Growing cannabis right outside your home has now become extremely easy – not only because it is not legal throughout the country but also because cultivators have now mastered the skill of growing auto-flowering cannabis outdoors. With constant experimentation and growing practice, growers have now understood and come up with the right action plan needed to grow auto-flowering cannabis seeds outdoors.
Only a few years ago, cultivators did not take auto-flowering strains of cannabis as seriously – a common misconception declared them best suited for beginners, mainly because their potency and yield didn't match photoperiod cannabis strains. However, this isn't true anymore because modern auto-flowering cannabis strains are giving great competition to photoperiod strains when it comes to potency and yield. The quality of auto-flowering cannabis has changed drastically over the years, and they are now cultivators' first choice countrywide, mainly due to their easy and fast growth cycle.
If you are new to cannabis cultivation and want to grow marijuana in your home, auto-flowering cannabis seeds are the right choice for you. Here is a complete guide to help you grow auto-flowering cannabis outdoors from scratch!
Considerations for Growing Auto-Flowering Cannabis Seeds Outdoors
Before we get to the process of growing auto-flowering cannabis seeds, there are certain conditions and factors that you must consider. The most important thing is to understand what auto-flowering seeds are, then make sure you know all the important factors and their optimum conditions for growing auto-flowering cannabis. Here are a few things to consider:
Pros and Cons of Growing Auto-flowering Seeds Outdoor
There has always been a debate when it comes to growing auto-flowering cannabis – while some cultivators prefer growing them outdoors, the others believe growing them indoors is better for the plant. There are pros and cons to both conditions. For example – growing outdoors is a cost-friendly method as there is no startup cost required.
But growing outdoors can be a risk because you can’t control the weather/environment, and there is more risk of your plant being exposed to bugs and pests. However, many cultivators still prefer growing auto-flowering seeds outside because they can receive ample sunlight outdoors.
Preferable Conditions for Growing Auto-flowering Seeds Outdoor
You must consider three things and base your plant's growing cycle on humidity, sunlight, and temperature. These conditions usually depend on the location where you live and what season of the year it is.
You can follow two light cycles for your auto-flowering seeds: 18/6 or 12/12. By giving your plant 18 hours of sunlight and 6 hours of darkness, you allow your plant to develop good buds while also getting ample time to rest. But this is not a suitable condition all year long. 12/12 method with an equal amount of light and darkness, you can easily plan ahead and get harvest all year long – however, it sometimes leads to aery and underdeveloped buds.
Maintaining optimum humidity levels for your cannabis plant is vital to ensure it doesn't have difficulty breathing. 60% humidity is ideal for your plant in the seedling stage because baby plants need more moisture. As your plant goes toward the vegetative stage, it is better to lower the humidity to 50% and later to 40-45% in the pre-flowering stage.
Cannabis plants find it hard to withstand extremely cold temperatures, so the ideal time to grow them is mid-summer to late summer. With 18 hours of light per day, the optimum temperature for auto-flowering cannabis is between 64 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Guide to Grow Auto-Flowering Cannabis Outdoors
Stage 1: Germination Stage
Germination is the first step toward a successful cannabis harvest, and you need to do this step before planting your seeds in the soil. Germination is basically the growth of a seed into a seedling; it helps your seed in sprouting.
When it comes to germination auto-flowering cannabis seeds, there are various methods that you can use, such as:
- Paper towel method
- Glass cup method
- Rockwool and peat pellets method
Each germination method has its own pros and cons – cultivators usually decide their germination method depending on the age and storage condition of the seeds. Older seeds usually take longer to germinate; hence using methods that provide supplementation to the seeds can be helpful.
Once the seeds have germinated, you need to decide whether you want to plant your seeds in a separate container or directly in the soil.
Growing in Pots
- Planting seeds in a pot is good because you move the pot to follow the sunlight.
- Make sure you pick a big enough pot (at least 7 to 11 US gal)
- Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom
Growing in the Soil
- Find a growing sport in the soil
- Good for the seeds as it's packed with nutrients
- Saves you from buying extra soil and nutrients
Stage 2: Vegetative Stage
The first batch of new leaves can indicate the vegetative stage – when you see your plants have developed their first few leaves, you can be sure that your plant is in the vegetative stage. This is the stage when your plant needs maximum nutrients and regular watering.
During the vegetative stage, giving your plants maximum potassium (K) and nitrogen is best. Also, make sure your plant pot is placed in a position where it can receive the maximum amount of sunlight. The amount and routine for watering your plant depends on the environment and the genetics of the plant – however, it is best to water your plant when the soil is around 60% dry.
Stage 3: Flowering Stage
A couple of weeks after the vegetative stage comes the flowering stage – when your plant is ready to produce flowers and starts showing white hair (called pistils). You need to give your plant flowering nutrients such as phosphorus and Potassium, and lower amounts of Nitrogen at this stage. You can make the buds grow bigger with a combination of good nutrients and a good environment.
Your auto-flowering cannabis plant will need support at this stage – especially if you haven't limited their growth in a pot. They can grow very tall at this stage, and you can provide support to their branches using:
- Trellis Net
- Tomato wire cage
- bamboo stakes
Stage 4: Harvesting Stage
There are different ways you can identify the potency of a plant and decide when you want to harvest it. For example:
- Transparent or clear trichomes mean the plant is not developed enough for harvest and offers reduced potency
- Cloudy trichomes offer a mix of corporal and cerebral effects – if that's what you are looking for, it's the right time to harvest
- When 30 to 50% of the trichomes are amber-colored, you can get the complete effect of what a plant can offer. Or you can harvest when all the trichomes are amber – that’s when they have ripened too much, and you get corporal effects.
We hope this guide was helpful for you – if you want to grow cannabis outdoors and have an endless supply of marijuana right at your doorstep, don't hesitate to plant auto-flowering cannabis seeds. These seeds are perfect for outdoor growth and give you ample yearly yield!