How does the pH dictate the yields, you ask? Well, when the pH falls below 5.5, plants cannot absorb certain nutrients like Calcium and Magnesium even if they are present at the roots. The same logic applies when the pH rises above 7. Suffice it to say that all the nutrients in the world cannot help the plant recover if the pH is not right. With an imbalance in the pH, the nutrients cannot be absorbed and the plants produce very little yields. Therefore, check the pH constantly to ensure that the plants are healthy.
For instance, if your nutrient chart recommends 5ml/liter, start with 2.5ml or 1.25 ml (1/2 or 1/4 strength) and watch how the plant responds. Some autoflowers, like the Tangie ‘Matic or Gorilla Glue, for example, are voracious feeders and require a stronger dose, but make sure you start with big doses only after experimenting with half-strength nutes at first.
Due to a shortage of time, not every training technique working for other cannabis plants suit autoflowers. For instance, HST or High-Stress-Techniques work very well on photoperiod plants, but autoflowers prefer Low-Stress-Techniques or LST.
Autoflowers grow even when they get only 12 hours of light from seed to harvest. They are tough and adapt in any situation; however, they thrive when they receive 18 hours of light and 6 hours of darkness. Some growers provide 24 hours of light from the beginning until harvest, but it’s not recommended because plants need some rest and time to recover like the rest of us.
If you’re adamant on transplanting, though, make sure that the medium is exactly the same. For instance, if your seedling is growing in a potting mix of coco coir and compost, it should be transplanted to another container containing the exact same mix. Water the seedling container a few hours before transplanting to ensure that the soil is moist. There’s a high risk of hurting the roots when the soil is too dry or wet.
Whether you Top, FIM, or LST the plants, autoflowers will perform well. However, training techniques must be employed only on healthy plants so the plant has time to recover from the initial stress. Unhealthy plants cannot be trained since there’s no time when it comes to autos.
Cannabis growers are always on the hunt to understand the tips and tricks to maximize yields in autoflowers. Most growers have the talent, but they lack information. And that’s a serious handicap when growing autoflowers. Autoflowers grow fast and produce yields in a short span of time, but that comes only with experience. You could grow them just like photoperiod plants, but there are several stark differences.
You have to program a timer that controls the amount of solution and frequency your plants get fed. When the timer turns on, a water pump is activated, watering your plant for the exact amount of time you programmed, not a drop more, not a drop less. Normally they are watered in increments of 15 mins and for a duration of around 4 min. You don’t even have to be there to feed them. Ideally, you would be just checking if the system is working properly and that’s it.
As we know, oxygen is essential for plants, so you need to use an air stone in this setup to keep the solution oxygenated.
Ebb and flow works by placing our reservoir under the growing bed. The water pump turns on to fill the growing bed (where the plants are) every 15 min with our solution. When it reaches its higher level, the pump turns off and the solution is then drained through a pipe.
Hydro setups: Wick System
No matter which hydroponic system you choose you’ll need:
The reservoir has to have a lid so your solution doesn’t evaporate. You’ll need another reservoir to hold water where you can test and adjust pH. We recommend having a third one in case one of the other two breaks. The reservoir containing the nutrient solution should be insulated so you can control the temperature.
Growing hydroponically consists of feeding your plant and maintaining good conditions for the roots to grow in, just like when growing in coco or soil so any strain will do exceptionally well in a hydro setup.
A wick system (aka wicking) is another method used to grow cannabis hydroponically but unlike the other methods cited before, this one is relatively low-maintenance, easy to use, and can be done for cheap so it’s recommended for growers that want to start growing hydroponically but want to start with a simple setup.
Please can anybody tell me if there are any advantages / disadvantages of growing autoflowering strains in a hydroponic sysytem? Reason i ask is i have had 2 successful grows in hydro and have been given some auto seeds (Little Cheese) and want to know do they have to be done in soil, or can i do them in hydro?
oh yea, and what was said regarding the nutes, be easy! I don’t know your level of grow knowledge, but if you don’t already, learn NPK and all of the micro nutes so that you know what they are and how they can work for and against your plant. Screw ups are less forgiving in hydro, I’ve learn first hand, and the whole time I was organizing and prepping my grow I was like "ah, this will be a piece of cake, add this, add that, stabilize, your good." Haha, was I wrong.
A very curious Mad Morph.
Week 2 – 200ppm
Week 3 – 350ppm
Week 4 – 500ppm
Week 5 – 650ppm
Week 6 – 700ppm
Week 7 – 800ppm
Week 8 – FLUSH
I am running some cream caramel autos in an aeroflo36 unit. I have made a few mistakes here and there, like not supplementing cal/mag (especially with using 900W LED. ), too much nutes, air handler went out, and my hanna 98129 has failed me twice so far, requiring replacements both times and being left without a way to measure ec/ppm/ph/water temp.