Autoflowering cannabis varieties are in high demand today because they allow you to get a crop in record-short time. This is especially true for those who prefer to grow in the outdoors – autoflowers are unpretentious and make it possible to grow bushes even in cool temperate belts with short summers. In hot regions, autoflowers can produce two crops of fragrant buds a year.
One of the important points in growing autoflowers is to transplant the sprout into the ground in the open air. This is because autoflowering cannabis plants are genetically programmed to have a very long growing season, unaffected by the amount of daylight hours. Their period of vigorous growth and branching is very short, and they will not have time to recover if they are stressed during this time. In the transition to flowering, their growth automatically stops, and there is a risk that the bushes will remain weak and lifeless, in the end not being able to realize the yield potential specified by the producer.
To avoid the stress of transplanting autoflowers, you should use one of the germination methods that progressive growers recommend.
Sprouting autoflowers in cubes of mineral wool
Mineral wool for germination is a cube-shaped material that is stiff and uniform. These properties of mineral cubes allow for an even distribution of moisture and nutrients, important for proper growth and development of sprouts.
Sprouting seeds in mineral wool cubes is very simple – the growers have to do a few simple steps:
Before planting the seeds, it is necessary to abundantly moisten the cube. Some growers advise to soak it for 24 hours in pre-period water with a pH of 5.5-6.5.
A cannabis seed is placed in a hole in the center of the mineral cube, with the pointy end facing down.
To create a greenhouse effect, the mineral cube should be covered with polyethylene film on top.
The cube with the seed is placed in a warm place. Periodically you will need to remove the plastic wrap for a while to allow the seed to get some air in. If the cube dries out, you will need to moisten it in time (you can check if it needs moisture by pressing lightly).
When the sprout appears, the foil should be completely removed.
The last step – transplanting into the soil – is done when the sprout is a little stronger. For transplanting, it is not necessary to disturb the roots of the new bush – the mineral cube is completely placed in the prepared hole and necessarily covered with soil so that the mineral wool was not visible.
Peat tablets for sprouting awns
Sprouting in peat tablets is another progressive method that allows you to gently transplant autoflowers in the outdoors. Peat pellet is compressed peat of small fraction with the addition of minerals and nutrients.
This type of germination reduces to zero the probability of autoflowering stress during transplanting. The advantages of such sprouting include also quick emergence of seedlings, affordable cost of the material and possibility to save space in case of sprouting of a large number of plants.
Sprouting in peat pellets includes a few simple steps:
First of all, you need to choose the right tablets for cannabis with a pH level of 5.5-6.5.
Before planting itself, the tablet should be moistened with water. This will increase the volume of the material several times. There is no need to be afraid of excessive moistening, because the peat will not absorb any extra water.
The cannabis seed should be placed in a special depression in the center of the tablet and slightly covered with peat mass.
To create a greenhouse effect, you can cover the seed with a disposable plastic cup or food film on top, periodically aerating until the sprout appears.
Once the sprout has emerged, it should be provided with good light and wait for the plant to become slightly stronger. Transplanting photoperiodic varieties of marijuana is usually done in a week-maximum two after the emergence of sprouts, but with fast autoflowers better not to delay and put a peat tablet with sprout in the ground after 2-3 days.
The plant is transplanted into a prepared and moistened hole entirely – for this purpose it is not necessary to take out the root. The surface around the bush should be compacted.
Are peat cups suitable for avittles?
Another option for sprouting cannabis seeds is cone-shaped peat cups made from compressed peat. The advantages of these containers include a high safety for the root system. When the right time of planting a sprout in the outdoors approaches, the bushes are moved directly with the cup, which eliminates the risk of even minimal injury.
But despite the advantages, many experienced growers do not recommend peat cups for germinating autoflowering varieties:
First, the containers take too long to decompose when transplanted into the ground for autoflowers, which have an accelerated life cycle. It turns out that the sprawling roots of bushes can meet on their way an obstacle in the form of a dense wall of compacted peat. This can inhibit the development of the bushes.
Secondly, peat cups are often found to be defective – water can stagnate in them, leading to rotting roots and plant disease.
By sprouting autoflowering strains in mineral wool cubes or in peat pellets, growers can take the stress out of replanting and develop the marijuana plants’ genetic potential for yield and power to 100%.