As a grower, your job is to ensure that all the buds receive equal light, and that’s where LST helps a great deal. Most growers begin LST after the plants are “Topped”. Topping is another technique that involves cutting off the tip of the main stem, forcing the plant to grow more colas rather than one. Beginners can even “FIM” their plants, which is another method where you cut off only a part of the tip instead of cutting it entirely.
How does the pH dictate the yields, you ask? Well, when the pH falls below 5.5, plants cannot absorb certain nutrients like Calcium and Magnesium even if they are present at the roots. The same logic applies when the pH rises above 7. Suffice it to say that all the nutrients in the world cannot help the plant recover if the pH is not right. With an imbalance in the pH, the nutrients cannot be absorbed and the plants produce very little yields. Therefore, check the pH constantly to ensure that the plants are healthy.
Autoflowers grow even when they get only 12 hours of light from seed to harvest. They are tough and adapt in any situation; however, they thrive when they receive 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. Some growers provide 24 hours of light from the beginning until harvest, but it’s not recommended because plants need some rest and time to recover like the rest of us.
How to maximize yields in autoflowering plants?
Most people assume that autoflowers produce small yields, but they can’t be further from the truth. Get this straight — autoflowers can not only produce humongous yields, but the fact that they do so within 2 months isn’t a small feat! But, you gotta follow a small rulebook, so here are 7 tips and tricks to maximize yields in autoflowers if you’re struggling to get the best out of them.
Autoflowers growing outdoors usually receive only 12 hours of proper sunlight, and you’re probably wondering if that’s enough. However sunlight is the most powerful light compared to artificial systems set up by humans, so autos take advantage of the situation and produce maximum yields outdoors.
You must also remember to train cannabis plants only during the vegetative stage. Doing so in the flowering phase will stunt the plant drastically. Many growers simply stay away from training autoflowers because they produce good yields even when they aren’t trained; however, a combination of any of the techniques mentioned above will deliver stunning results, which makes training plants a matter of personal choice.
The sea of green, or SOG, method involves growing many small plants in close proximity to max out space and yields. This is especially effective in otherwise small grow-ops, and there is no better candidate than autoflowering strains. Their fast growth and short stature essentially do everything for you. Plus, no pruning or excessive handling is needed.
If you must add nutrients to the soil early on, do so sparingly. Generally, bloom nutrients and boosters are all that’s needed during their life cycle. Even in flowering, low to medium doses of nutrients will suffice. Over-fertilising plants is a common yield-thwarting mistake autoflower growers often make.
At times, just a simple standing fan or leaving a window open is all that’s needed to create an optimal growing environment. If that doesn’t cut it, look into solutions such as a heater or air conditioner for your grow room.
15. USE PROGRESSIVE HARVESTING
Autoflowering cannabis will race from seedling to stash in a quick 60–90 days. When autos are stressed too much or their growth is otherwise slowed, they will still bloom at the same time, and your yields will suffer.
There are several things growers can do to encourage bigger yields from their autoflowers.
Low-stress training (LST) is a non-destructive training technique that even beginners can use. As the name implies, it is a minimally invasive technique that doesn’t involve any major damage to plants.
Something can always go wrong when growing cannabis. The key to high yields is swiftly and smartly identifying problems as they occur. As you refine your processes, the health and yields of your plants will improve over time.
Traditional clay pots promote a healthy root system, and roots have better access to air and oxygen. It is also much harder to overwater. However, the pots tend to dry out quickly, and they can easily tip over.
Unless you know your cannabis very well and can accurately estimate how much water each plant will need, it is best to buy a container with holes/perforations in the bottom. In fact, you should still make your life easier and opt for holes, even if you know exactly how much they need. This allows excess water to drain and oxygen to flow through the growing medium, reducing the chance of root rot – a problem that occurs if the soil is left too wet for too long. Don’t over water – stick your little finger an inch into the soil to see how moist it is before watering.
The main disadvantage of fabric pots is that they dry out faster than ordinary pots. You will need to water them more often or use larger pots with more soil to keep this from happening. Fabric pots are also less robust than standard planters. Since they are more like bags, they are more likely to tip over.
Air pots, also known as root trainers, are similar to smart pots. By air pruning the roots, air pots prevent ring roots while also promoting optimal growth. The difference is that air pots are made of plastic with perforated side walls instead of some type of fabric. They are more expensive than other options.
Another consideration when growing outdoors is to opt for white pots, as they store less heat than black or gray containers.
While they will significantly benefit the growth of your cannabis plants in the aforementioned ways, air pots have the same disadvantages as fabric pots. You will have to water more often, as water seeping through the sides can dry out the soil faster. However, they are more stable than fabric pots. Note: If you are growing indoors, you may want to place air pots on large trivets to collect drainage water.
Terracotta or clay planters are more cumbersome than plastic pots, but they can be good choices because terracotta can absorb and retain excess moisture. This provides a cooling effect that will benefit the roots of your plant in the hot summer months. Small disadvantage: you could have to water more often.