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Bongtastic's Beginner's Guide to Autoflowering Cannabis

bongtastic

New Member
Hello all!

It has been some time since I have posted anything on the forums, and for good reason... I've been perfecting my autoflowering grow technique.

I first started out with autoflowers back in February. Since then I have completed about 7 grows. (2 sets of 3 simultaneous grows in addition to my very first grow.)

Each grow has consisted of six plants. The first grow was a mixture of ShortStuff seeds. The following six grows all used the Doc's Lowryder #1.

I decided, after my first AF grow, that I needed to pick ONE proven strain to help eliminate variables and perfect my AF grow. I want to share my tips and tricks for any beginners looking to try an autoflowering strain.

As a side note, on my last set of 3 grows, I was able to push some of my AF plants to produce over 2 oz each. For a plant that's barely 1 foot tall, that is amazing... atleast in my mind!





First and foremost, you must ask yourself if an autoflowering strain is right for you! AF strains are a good choice for three different scenarios:

A) You are already growing normal cannabis and want to fill the remainder of your grow space with smaller plants that will come to harvest quicker.

B) You are brand new to growing cannabis and want to ease yourself into the process.

C) You are ONLY growing for personal use and prefer quality over quantity. (This is only true when using TESTED and PROVEN af strains)
In other words, AF strains are NOT good for commercial profit/caregiver growing. (At least in my opinion.)






SUPPLIES:

Containers: 3.3 gallon round plastic pots.(The bigger the better - 2.0 gallon minimum)

Grow Medium: Fox Farm Ocean Forest

Nutes/Supplements: Fox Farm Grow Big, Big Bloom, Tiger Bloom and Grandma's Blackstrap Molasses

Lighting: 18x 26w CFL bulbs

Space: Aprox 6 square feet of grow space (my cabinets are 1.5'x4')






LETS BEGIN!

IMPORTANT: Your light regiment is 24/0 for the ENTIRE GROW.


1) Germinate seed as you would normally. (If you have never, there are plenty of great guides on this site.) I soak in water for 24 hours and then place between damp paper towels until tap roots emerge.

2) Plant seeds with tap roots DIRECTLY into 3.3 gallon pots. Cover pots with plastic wrap until they have sprouted. (It is very important to plant your af varieties directly into their final containers. This will minimize stress at the beginning of the grow.)

3) Water your plants regularly, every 4-6 days at the beginning. Later on it will decrease to every 3-4 days. Remember to check your soil. If the top inch or so is crusty dry, it's time to water. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you do not allow your AF plants to get too dry and start drooping. This can dramatically effect the final size of the plant.

4) NO NUTRIENTS/SUPPLEMENTS until atleast week 7. Fox Farms Ocean Forest potting soil is perfect for AF plants because the soil will stay hot for about 6 weeks! I cannot over stress this point. Through trial and error I have found that if you feed your plants before week 6 (in FFOF soil) they will burn VERY easily.

5) At the beginning of week 6 I give them a half dose of grow big.

6) At the beginning of week 7 I give them a quarter dose of Tiger Bloom, full dose of Big Bloom and 1 tblsp of blackstrap molasses

7) At week 8 - Half dose tiger bloom, full dose Big Bloom, 1 tblsp BSM

8) At week 9 - 2 TBLS BSM

9) At week 10 - FLUSH FLUSH FLUSH!

10) Two days before harvest, I shut the lights off and lock the cabinets for 2 days.

11) REAP YOUR REWARDS! AF strains can be VERY VERY potent if grown correctly. They can also end up being pure shit if neglected.


Again, this is just an intro guide for beginners. I know that when I first started growing AF strains, there was no definitive guide for an AF nutrient schedule. This was one of the hardest things for me to figure out.

I hope this helps any aspiring Af grower!
 

Matanuska Valley

Plant of the Year: 2011 - Member of the Month: April 2011 - Plant of the Month: Mar & April 2011
As a side note, on my last set of 3 grows, I was able to push some of my AF plants to produce over 2 oz each. For a plant that's barely 1 foot tall, that is amazing... atleast in my mind!

" Amazing," that fucking awsome, I like what you did here. I am trying to get in to growing auto's to see what both side are to the plant good and bad... :yummy:
 

bongtastic

New Member
Lighting: 18x 26w CFL bulbs

I forgot to mention the need for two different spectrums. You will need 2700k and 6500k lights.

I would go with (12x) 6500k and (6x) 2700k. 2:1 is a good ratio. Make sure that you have them evenly spaced, as well. Unlike growing a sativa or indica hybrid, you will not have to adjust the ratio throughout growing. Keep it 2:1 for the whole grow.
 

Enso Boy

New Member
How do they do w/ CO2? Anyone have any experience w/ co2 & AF's?

I heard there is a new AF strain out that is a Northern Lights/ Ruderalis cross; anyone know about this one?
 

bongtastic

New Member
not trying to jack your thread... i made my own but NO responses...

AutoFlowers 2 Seeds 1 Bowl

I am thinking of experimenting with my AutoFlowers..
Since the life span on them are so short would it be possible for me to put two plants in same 5 gallon bucket.

Sure, it's possible. Is it recommend? hell no. AF's will attempt to take as much root space as possible, just like any other plant. Putting two plants in one container means you are stunting both of their growth and I almost guarantee one will be a full blown runt because it's root's lost out for space.
 

basement grow

New Member
You are having completely different results than I am. I am pushing nutes WAY harder than this, but I am not in soil, which makes a ton of difference. My autos are between 2.5-4 feet tall with 2-3 weeks more to go. The strain I am growing seems very unstable, though, also. One plant is lanky and covered in hundreds of tiny buds, the other two are denser and fatter, but still way taller than 1 foot.

