Bottom line: The best time to plant will depend on the climate where you are growing. Ensure your plants can get plenty of sunlight, and make sure to avoid frost and extensive rain.
Photoperiodic cannabis relies on natural daylight hours for its vegetative and flowering stages. You normally plant seeds in late spring where they will veg until late summer when the shorter daylight hours force them into flowering. By the end of summer/early fall, they will be ready for harvest.
2. PREPARE YOUR PLANTING CONTAINER OR GROWING SPOT
Fortunately, autoflowering cannabis varieties are somewhat less prone to pests and insect infestations. In fact, some autoflowering varieties are bred to have a particularly strong resistance against mould and pests. Likewise, due to the short life cycle of autoflowers, insects often don’t have the time they need to become a serious problem. Otherwise, if you notice an insect infestation such as aphids or whiteflies, no need to go all synthetic about it: insecticidal soap and neem oil can deal with most common cannabis pests in a safe and natural way.
As for nutrients, here too you will want to be careful with how much you administer. You can always start with ½ or ¾ doses of nutes to make sure you’re not overloading your plants. You can also consider slow-release nutrients. These can be ideal when you grow outdoors in a location that you can’t always visit. When you amend your substrate with slow-release nutrients, your plant will get everything it needs, and you won’t need to bother feeding it. All you need to do is water.
If you grow outdoors, chances are your crops may also attract the attention of animals such as birds, cats, or deer. If you grow somewhere where cannabis-loving critters are roaming about, you may want to protect your plants with cages made from chicken wire or bamboo stakes.
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When you grow outdoor marijuana plants, y ou’ll want to grow them in a predictable, safe environment. Since the elements outside are not always predictable, starting your baby plants indoors is the best way to go. Young marijuana plants – whether they’re autoflowers or the more regular photosensitive plants – are alwa y s vulnerable in their first stages . This is especially true when going from a seed to a young seedling. Gardeners who coddle their baby plants a little bit are usually better off later in their plants’ lifetimes as well. G iving your grow season a healthy start is the best way to ensure you grow healthy plants that produce plenty of weed in the end.
It starts with germination . This is when the little plants pop out of their shells when given a bit of water. Germinating autoflower seeds is the same process as germinating other kinds of seeds. The differences come a little bit later. There are a few methods for germinating your seeds. You can put the seed directly in the soil, you can soak it in water until it cracks open, you can use a wet paper towel or cotton pad to do the job, or you can soak your seed in water then plant it in a peat moss jiffy pellet, which is the method we recommend.
Move your plant with the weather
G rab either two cotton pads or a paper towel and place some of your seeds (if you have more than one) into it (or between the two cotton pads) . S pray the towel or cotton pads with water so that they are moist. Make sure the temperature is always at about 72 degrees Fahrenheit and stick the seeds and their wrappings under a n upside-down bow l. You could also place them between two plates, or inside a Ziploc bag. The seeds will crack open in a few days, and you can then plant them in the soil. Be careful not to tear or damage root tips that may extend, as they can sometimes entangle in the paper or cotton fibers.
This is the method we recommend for customers at a Pot for Pot. Soak your seed in a glass of neutral pH (or bottled) water for 12-24 hours, but do not exceed 24 hours. If a root tip pops out, do not touch it with bare hands. Instead, use a clean spoon to move your seed. After soaking your seed, expand your jiffy pellet by soaking it in neutral pH (or bottled) water for about 10-15 minutes or until fully expanded. Drain excess water, then plant your soaked seed about one knuckle (1 cm) down into the pellet, being sure to cover it with pellet soil so the seed is in darkness. Keep your pellet moist but not wet, give it 2-7 days, and you should see green sprouting above the surface.
Since you’re planning to grow your autoflower plant(s) outside, it’s a good idea to get the plant gradually used to the outdoor conditions without shocking it. This is best done if the temperature outside is consistently warm enough (always above 40 degrees Fahrenheit), and it can take just a few days. Start by keeping your plant outside for just 3 hours, and make sure that outside spot isn’t too exposed. Gradually increase the amount of time, day by day, until you have reached 24 hours. At that point , your plant will be ready for constant exposure to the elements without getting a shock that could affect its health and yield.
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