Hey everyone if you guys have any grow related or even general questions relating to autoflowering cannabis, I would be MORE than happy to help answer your questions or use my resource pool to get you in touch with the right people that can help you. I’ve been growing autoflowers for years, have grown hundreds of them and work with some of the largest auto breeders in the world!
I’m currently writing a comprehensive grow guide on autoflowering cannabis that will be available for download/purchase hopefully near the end of 2018 as well!
I’m always here to help and there are no questions considered too mundane, small or stupid so ask away and let’s destroy the myths behind the autoflower (these are not your uncles Lowryders anymore!)
Have a great day!
Are autoflowering plants slightly smaller due to the ruderalis genes, or are they normally sized?
Hey good morning @Hunter !
The size of autoflowers can be influenced by several factors, genetics being a primary. When we think of autoflowering cannabis on a consumer level we typically are talking about hybridized cannabis sativa/indica crossed with cannabis ruderalis. Ruderalis itself is typically defined as a short, scraggly plant (low THC, high CBD,) and the telltale visual sign of a large bud on a single stalk. “Ruderal” by definition means “to grow in a waste environment” to give you an idea of why it’s named as such and typically grows in harsher climate/environments (origins believed to be in the Central Asia area and surrounding boundaries where it has adapted to longer daylight hours.)
Some of the better or more progressive autoflower breeders will actually work to remove as much of the ruderalis cross (once autoflowering has been stabilized) and focus on selectively breeding more consumer-appealing photoperiod characteristics, such as larger size, better growth structure, higher potency, etc. The autoflowers we see today are typically much larger in size, more consistent growth patterns, and have potency that scales and compares to many photoperiod strains (and more lab results to start backing up some of those claims even!)
There are some factors that can be limiting for size when comparing autoflowers to photoperiod strains that are important to point out. Autoflowers have a limited life span with a definite vegetative period. They sexually mature and flower out based on their genetics, not light cycle. I strongly emphasize to growers how important each stage of growth is for autoflowers, as it is the optimization of each stage that leads to maximization. Any amount of damage, stress, or repair time induced to the plant is time taken away from optimal growth. Environment and experience of the grower of course also strongly plays into the outcome and result of the grow. The size of the container they grow in will factor in, typically 3-5 gallons minimum is recommended for most autoflowers grown indoors and people are noting filling up roots in containers even much larger (mileage varies.)
There is no comparison in size to a photoperiod plant vegged indoors all winter and thrown outside to finish, but considering the growth, size, and yield we’re starting to see from seed to harvest in 70-90 days average, I do think the work is being put in to give autoflowers a viable place in most growers garden and even gaining some very much potential commercial viability.
I hope that helps Hunter!
i think I recognise a couple of those pics
I am a licensed grower in south east alaska I have had limited experience with auto flower varieties I would like info on the best strains for commercial purposes
Are you growing indoors or outdoors? Greenhouse? Warehouse?
Are you looking for high THC? High CBD? Certain ratios?
Are you looking for colored genetics?
Your needs and the growing conditions you’re providing may change the strain/breeder suggestions so any additional information you can provide would be great!
Further, I’d like to introduce to you @DutchPassionTony , I’ve known Tony for years now from my autoflower forum and Dutch Passion has quite the history and reputation for both photoperiods and autoflowering cannabis. I’m sure he’d be more than happy to help make some recommendations as well and we’ve always had great success with their strains and lineup during our testing on our site. In fact the top two pictures on my first post in here are Dutch Passion autoflower strains grown by autoflower growers on AFN, Auto Glueberry and Auto Ultimate, respectively, the former yielding I believe over 500 grams dry yield and the latter over 1000 grams dry yield from seed to harvest.
I’d be more than happy to help assist you or provide other examples of breeders work and grower submitted documentation if you’d like to see more work on present day autoflowers! There are grower submitted lists of average yields from top breeders if you’d like a grower perspective on what some of the larger producers are as well.
