Back in the days, autos were deemed inferior to photoperiod plants. Since autoflowering varieties have shorter life spans and, therefore, smaller in stature by default, the plants were thought to be low-yielders. However, continuous innovations in genetic engineering eventually fine-tuned its qualities.
With Homegrown Cannabis Co.'s high-yielding autoflowering seeds, growers could expect a plentiful harvest - one that could rival a photoperiod variety's productive capacity - without waiting for long periods of flowering.
Autoflower vs. Photoperiod Plants
Cannabis plants classified as either Sativa or Indica are photoperiod by nature. These varieties rely on lighting cues to trigger its transition to the flowering stage. Depending on the strain, the whole development can take as long as 12 to 24 weeks (3 to 6 months). Given this lengthy period of growth, the plants could reach heights well over 6 ft and produce an average of 300 to 500 grams of buds.
In contrast, autoflowering plants do not depend on light cycles. Instead, it blooms automatically after spending about 4 weeks in the vegetative phase, then it flowers for another 6 weeks or so. With autos, the coveted buds can be harvested in as little as 10 weeks (2 1/2 months) after germination, which is about two times faster than its photoperiod kin. The tradeoff, however, is that it rarely ever exceeds 4 feet in height. This means that due to its compact stature and short lifespan, it can only produce 100 to 200 grams of buds on average. Nonetheless, since autos can be sown and harvested twice or thrice a year, it still ends up outperforming the yield of photoperiod varieties.
Maximizing an Auto's Yields
Homegrown Cannabis Co. prides itself with top of the line autoflowering seeds that are highly coveted - and for good reasons. For one, it is easier to rear to since it only needs tending for about 10 weeks, and managing light schedules is one thing off the to-do list. These plants also boast robust resistance against molds, pests, and diseases courtesy of the sturdy Ruderalis genes. More importantly, several generations of genetic engineering have refined and enhanced its productive capacity to the point that it yields like a photoperiod plant - or even more - but in a much shorter duration.
Nonetheless, while sowing highly productive autoflowering seeds is an excellent start, knowing how to properly nurture the sprouts ensures that it will achieve its full potential. To ensure a copious harvest, consider applying the following techniques:
- Optimize Temperature and Humidity Levels
Keep the grow space conducive by maintaining temperature levels between 24 to 30°C. Meanwhile, to prevent inviting molds into the garden, it is best to keep the humidity levels between 40 to 50%.
- Use Appropriate Training Techniques
High-stress training (HST) techniques such as pruning and supercropping are useful in boosting bud and trichome production. However, this method is not suitable for autoflowering plants. Given its short lifespan, autos should not be subjected to high stress and injuries as it would have no time to recover and, thus, end up having reduced yields. Instead, opt for low-stress training techniques such as bending. Just keep in mind to do it carefully and sparingly.
Nutrients are vital to a plant's development. When given in the right amounts, it boosts growth to exponential levels. In contrast, excessive amounts end up doing more harm than good as it causes nutrient burn.
When it comes to autos, it is best to feed it lightly. After all, these small plants do not need as much nutrients as photoperiod plants because it spends so little time in the vegetative stage.
- Provide Adequate Light Exposure
Plants use light energy to make buds. That said, more exposure to light equates to more energy for making buds. Photoperiod plants require 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness during the flowering stage. Otherwise, it will stay in the vegetative phase. This means that it can only be exposed to a maximum of 12 hours of light.
Autos, on the other hand, do not have such requirements. Hence, indoor growers could expose it to LED/ HPS grow lights for up to 24 hours if they wish. However, in general, the 18-6 light-dark schedule is more ideal as it maximizes yields while conserving electricity.
The 4 Best High Yielding Autos
Homegrown Cannabis Co.'s autoflowering cannabis strains may not grow as tall as their photoperiod counterparts, but these small plants can inevitably produce copious harvest nonetheless. Such is a testament to its superior genetics, which took years of development and stabilization to perfect.
