by Dan Sullivan
Growers who only start out or who have to grow their weed in non-favorable weather conditions often resort to cultivating autoflower seeds. Indeed, this seed variety comes with many benefits and simplifies the overall growing process as the plants enter the flowering period, regardless of the light and darkness cycle you expose them to. Ideally, this feature of cannabis plants should look like a panacea to all grower troubles. However, the reality is a bit harsher for both newbies and experienced growers, with several serious mistakes leading to lost harvest or plant disease. Here we discuss these blunders to caution you against recklessness in autoflower plant growing. If you attend to these issues early enough, high yields are guaranteed.
Once you buy seeds of dubious quality or unknown origin in an effort to save time, the result of cultivation can be pretty disappointing. In reality, high-quality seeds with good and transparent genetics cost way more than you would pay for mediocre seeds, and that's for a reason. A huge professional community behind the seed bank cultivates and sells good seeds, and choosing from reputable brands is always a safe bet.
Solution: as we've just noted, you can get medium harvests from seeds with poor genetics, but as a rule, the outcomes are beyond your control. Even after providing all conditions for unrestricted plant growth, you may watch the plants develop diseases or get stuck at the start of their growth. So, there's only one way out: not to experiment with seeds.
It's well-known that marijuana plants need plenty of light to thrive and enter the flowering period. It's also a mandatory condition for autoflower plants, with also need sunlight or proper indoor lighting to transition from the vegetative stage to flowering. Thus, check the lighting you have in your growing setup and compare its capacity with the strain's requirements. Though most of the LED and HID setups are sure to provide minimal light to keep the plants alive, insufficient lighting will surely kill your yields.
Solution: always study the strain's light demands and evaluate your setup for consistency. Don't leave this match to chance.
Though many growers associate regular and heavy watering of their weed plants with extra care, it's not what cannabis wants. Only by keeping to a moderate and disciplined watering routine can you help your plants develop as they need; overwatering causes serious problediseams like root rot or inhibited plant growth. You can easily tell that your plants are overwatered if their leaves turn yellow.
Solution: keep records of your watering schedule to avoid overwatering. Read about the strain you're growing and calculate its water needs precisely. Test the ground of your plantation; it should get dry at the top to indicate that more water is needed.
Those who grow weed indoors don't face the pest problem, as they have a highly controlled, even isolated, growing environment. However, outdoor plantations often get attacked by pests, putting your harvest in danger.
Solution: always inspect your plants to find pest eggs and identify the pests to take timely action. Use only organic pesticides to address the pest issue, as your cannabis will be later dried and smoked; it should be free from unwanted chemicals to protect your health. Plant special herbs next to your cannabis plants, such as mint, basil, or lavender. They will create a special fleur in your garden while keeping pests away from your cannabis plants.
Plants are living organisms and can also experience stress, especially if treated wrongly. While cultivators may control their plantations and train the plants with various pruning techniques, these activities don't always affect plants how they're expected to. Instead of maximizing your yields, you may end up with a distressed plant that refuses to grow further and doesn't flower.
Solution: if pruning has damaged the plant's tissue and inhibits its growth, the only variant is to wait some time and avoid cutting any more branches from it. Besides, such unsuccessful training cases should become valuable learning material for you as a cultivator; analyze what you did wrong and adjust your techniques to act more delicately on the plants.
Ensuring the soil's right pH is essential for weed plants' health and thriving. Thus, even though you might think of pH control as rocket science, things are not that complicated. The most important tip is not to remove this point from your checklist.
Solution: You can purchase pH test strips at any gardening shop or pharmacy. Use those strips to evaluate the soil's pH regularly (it changes during cultivation) and take corrective action if the pH level deviates from your plants' optimal requirements.
When you cultivate weed outdoors, the problem of pot sizing doesn't exist, as the whole plantation's space is available for your plants to spread their roots. However, indoor plantations require careful container size planning, as choosing a small pot can limit your plant's proliferation.
Solution: it's always wiser to buy large containers to ensure that your plants' roots develop without physical restraints. Besides, a larger container will prevent the plant's falling after it develops too many branches and grows pretty high.
Weed is pretty sensitive to the weather conditions and temperature of its cultivation. While some strains are immune to temperature fluctuations and thrive in various environments, others are very picky in this regard. Thus, for instance, the Granddaddy Purple strain is sensitive to weather changes and can die if your outside climate changes abruptly, with temperatures falling in the autumn.
Solution: Keep this golden rule in mind: the best temperature for your weed is 700F. In case you provide the plants with the right temperature mimicking the Mediterranean climate, you're sure to reap plentiful yields and enjoy a non-problematic process.
Some inexperienced growers decide to plant their seeds in small pots first and then transplant the sprouts into larger containers after they develop a bit. However, this technique is not always productive, with too many autoflower plants experiencing stress and stopping to grow after transplanting.
Solution: keep in mind that autoflower plants don't like being transplanted, and plan for the larger container at once. Please don't wait for the plant to develop; place it into the pot where it will grow until the moment of harvesting weed.
Surprisingly, growers may experience problems with the germination of autoflower seeds as well. For instance, overwatering the paper towels or letting them dry will result in poor results. Some seeds won't be able to germinate without sufficient humidity, while others may rot instead of germinating if they are soaked in plenty of water.
Solution: take this stage of autoflower seed planting seriously. First, soak the seeds in a glass of water for 24 hours, then put them between two moist paper towels, and wait until they germinate. The process usually takes 1-2 days, so you won't need to wait too long.
As you can see, growing autoflower weed is not a walk in the park, as many beginners suggest. This process is also demanding and comes with many nuances, keeping to which can rescue your harvest and ensure that your weed cultivation is successful. Consider these tips to avoid the most common mistakes, and you're sure to reap big yields from your next growing cycle.
This article is a product of Denys Svirepchuk's research and personal observations throughout his cultivation efforts. Denys is a writer at AskGrowers, working on bringing the world of cannabis cultivation closer to users and ensuring that people follow the best-growing practices to get rewarding yields from their plantations.
About Dan Sullivan
Dan Sullivan is a renowned professor and esteemed education writer with a passion for inspiring students and transforming the field of education. With a diverse background in academia and practical teaching experience, he has become a leading figure in educational research and pedagogy.