• Bad soil will have an unpleasant smell which is a red flag bad bacteria are present, causing the medium to be in an unfavorable acidic state.
• Good store-bought soil will have perlite or coco added allowing for the ideal balance of air to water retention. Avoid soils that do not have any perlite unless you are purposely buying pure worm castings.
Due to the process in which soil is naturally produced, there are a few factors to consider if you are going to prepare your own. If buying soil from a well-known brand, or your local garden center’s cheap and cheerful products then there are some things to consider.
• Drainage will be poor, causing the soil to become dense and heavy. This weight can restrict root growth and slow plant development down dramatically. The ratio of water retention, drainage, and wicking capabilities will all be out of balance.
Once this symbiosis occurs, then the only real requirement is for the soil to be adequately watered. This is basically the most simple form of organic growing that is perfect for those new to growing, it requires very little maintenance, and labor, as well as allowing the grower to work with a slow buffering organic process.
An incredible organic addictive that has amazing water-holding capabilities, an enormous surface area and is a source of pure carbon. Biochar is made by heating wood to such temperatures that the end result is a tiny, charcoal-black crystalline substrate. Due to the fact it is 100% carbon and has a shelf life of thousands of years, organic farmers use biochar with their soil to improve water retention allowing for less watering times, feeding the beneficial microorganisms a rich source of carbon, and helping save the planet.
• Worms aerate the soil as they crawl through eating up organic matter. If you see your soil full of worms then do not worry. Not only will these little helpers aerate the soil but will release beneficial bacteria from their gut as they do.
Soil consists of organic material that is in a permanent state of decomposition. Teaming with beneficial microorganisms that are responsible for converting nutrients to the plant’s roots, living soil is Mother Nature’s way of allowing plants to work in a symbiotic relationship. As the tiny microorganisms attach themselves to the root hairs, they are now able to access all the available nutrients and minerals found within the soil web.
Some of the downsides to using soil found in the ground is that it can be very dense once watered. Restricting root growth during the early stages of a Cannabis plant’s life is never advised, so adding other substrates into your living soil can be very advantageous.
When growing autoflowering Cannabis plants, it is very important to keep them supplied with nutrients in the form of hard foods, or liquid feeds. Knowing which
Cannabis can only uptake nutrients when the soil surrounding the root zone has the right pH value. The optimal pH range here is 6.0–7.0. For growing in other media, such as coco, the pH should be lower, ranging from 5.5–6.5. If the pH of your water is not optimal (which is likely the case if you use tap water) and plants can’t uptake nutrients, this leads to sick specimens. The right pH is particularly important when growing autoflowers as they don’t have time to recover. You want to ensure your plants get all the nutrients they need during their short period of growth.
After your cannabis plants have sprouted, don’t feed them for at least two weeks. Even then, you may only want to give nutrients if a plant shows signs of a deficit, like yellow leaves. Autoflowers grown in standard potting mixes should do well all the way to flowering with no additional nutrients. From here, you can start to administer bloom-specific solutions.
The other thing you should consider when selecting a strain is its growing characteristics. Some strains may be easier than others to manage, or are known to grow and flower exceptionally fast. If you’re still new to growing, or simply want to grow great bud in a very short time, you may want to take a look at our Easy Bud or Quick One.
Note: Depending on where you live, there may be legal limits on how many plants you can grow for personal use, so make sure you know how many plants you can have.
With autoflowers, you don’t need to worry about light schedules like you would with photoperiod plants. When growing autoflowers, you can just leave your lights on a 18/6 schedule (18h on, 6h off) for the entire grow, and can even grow them under 24 hours of light. Which schedule is “better” is open to debate. Many growers use the 18/6 schedule, as this gives good results while using less energy than a constant 24h cycle.
Make sure to provide your autoflowering ladies with good airflow. A gentle breeze of fresh air from a ventilator ensures humidity levels in your grow room stay low, which helps prevent the growth of mould. If your plants have dried leaves, which is not uncommon in the later stage of flowering, remove them for some better airflow around the buds.
You don’t need to harvest your entire plant all at once! Chances are, the top buds may be done earlier than some of the lower buds further away from your lights. These buds may need a little more time to ripen. So instead of taking your clippers and collecting them all, take only the topmost buds and allow the others a few days more to finish.
As for the right type of light, LEDs are now replacing HPS lighting in grow rooms and tents everywhere. They may be more expensive outright, but they use a lot less energy than HPS, so you will save massively on energy costs over time. If you’re using an LED grow light, you may want to see whether it is also equipped with UV lights. Some growers say that UV light makes for better taste and potency.
Autoflowers are a class of cannabis that has only thrived on the commercial market in the last few years. Today, they are taking the market by storm with their ease of growth and great results. With these tips for growing autoflowers indoors, you can make the most of your autoflowering grow-op!
Check out these tips to help optimise your indoor autoflowering cannabis grow-op. Avoid major mistakes, and provide plants with ideal environmental conditions.