Autoflower seeds are proving increasing useful to outdoor cannabis growers. Its fair to say that autoflower seeds are complementing, rather than replacing, traditional outdoor photoperiod varieties. Here are some of the reasons why outdoor growers are finding autoflower seeds to be a useful addition to their outdoor tool kit.
Faster crop cycles with autos
One of the reasons why so many guerrilla growers like to have a few auto’s planted outdoors is the fast crop cycle, typically around 95 days from seed to harvest. Growers in Northern European countries can get a heavy summer crop even in Scandinavia. Growers in central Europe can get a couple of consecutive auto harvests in one season. And growers in hot mediterranean countries can get 3 consecutive auto harvests. The harvest weight from an auto is usually around 50-100g, so autos are not as heavy yielding as photoperiod outdoor varieties. But they are faster. And that allows the outdoor grower to spread the harvest over several crops, meaning there is less dependency on the autumn harvest from the photoperiod plants. With a few extra auto seeds planted, the guerrilla growers increases the odds of a successful harvest.
Recommended strategies for starting autos
Growers in Northern Europe often prefer to start their auto seeds indoors for a couple of weeks and plant them outdoors after the last frost. For many growers, that means germinating the seeds and growing them under 24 hour light for 2-3 weeks and planting the seeds outdoors in late May. Those with the benefit of a greenhouse or polytunnel may be able to start earlier. The further south you are in Europe, the earlier you can start your autos. By starting your auto seeds indoors you protect them from weather/predators and give them the best chance of a bumper harvest.
Protecting autos outdoors
Autos can be protected in the same way as photoperiod plants. Always use a generous sprinkling of slug/snail pellets when you visit your out door autos. And where possible use garden wire fencing (‘chicken fencing’) to keep rabbits etc from nibbling away at your crop.
Recommended outdoor auto varieties
Most well-bred autos with quality genetics will do a good job outdoors. As always, choose a seed company with a proven track record. All the Dutch Passion autos will perform well outdoors. Think Different is one of the most successful outdoor autos with heavy yields and good resistance to pests and poor weather. Auto Duck is another recommended auto for outdoor growers, with the unique webbed leaf shape the Frisian Duck variety is difficult to recognise as cannabis.
Many outdoor growers feel that one key benefit of autos is that they ripen during the mid-summer sun, rather than the fading autumn sunlight. This is felt to give an extra ‘kick’ to the potency. If you are an outdoor grower then think about growing a pack or two of autos in your outdoor grow locations. It’s an easy and fast way to supplement your guerrilla harvest.
By Tony, Dutch Passion Seed Company