Are you considering planting autoflower seeds directly in soil? Have you heard the hype surrounding coco coir but need more information to decide if it’s a suitable substrate choice for you?
It doesn’t have to be rocket science and can be highly rewarding. They produce dank buds and yield crops quickly, but these non-photoperiod plants require a stress-free environment due to their short lifespan.
Here are some practical tips to help you simplify the process and grow healthy cannabis crops.
Let’s get started!
After successful germination, you have two main options: planting autoflower seeds in soil or coco coir. Regardless of your preferred substrate, you’ll need the following items:
- Potting soil or coco coir and perlite
- A pair of tweezers
- A pencil (optional)
- Pots (one for each germinated seedling)
- Germinated autoflower marijuana seeds
Before jumping into this project head first, you should remember that autoflowering plants have a faster growth rate than photoperiod ones. Consider cultivating the best autoflowering seeds to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Keep the following in mind:
- They’re extra sensitive. Too much movement, light, or water can kill your delicate seedling. When handling it, work fast and exceptionally carefully so you don’t hinder the plant’s growth.
- They’re fast growers. There’s no time for sick auto plants to heal. Pests and diseases negatively affect your yield and often result in subpar crops. Keep your crops safe and happy at all times.
- Use big enough pots. Consider the container you want to grow your weed in. Cannabis seedlings need a lot of room for their roots to grow. The container also requires proper drainage. Auto strains that take two months to flower prefer 1.8 gallon pots, whereas those that take three months need pots no larger than 3 gallons.
Directly in soil
When learning how to germinate cannabis seeds, you’ll discover it typically takes about two weeks until your seedlings are ready for transplantation. Relocate them when they develop 4–5 sets of leaves if you don’t germinate directly in the growing medium.
Here’s a guide on successful seed transplantation:
- Fill your container with soil until you reach ½ inch from the top edge. Ensure the pot is deep enough to give the plant’s root system plenty of room to grow.
- Water the soil thoroughly until you see it draining from the bottom of the pot. Don’t add more H2O until after it completely dries.
- To avoid nutrient burn, don’t add any additional feed during this stage. Potting soil already comes with all of the necessary minerals your autoflower seedling needs to grow.
- Gently press down on the soil without compacting it too much. It must be light and airy for the plant’s root system to grow efficiently, or you’ll end up with a dwarfed specimen.
- Use a pencil (or your finger) to make a small one-inch hole in the soil. The hole’s depth is critical to your autoflower crop’s success.
- Gently put the germinated autoflower plant into the soil with the root facing downwards. Use a clean pair of tweezers to transfer the tiny seedling. Be careful not to squeeze too hard, as this can hurt it.
- Cover the germinated seedling with about 0.2 inches of earth. Don’t compress the earth after covering the autoflower seedling. Dense soil can cause drainage problems.
- Put the pot in an area with ample sunlight or white light. After a few days, the first autoflower leaves will push through the soil.
An alternative to transplanting germinated seedlings into pots is planting autoflower seeds directly in soil. This option minimizes trauma and is a suitable option for beginners looking to produce a robust and healthy autoflowering plant.
If you’re having difficulty starting your autoflower seed, read this troubleshooter to find out why your cannabis seeds aren’t germinating.
In coco coir
Coco coir is the natural fiber extracted from the outer husk of a coconut. It’s available from nurseries and comes in various-sized blocks of different sizes.
Beginners may prefer planting in coco coir as it’s environmentally friendly and promotes fast root development. A possible downside is that feed must be added manually with every watering.
Here’s a guide to planting autoflower seeds in coco:
- Prepare a mix of 70% coco coir and 30% perlite. This potting mix eliminates the pests and diseases associated with conventional soil.
- Soak the coco coir blocks in water until they bloat and break into smaller pieces. The time ranges from 30 minutes to more than three hours, depending on their size.
- Don’t use the coco coir before it’s completely dried out. Wet coir will hurt your seedling.
- Fill a smart pot or air pot three-quarters full with the mix. These types of pots work exceptionally well because they enhance aeration, further supporting root growth.
Burying an autoflower seedling too far into the ground can stunt its growth. The recommended depth is roughly one inch.
If you plant the seedling too deep, try brushing off the top layer of your medium instead of replanting it. This way, you avoid unnecessary stress on the seedling.
Move your autoflower seeds outdoors after two weeks. Check that your plant is strong enough to withstand the wind, and place it in a spot with plenty of direct sunlight.
Whether you’re planting autoflower seeds directly in the ground or in coco coir, each medium has its benefits.
The latter is naturally pest-free, ecologically friendly, and provides good aeration for the roots. However, it might be challenging for beginner cultivators to monitor PH levels and add nutrients manually. Soil is cheap, easy to use, and the most common growing medium.
Ready to start your own non-photoperiod cannabis crop? Buy autoflowering seeds from our online shop and begin your growing journey today.