Comparison of Autoflower and Feminized Weed Seeds for Growing at Home
Weed legalization is in full swing across the USA, and many people are considering this herbal remedy for various medical conditions. It has been used for decades, even centuries, though mostly discreetly, to treat anxiety, depression, stress, nausea, insomnia, and pain. Finally, millions of Americans have received a unique opportunity to enjoy weed without legal limitations or stigma.
This variant is more suitable for many than toxic, addictive, and expensive antidepressants and painkillers, so weed cultivation and use are rising. In addition, it’s getting trendy to have your small weed plantation in the backyard to cater to your own weed supply needs. Just fancy: you don’t need to overpay for the dispensaries’ taxes and rent, and you’re in complete control of the amount and quality of your buds in the stocks.
Indoor Growing Is More Accessible Than You Might Think
Those without a large backyard can enjoy bountiful weed harvests if they set up a growing room inside a house or apartment. That's pretty easy with the modern growing tents and ventilation equipment, making weed cultivation an odor-free and mess-free endeavor.
The only thing that you need to decide upon is the type of weed seeds you'll grow. Indoor growing is unsuitable for regular seeds, as the risk of male plant growth and occasional pollination is too high. Thus, you should choose between autoflower and feminized seeds, each with its own peculiarities. Here is a detailed guide on growing each seed type in indoor settings.
What Are Autoflower Seeds?
The autoflower seed variety was genetically engineered with the help of adding the Ruderalis gene to well-known strains. This gene helps plants start flowering without dependence on the light cycle changes; you may introduce no modifications to the lighting schedule in your growing room and still enjoy the harvest in due time.
Due to this feature, autoflower seeds are regarded as the best choice for cultivator beginners. Inexperienced people may find it hard to change the light duration properly, thus losing the harvest or delaying the flowering stage altogether. However, this trait comes at a price; autoflower seeds commonly produce plants with lower active component levels in the buds, and the harvests are less plentiful than those of feminized seeds.
What Are Feminized Seeds?
Feminized seeds are also genetically engineered; they are thoroughly checked for the present genes so that the likelihood of growing a male plant reduces to zero. Therefore, by buying feminized seeds, cultivators may rest assured all their plants will be female [at least 99.99% sure]. This feature allows growers to get the maximum from their investments because every seed they germinate and grow is a female plant with rich harvests. However, dealing with a feminized plantation requires effort and skill, as these plants enter the flowering stage only after the change in the light-and-dark cycle. Thus, a grower should calculate the due time for that change and reset the indoor lighting schedule so that the flowers feel the change of seasons and start flowering.
Growing Feminized Seeds Indoors: Case of Lambs Breath
Feminized seeds require more input from the cultivator, as they should be properly watered, fed, and provided with sufficient light and dark throughout the day. The rule of thumb is to choose a watering system that you can understand and manage pretty well, thus protecting your yields from droughts or overwatering.
The photoperiod plants grow well with an 18/6 cycle of light and dark during the day; when you notice that the plants are ready for flowering, you should reduce the amount of light and shift to the 12/12 lighting schedule. This change will trigger the flowering stage of your crops.
Another tip for indoor growing is to choose the strain correctly; let's consider the ins and outs of feminized seed cultivation in the example of Lambs Breath https://askgrowers.com/seeds/lambs-breath-seeds-feminized:
- The plants can grow up to 180cm high, which is pretty manageable indoors, but still, you may need to apply some training to avoid the plants’ breakage.
- The harvest of this strain is typically scheduled for mid-October to mid-November, but if you grow the crops indoors, you can collect several harvests a year.
- You should wait for the flowering period for 9-10 weeks, watching your plants' flowers closely afterward to see the signs of maturity and readiness for harvesting.
- Start with low nutrient concentrations and increase them as the plants grow and demand more nutrition; don’t over-feed the plants, as the excessive nutrient supply can burn their roots and hinder plant growth.
Growing Autoflower Seeds Indoors: Case of Banana Kush
Autoflower plants grow and flower quicker than feminized plants, which you should consider when planting germinated seeds. In addition, they are highly resistant to pathogens and pests, making them optimal for beginners.
These plants don’t need a change of light cycle, so you may leave the light on for 18 hours a day and turn it off for 6 hours during the entire process of growing. It will be optimal for the crops, causing no stress to them.
Let's consider the example of Banana Kush seeds - https://askgrowers.com/seeds/banana-kush-seeds-autoflower:
- Strive to organize the pH level for your plants at the level of 6-6.5. If the soil is too acidic, the plants’ roots may get damaged and burn.
- Make light, well-aerated soil for your crops by making the composite from 3 parts peat moss, three parts compost, two parts perlite, and 1 part vermiculite. This is an optimal mix for your plants to thrive throughout the entire growing cycle.
- Apply low-stress training to the plants to boost their productivity. However, avoid high-stress activity and don’t move auto flowers from one pot to another, as they are non-tolerant to such interventions.
Using these tips, you can get an optimal yield from the cauliflower plantation without extra troubles or mess.
As you can see, growing plants indoors requires extra effort and plant management that growers don't need to apply in outdoor plantations. The closed nature of the growing room and the cultivator's complete control of the environment play a nasty trick on them, requiring close monitoring and support of the plants' optimal growing and flowering conditions. However, if you do everything right, cauliflower and feminized plants will surely reward you with enormous yields of flavorful, valuable buds for further therapeutic or recreational consumption.
The author of this article is Tia Moskalenko, an experienced weed grower and a full-time blogger at AskGrowers. Tia collaborates closely with many growing farms and applies the latest tips and technologies in her cultivation practices. In addition, she is always happy to share her experience and help beginners start their exciting cultivation journey.