This is a website and it is somewhat limited in scope. However, I am working on a complete book for Autoflower growers entitled The Autoflower Revolution, because the current one’s available online suck. They are absolutely horrid, repetitive, skimpy and just full of general advice. I will have a completely useful book written by October 2019 that details exactly how to grow the various strains of Cannabis I provide genetics for including some of my regular strains. In this book, I will cover off all the tricks I have learned through the years to help you grow the best Cannabis. I have included some here on this site. Remember, I need to help the widest spectrum of growers and many of you are not pro growers – so giving good general tips and advice to help the widest target audience is key to everyone’s success.
Assuming you can read and follow directions well, growing great cannabis relies primarily on 5 things.
- Cannabis needs light to vegetate and flower properly. Autoflowers need less light than regular photoperiod cannabis. I use LED lights from California Lightworks. I use the Solarsystem 550 because it allows me to control the spectrum from seed to harvest and everything in between can be linked to one controller. You can also select a light schedule and spectrum according to which type of Autoflower you are growing. At the start of any grow cycle I use a longer light period (18 hours), but as soon as the Autoflower starts pushing maximum flowers, I immediately cut back to about 14 hours on 10 hours off cycle. Every grower is different, but this works for me in a low humidity environment and I have achieved optimum results this way. The light choice you make is up to your. There are plenty of good lights around, but you can see a link to what I use here.Trick: I put my plants on Lazy Susan turntables so I can turn them around right on the grow table benches to catch all the light and inspect them easily – I don’t use any SCROG with Autoflowers – it really isn’t necessary and it’s a wasteful pain in the ass. Instead I use a turntable approach so I can turn any plant to meet the light better and besides, working on them without a net to get all caught up in is just so much easier. Use plastic Lazy Susans, not metal. Metal, even zinc coated – will rust and bind over time. Here is what I use. They are very cheap and you will thank me for this if we ever meet.
- If you are a serious grower, use RO water or water that is first filtered. If you can’t use RO or filtered well water let your water stand in an open bucket for at least 25 hours and give the water time to “gas off” any chlorine and chemicals used in its treatment and let it settle. Check your PH. My well water comes up at a PH of 6.5 which is perfect. After light, Water is the most important input for good Autoflower Cannabis growth.NOTE: When watering Autoflowers during the beginning of their grow cycle, water them with a spray mister. Do not water directly on the seedling. You will only damage it.
- Good soil. I recommend people use a Pro Mix, Coir and perlite mix. The one I use specifically is “Pro Mix HPCC Mycorrhizae”. Excellent for beginners, you won’t hurt your plants by overwatering if using this mix. It is also PH neutral. I add this soil mix to black, breathable 7-gallon air pots or grow bas with handles. Experienced growers can use 5-gallon grow bags or air pots, I sometimes do, but if you are new or intermediate use a 7-gallon grow bag or air pot so your mistakes are buffered by the extra two gallons of soil. I usually add a few extra handfuls of perlite to my mix – you should too. It holds extra water, helps with aeration and helps gauge watering and flushing with a trick I call “wilt stress to increase resin production” in the “last ten days” of any Autoflower end cycle.Note: Wilt Stress can be brought on about day 50. To do so, I back off watering and beginning of the flush cycle by waiting until the leaves on the plant noticeably start to wilt. I then provide a good charge of water, wait for them tp perk up and then to wilt again and then apply a nutrient feeding and water. Around day 60 I wilt them again and then water flush with no more nutrients and follow this water flush and wilt cycle until the end. Flower results can be huge especially when coupling this with UVB lights at the end of the flower cycle.
- This is almost too easy, but this is where you can really screw it up too! Autoflowers don’t need much in the way of nutrients and I would implore you not to overfeed the little guys – ever. They react to the stress of excess nutrients more than any other thing you can do to really screw up after they successfully start growing in their pots, so please, follow my advice here. For the first 35 days of flower I feed my plants using Alaska 5-1-1 fish emulsion (you can buy by the 5 gallon bucket at any Home Depot for 90 bucks). If you want a smaller, cheaper amount you can buy that too. To mix it for use. use only two tablespoons of Alaska to one gallon of water. You can add one table spoon of molasses along with the Alaska if you desire (I do). There is about 70 mg of Potassium in every tablespoon of regular molasses. From day 35 to 50 I often stop using Alaska and start mixing Growilla (sometimes) nutrients instead of Alaska because it finishes flowers nicely – or just stay on the same schedule with Alaska and feed less after day 50 and up the molasses by a tablespoon. Around day 52 or so start flushing every three days or when the top of the pot dries out. I always finish the last ten days of my Autoflower cycles with room temperature water and no nutrients. Most of the genetics I am writing about here finish around day 65 to 70.NOTE: always use room temperature water!!!!! All fertilizers I use are stinky, so I use a turkey baster and nitrile gloves to make my solutions in 50 or 100 gallon tubs. Just watch your mix ratios. I’ve had a lot of success with Growilla Bud Fertilizer, but the drawback is it is a solid and must be mixed in the right ratios with clean water. I like it and figured out a way to graduate feedings and increase potassium uptake using molasses. I never bother with CO2. If you use it, you may have better results, but with Autoflowers I don’t think CO2 is really necessary.
- It would be a shame to have done everything right and screw this last item up! Trust me – many people do. What do I mean by environment? I mean you must control a host of environmental things in your grow or you will fail. Ventilation, temperature control and humidity are key considerations! Outdoors the environment this is almost impossible to control! Indoors all aspects are controllable! This is why I prefer indoors to outdoors growing. Indoors you can more easily control ventilation, temperature, and humidity. You must also control airflow and air exchange between indoors and outdoors. Screw this up and all your precious work could mildew and rot. Simply put, control temperature at all times making sure you have a way to keep temperatures in your grow area steady and ideally above 70 Fahrenheit degrees to a maximum of 80 Fahrenheit degrees during light cycles and no less than 65 Fahrenheit during dark periods. I like Fahrenheit scales because the gradients are more exact at these temperatures than Celsius. Your temperature monitor in your grow room or tent should be able to do both. Also, keep humidity at 50-55% at all times and move air constantly around all plants. Ideally a plant should have air moving across it constantly and in the case of oscillating fans they should hit all parts of your canopy at least twice per minute. I stage fans over the top of my canopy and blow air from no less than three directions in the larger rooms where I grow, but always in one general direction from the top and also blow air across the bottom of the entire canopy and even under the rolling benches.NOTE: You will get the best results if the air always moves – top and bottom – in the same general direction. If you have a long grow room make sure your fans all point in the same general direction to tunnel fresh air into, for example, a greenhouse or grow room and to then expel it out the other end. This won’t be possible in the winter, especially indoors, so maintain a steady temperature and keep your humidity LOW – 50% is ideal! If your humidity climbs, raise your temperatures a bit and make use of an inexpensive dehumidifier. I use both Air Conditioning and dehumidification in a larger grow and if you are a serious grower you should too.