Autoflowers are special cannabis seeds carrying the Cannabis ruderalis genetics, allowing them to transition automatically from germination to flowering.
The ideal soil type for growing autoflowers should have the right secondary additives and a strong anchor for plant support.
You can make compost for autoflowers by composting organic waste materials found readily in the surroundings. You can use Bat Guano, kitchen waste, or organic manure for your compost.
Growth mediums are very important in every planting operation. Soil is commonly used since it is readily available. Autoflowers are special cannabis seeds carrying the Cannabis ruderalis genetics. They produce cannabis plants that initiate flowering without a change in the light cycle. As a result of this trait, they complete a growth cycle in a short period.
Your autoflower can survive with the right soil. For beginners, your first harvest depends very much on how comfortable your autoflower gets during the growth cycle. Regardless of the auto-flower strain, you are planting, your selection of soil type directly affects how and how fast your autoflower completes a single growth window. Experienced cannabis farmers have learned to adopt suitable soil types for their autoflowers.
Characteristics of a Perfect Soil for Autoflower
The ideal soil type for your autoflower must have a few characteristics. These characteristics have been shown to perfectly grow autoflowers properly. In addition to supplying the right type of nutrients at the right stages, the ideal cannabis soil should also provide a reliable anchorage for the stem. Anchor support is important for autoflowers that grow large resinous buds and tall stems. Here are the characteristics of the ideal autoflower soil;
a.The soil should have a fairly dark color.
Although this sounds like a generalization, however, autoflowers and other types of cannabis seeds appear to grow better in soil with a fairly dark color. It is not about the color, as you might have wondered. Plant and animal waste decompose into manure that supplies cannabis with the essential macro- and macro-nutrients. Soils rich in these decomposed wastes almost always appear to have a fairly dark color.
b. Light and Airy
Cannabis seed types do well in light soil. In heavy soil that retains too much water, the nutrients become over-diluted and beneficial microorganisms may be washed away. Light soils, on the other hand, have good drainage and appear fluffy when dry. Air circulates better in this soil type, exposing the root system to an adequate stream of oxygen supply.
c. Loose and Contains Perlite
If you can get a soil type containing perlite, your rate of success for autoflower cultivation significantly increases. Perlite is a porous and hard material produced by overheating volcanic glass at very high temperatures. It mixes with other components of the soil to produce a perfect germination environment for cannabis seeds types, including autoflower strains. In addition to its supportive functions, perlite also contains a rich deposit of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
d. Free From Chemicals
Autoflowers are very sensitive to the soil component. It takes a short period for autoflowers to complete a single growth cycle. Within this period, the plant rapidly absorbs nutrients needed for cellular growth and rearrangement. Chemicals present in the soil can be absorbed into the plant system. If absorbed, the adverse effect decreases the quality of your plant's yield.
Making an Ideal Autoflower Soil Mix
Sometimes, it might be hard to get just the best soil for your first autoflower planting project. One of the biggest disadvantages of using just any soil found in the ground is that it gets very dense after many rounds of watering. Making the ideal soil type becomes your next option. You can do this by getting the required materials in an agro store. An ideal soil mix should include peat moss. Peat moss is harvested from peat bogs and made of decomposed moss. Compost is another component you don’t want to miss. You can make your compost by composting organic waste materials found readily in the surroundings. You can use Bat Guano, kitchen waste, or organic manure for your compost. The secondary components required include perlite and vermiculite. The permit-vermiculite composition absorbs water for the root and aid in early sprouting. These ingredients, once collected should be mixed in this recipe;
- 3 parts peat moss
- 3 parts compost
- 2 parts perlite, pre-wet
- 1 part vermiculite, pre-wet
Secondary Additive for an Autoflower Mix
Secondary substrates complement the soil’s component, making it suitable for growing autoflowers through different growing seasons. These materials also help you control the density of your autoflower soil, making sure is light enough for aeration and just heavy enough for little water retention. The most commonly used secondary substrates in autoflower soil include;
Biochar is an organic addictive popular for its water-holding functions. It acts as a pure source of carbon with an enormous surface area. Industrially, Biochar is made by heating wood to extreme temperatures until a tiny, deep-black substrate is formed. Once incorporated into this soil, this component helps the soil retain water and feed the microorganisms a large depot of carbon. It takes a very long time for Biochar to decompose. This means it can remain active for many subsequent planting seasons.
Why Should You Use Biochar?
By stabilizing how the soil handles water, Biochar gives a lot of superpowers to your autoflower soil. It boosts fertility by preventing nutrients from leaking and holding beneficial microorganisms in place. The large surface areas also make it efficient in absorbing water and minerals of beneficial importance to the plant. Made solely of pure carbon, Biochar also helps accelerate the decomposition rate of organic matter in the compost. As a result, the need fr synthetic fertilizer application is eliminated, and your auto flower grows in the best environment.
2. Coco Coir
Coco is the secondary addictive that makes your autoflower soil mix well-aerated and lightweight. You only need a small quantity, 25% - 50%, of coco coir to improve the volume of air pockets in your autoflower soil mix. It serves as an inert growing material and hence does not add additional quantities of Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil.
Why Should You Use Coco Coir?
The first big point is that coco coir is cheap. Compared to other secondary soil addictive recommended for cannabis farming, coco coir can be obtained in an agro store for a cheap price. Its compositions make the best component for improving aeration in the soil. Many soil studies suggest that coco coir can absorb up to 10x its weight in water. It is also produced as a sterile material, completely lacking the organic nutrients to nourish fungus or plant bugs. This means your plant is completely safe even if you overload the soil with coco coir.
Just like permite, vermiculite is another popular secondary addictive you can add to your autoflower soil. This mineral increases the level of soil aeration without affecting the acidity or basicity of the soil. It also supplies a rich deposit of nutrients to the plant. You must add vermiculite in the proper ratio.
Why You Should Use Vermiculite?
As a sterile medium, this mineral does not alter the organic composition of your autoflower soil mix. It also absorbs excess water from the soil and reduces the risk of mold growth. By absorbing excess water, you can also be sure that vermiculite improves your soil’s texture, making it fluffier and prevention the compaction of soil components.
Be Sure To Maintain A Normal PH
The soil ph is a parameter describing the level of acidity or alkalinity of the soil. It features a scale reading from 1 –extreme acidity through 7 –neutral to 14 –extreme alkalinity. Depending on the components of the soil, the ph can vary. Autoflowers generally grow better in a slightly acidic soil medium. Except, the neutral minerals, your autoflower soil might contain different materials that can alter the ph of the soil. As you add new components, it is important that keep track of the ph changes to avoid damage to your autoflower seed.
Experienced cannabis farmers keep their soils mixed within an optimal Ph range of 6.2 -2 6.5. A significant variation of this range can adversely affect your plant, burn out the beneficial organisms and deactivate the nutrients. If the Ph of your soil is altered, you might need to add stabilizing materials to correct it. For example, if the Ph is low –tending much towards acidity, you can add dolomite as a stabilizing agent. If the pH becomes too low –tending much toward basicity, you can add pine needles as a natural stabilizing agent.
Your autoflower seed carries special genetics, allowing it to transition from germination to flowering without modifying the light cycle. These traits help it complete a growth cycle within a short period. Many of the materials needed to make the ideal plant for your autoflower may be sourced locally. Others can be simply purchased from an agro store. With the right soil mix, your autoflower is guaranteed to complete each growth cycle with a high harvest yield. Buy autoflowering weeds seeds at AMS.