Autos and fems are the two most common types of cannabis seeds grown today, but they are quite different. This leads many to believe they must be grown separately – is this really the case? Let’s find out!
Even though autoflower and feminized cannabis strains require vastly different indoor light cycles, mixing the two seed types can provide some practical advantages. Growing autoflower and feminized seeds can yield considerable returns for experienced outdoor or greenhouse producers. This grow guide outlines the benefits and how to grow autos and feminized seeds together.
An overview of growing autos and feminized cannabis seeds together
Growing autoflowers allows for numerous harvests each year with high-quality genetics. Because of how resilient this type of cannabis can be, the learning curve for cultivating autoflowers is rather simple. However, since they develop rapidly, productivity might be a concern, so many producers choose to plant conventional photoperiod cannabis.
Having bigger yields a couple of fewer times a year offsets several smaller harvests, especially for larger businesses. Ambitious gardeners may elect to produce autos and feminized cannabis simultaneously, but is this a good idea? While you may produce both strains of cannabis simultaneously, you will need to adapt your grow room properly.
The benefits of growing autoflowers and feminized seeds in the same grow room
Despite the basic differences in the development properties of autoflower seeds and feminized cannabis seeds, many growers have found considerable benefits in combining the two seed types. Here are the common benefits of cultivating several cannabis seeds in the same grow room:
Increase the chances of a good harvest
If you stick with a single strain, you’re stuck with it. It might be that it is not very productive, it is vulnerable to mold, or you do not like its effects or flavor. In any event, producing numerous strains at the same time reduces the danger of disappointment connected with a single strain.
A mixture of various strains
This may sound obvious, yet it is the most significant advantage. Growing several strains together means you’ll have a diverse selection of strains to pick from when it comes time to enjoy your buds. Whether you’re looking for energizing Sativa or a drowsy Indica, you’ll find it here. Or you may want something fruity to start, followed by something a touch earthier later; growing multiple strains together offer diversity!
Improve your cultivation abilities
Each strain has distinct requirements. If you cultivate one strain, you will become an expert in that one cultivar but may lose out on crucial knowledge about other kinds. Growing a variety of cannabis strains allows you to expand your knowledge and improve your abilities, enhancing your chances of future success.
Growing autoflowering and feminized seeds together outdoors
Many outdoor producers typically plant a combination of properly picked outdoor cannabis seeds and autoflower seeds. You can utilize the same growing place, nutrients, and growing conditions. Autoflower strains are usually ready to harvest a month or two before feminized photoperiod strains. If you germinate or start your autoflower seeds indoors at the start of the growing season, you may put them out as soon as the weather warms up.
Whereas a feminized outdoor strain might take 5-6 months to complete the growth cycle, an autoflowering strain is normally ready to harvest three months following autoflower seed germination. This permits outdoor gardeners to harvest in the middle of summer. It also provides extra insurance for outdoor growers against adverse late-season circumstances that might jeopardize the yield from photoperiod feminized strains. Autoflower strains provide lesser results because of their shortened life cycle.
Some outdoor cannabis gardeners with lengthy, moderate growing seasons might get two, or even three, consecutive auto harvests in a row. This provides flexibility and a consistent stream of autoflower harvests throughout the year, complementing the single end-of-season harvest from photoperiod feminized strains.
Growing autoflowering and feminized seeds together indoors
Autoflower strains can be flowered with your favorite feminized strains in 12/12 light conditions. Autoflower yields will be slightly reduced, although some gardeners germinate their autoflower seeds with their feminized seeds and grow them alongside each other with a 4-5 week period of veg conditions. For example, 18-24 hours of daylight followed by a couple of months of 12/12 light.
The autos usually come in first, as the last few weeks of 12/12 light are not optimal owing to a shortage of daylight hours. Autoflower yields from a 12/12 bloom cycle are 20-40 % lower than predicted from typical 20/4 light cycles.
