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.)
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')
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!
it took me 11 weeksHey, I have a couple of questions as a 1st time grower...
1) I'm going to be attempting to grow "Auto White Widow" indoors which supposedly has a grow rate of just 7 weeks, so going off your grow instructions, I would be well off on the time scale. What would you recommend?
2) Sounds really stupid, but what do you have to do to "flush"?
3) I've got very limited space and require complete discretion, (probably got a walk in cupboard about 4ft deep by 3ft wide), will this be a big enough space for the 1 plant and the use of a high powered lighting set up?