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Autoflowers and Nitrogen

Date 17th Sep 2011   Comments 1 Comment »

Nitrogen (N) is one of the three main elements that also include Phosphorus(P)and Potassium(K) that cannabis plants require to grow and produce leafs, stems and flowers. Nitrogen is maybe the most important element that any plant requires because it is mainly responsible for stem, leaf growth, chlorophyll production, and it is also a big compound of amino acids. Nitrogen is also a part of the DNA nucleic acid which contains all the vital information about the plant and allows it to grow and reproduce.

Nitrogen can be found in almost any part of the plant but it is most abundant in the young leafs and early flowers. This essential nutrient can be up to 4 % of the above ground plant tissue and that is the most abundant nutrient if we don’t count carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Nitrogen is the largest mobile element that cannabis requires and that means that it can travel anywhere in the plant from leafs to stems and even in roots.

 

 

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Cannabis male pollen collection, storage

Date 4th Sep 2011   Comments 3 Comments »

autoflower-cannabis-male-flower-sackIn the last post we found out how to pollinate a female cannabis plant but if we want to use the controlled pollination method at first we need to collect the male pollen. This male pollen collection can be done in a number of different ways but I will explain just some of them.

 

Simple shaking method

The easiest way to collect male pollen is to just take a matured male cannabis plant and shake it on a peace of paper or any other flat surface. If you are shaking the plant and nothing happens you can let the plant grow a little more and then shake it again. When you have a good amount of pollen collected on this surface you can just pour it in some jar or other container. This method is the easiest but many growers can’t apply this method because their grow room is small and they don’t want to grow male plant in the grow area where the females are also growing. If you let the male grow out till it is ready for pollen collection then all of your female cannabis plants will also be pollinated and in case you don’t want that to happen you should apply other methods.

Another version of this method is to cut of a branch of the male autoflower plant and put it between two newspapers and let is dry out. Pollen sacks will burst open and you will be able to collect the pollen from the peace of paper that was beneath the plant.

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Why Autoflowers stretch and how to avoid it?

Date 18th Aug 2011   Comments 14 Comments »

In nature plants tend to stretch in order to outgrow other plants and get more light to survive but indoors especially growing autoflowering plants stretching can be a bad thing. Most grower that are using day neutral cannabis tend to have some kind of limitations like grow space or not enough light, ventilation and if a plants stretches too much then these limitations become very obvious and you wont be able to get as much dope as you expected.

What is stretching?

Cannabis stretching basically is the vertical growth of the plant and if it gets out of control the plant can stretch so much that it won’t be able to hold itself and will fall to the ground from its own weight.

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Autoflower plants and the PH scale

Date 11th Aug 2011   Comments 8 Comments »

What is PH?

PH or the PH scale is the measurement that measures how acidic or alkaline something is. This PH scale starts from 0 being the most acidic and ends at 14 being the most alkaline. The PH of 7 is neutral and each number above or below that measures the alkaline or acidic increases 10 times. This measurement doesn’t measure the exact level of the PH but rather the intensity of alkalinity or acidity.

How to measure PH?

ph tester stripsdigital PH testerPH measurement can be done in two ways. The first and the cheapest way is to buy one time use PH paper tester strips. They are cheap but you will need a lot of them if you need to measure your water each time you are watering your plants. The second and the most effective way is to buy an electronic PH tester which will cost you form 20$ to 50$. I myself use the Milwaukee Instruments pH600AQ witch is at the cheap end of the scale but it works perfectly.

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Autoflowering marijuana and humidity

Date 10th Aug 2011   Comments No Comments »

In nature cannabis ruderalis plants live in areas where there are short summers and little rainfall and they stay alive at those conditions so we can assume that these plants are very strong and they don’t love high humidity. This statement is absolutely true and you should be more careful with autoflowering plants and humidity comparing them to the regular cannabis plants.

What is humidity?

