Can I grow Autoflowering Cannabis Outdoors?

Can I grow Autoflowering Cannabis Outdoors?

Created: 01.12.2018

Growing autoflowering cannabis anywhere is pretty easy. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, it doesn’t take a lot to achieve a decent harvest. But, who wants a “decent” harvest? Experienced growers usually expect humongous harvests that last a long time.

Don’t fret if you’re a beginner, though. It will take time, but a few harvests later, you’ll remember your ‘silly’ beginner days when you were just a noob! While it takes some knowledge, patience, and experience to grow outstanding buds that can make your tongue sweep the floor, it is indeed possible to get good yields from autoflowering cannabis even if you’re a beginner.

And your chances of getting good yields go up a notch as soon as you decide to grow them outdoors. The autoflowers released a decade ago were no match to photoperiod plants. But, things have changed, and it’s more advantageous to grow autoflowers compared to photoperiod plants now.

Autoflowers grown indoors produce great yields, but they are unbelievably stupendous when grown outdoors. You’ll seriously not know what to do with all the yields! So, if you want to know how to grow autoflowers outside like a pro, follow along, and you’ll soon have your friends asking you to spill some secrets.

Plan everything from the beginning

Autoflowers are very quick. So quick that you won’t have time to plan things at the last minute. Do you want to grow in soil or containers? Are the plants going to be in a balcony or terrace? How many hours of good sunlight do plants receive in your location? What nutrients are you going to use? Is it hydroponic or organic?

As you can see, there are several things to consider. Therefore, it’s important to have a plan at the very start. And this starts right from selecting good seeds because not every seed might suit your climate.

Autoflowers don’t need a lot of light and grow alright even if they receive just five hours, but if you want your plants to thrive, a good amount of sunlight for at least 12 hours is mandatory. So, if you reside in a location prone to very cold temperatures, it becomes especially important to select seeds meant for colder climates like the California Snow Auto, for example.

Californian Snow Auto
5 of 5
Apple
Taste:
Apple
From €6,75
buy now
Room: Indoor | Outdoor
Gender: Feminized
Genes: Sativa/Indica
Genetics: USA, Californian autoflowering
Flowering: 8 weeks
Harvest: XL
Height US: up to 40 inches
Height EU: 80 - 130cm
THC: High
CBD: Low
Autoflowering: Yes

Autoflowers are typically resistant to a lot of diseases, but they aren’t completely immune. And, selecting a strong variety with good genetics will help you in this area. Depending on where you reside, it helps to do a bit of research and buy seeds that are more likely to grow in your area.

What season is best to plant autoflowers outdoors?

Again, the answer to this question depends on where you live. Growers planting photoperiod strains need to pay special attention to this. For example, if you live in the northern hemisphere, seeds can be planted in March and harvested in September. But for autoflowers, it’s not necessary to plan a lot unless you experience extreme temperatures.

Even if you’re growing autoflowers that are easy to grow, it’s important to not plant the seeds when the ground is about to freeze. If you grow in containers, though, you can get the plants inside your home every day to protect it from the bitter cold.

Similarly, if you live in a location where days are exceptionally hot exceeding 40°C or 104°F, it’s best to protect the plant from drought or heat by providing a lot of water. If everything fails, a greenhouse is your best option.

Typically, autoflowers grow best when they have sufficient sunlight for at least 10-12 hours. It’s even better if you get more than 16 hours. Therefore, growers usually choose to plant seeds in spring and harvest it when the plant matures. Basically, just plan ahead and avoid planting seeds if extreme changes in weather are expected and you can still harvest at least 4-5 times a year.

If you reside in locations close to the Equator, you’re in luck because you can grow autoflowers throughout the year. In simple terms, just remember to skip either summer or winter when it’s extreme and you’ll be able to grow and harvest buds in the remaining seasons.

How to grow autoflowers outdoors?

Assuming that you’ve selected seeds that are meant for your climate, here’s what you can do to grow autoflowers outdoors.