Do note, though, that while sowing seeds with superior genetics is an excellent start, the final yield can still be influenced by factors such as the experience of the grower, training techniques, and grow lights used, as well as the nutrients and sustenance provided.
- Northern Lights x Big Bud Autoflower
Yield: 600 grams per square meter / 100 grams per plant
Flowering duration: 11 to 13 weeks from seed to harvest
Northern Lights is a quintessential strain known for its insane trichome production. Big Bud, on the other hand, made a reputation for its heavy yields. With these traits in mind, expert breeders at Homegrown Cannabis Co. crossed the two with the finest Ruderalis strain in hopes of creating a genetic masterpiece - which is precisely what happened. The resulting strain - Northern Lights x Big Bud Autoflower - does not disappoint with a copious harvest of oversized colas speckled with a heavy coat of glistening trichomes. As if that is not impressive enough, it is also finishes flowering at a breakneck rate of 11 to 13 weeks from germination.
In terms of effects, this strain is perfect for cannabis enthusiasts with a penchant for an immense soothing sensation. With up to 22% THC content, this Indica-heavy variety ensures a head-to-toe relaxation that inevitably catapults the user to clouds of euphoria.
Yield: 600 grams per square meter / 50-100 grams per plant
Flowering duration: 9 to 10 weeks from seed to harvest
The three-way matrimony between the legendary Girl Scout Cookies, Cherry Pie, and an unnamed Ruderalis strain gave birth to Wedding Cake Autoflower - an incredibly fast flowering progeny that is as tasty as the confectionary it was named after. Apart from its delectable taste and aroma, this Indica-leaning variety is highly coveted for its plentiful yields of trichome-laden buds. It is the perfect choice for growers who expect a hefty harvest but lack patience as it only takes 9 to 10 weeks of maturation before it yields up to 600 grams per square meter of incredibly resinous colas.
Effect-wise, it maintains an average potency of 20% THC, which stimulates the mind with a euphoric buzz, mental clarity, and an overwhelming sense of happiness. Eventually, though, the cheery high transcends into a pronounced body stone that inspires laziness and obliterates tensions from the muscles.
Yield: 425-650 grams per square meter / 50-350 grams per plant
Flowering duration: 9 to 10 weeks
Devil XXL Autoflower is a highly productive auto hybrid that hails from the union of two of the most epic strains in Homegrown Cannabis Co.'s carefully curated seed catalog - Big Devil #2 and Jack Herer Auto. It is a crowd favorite among growers because of its exceptional features, including reliable genetics, fortified resistance against pests and diseases, incredible potency, and rapid growth cycle. With this autoflowering variety, growers need not wait for long to harvest buds as it completes maturation in as little as 9 to 10 weeks.
This plant is not only a delight to cultivate but also a treat to the senses when toked. Within moments of dosing, it imparts a clearheaded high that helps clear cobwebs in mind and improve overall productivity.
Yield: 500 grams per square meter / 120-200 grams per bud
Flowering duration: 8 to 9 weeks
A gem that thrives in all sorts of environment, Homegrown Cannabis Co.'s Banana Kush Autoflower is the perfect choice for growers looking for a plentiful harvest without waiting long. This strain is well-loved for its unprecedented growth rate as it only takes 8 to 9 weeks to develop from humble seeds to mature, bud-bearing plants. And, despite being such a compact plant, it produces at least 500 grams of top-quality buds per square meter. Outdoors, each sun-grown plant yields approximately 120 to 200 grams of buds per plant. Do note, though, that Banana Kush is susceptible to molds, so it is best to always keep an eye on moisture levels within the growing area.
When dosed, this strain's tropical-flavored vapors exert a mind-clearing cerebral stimulation immediately followed by a profoundly relaxing body buzz. Given its 23% THC potency, it is best to dose lightly, lest the effects become overwhelming.