SoHum Living Soils® – Autoflower Best Practices
Autoflower genetics provide for a great opportunity for fast and easy harvests regardless of the grower’s skills with cannabis cultivation. Autoflower varieties inherited their genetics from Cannabis Ruderalis, a subspecies from Europe and Central Asia that do not require a change in the light cycle to initiate flowering stages. As a result, such varieties have become an ideal choice for genetic selection because of their ability to quickly move through each stage of cultivation at a much faster rate than Photosensitive varieties, the more commonly used short-period plants that require at least 12 hours of darkness to trigger the flowering stage. Regardless of the amount of light received, Autoflower varieties will begin to flower in as quickly as 30 days from post-germination. In contrast, Photosensitive varieties can remain in the vegetative stage indefinitely if they receive up to 18-24 hours of light each day.
Tips for Autoflowering
SoHum Living Soils® has provided some tips for best practices to ensure that your autoflower varieties finish without any issues and achieve all the desired effects that Photosensitive plants have to offer.
- Plan ahead….autoflowers have a pre-determined life cycle and you will need to plan to do everything to maximize their vegetative growth before and after the flower cycle begins. From the day planted in the ground, their lifecycle clock is ticking, and any mistake made can result in lower quality and yield.
- Only start with quality genetics. If you start with inferior genetics, your results will be inferior. Source feminized autoflower seeds from a reputable seed bank. Not all autoflower genetics are equal and there are some short varieties as well as some super strains that can grow more than a meter tall. If you want to grow a short plant inside a closet grow box then choose a strain that is known for its small height, otherwise choose what will work for your grow.
- Use feminized seeds – Do not waste your time. Only purchase feminized seeds which will increase the likelihood of germinating all female plants.
- Plant feminized autoflower seed in 4 – 5 gallon (15 to 19 liters) growing containers and no transplanting is required during plant’s entire lifecycle.
- Using 100% SoHum Living Soils® for planting autoflower genetics IS NOT recommended. Young autoflower plants are hyper-sensitive to microbial nutrients and the elevated microbial levels in full strength SoHum Living Soils® can cause preliminary plant stunting. Autoflowering plants have smaller root mass than regular photo-sensitive plants and young plants can experience nutrient burn without the proper planting technique.
Cyclops Planting Method
- While filling a 4 or 5-gallon growing container with SoHum Living Soil, place a large (24 – 32 ounce) drinking glass in the center, level with the top edge of the container
- Next, fill in all the container area except inside the glass
- Remove the glass, creating a hollow core which you now fill with a light potting soil or seed starter
- Once complete, place a feminized autoflower seed ¼” – ½” under the soil and lightly water to initiate seed germination
- Autoflowers do not require transplantating and doing so can stunt their growth or initiate premature flowering. This is the reason to start your autoflower plants in their end-growing containers. It is best to give your auto-flowers between 4 to 5 gallons(15 to 19 liters) of SoHum Living Soils® premium grow medium so their roots can thrive and will not become root bound, causing unnecessary plant stress.
- Do not clone Autoflowers – Theoretically you can clone autoflowers but because they have a predetermined life cycle, all clones will finish their life at the same time as their mother.
- SoHum Living Soils® provides all the microbial based nutrients your autoflower plants will need from germination to harvest and therefore no need to feed your plants throughout their entire lifecycle. Just add water with pH from 6.0 – 6.5.
- Do not overwater – By far the #1 mistake made by growers. Learn to judge the moisture content of your growing container by feeling the weight of it. You can also take the guesswork out of it by implementing an automated capillary/bottom watering system such as those offered by AutoPots.
- Do not use High Stress Training (HST) – If you want to train your autoflower plants then it would be best to use Low Stress Training (LST) methods like side pulling or SCROG to avoid stressing the plant. Avoid topping as well as pruning because it could negatively impact your yield.
- Autoflower plants can grow well under almost any light including High Intensity Discharge (HID) and LEDs. LED lighting will require less additional HVAC climate control which often drives the decision on the lighting technology used.
- Do not change lighting schedule – Autoflowering plants will flower automatically under any lighting condition however it is a best practice to maintain a stable 18 on/6 off or 20 on/4 off light cycle throughout the plant’s entire lifespan.
- Routinely check the pH levels in your water – autoflower plants grow best in 6.0 to 6.5 pH for vegetative and flowering stages when grown in SoHum Living Soil. If using a chlorinated water source, be sure to allow to off-gas for 24 hours before watering plants.
- Autoflowering plants grow best in 23C to 28C (75 F to 83F) in their vegetative growth stages and 22C to 26C (73F to 79F) for their flowering phase. These are ideal temperature ranges however slight variations are not crucial and should not harm your plants.
- No flushing is required – Unlike autoflower plants grown in salt-based nutrients, those grown in SoHum Living Soils® require no flushing, resulting in an organically grown and premium finished product.
- Diagnose plant problems early – If you see yellowing autoflower leaves or other unhealthy things, identify the problem as fast as possible and fix it before your plants become stunted.
- Autoflowers can be grown indoors as well as outdoors using SoHum Living Soils®.
See/Print a PDF copy for your convenience: Autoflowering Best Practices