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How To Grow Autoflowering Cannabis Outdoors

Find out all you need to know about growing autoflowering Cannabis outdoors, and all the important things to consider.
6 days ago
6 min read
How To Grow Autoflowering Cannabis Outdoors

Contents:

If you reside in a location where growing marijuana is legal, you’re in luck. Not everyone can grow cannabis especially outdoors, but if you do get this opportunity use it! With a little knowledge, you can produce loads of buds. And, if you’re here to understand a bit more about how to grow autoflowers outdoors, read on and you’ll know everything there is to know. 

1. The Lighting Cycle

It is important to understand the life cycle of an autoflowering Cannabis plant, and how they differ from normal photo tropical cultivars. As the name suggests these strains will begin to flower automatically, thanks to cross-breeding with the Ruderalis genetic.

Originally found in Siberia, the dwarf-sized, low potency Ruderalis had the ability to grow in a vegetative stage and then flower automatically independent of the light cycle outdoors. An incredible trait that would later be crossed into stable poly hybrids taken from photoperiod strains. 

Autoflowering Cannabis is now at the most advanced point in this evolution, with an enormous variety of automatics that have identical traits to their predecessors. Once you understand that it is possible to plant automatics at any time of the year, then you can begin to customize your own outdoor grow area and frequency of growth cycles based on the climate you live in.

2. What Should I Consider Before Planting?

Your Location

This is where your autoflowering plants will stay for their duration, and will normally be a part of your back garden, roof terrace, sunny balcony or even a homemade polytunnel greenhouse. 

Grow Tips:

- This should a private area that is easy to access.

- South facing will ensure maximum hours of sunlight each day.

- Polytunnels work incredibly well at a low set up cost.

 

The Ideal Temperature 

Due to the tough resilient nature that autoflowering Cannabis possesses, it is easily possible to harvest buds during the coldest time of the year with the shortest daylight hours, as well as during the hottest and longest days. It is this incredible ability to adapt to any climates from harsh and cold to lovely and hot that allow for any grower to achieve an abundant harvest.

Of course, there is an optimal climate that all plants would prefer in an ideal world, yet the flexibility a grower is blessed with when using autoflowering cultivars is far greater than photo tropical plants and can be planted all year long.  

Hot Climates - If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world that receives tropical weather, then you are able to grow any type of autoflowering cultivar with excellent results. Sativa dominant hybrids will work very well, and the more demanding and larger yielding varieties will flourish under the constant sunny climate. 

Colder Climates - Automatics can really help a grower who experiences shorter Summers, and a quick turn around on cold winters. Fast flowering varieties will work best however, it is better to work with an indica dominant, resistant autoflowering strain that will be ready to chop, prior to any heavy rain or cold spots. 

Grow Tips:

- Automatics can take very cold weather as well as intense heat.

- It is possible to plant from early Spring until late winter with great results.

- Some cultivars are better suited than others for certain microclimates.

- Autoflowering Cannabis is very resistant to mold, mildew and wind resistance. 

- Avoid planting seeds if your garden is showing signs of frost.

Planting In Pots or The Ground?

Once you germinate your seedlings and place them into their final homes, you will need to decide to grow in pots, or if you have a soil bed to use. Sometimes it is more logistical and practical to use 10 litre sized pots that can be moved around if needs be, however, a well-kept living soil bed will produce the best results.

Grow Tips:

- Pots can be moved around to follow the sun. 

- Small plants can be easily camouflaged.

- Planting in the ground can limit the exposure the plants receive.

- A soil bed saves investment from a new organic set up.

- Living soil is packed with beneficial microorganisms.

- Felt pots allow for roots to be pruned and prevent root-bound plants.

Training and Support

When growing Cannabis outdoors, it is a good idea to plan ahead in terms of plant training and adding support. This will normally be done in the early stages and will benefit the plants greatly once flowering commences. 

Grow tips:

- Use bamboo canes and place them around the edge of the pots. This will help support the heavy yielding side branches.

- Adding a screen can really open up the canopy and ensure each grow tip has a designated space that receives intense lighting.

- Tying plants down is an excellent way to enhance the growth structure and encourage the lower branches to grow upwards with the main crown shoots.

- Avoid topping your autos and fimming, as these techniques may restrict the final height and cause plants to finish small and squat. It is better to apply L.S.T.

 

 

3. Step By Step Guide

STEP 1

Decide on your location and which part of the garden or terrace receives the most sun. South-facing location is the best option, meaning that when the sun sets, the plants will receive the final amount of sunlight each day ensuring the most direct sunlight possible.

STEP 2

If working with plastic or felt pots, fill them with an organic medium consisting of complete living soil. This can be store-bought and can be supplemented with compost to allow a water only feeding schedule. We recommend a pot size that is 10-12 liters. 

STEP 3

There are many ways to germinate your autoflowering seeds. You can germinate them starting off in a cup of room temperature water, or in between two pieces of moist toilet paper, covered with a saucer in darkness. Once they sprout after a 24-72 hour period they are now ready to transplant into their new homes.

 

 

STEP 4

On the basis your plants are receiving direct sunlight, the only thing you really need to do now is water, and maintain your plants. Autoflowering cultivars literally grow themselves and do not require much hands-on work.  You should only need to water your plants when the growing medium is dry and needs resaturating.

STEP 5

Prepare to harvest your plants according to the recommended flowering period. Some cultivars will finish quicker than others, however, once the buds are fully formed and showing signs of maturity, you can now successfully harvest your plants.

 

4. The Harvest Window

This refers to the point when your Cannabis plants are fully ripe and mature and can be safely cut down. There are a few different traits to look for before chopping your ladies down.

Grow Tips:

- Check if the buds are dense, swollen and hard to squeeze. Even if you have exceeded the advised harvest date, it is better to wait until your flowers are as dense and resinous as possible. 

- Using a lupe, examine the state of the trichome. Once most of the trichomes are a cloudy white and a bit amber is the best time to cut and hang

- Sativa dominant autoflower hybrids may be more demanding than indica dominant, so be prepared to give your plants an extra week or two if they need. 


5. 3 Best Recommended Strains For Growing Outdoors

Here are our 3 best strains for those who want to grow outdoors this year:

Gelato Auto
Gelato Auto
Genes
Sativa 55% / Indica 45%
Genetics
Gelato Auto
Flowering
9 weeks
Harvest
XL
Height
70-100cm
THC
Very High - up to 26%
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

A very tough and reliable indica dominant hybrid, that flowers very quickly ideal for all climates. Be ready to harvest her around week 9. 

Purple Lemonade
Purple Lemonade
Genes
70% Indica / 30% Sativa
Genetics
Purple Lemonade
Flowering
9-10 weeks
Harvest
XL
Height
70-110cm
THC
Up to 22%
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

This plant can grow as tall as 70-110 cm in height and will take 9-10 weeks from seed to harvest. A great choice for LST.

Original Auto Northern Lights
Original Auto Northern Lights
Genes
Mostly Indica
Genetics
Northern Light Autoflowering
Flowering
9 weeks
Harvest
500-600gr/m2
Height
90-120 cm
THC
Up to 20%
CBD
Low
Autoflowering
Yes
Learn more

A highly resistant medium-sized plant, perfect for balconies and sunny terraces.


6. In Conclusion

One of the unique selling points about autoflowering Cannabis is the fact they are so versatile and can adapt to all climates. Perfect for beginner growers and anyone who enjoys seasonal harvests with very little maintenance. The popularity of autoflowering hybrids is only rapidly increasing and with the advancement in breeding, growers are able to produce some top-grade harvests without any compromise in quality.