of grow tents, a kitchen cupboard or even a computer tower.
3. Autoflowering seeds lead to plants that are immune to light leaks
The only time Toronto’s massively lit-up skyline goes dark is when the power is out city-wide. People attempting balcony grows here will have plants exposed to plenty of dark hours. From personal experience, Amsterdam is much darker than Toronto, but the effect here is exactly what light leakage can do to an indoor plant. Plants don’t fill in and take longer to finish when they have even the tiniest of exposures to light outside their schedule. However autoflowering plants are immune to light leaks and city night light. Cannabis plants can’t tolerate excessive city light, but an autoflowering plant does remarkably well.
4. Autoflowering seeds enable multiple outdoor harvests in one season
Again, I suggest starting with autoflowering seeds for balcony grows because you can get two harvests a season in most summer climates. Their unique flowering schedule also throws off police, who traditionally are looking for cannabis plants during fall harvest season—an autoflowering plant can be finished flowering in mid July and the man isn’t looking for crops in July.
5. Autoflowering seeds become plants that don’t require changes to light cycles
For some reason changing the light cycle from veg to flower, apparently, confuses some people who would become growers. It’s not rocket surgery, but a few growers told me they believed people didn’t grow because of light cycle confusion. I do confess setting a digital timer is a challenge, but it’s not a reason not to grow cannabis. If setting a timer is troubling you, then choose autoflowering seeds because they don’t require a photoperiod change to induce flowering.
6. Autoflowering seeds produce marijuana plants that are bug and mildew resistant
Generally speaking these are hardy little plants. They are bug and mildew resistant, but a few strains are more challenging than others. The ruderalis genetic tends to toughen it up a bit, which makes it ideal for first time growers. People who are over or under feeding or struggle with some basics might want to start autoflowering seeds. Their fast flowering time will allow you to continue to try if your plants die out.
7. Autoflowering seeds are excellent for perpetual harvests
Autoflowering plants can’t be kept as mothers for cloning purposes, but this doesn’t prevent having a constant harvest. In fact harvesting constantly from autoflowering seeds requires much less space. There’s no need for a mother, veg and flower room! Stagger the germination and planting by about 24 – 30 days. For example, in a five plant grow room, start with three plants and when they start to flower, begin two more plants. Forty-eight hours before harvesting the initial three, germinate three replacements. A month later, two will be ready to be harvested and replaced. By repeating this method you can also switch up strains constantly. Remember to adjust your nutrients accordingly.
Matt Mernagh is the author of Marijuana Smoker’s Guidebook: The Easy Way to Identify and Enjoy Marijuana Strains. On sale now from Amazon, Urban Outfitters or iTunes.
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