Possibly the most important measure of success in any marijuana grow operation is the amount of yield you get per grow. Yield is the amount of bud that you can harvest from your plants. The harvested and dried weight of cannabis flowers is the reason why growers and breeders do whatever they can to increase yield.
Because every grow environment is different and every environment has different growing conditions, it is definitely hard to tell how much yield you can get from one particular strain. Yes there are autoflowering cannabis growers and breeders that specifically provide information how much or the exact yield you can get from their regular autoflower products. Products like Fast Buds and Big Bang have general guidelines for harvest and as long as these are followed, growers can expect a specific amount of yield per grow.
How Yield is Measured
Yield is measured dried. These measurements can vary because of how plants are rated by seed companies; these are measured by the grams that a single plant produces and by the grams that a plant produces in a square meter. This could be a little confusing for growers who just grow autos inside a small grow room or closet and its certainly impossible to know what a square meter of a plant produces in grams. Seed companies grow about 9 to 12 plants in a square meter area and with the best possible growing condition to get the best yield.
Factors that can affect your yield amount
There are many factors that can affect the size of yield. Take note that there could be more factors that can cause overall yield to increase or decrease and these could vary from one grower to another. The following are the most common ones
- Light intensity and how light spreads on your crops
Autos use lights to grow food and the intensity of the light and how it is spread on your grow room basically affects your yield. CFL bulbs are very common in grow rooms but will not be enough to give you a good harvest. LED lights or T5 grow lights on the other hand can give you more than 100 grams per plant. Positioning your lights so that it spreads across your plants can also improve yield. Generally, more light equals more yield.
- The position of your grow lights
Plants that are grown directly under grow lights tend to become healthier, bushier and can grow more buds than all other plants in your grow room. Therefore it’s definitely better to spread your lights and let every single plant bathe in light to get the best yield.
- The light color or spectrum
There are special colors that can stimulate growth on autoflowers. Colors like red and blue can help plants grow better than other colors. Cannabis growth can also be influenced by different light colors. During their vegetative phase, these plants need blue light which stimulates them to stretch. And during the flowering phase, these plants need red light to stimulate flowering. Understanding how these light colors affect your plants can help you grow taller and bushier plants.
- Light cycle
The growing light cycle can increase or decrease yield. Autos do not need 12/12 light cycles to grow and flower and this can drastically reduce your yield. Autoflowering cannabis will do well with 24/0 light cycle which can almost always can produce great yields. Only photosensitive plants will do well with a 12/12 light cycle.
- Autoflowering plant genetics
Sadly there is really no guarantee that an autoflowering seed can grow 100% perfectly. There will always be a certain variation and you can always get plants that won’t grow as huge as your other plants or grow only a small yield. Autoflowering strains in the market these days are not 100% stable but there are still stable strains available although you might need to pay more for them.
- Grow room ventilation and temperature
The temperature of your grow room and the ventilation can all affect the amount of yield. Ventilation is important since you need to change indoor air since plants use up all the CO2 and it could be difficult for plants to take in and use this for energy. Good ventilation can circulate fresh air inside the room and will help plants breathe CO2 easily. On the other hand, high temperatures inside your grow room can affect your total yield simply because low or high temperatures can decrease its CO2 intake. It slows up plant growth and can affect total plant mass which translates to poor yield.
- Plant nutrients and soil
Plants that suffer from nutrient deficiencies can lead to poor yield. The composition of your soil or growing material can also affect the amount of yield because too airy or light soil will not be able to hold roots and can even damage them in the long run. There are types of soils for every type or strain you must follow this closely to be able to make your plants healthy and grow stronger for a better yield.
- Watering and water pH
Certain types and strains of cannabis have specific water requirements. Take note that too little or too much can affect the major yield because the extremes can cause too much stress to plants and affect their yield. Water pH should be carefully monitored because too low or too high pH can affect the flow of nutrients to your plants and any change can affect plant growth.
- Training your plants
When you subject your plants to training or training them to grow shorter or to make more buds you are actually subjecting them to stress. Remember that your autos need a lot of energy to bloom and be ready for harvest in just 8 weeks. Any other stress can either reduce their yield or prolong their harvest time.
No doubt, pests can dramatically reduce your yield. Pests can be very difficult to control and can eat your entire crop in just a few days if you are not careful. Preventing infestation is the key to avoid out of control pests in your growing area.