Can you grow autoflowers organically?

Find out how to grow autoflowering cannabis organically
31 December 2019
7 min read
Can you grow autoflowers organically?

Contents:
  • 1. Why grow autoflowers organically?
  • 2. What exactly is organic cultivation?
  • 2. a. Basic organic soil recipe
  • 3. In conclusion

Cannabis is an amazing plant that grows just about anywhere. It’s called ‘weed’ for a reason. Yet, there are so misconceptions when it comes to growing cannabis that it’s mind-boggling. For instance, many growers think that they won’t get to taste dank buds if they don’t use the most hyped fertilizer in town. Fertilizers are expensive, and filled with chemicals, but most don’t even think about that.

If you’re looking to grow cannabis in the most natural way possible, we are glad to explain everything necessary. Yes, you can grow even autoflowers organically. And, the best part is that once you do, you’ll never go back to using store-bought fertilizers ever again. Also, organic cannabis definitely smells and tastes different than marijuana grown using inorganic ones. Most importantly, you’ll never have to worry about chemicals and lose your mind.

LSD25 Auto
5 out of 5
Top notch strain. Easy to grow and produces prolific flowers. I got 6 ozs. of great medicine from her. I will definitely grow this strain again.
Rosemond.
Verified customer
Reviewed 19 February

1. Why grow autoflowers organically?

Root system organic

Photoperiod plants have a lot of time to grow and produce flowers. Even if you mess up in the growing stage, you can wait for the plant to correct its course. However, with autoflowers that’s not possible because it grows according to a certain age. So, how is it even possible to grow autoflowers organically?

Actually, you can. And, you should. Not only do the buds taste amazing, but you’ll also notice that they aren’t harsh on your lungs. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can get away without curing organic cannabis because you should. However, you don’t have to flush the plants in the ending stage and the buds will still taste fabulous.

Gelato Auto
5 out of 5
I don’t even know which one I prefer. I keep alternating between them. I hope next time I grow Gelato I get both phenos again.
Garwood.
Verified customer
Reviewed 28 June

Also, if you think that growing organically isn’t going to work as good as using commercial fertilizers, you’re completely wrong. Cannabis is just like any other plant, so why wouldn’t it grow like other agricultural crops grown organically? What’s the difference? Nothing. You may see a difference of a week here and there but growing organically will also produce great results.

Gorillaglue by Zollies_zn

Organic cannabis smells different due to the terpenes it contains. Terpenes are the essential oils of the plant. And, that’s why strains like, say, Green Crack, smell like mangoes. It’s because of the terpene Myrcene that’s also present in mangoes. Some strains smell like apples while others taste like pineapples. It’s all in the terpenes, and when you grow organically, the terpenes are out in full force.

Organic cannabis is colorful, moist and fantastically dank. Cannabis grown hydroponically or grown using inorganic methods also produce good stuff, but the buds become dry in just a while. However, organic cannabis maintains its brilliance for a long time.

Blackberry Auto
5 out of 5
Grew blackberry in my past 3 runs, love the Fruity berry smell and taste. Everything I grew it always comes out purple buds.
Dwalk202020.
Verified customer
Reviewed 9 July 2021

2. What exactly is organic cultivation?

So, this is a very important question. Basically, fertilizers or plant food that isn’t processed in a lab can be considered organic. For instance, you can make your own compost using brown and green leaf matter. Most farmers produce their own compost. It’s a wonderful way of turning waste into plant food.

Similarly, you can also grow cannabis using the compost you make at home. Want to know the best part? You don’t have to feed the plants every week like you would when using commercial nutrients. Once you plant the seeds, you can forget about them until they are ready for harvest. Of course, you’ll have to water them frequently, but you don’t have to follow a timetable that’s critical to be maintained when growing inorganically.

Gorillaglue by Zollies_zn

To grow organic cannabis, you can include things like bat guano, cow manure, sheep manure and even horse manure. Ensure that the manure is cured because you CANNOT grow plants with fresh dung. You can also use liquid fish extracts, seaweed, and even fermented flowers to help the plants grow well.

Seriously, there are many things you can do. There’s no limit, as long as it’s organically derived.

Basic organic soil recipe

If you’re a beginner, you’ll be better off purchasing pre-made soil from the nursery. As long as it’s organic, it doesn’t matter what you choose. However, if you know the ins and outs of growing cannabis, you can try formulating a basic recipe on your own. Most organic growers prefer super soil, but you can replace some of the ingredients if they aren’t available.