Germination

There’s no difference in germinating any cannabis seed. Whether it’s autoflowering or photoperiod or regular or feminized seeds, it’s all the same. Many growers with years of experience growing several types of plants are comfortable to just throw the seeds in the soil and wait patiently. But, not all of us are like that, are we?

Beginners need something easy and fast. And that’s why it’s recommended that you sow the seeds in water for at least 24 hours to moisten the seed coat. The seeds can then be shifted to moist paper towels for at least a day or two to allow the taproot to emerge. You can also use Jiffy pellets that expand when soaked in water to sow seeds.

Whatever method you choose, the seeds can be planted in containers or soil once the tap root breaks out of the seed.

Here’s a video of autoflowers growing outdoors:

Prepare a good potting mix

You need a good potting mix no matter where you grow autoflowers. Whether the plants grow in a balcony or terrace or in a garden, good soil is a must. Autoflowers, like other cannabis strains, love aerated soil mixed with a lot of nutrients, especially if you’re not growing hydroponically.

Hydroponics allows you to provide an exact mix of nutrients, but there’s a bit of work involved if you’re growing in soil. A good potting mix usually consists of peat moss, coco peat or coconut fiber, perlite, compost, and regular gardening soil. Soil generally provides all micro and macronutrients required for the plant to grow. However, you need to grow like a pro, remember? Thus, mixing in some kelp meal, blood meal, bone meal, seaweed extracts, and humic acid will definitely help.

Remember that you need to prepare a potting mix only if you’re growing in containers. For those growing in the garden or open space, you can till the soil and mix in some fresh compost and aged manure to do the job for you. Nothing beats natural sunlight and good ol’ soil, and you’ll notice that your plants agree too!

Another important factor when growing in containers is to select the right size. If the container is too small, the growth will slow down because there’s no space for roots. Conversely, if the container is too big for a small plant, it will take quite a while to grow.

A good rule of thumb is to select pots with the ability to hold at least 5-6 gallons. For bigger plants like the Zkittlez Auto or Gorilla Glue, however, a good range would be anything between 10-15 gallons.

Transplanting

Most growers will tell you that it’s a horrible idea to transplant autoflowers. While a part of that is true, it’s not impossible. Growers with a lot of experience transplant autoflowers pretty easily without any hassles. But it’s a different ball game for beginners since autos are very fast and there’s little room to screw up.

If you’re a beginner, keep it simple and use only one container for the entire cycle from seed to harvest. However, if you absolutely have to transplant, make sure that you know the basics of transplanting well. For starters, the soil must be moist, and the roots must have grown adequately to prevent transplant shock. In other words, the plant shouldn’t be too young or too mature because the timing matters a great deal.

Water wisely

Beginners tend to love their plants. So much that they can kill them! Whether you’re overwatering or under-watering the plants, it’s easy to kill them. This is especially true if you’re growing in containers. Overwatering kills the plants quicker than you can imagine.

You water the plants as usual and within a few hours, the leaves begin to droop. You supply more water assuming they need more and the plants simply die. To prevent this mistake, you avoid watering the plants only to find them dead due to under-watering!

It’s tricky, and I get it, but it’s not that complex either. Simply lift the pots to check if the soil is dry or wet. If the pot is too heavy, stop watering, and if it’s too light, then it’s time to supply a little water. It’s best to start with just a liter of water to understand how your plant reacts. You can adjust the amount later once you gain experience.

Flushing

If you’re growing autoflowers in containers, it’s important to flush out all the nutrients you used to help the plant thrive. Whether it’s inorganic or organic, a good flush with clean plain water about a week before the harvest will certainly help. Flushing improves the taste and removes the harshness of the buds dramatically.

No matter where you grow autoflowers, the rules are pretty much the same. As long as you buy strains that are meant for your climate, you don’t need to worry. Unlike photoperiod plants, autoflowers don’t have extra hassles such as light leaks and uninterrupted darkness, so they adjust well anywhere.

More growers are shifting to autoflowers since they are easy to grow and yield good buds with high THC levels. If it’s your first time, take a look at our seed catalog to check what suits you the best and get growing today!