The Philosopher Seeds breeding team is constantly trying to improve the quality of its automatic varieties. Thanks to growers and friends who collaborate with this dedicated seed bank, Philosopher Seeds continuously gathers information on all its strains, and now they want to make it available for the cannabis community to learn about the basics of growing auto-flowering cannabis plants. This small guide will help you to have a healthy and productive medicinal garden, enabling you to get the most from your Philosopher Seeds automatic varieties.
Growing in small rooms with low consumption lamps
In really small growing spaces, where we usually use energy saving bulbs (CFL) or LED lamps, automatic plants are perfect. If we only have a small space to grow our plants, we must keep them small-sized; the perfect height for this type of crops is 60-90cm.
What we want here is keeping our plants in an average-sized pot (the size depends on the available growing space). 2-5 litre pots per plant are ideal. When the roots reach the lower part of the container, out plants will start flowering regardless of size and photoperiod. The White Yoda variety works perfect in this kind of crops.
Feeding automatic plants and types of substrate
When growing autos, nitrogen levels in the substrate must be low; highly fertilised soils – like All-Mix – are not appropriate. Plants will have too many nutrients during the early stages, thus decreasing their growth and final yield. Light Mix provides best results (especially Plagron’s). Excellent performances can also be obtained by using an inert substrate like coco coir, even hydroponics if the grower is experienced enough.
Using a substrate suitable for the feeding needs of autoflowering plants is crucial if we want best results. During the first stages of their life, these plants need a growing medium with enough oxygen to enable quick root development. A nice and healthy rootball results in better yields. You can ensure a fast and lush growth by adding 15% of coco coir to the soil mix. Using a quality auxin-based booster during the first 4 weeks also improves the plant’s performance.
What is the best photoperiod for automatic varieties?
To get higher yields and more compact flowers – and as long as there is enough space and height – we should give our plants a photoperiod of 20 hours light and 4 hours of darkness per day for the first 20-28 days (depending on strains) until reaching the desired height.
After this, we can change the photoperiod to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness per day. Using this technique allows us to get more compact buds in less time. Most automatic strains developed by Philosopher Seeds can be harvested within 60-70 days (from seedling), always depending on phenotypes.
Off-season crops and areas near the Equator
These small wonders are not photoperiod-dependent to start flowering. Around 4 weeks after seed germination they rapidly start developing flower clusters. In Equatorial areas, where we have a constant photoperiod of around 12 hours of light and 12 hour of darkness per day and cannabis needs few extra light hours per day during the early stages for a proper growth, this type of seeds is perfect. Being very easy to cultivate and ready to be harvested in just 60-70 days from seedling, autos develop very compact and smelly flowers, especially the automatic cannabis variety Cheesy Auto, with its pungent and intense scent.
Regarding off-season outdoor crops, automatic strains offer the chance to perform a crop before the Spring-Summer season, during the first 70 days of Spring (depending on hemisphere). We can also start a second crop in half-summer that will be ready to harvest by Autumn (also depending on hemisphere). Automatic seeds are short-cycle strains that enable us to perform several crops per year.
Transplanting automatic plants and container size
Autoflowering strains have a limited life cycle. They only need 60-70 days to be completely ripe (growth/flowering). Therefore, the number of transplants and the container capacity are crucial for achieving best results. If we perform a single transplant into the definitive container (11-18 litres) right after seed germination, in combination with a suitable photoperiod, we ensure the best possible performance from our plants. The cannabis variety Fraggle Skunk Auto easily yields up to 100-125 grams per plant.