For that, we will start with a simple super soil recipe:

Super soil is nothing but a mix of ingredients that are rich in NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium. All commercial fertilizers are made using a bit of these nutrients that are essential for plant growth. Soil contains most of the nutrients necessary for plants, but they will grow better if you carefully choose what you feed them.

You will need:

  • Brown leaves or dry items like twigs and straws that provide carbon.
  • Coco peat or fiber to create an aerating medium.
  • Items rich in nitrogen like used coffee grounds, blood meal, horse manure, rabbit manure, seaweed, fish bone powder, etc.
  • Fungi like mycorrhiza to encourage the roots to spread further.
  • Rock phosphate or bone meal for phosphorous.
  • Egg shells for calcium.
  • Banana peel powder for potassium.
  • Epsom salts for trace elements like magnesium and sulfur.
  • A cup of dolomite lime to manage pH
  • Molasses

There are various ways to make compost. No matter what way you choose, remember that the brown: green ratio must be 2:1. Add the remaining ingredients in small quantities. For example, if you’re using a bag of dry leaves for the brown matter, use a cup of blood meal. Do not use anything in large quantities except the dry items because it will make the soil too hot for the plants.

We already have a post on super soil that you can refer to but since we are here let’s have a quick look at a basic super soil recipe that will all but guarantee beautiful organic buds ready to harvest after just 9 to 10 weeks. But first, a quick history lesson…

“Super soil” is a relatively new term. Cannabis cultivator extraordinaire Subcool first released his recipe to the wider growing community back in 2009, when he dropped an article in the High Times magazine, which at the time was the premier cannabis culture mag. SubCool had been growing weed for over a decade at this point, and had experimented with multiple growing methods but had always found the final product of organic growing methods to be a step above in terms of quality and flavor. This recipe removes the need for any additives or alterations throughout the entire lifecycle and makes the job of growing weed way easier. Subcool's recipe is as follows:

  • 8 large bags of premium organic potting soil that includes coco-coir fiber and mycorrhizae (this acts as the base for the super soil)
  • 35 pounds ( of worm castings
  • 5 pounds each of bone meal, blood meal, bat guano
  • 3 pounds of rock phosphate
  • 0,75 cup Epson salts
  • 0.5 cup sweet lime (dolomite)
  • 0.5 cup azomite (trace elements)
  • 2 tbsp powdered humic acid

Once the super soil is all mixed up, it must be left to “cook” in the sun for at least a month so all the organic goodies can do their thing and get this soil mix ready to produce top-quality buds. And, once you make your own super soil, you can mix it with regular garden soil to prepare your own potting mix. Remember that it takes a while to make compost. While some processes take 3 months, you might have to wait for even 5 months to ensure that all the ingredients are composted. You can also use composting powder available online to fasten the process.

Do not grow plants using super soil alone because it can be a little too much for young plants. Instead, use only 1/4 of the super soil. The recipe for a kilo would be:

  • 250 grams super soil
  • 500 grams coco peat
  • 250 grams organic gardening soil

You can also add liquid fish extracts when the autoflowers are in the vegetative phase from time to time. However, stop using fish extracts or anything high in nitrogen once the plants reach the flowering phase.

Just make sure that you spread the super soil at the bottom and layer that with the gardening soil and coco peat. This way, young plants will have a chance to spread their roots and become stable before they come in contact with the super soil. Since super soil is so rich in nutrients, young plants may burn at times. Yes, it’s possible to burn young seedlings even if you grow organically!

Pros and Cons of Building Your Very Own Super Soil

As with many aspects of any type of gardening (and life in general, for that matter), you get out what you put in. A little bit of hard work and elbow grease at the start of the process can go a long way in producing a final product you are pleased with. When considering super soil, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Pros

  • You will reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers, which are not great for the environment.
  • Creating your own super soil blend grants you total control over what your plants are fed.
  • Organically grown cannabis offers a quality of smoke like no other.
  • Super soil is sustainable, environmentally friendly, and can be recycled multiple times.
  • Using a super soil mix takes away a lot of the hard work during the growing process. There is no need to constantly check the pH and EC or TDS.

Cons

  • Super soil preparation is not a quick task, but if you have the time you will be rewarded in the long run.
  • Creating your own super soil mix will cost more than simply buying a store-bought mix

3. In Conclusion

That’s about it. There’s nothing more you need to do if you’re growing autoflowers organically. The tough part is creating the super soil, but you can also grow autoflowers using regular compost and gardening soil available in the nurseries. Considering that autoflowers grow quickly, you’ll be harvesting organic cannabis in just under 3 months!

31 December 2019