Autoflowering marijuana contains the genes of the ruderalis cannabis species. This understanding is the key to setting up your greenhouse for you to grow regular or feminized autoflowering seeds for sale or for any practical application you wish.
Ruderalis or cannabis ruderalis is a species of cannabis that is native to Eastern Europe and Russia. Most of the traits of autoflowering plants are due to the ruderalis genes they contain. Their traits of being short and bushy, quick harvest times and others are due to the ruderalis genes. Growing in a greenhouse is better especially those living in areas with climates that may not be conducive to the growth of autoflowering plants.
The successful growing of autoflowering plants depends upon how successful you could mimic the natural habitat of ruderalis plants. Autoflowers thrives in a cool environment with plenty of light. They require soil that is light and airy and they do not require much water or minerals.
With this in mind, let us set up your greenhouse from outside to the inside, from top to bottom.
THE IDEAL GREENHOUSE
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Where you are going to have your greenhouse is one of the first things to consider. Whether you are going to build it from scratch such as in your yard or in an already built-up space like a garage for example.
Your budget is another thing. If you have enough money, you may have a detached structure from your house be your greenhouse and if not, you may still develop an unused or underutilized part of your house.
Legal issues must be settled also such as issues on whether growing marijuana is permitted in your area and what are the legal limits. Some countries and states have growing limits whether you are a licensed or unlicensed grower.
If you plan to grow commercially, then a proper financial plan is needed, capital, insurance, profit projection, marketing, human resources, and other factors play together in a successful business. But if you are planting in a greenhouse for recreational purposes only, then profit is never an issue.
Your greenhouse or indoor growing space may be built out of different materials as long as they provide climate control. Since autoflowering plants thrive in the cooler regions that still receive plenty of sunlight, your autoflower plant needs a pleasant 27 degrees Celcius in order to be healthy enough to give you hefty yield. A degree lower or higher will not hurt but extreme temperatures must be avoided especially by outdoor growers.
Knowing this, you may even make a small shed in your backyard or your garage as long as you have things set in place. Some growers even have a small air conditioning set up and it is just fine especially if your crop is small.
Natural lighting is also something to consider. Sunlight is still the best light for your auto-flower plants. Even if you live in an area with only 12 hours of sunlight on average, it is still more powerful lighting than any artificial lighting system that growers could produce and will still give you better yields. So, growing outdoors is a viable option for your plants especially if you are able to environmentally protect your plants in a greenhouse.
If sunlight is unavailable by material or geographical limits, full-spectrum LED lights will work with any type of auto-flower marijuana plant. Higher lumens mean better yield for your crop too. If LED is too expensive for you, CFL or fluorescent lighting is a cheaper option.
Auto-flower plants thrive in specific light spectrums. During their vegetative state, your plants must receive cooler light and in the flowering period, they must receive warmer lights. This is because auto-flower seeds germinate during spring and flower during summer and you could mimic this natural phenomenon in your indoor lights using LED lights with different color temperatures. Some CFL lights may also have this option to choose different colored lights.
For auto-flowering cannabis plants, it is best to keep the lighting in an 18-hour cycle throughout their lifetimes. Some growers tried lighting it for 24 hours every day which produced good yields but the quality of those produced in 18-hour cycles are better.
With all these in place, just be careful of wrong lighting placement as it may also make your plant foxtail or have most of their buds grow in one place instead of being distributed along with the nodes if the lighting is put too near the plants. This is not necessarily bad but too much lighting that reaches the top of the plant, for example, may trigger your cannabis plant to foxtail which may lead to stem breakage thus laying waste to your buds.
SOIL AND HYDROPONICS SYSTEM
In the wild, auto-flowering plants live light airy soil of Eastern Europe and Russia that has better ventilation yet drains quicker than clay soil and make it retain less water and nutrients. Auto-flowering marijuana plants do not thrive well on clay soil. Because of this, autoflower marijuana plants well-suited in hydroponics or soilless systems.
A hydroponic system is the method of growing plants in a water-based system which may use another medium to which roots may grow instead of soil. Hydroponics does not use soil, the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite.
Below are some of the advantages of a hydroponic system compared to a traditional system.
Proper nutrients and soil pH maintenance.
Reduce soil problems such as pests and soil quality problems
But if you wish to wish to plant in soil, auto-flowering plants are better adapted to the light airy soil, so, it is best practice to have less fertilizer. Sandy soil or light soil drains faster than clay soil and too much fertilizer on you auto-flowering plant will definitely hurt it. In terms of nutrients in auto-flowering plants, less is more.
Your soil pH levels should be neutral and do not allow it to become acidic or alkaline. A pH level ranging from 6.0-7.0 is adequate for a soil system or a hydroponic system of planting. Acidic or alkaline soil will hinder nutrient absorption of the plants.
Understanding the soil requirement of auto-flowering plants will make us understand that they also need better water drainage and they don’t thrive well in wet soil, so you need pots with good drainage. Because of this, you must ensure that you choose a post that is medium-sized, about 5-7 gallons that have good drainage for draining water and soil aeration.
Having a pot that is of decent size also meant that you should choose a pot where your auto-flowering cannabis will remain in its entire lifetime. Transplanting causes shock which the auto-flowering cannabis seedling may not tolerate very well. It is best to plant the seedlings or let seeds germinate in their final pots so that transplanting will no longer be a necessity.
If you already have a place, a plan in mind and everything considered.