Let me know and let’s help you make some good decisions on what to grow that’s going to be best for your setup!
thanks for your quick response I grow indoors and greenhouses both the market here is best for high T HC products The climate in southeast Alaska is much like western wash and ore but wetter with cooler summers mold can be an issue I have seeds that I made from autoflower strains I obtained some time back but havent yet been able to prove up Alaska is an excellent test climate for auto strains as the days are long in summer but daylight is gone before regular strains can finish
Good morning @jimstrassburg !
I reached out to two of my associates, one of which lives in Alaska himself and the other of which lives Alberta, Canada and both grow autoflowers in those climates.
The grower in Alberta says he’ll do a June planting for an August harvest. He said he let a patch of autos and photos go until September outdoors (autoflowers love the longer summer days) and many of them (the autos) actually survived the first frosts and snow while his photoperiod plants all died off (it is important to note the growth rate does slow dramatically the colder it gets, much like how a photoperiod plant would react to cold temps.) The ruderalis nature actually makes autoflowers hardier than a lot of photoperiods in some cases. “Ruderal” by definition means “grows in wastelands,” so it’s got a pretty good bark to go with her bite when it comes to the outdoors and holding up to mold/rot (they aren’t invincible, just naturally more acclimated.)
The grower in Alaska I talked to (who grows autos pretty much exclusively at this point) said with almost 22 hours of daylight during solstice that autoflowers do GREAT outside there. His suggestion was planting around Memorial Day weekend to avoid worry of a late frost (which would put your harvest window in August) and would save you the mold problems associated with your September rains.
Since you’re growing indoors you’ll have a bit more control to play with as well, so long story short yes autos would be great for your setup and likely easily adaptable.
I’ll work on a list of known large producing autoflower strains for you as well. When it comes to THC testing, the mileage there is the same as your photoperiods but we are seeing more grower submitted results from labs and autoflowers are easily testing into the 20-25% range. I’ve attached two examples that were shared with me to give you an idea:
I’ll be in touch soon!
I’ll be going live on the Adam Dunn Show this afternoon to talk about autoflowers if anyone cares to pop in for a listen!
Hope you have a great show!
Do you have information regarding auto flower seed suppliers inside the Washington I-502 system? I’m a licensed I-502 grower and we have to buy all seeds and clones from inside the I-502 system.
Hey Bob good afternoon!
Let me put in a few inquiries for you with my resource pool; I know of a few seed banks on the coast there but whether or not they meet any compliancy needs you may have with the state is another question in itself (seed selling online can be dicey.) Let me put out some feelers to see what can be done or found for you!
Also while I’m looking here, I’d like to introduce you to Tony with Dutch Passion @DutchPassionTony , Dutch Passion is very popular breeder for autoflowers and he’d be a great brain to pick if you have more specific questions on autoflower genetics (they’ve got some history in the market!) He’d also be able to answer if they have any offerings in your state.
Would it be a bold question to ask a ballpark figure on how many autoflowers you’d be growing? Can you be legally gifted autoflower seeds there (not trying to circumvent the system, just trying to understand exactly what is allowed and not?) Appreciated!
I’d be looking at a planting of around 1500 to 2000, I think. We couldn’t be gifted seeds at the farm, but I could be as a private medical patient, I believe. My hope is to find a supplier of commercial amounts. Of course, I guess I should get familiar with autoflowers in general before venturing commercially, but I’ve begun to hear quite a few whisperings about using them up here in Washington. We’re in western Washington, between Seattle and the Olympic Mountains. We have great summers from May through August. April and September are changeable, but usually nice weather. October begins the rainy season, which lasts through March.
I’ve got two potential short term solutions for you Bob; my good friend Dan actually lives in Washington and he’s done private/personal breeding of autoflowers for years, he only uses regular (non feminized) stock so I’m not sure if that would be an issue for you or not, but if you would want to dip your toes into auto growing I know he’s got a few hundred each of two of his strains he’s worked for awhile. He said himself it’s not really going to be the commercial size you’d likely get or want out of some other larger autoflower genetics, but he’d be more than willing to gift you a nice amount if you’d want to get started (we like getting people to grow autos, it’s not a problem haha!) I’m chatting with him at the moment (he’s not on Growers Network yet,) and he’s going to get some pictures over to me of his stock so you’d have an idea of what it would be.