I was thinking of doing some airpots and FFOF with another run of autos down the road, I will try your regimen and see how it works out for me.
 

dank86

New Member
Hey Bontastic! I just joined this forum because your guide was so helpful. I've done so many hours of searching, and found virtually nothing as helpful as this, so thank you for that!

I did have a question about your feeding style. I think it is perfect, and I'm definitely going to give it a try. Are you mixing your nute doses separately by the gallon, and then applying them together? And secondly, how exactly are you applying the molasses? My main concern is that I'm only doing two plants (feminized), and need to know how I should premix the nutes. I normally mix every nute in its own gallon, and apply accordingly.

I was also wondering if you use a folier spray, and if so, at what strength?

In case you're wondering about my strains, I have a mixed pack of lowlife (white russian, lemon skunk, ak47, blueberry, and hindu kush: all auto fems), but they didn't come separately labeled, so I'll be doing a lot of guess work as to whats what when they flower.
 
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standupman

New Member
Wow thankyou bongtastic this makes shure i atleast wont screw it up if i go by your guigelines..Im gonna try my first indoor grow wit cfl in a month or so..And i want an auto flower plant bad..I heard Nirvanas bluemystic has no smell at 15-17% thc..And the ak47 is as powerful as any plant,but stinks...You out 2 try the ak 47 they say its 20-22%thc..!
 

ZUES

New Member
This is perfect its like u were sent from heaven .. Im growin 4 himalyan blue diesels im a lil confused thoo im a newbe .. So when u say ur feedi them nutes around week 7 how much water do i mix with the nutes .. Like im so confused do i like take a gallon of spring water an just put the black strap an nutes in the gallon all together an then feed 4 tymes a week or wat .. Im confused
 

bongtastic

New Member
ZUES:

Well, what you want to do at the beginning is follow the directions on your nutes, just do 1/4-1/2 the strength. You put that directly into your water. You only feed them once per week, so you use as much of that "nute solution" as you can on the day you feed them. A good tip is to slightly pre-water each of your plants before feeding them, so the nute solution doesn't simply run through.

dank86: I mix all my nutes together in the water. Max sure you poor nutes into water, not vice versa. The blackstrap can also be added directly to the water... you just have to shake it up REALLY well. I did not use foliar spray.


As a side note, I have come to find that 11 week grow time is not enough for optimum potency under CFLs. I have finally settled on 12-14 weeks. I noticed that they really start to bulk up more and PACK on the trichomes after week 11.

If you are going to go a bit longer... wether it's 1, 2 or 3 weeks... simply extend step 7 for however many more weeks you are anticipating.

A better way to go about it is, when a quarter or so of your trichomes are amber, go to step 8 for one week, then flush for one week.
 

ZUES

New Member
So one shot glass of water wit the nutes in it once once a week ..... So one shot glass will be enough water for a whole & days i figured we were supposed to water like every other day of somethin
 

bongtastic

New Member
So one shot glass of water wit the nutes in it once once a week ..... So one shot glass will be enough water for a whole & days i figured we were supposed to water like every other day of somethin

Oh god no, that's not what I meant. For six plants I was using one gallon of water for my nute solution. Determining when to water is simple. Check the soil. If the top inch or so is crusty dry, it's time to water. Alternatively, pick up your pots! Do this when you first plant, to get a feel for what they weigh dry. Then, after you give them a good saturation, pick them up again to gauge the difference in weight. Then, you just pick them u ever few days and when they feel "dry" light, it's time to water.
 

ZUES

New Member
Aite lol im a lil slow lol thanks broo .. So get a gallon of spring water put 1/2 strong nute solution in that gallon then u just continue to feed the plants from that gallon which already has the nutes in it ... So every gallon i use i can only mix 1/2 strong nutes in it ... I think i got it broo i lol
 

QueenTokelove

New Member
Oh can I bump with ya? LOL...I had a question about the mixing of the nutes....Are you saying you mix all your nutes together with a gallon jug of water? I was told that was a no no? So now I have 2 jugs but nutes are not mixed together. And it is ok to put molasses with the nute water mix? I will be taking your advice and water a lil before I give the nutes. I did that once before but was thinking I was giving them too much. I did notice they didn't burn either.
 

dank86

New Member
You most certainly want to mix the nutes in the same container of water. If you are using a micro-nutrient base, along with flower nutes; be sure to mix the the micro-nutes first and wait about a minute for the salts to fully dissolve. Then, add the flower nutes. This will allow for proper ion-bonding, once you've added the flowering nutes. As for molasses, I would recommend adding it with the same solution, otherwise, you will be diluting your soil with molasses water, and wasting pH buffer to level out the separate water container. However, it is a commonly misunderstood myth that molasses will make your buds sweeter, as roots cannot uptake glucose. It does feed the bacteria in your soil, though, so feel free to use it (sparingly) throughout the entire grow. I would go no more than 1/4 tsp, every other watering (which is when you should be feeding anyway). Anything more than that will create overpowering bacteria colonies, that actually negatively affect yield.

It's all about the botany, baby.
 

Pookaheads

New Member
I just joined so that I could send you a PM to say 'Thank You'. LOL I can't send a PM until I've reached 50 posts. o_O

Anyways.... THANK YOU!! I've JUST started indoor gardening and was at a loss as to how to feed the autos that I had going. I was just going to see what they did without any feeding. LOL That could've been sad.

I'm doing EXACTLY what you recommend (with the exception of the soil. Couldn't find what you used.) My plants are HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY so far.

THANK YOU!! (I'm sure that you've helped FAR more people than you'll ever know.)

K~

been smokin' for 27 years and counting...
 
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