Humidity basically is the amount of water vapor that is in the air. There always is an absolute humidity or the maximum amount of water vapor that the air can hold at a specific temperature. The real or the relative humidity is measured in percentage from this absolute humidity value.

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Transplanting autoflower plants

Date 8th Aug 2011   Comments 5 Comments »

Autoflower cannabis plants have a very short life cycle and they use all their power to develop buds and grow them as fast as possible. Some of these small marijuana plants can be ready to harvest in just 60 days so there is no room for any stress that would stunt them. Basically autoflower plants are best to start in their final pots and not to stress them and slow down their development in any way.

Transplanting autoflowering plants can stress them and stunt their growth by 1 to 7 days and if the plant only lives for 60 days then that means you can cut almost 10 % of its life time by just transplanting it.

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Watering autoflowering cannabis

Date 5th Aug 2011   Comments 25 Comments »

autoflowering cannabisFast growing auto flowering cannabis plants can use a lot of water but over watering will slow down the growth and can lead to a number of diseases and fungus.

So first of all we need to understand why autoflower cannabis plants need water?  Well basically water is the plants fluid of life and it takes up more than 80 % of the plants total weight. When you water the soil water dissolves nutrients and then that nutrient rich solution is absorbed by the roots and transferred upwards to the stem and eventually to leafs. This flow of water from the plants roots to leaves is called the transpiration stream because when the water gets to leafs more than 99 % of this water evaporates into the air. The remaining water is used by the plant in the photosynthesis process.

What water to use for autoflowers?

Before watering the plant we need to know what kind of water to use. Basically any tap water will do just fine and many growers all around the world use plain tap water and grow beautiful plants. One more solution is to use rainwater, because it is almost pure from salts and other chemicals and cannabis plant will love it. Before watering the plants with tap or any other water you should let it sit for couple of days in open top container. This process will allow the water temperature to reach the temperature of the surrounding air and the autoflower plants like to be watered with water that is not too cold or not too hot because cold water can shock the plants roots and stun the growth for a wile.
When the water sits in the open top container one more process occurs and that is the dissipation of Chlorine which can harm your plants if it is found in high concentration in your water when you apply it to your plants. This chlorine dissipation happens by releasing bubbles so for the first day or two you will be able to see bubbles form on the container walls and when they are gone this water is ready for usage. After your water has sat for several days in the open top container and is ready to sue you also need to check it”s PH level!
The PH of the water you give your autoflowers should be around 6.5 to 7.0 but a little variance to each side won’t damage them that much.

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Autoflowering cannabis soil

Date 2nd Aug 2011   Comments 5 Comments »

Last time we found how to find the perfect pot size for autoflowering plants and now we need to see what to put in that pot.

Almost all autoflowering cannabis plants are very tough and can grow in almost any soil but how well they can grow is another question.

Most of the commercial cross-breed hybrids are very picky and can stay very short and yield very small amounts if they don’t receive adequate soil or soilless mix. When buying your soil/soilless mix you need to think about some aspects that are involved in the plants well being.

Light or heavy

First thing you need to know before buying your growing medium is – autoflower plants love to grow in “airy” growing medium. Airy means that the growing medium should be very spongy and allow the root mass to penetrate it well. If the soil is not “light” enough then the roots will struggle to penetrate the ground and that will stress the plant. Heavy soil will also stress the autoflower plant by not allowing the roots to get enough oxygen and not allowing the water to penetrate the soil, leaving some dry spots in the middle. If the growing mix is too “light” then roots won’t be able to hold, support the plant and it will easily roll over. Too light soil will also struggle to hold water and will dry up in short amount of time.

This means that you should look for a growing medium that is airy, but if you can’t get a hold of such a thing then ad some Perlite to increase the water drainage and root penetration.