The other short term solution I had was that I often get offered bulk seed from some of our seed breeders on AFN. I haven’t collected on some of it in awhile and have some amassed, but if I can facilitate it I’d be more than happy to get you as close to that 1500-2000 mark (these would be feminized seeds as well) if you’d be willing to document it for me on here? I want to see what that looks like. Just straight up, plain and simple. If you’d do that for me, I’ll work on making that happen for you!
The long term here is that I’m also having Dan reach out to his contacts there to see what retail shops would fall into that compliancy and if we can get you easier access (and more compliant) means to bulk (honestly maybe not a bad idea for us to start compiling a list of compliant shops for seeds as well!)
I’ll post up pictures here more hopefully this evening or in the morning of some of the autos being offered!
Good morning Bob @blacksmith-farms!
Following up with you here,
- I spoke with my good friend Dan from Washington state (a fellow staffer at the Autoflower Network) and he’s been doing autoflower breeding for years. I explained your situation to him and he said he’d be more than willing (and actually honored) to donate you some autoflower seeds (they would be non-feminized,) if you wanted to dip your feet into it to get a feel at least for the growth, how they grow, etc.
He’s got two different strains he wanted to offer,
White JEM, taken to F8
ALF #3, taken to F3
These are personal crosses of his he’s worked for many years, though not necessarily breed for commercial purposes/appeal (you may be surprised on the high though, I’ve grown his White JEM before and it was pleasantly strong (said as a heavy cannabis user!))
Not only is he willing to donate them to you (he’s got hundreds of each he said,) he looked up your website online and said he lives about 25 minutes from you haha! He’ll drive to you and deliver them himself, you could chat with him about his recommendations (never a bad thing to hear it from the breeder himself!) and even provide you with some ongoing support/consulting on the autoflower growth if you ever had questions or wondered “why is this happening?” I’d also be more than willing to help you with your questions here as well so you’re looking at a resource pool that looks more like an ocean when it comes to autoflowers!
Let me know how you feel about that and I’ll work on making the connection for you two!
- Spoke with yet another grower friend from Washington and this is a quote from his message sent:
“Your friend in Washington State can call the washington offices of the cannabis board to find out how to bring in seeds. I talked with them a few times on the phone about a retail license a few years ago and they were very helpful.”
I looked it up for you here and I think this would be a good start for your questions as well, so give them a shout:
WA State Liquor and Cannabis Board
Address: 3000 Pacific Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501
Hours: Open today · 8AM–5PM
Phone: (360) 664-1600
I hope that helps you out, let’s get you growing autoflowers and we’ll find a solution for that long term together!
I’m planning to start my first autoflower in April, and had a question about light type. I’m finishing up a photoperiod strain now. I vegged with a T5 and switched to an HPS for flower. Should I do the same for autoflower or just use the HPS for the entire life of the plant? If switching light type is the way to go, when should that be done? The seed supplier said grow period is 10 - 12 weeks.
Hey @benMGC , I’d be more than happy to advise!
A lot of the same principles for growing photoperiod/full-cycle plants still can apply to autoflowers.
You’d be fine using your same setup right now; using the T5 to veg and the HPS for flowering. Typically you’d want to switch the spectrum when your vertical growth visibly stops/tops out (not at first sign of pre-flowering, often there’s still a lot of veg growth going on (I’ve had pre-flowers at 7 days from seed with some auto strains!) I’d suggest doing the same when switching into bloom nutrient if you’re feeding, wait until vertical growth stops before switching or you may end up with some premature deficiencies going into bloom.
You can grow from start to finish using that HPS light if you wanted as well, the spectrum (in my opinion) typically keeps the plants a bit shorter, more squat but tighter nodal spacing. I use COB lighting for some of my growing and use a 3500k spectrum from start to finish (nice middle of the road spectrum.)
Who is the seed supplier if you don’t mind me asking? A commercial company? 10-12 weeks sounds pretty accurate, 70-90 days from seed is a pretty good average for most autoflowers (taking into consideration some grower preference/choice.) Should be a good yielder if they recommend longer!
Thanks for the info. The supplier is Nirvana Seeds.