Storing Seeds - If you don’t plan to grow them straight away or can only grow a few at a time, you may wonder where to keep them or how to store them for best longevity. Seeds will easily survive for several years in a cool, dark, dry place. Keep them sealed in the vial they are packaged in, and that vial inside the zip-lock packaging somewhere as just described above. Keep them out of sunlight or somewhere that might quickly get hotter than you think. Stable cool temperatures are best. For even longer term storage keep your seeds refrigerated. Well sealed and seeds will easily keep for over 5 years however I do not have ‘old stock’ - I do not produce seeds in huge quantities so strains cycle in and out of stock frequently !
Germinating : Just as with growing a plant getting the environment spot on is key. Too hot - Your seeds are going to have a bad time. Too cold - Your seeds are going to have a bad time. Too dry - Your seeds are going to have a bad time. Too wet - You get the picture. Usually with this method seeds are with a nice tail and able to be potted between 36 - 60 hours. Not ideal, but please don’t throw seeds away if they don’t look to be doing anything after 24-48 hours. Check the above points and keep trying. if your germination environment is not on point, it will take longer. Also one strain could germinate faster than another, but just because they don’t germinate at the exact same time doesn’t mean it won’t germinate.
If you ever have trouble with a seed germinating but the seed is swollen after 24 hours then the seed is probably viable and may need help cracking open. I have notice that since starting to use high quality full spectrum leds that not only have the buds became denser but so have the seed shells and they made need to be scored or scarred to help open depending on your germination style. One easy way is to clip a tiny piece of the pointy end of the seed (nearest the root cap) with a pair of nail clippers or to put seeds in a container with a rough piece of sand paper and shake them around. I am committed to your success and if you need any help just reach out !
Learning Curve - There’s a definite misconception that autoflowers are easy to grow and for beginners. This isn’t true, in fact because autos decide when they want to flower you have less control, and if there are environmental problems early on there’s little to no window to correct issues, and that can and will dictate the end result. The key weeks in our minds are the first three from sprout to seedling, to sexing, you nail those and see the plant is established well, and it’s really relative plain sailing after that to ride the grow out and get to enjoy the fruits of your labour. To get through this first crucial stage you need to have the following key elements dialled in. So your seedlings have a good time. Don’t over or underwater. - Keep the medium a little moist at all times but not sodden. Don’t over feed or under-feed. - In organic soil they don’t want for much during these first two weeks. I just plain water. Temperatures must be kept in range. Not too hot, not too cold. Too hot you risk drying out the medium too quickly. Too cold will stunt and slow plants at any point in the grow. With those in place you’ll be well on the road to success. Like anything new, it will take several grows to learn both your environment and autos..., The bonus is they are QUICK! it’s basically magic to watch the development everyday in comparison to photoperiods. Simplicity is key. I use Fox Farms Happy frog soil as it is readily available everywhere. I use 3 gallon pots of various brands. Airpots or Smart pots are my favorite. Autoflowers do not like to be transplanted and it can stunt their growth. I start my seedlings in Solo cups and transplant the to their final homes in 3 gallon pots by day 5.
Light cycles are basically personal preference. Autos will grow under a variety of cycles and options, however I would recommend no less than 18 hours on for indoor growing to obtain optimum results, and of course all the way up to 24 hours. I use full spectrum leds. Hlg brand to be exact.
The auto life cycle / cycle time can be approximately broken down in to the following stages, these will vary slightly depending on strain. Sprout to Seedling - Day 1 - Day 13 Sexing - Day 14-17 Pre-flowering/veg/stretch (these are combined) - Day 18 - 30 Flowering - Day 30 - 75 The different stages and timings are affected by the environment they are in, any problems in growth will extend these stages. Cold can delay overall growth. This could add two weeks to the cycle time. Stunting will inhibit general growth. Deficiencies can effect the cycle. Growing outdoors, even in good conditions and nice healthy plants, typically add a few weeks to the overall cycle time. Pot size and lighting are contributing factors too
Training : Leaf Tucking - This is the least invasive method of training and is very L.S.T (low stress straining) . When the plant is in the seedling stage and progressing to stretch, it will pay dividends to tuck the big fan leaves (where possible) underneath the emerging branches and encourage them to grow up at out.
L.S.T - Low stress training, plants can be tied over using a number of ties and at various stages in order to promote all lower branches to become main tops. Personally I would begin this method from week 3, but people do start it earlier with good results. There is a key stage where the plant and stem is still flexible and won’t snap when manoeuvred.
Supercropping - Or pinch bending, as opposed to L.S.T methods this is high in stress, but can also give good results when employed correctly. If I have one plant vastly outgrowing the rest in height, I will bend the main stem over to even the canopy. It’s best when the plants are not in full flower mode.
Topping - Another high stress method, and somewhat of a black art of autos to get the best result. It depends both on strain and timing. A small strain with limited veg time, Wouldn’t be an ideal candidate to top, and with a bigger strain for us in the past the 5th node was a good place to top, that enabled us to basically dictate how many main colas we’d end up with.
Scrogging - This is a nice method if you’re intending to grow a few plants that are big. Place a net over, use the screen to bend the plants and encourage branching, then divert the branches through the net holes. A net is also very useful to support these bigger strains that can get overloaded with flowers, and have floppy branches in late flower.
Harvesting :So you made it ! Congratulations ! Now remove all of the fan leaves from your plants. Hang them to dry with all of the sugar leaves fully intact. Let dry in a dark room with fresh air flow.
Do not rush the drying process. Let them dry cracker dry before trimming them. Then jar them up and let them cure ! Success ! Dont Rush the final steps and ruin all of your hard work.