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Pot size for autoflowering cannabis

Date 1st Aug 2011   Comments 11 Comments »

When buying a pot (growing container) for your autoflowering cannabis grow you need to know how small or big to get it and that can be a bit tricky. There are many opinions out there of how big or small should the pot be but the truth is that no two plants are exactly the same and before choosing the right pot size you need to think about some aspects that affects your decision.

 

Regular cannabis strains have a great rules determining the pot size and they are – you should get a gallon (3,7 liters) of pot for each month that the plant will be alive or you could just anticipate how big your plant will become and get a gallon for each foot (30,4 cm) of growth. So if your plant will grow 5 months you need a 5 gallon (18,5 liter) pot.

 

With auto flowering plants it’s not easy to chose the pot size because you need to think not only about the time how long will your plant live, but you need to also think about the size of the plant and how big you want it to get. Most people choose auto-flowering cannabis because their growing space is limited and they can’t grow plants that stretch 1 or 2 meters (3,2 or 6,5 feet)  in height and pot size can greatly affect the plants height. If you plant your autoflower cannabis seed in a small container like “Dixie cup” then it will stay short because it will become pot bound (root bound) fast and that will stress the plant slowing down the growth.

 

Usually autoflower marijuana plants don’t grow more than 18 inches (45cm) in height and they usually are ready to harvest in less than two months. If we know these numbers then we can calculate that the perfect pot size for auto flower plants should be 1,5 to 2,5 gallons (5,6 to 9,4 liters). These numbers that we came up with are in fact very accurate and any experienced grower will tell you that if you want your auto-flower plant to reach maximum potential then you shouldn’t get a pot that can hold less than 1 gallon (3,7 liters) and getting a pot more than 3 gallons(11,3 liters) will be a waste of money and soil because the plant can’t grow so much root mass in two months to fill a 12 liter pot.

The perfect pot size is somewhere between these numbers and every grower that want to maximize the yield and doesn’t want to waste any growing space or dirt must try different pot sizes and see how the particular autoflower strain grows in different sized pots and see what is the perfect pot size for it!

For the small and micro growers pot sizes can also be a big advantage because you can easily manage your plants size by potting it in a smaller container! This small container will soon be full of roots and that plant will be root bound and wont grow as fast as it could but it will stay small and for small spaces small plants are perfect! This small plant can be further trained with Low Stress Training and with small pots and training growers can get very good yield sin small spaces!

Basically a smaller pot means a smaller plant so you need to experiment what pot sizes are good for your autoflower grow and stick to that one size because transplanting autoflowers will decrease their yields and it is best to start them in the container where they will finish!

3 galllon potsI myself have grow autoflowers in 4 inch (10.16 cm ) pots , 1 gallon(3.7 l) and 3 gallon(11.3 l) and the 3 gallon pots did the best! For my first cabinet grow I used smaller 4 inch pots because I needed the plants to stay small and I got only few grams from each of them but the next time the 1 gallon ones were much bigger and the 3 gallon pots was the best and I had over 70 cm of vertical growth with lot of side branches and from that point on I only use the 3 gallon ones!

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Cloning autoflowering cannabis plants

Date 31st Jul 2011   Comments 6 Comments »

The thing about autoflowering plants is that they flower by time and they cannot be fooled to stay in vegetative period by turning the lights on 13 + hours a day.

This means that these ruderalis plants know how old they are and they will start flowering two to tree weeks after sprouting no matter what light cycle they receive.
Because of this autoflowering trait these plants cannot be cloned effectively. For example if you manage to take a clone from this auto-flowering marijuana plant and you manage to plant it , it will flower exactly at the same time as it’s “mother”. This means that you’r newly taken clone will probably start flowering a few days after the cloning and nothing will return that little cutting back to vegetative stage as it is possible with regular short-day cannabis strains.

So as you can see autoflowering plants can be cloned but there is no point of that because you cannot set it back to the vegetative growing period and it will automatically flower and produce a harvest at the same time as the “mother” plant and you will get a one bud plant if you are lucky.

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