As most ready-made universal potting mixes may contain too much nitrogen or other nutrients, choose only a lightly fertilised potting mix for your autoflowers. Your autoflowers also want soil that is not too compact, as this may otherwise prevent the roots from accessing adequate amounts of air. The best solution is to make your own soil mix at home. Recipe for DIY light and airy soil for autoflowers: 3 parts peat moss 3 parts compost 2 parts perlite, moistened 1 part vermiculite, moistened.
You can find out more about making an optimal potting mix for your autoflowers in our blog **The Best Soil For Growing Autoflowering Cannabis. With autoflowers, you don’t need to worry about light schedules like you would with photoperiod plants. When growing autoflowers, you can just leave your lights on a 18/6 schedule (18h on, 6h off) for the entire grow, and can even grow them under 24 hours of light . Many growers use the 18/6 schedule, as this gives good results while using less energy than a constant 24h cycle. As for the right type of light, LEDs are now replacing HPS lighting in grow rooms and tents everywhere. They may be more expensive outright, but they use a lot less energy than HPS, so you will save massively on energy costs over time.
If you’re using an LED grow light, you may want to see whether it is also equipped with UV lights. Some growers say that UV light makes for better taste and potency. When starting your seeds, and for young plants, you can also use standard fluorescent lamps such as T5 lights. These use very little energy and don’t get warm, so there is no risk of burning your sensitive seedlings. The sea of green (SOG) method is really just a fancy term for growing a lot of smaller plants in your grow room for bigger yields. Autoflowers are ideal for growing in a SOG as they are already smaller by nature. To carry out a SOG with autoflowers, you'd simply plant your seeds directly into even smaller containers that allow you to fit as many plants as possible into every square metre of space. How many plants you want to use for your SOG, as well as their exact pot size, will depend on the space you have available. Feel free to experiment to find the ideal pot size and number of plants that produces the best yields in your indoor grow space. Note: Depending on where you live, there may be legal limits on how many plants you can grow for personal use, so make sure you know how many plants you can have. As previously mentioned, autoflowers are less forgiving when it comes to major or sustained errors, which means you must water your autoflowering girls properly. For starters, don’t water your plants on a fixed schedule, but instead only when they need it. You should always allow the soil to dry out between waterings. A good way to check if your plants need water is to lift up the pots. You should have a pretty good idea of how light a dry pot is compared to one saturated with water. As such, only water when the pot is light and the soil has dried out. Overwatering can be deadly, so it’s better to err on the side of caution. Cannabis can only uptake nutrients when the soil surrounding the root zone has the right pH value. For growing in other media, such as coco, the pH should be lower, ranging from 5.5–6.5 . If the pH of your water is not optimal (which is likely the case if you use tap water) and plants can’t uptake nutrients, this leads to sick specimens. The right pH is particularly important when growing autoflowers as they don’t have time to recover. You want to ensure your plants get all the nutrients they need during their short period of growth. How do you control your water and nutrient solution pH levels? A must-have for any grower are “pH Down” and “pH Up” products, as well as a pH meter. With these on hand, you can be in control of your soil’s pH. Many cannabis growers overfeed their cannabis plants.
This isn’t too surprising, seeing that makers of cannabis nutrients want us to believe our plants require constant supplementation to survive and thrive. Autoflowering cannabis tends to be at its healthiest when given just the right amount of nutrients.
In some cases, plants can go through the entire seedling and veg phases without any supplemental nutes, as most soil mixes already contain enough macronutrients and micronutrients to support these phases of growth.