Yo, what’s good my fellow growers? It’s ya boy Dan, coming at you with all the info you need to know about autoflowering cannabis strains. Now, if you’re a beginner just starting out in the game, you might be wondering what strains are best for your first grow. Well, let me tell you – autoflowers are where it’s at.
Autoflowering strains are some of the easiest to grow, making them ideal for newbies. They’re tough and can resist pests and diseases with ease, plus they’re ready to harvest much quicker than photoperiod varieties. Below, I’ll break down why autoflowers are the way to go for your first grow.
First off, let’s talk about what autoflowering cannabis is. These strains have special genetics that make them different from other types of weed. You’ve probably heard of sativa and indica strains – these subspecies of cannabis differ in their height, width, and leaf shape.
But there’s a third and lesser-known subspecies that gave rise to autoflowering genes: Cannabis ruderalis. This type of cannabis evolved in Russia and surrounding regions, where it learned to grow, flower, and reproduce quickly in order to complete its life cycle before winter hits.
Nowadays, breeders have crossed Cannabis ruderalis with other high-quality cultivars to create impressive autoflowering hybrids. These hybrids are much easier to grow, hardy as hell, and perfect for beginners.
Autoflowering cannabis plants flower based on an internal genetic timer. Unlike photoperiod strains that rely on external cues like a change in daylight hours to determine when to start producing buds, autoflowers switch from vegetative to flowering phase based on age alone. Most cultivars take around 8-11 weeks to complete their life cycle.
Now let’s get into why beginners should start with autoflowering strains.
For starters, autoflowers are inherently easier to grow than other strains. They’re speedy, tough as nails, and can deal well with less-than-ideal growing conditions. Here are some reasons why:
No Need to Change Light Cycle
Autoflowering strains won’t require you to change the light cycle to force them to flower indoors. Just set your timer to an 18/6 schedule throughout the entire grow and let the plants do the rest. Outdoors, autos will thrive no matter what time of year it is.
Quick Growth Cycle
Autoflowers grow incredibly fast. After germinating your seeds, you’ll be smoking your first batch of homegrown buds in roughly 10 weeks. As a newbie grower, the wait to taste your own flowers can be excruciating – but with autos, you won’t have to wait long.
Less Space Required
Most autoflowering plants reach up to around 40 inches tall max, making them perfect for small spaces. You can even use Low Stress Training (LST) techniques to keep them even smaller or set up a DIY grow in something as small as a converted 1-gallon bucket.
Depending on where you are in the world, you might want to keep your herb-growing hobby on the down-low. Autos are great for this because they’re easy to keep hidden due to their size and speed. You can even cultivate them outdoors as part of a guerrilla grow or raise them in something like modified computer towers.
Autoflowering strains are tough as hell and resistant to many issues that can arise during the growing process, such as pests or poor weather conditions.
Now don’t get me wrong – autos aren’t perfect. There are a few downsides that beginners should be aware of:
Difficult to Train
Autos don’t respond well to topping or high-stress training techniques because they grow so fast they need all their energy just to keep up. So while LST is still an option for controlling plant size and shape, other training methods should be avoided.
Generally Lower Yields
Although newer autos offer significantly more bud than they used to, their final yields still pale in comparison to photoperiod strains that can produce massive harvests. While next-gen autos can provide you with a decent haul (usually around 200g/plant), certain photoperiod varieties are known to produce 5 pounds/plant!
Less Potent Effects
While many autos near or surpass the 20% THC threshold these days, it’s still not common to see specimens with 28-30% THC like some photoperiod varieties can offer.
So there you have it folks – why beginners should start with autoflowering cannabis strains. Happy growing!