Tips and Tricks
For those in areas where it is legal to do so, here are some tips for your seeds and plants.
GERMINATION: Simple Paper Towel Method
1) Drop the seeds into a small glass\container filled with water(proper pH range is helpful). Let the seeds soak for 6-18 hours. Some people like to tap the seeds after several hours to check them, if they fall to the bottom they are soaked and ready to be transferred to the next stage. A soaked seed won’t always sink so it’s best to still transfer them after ~12 hours or so anyway. Dont let them soak for longer than 24 hrs.
2)After soaking, gently transfer the seeds to a folded wet paper towel. A Paper Towel sheet can be torn in quarters or thirds, then folded over to create a wallet\book like home for the seeds. make sure the paper towel is wet and moist, but not soaking wet, one does not want to drown the seeds in this step. Place the moist paper towel with seeds inside into a moist warm environment like a slightly cracked tupperware, a baggie laid flat with the end open, or clamshelled plates. You want this stage to be warm and moist for the seeds. mid to upper 70s is perfect for germination, into the 80s is a bit high and lower temps can slow popping.
3)After the tails pop from the shell, gently plant the germinated seeds into soil. Like many seeds, they can be planted about a seeds depth down(less than 1/8th of inch or so). Wet and moisten the soil around the seed after planting and make sure it stays moist, but not overly wet. Place the planted pot into an area with good light and some airflow, and proper timing on the lights(~18/6 light cycle). The seeds will break the surface within a few days. Keep watered but dont over-water.
HOW TO GROW AUTOFLOWERS:
Autoflowers have grown in popularity and many people are trying their hand at growing them, here are some tips to make your autoflower grow more successful.
Autoflowers are different from Photoperiod Cannabis because they do not require a light cycle change for their flowering to be triggered. This trait brings with it some other plant intelligence that is important to take into consideration if one wants to get the best yield from their autoflowers. Because Autoflowers only have so long to grow, often only 8-12 weeks, they have become very smart with their roots and how they react to root hormone stressors. Autos react to root stressors much more than photoperiods, so one wants to make sure to take this into account when starting them and transplanting. If the roots run up alongside a container early on in its life, or hits the bottom of a cup as a seedling, the plant is told “you don’t have much room, you better start flowering because this is all you’ll get.” If on the other hand the auto is provided ample aerated soil for the roots to rip through the plant is told “You got some room…grow grow grow while the sun shines you only have a couple months!” Growers can lessen harmful root hormone stressors by being VERY careful when transplanting, not letting seedlings overgrow in cups, or best of all is just planting the seed(pre-germinated or not) into its final pot from the get go.
If you are planting an Autoflower seed directly into its final pot, from the start, it is important to get the watering right. This is something that can take a time or two getting used to but will come quickly. What you want to do is water as though you are only watering the size of the pot they would be in if you were transplanting up as you go. So if you plant the seed in a 7 gallon pot right off the bat you don’t want to water and soak the whole 7 gallons of soil everytime you water, this would create potential problems in substrate areas that wont be touched by roots for a while. So instead water the 7 gallon pot with the water needed to support the root system as it grows. So like it was in a 1 gallon pot first, then in a 3 gallon pot for a bit, then up to the 7. You dont want to underdo it, but soaking a massive pot from the beginning isn’t good either and can create problems.
Autoflowers like to have their roots grow out extensively and aggressively early on, using soil to promote this is worthwhile. Adding extra perlite to your soil mix will make the roots happy and let them rip right through. You don’t want soil that gets mucky and stays wet for a while, you want aerated fairly porous soil.
Once the roots have established themselves a bit, it is good to remember the rule “Good soak, good dry”. If one waters too often the roots will not be promoted to grow into new media. If you make sure to do a good dry after a water the roots will aggressively colonize the new soil areas, thereby promoting a larger healthier canopy.
Autoflowers will begin to flower around week 3, many will begin mixing flower nutrients into the mix around this time.