Factors to consider when cultivating autoflowers and feminized cannabis seeds together
Combining autoflowering strains with photoperiod strains is popular among growers, and it is possible. However, if you want things to go smoothly, you must prepare very carefully. Here are some aspects to consider when deciding to grow these strain seeds together:
This is a normal component of the learning process for autoflowering cannabis plants. Ruderalis is the dominating species in autoflower that is grown under harsher settings. In other words, they need fewer nutrients than photoperiod plants. Giving autoflowers the same nutritional formulations as traditional photoperiod cannabis will burn and perhaps stunt your plants. If you grow them together, ensure your watering system contains two nutrition mixes. If you don’t have strong genetics, staying within half-strength for the nutrients is usually best.
Note: Unless the nutrient supplier you use specifies recipe requirements for autoflowers, start them at ¼ strength and work their way up.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds develop from seed to harvest in around 11 weeks with 20 hours of indoor light. Autoflower genetics automatically dictate when they begin flowering, which is normally about 4-5 weeks following seed germination. No changes to the light cycle are required. Autoflower seeds have a reputation for being the simplest, quickest, and most convenient way to cultivate cannabis.
Feminized cannabis seeds develop vegetatively generating roots, leaves, and branches (but no buds) under 18-24 hours of daily light. They only begin to flower when their daily light regime is modified to a 12/12 (or similar) light cycle. Depending on the cannabis genetics, the flowering stage of a feminized strain ranges from 7-14 weeks, often about 9-10 weeks.
Since the development rates of these two forms of cannabis differ, you will need to change how you train your plant. Because any form of training takes at least a week for your plant to recover, utilizing it on autoflowers might be a waste of time. When you perform things like topping or bending the branches, regular photoperiod cannabis may readily recover and come back stronger. Later in the development cycle, you may scrog your plant with trellis as the blossoms appear.
Furthermore, because ordinary cannabis takes significantly longer to complete its life cycle (approximately 115 days), performing these things sooner would not harm the plant’s general health and will typically enhance flower output. However, an autoflower cannabis plant may be harvested in 75 days from seed. Any training takes away time that could be spent growing organically. As a result, most gardeners will only top their autoflower plants.
Tips for cultivating autoflower and feminized cannabis strains in the same grow room
There are certain significant variables to consider while cultivating many strains of cannabis in a single grow room. You may reap the benefits of multi-strain grow by applying some preparation and caution!
Choose strains that have comparable traits
Choosing cultivars with comparable growth characteristics is one of the simplest methods to ensure the success of multi-strain grow. Rather than attempting to produce a single variety, select cultivars that attain comparable heights and take the same length of time to mature or blossom. Fortunately, if you purchase cannabis seeds from a reputable seed company, this information will be available online or on the product package.
Increase the number of autoflowering strains over photoperiod
Regarding strain selection, it’s usually advisable to tip the scales in favor of autoflowering plants. This is because autos become substantially smaller than feminized, allowing you to cram more into a given area. Furthermore, after the autos are harvested, the photoperiod strains present might easily fill a whole grow room or tent.
Moreover, more plants imply greater bud if you can adequately light them. Fewer but healthier photoperiod plants will yield more than a greater number of poorly lighted plants. A 3:2 autoflowering to photoperiod ratio, for example, will generally make the most use of the growing area available to you.
Extend photoperiod vegetative duration to accommodate autoflowers
When growing these cannabis strains together, indoor photoperiod plants will veg endlessly until you turn them to a 12/12 light cycle. Meanwhile, no matter what light cycle you expose to autos, they will veg, bloom, and harvest after a genetically fixed period. Nonetheless, autos are frequently let to veg and blossom on an 18/6 cycle for optimum results.
As a result, you can grow a batch of auto plants while your photoperiod plants are vegging, and then after the autos are harvested, you can switch the photos to flowering. Based on the autoflowering genetics you choose, you may need to veg the photoperiod plants for some weeks longer than usual. However, if you’re willing to do so, this is an excellent choice for cultivating various strains in one tent.Growing autos with feminized strains provide practical benefits and additional harvests! There are various reasons to explore the benefits of utilizing both cannabis seeds, whether you’re cultivating your cannabis seeds indoors, outdoors, or in greenhouses and polytunnels. Cultivating autoflower and feminized cannabis in the same grow room is simple since autoflowers do not require to rely on photoperiod. As long as you modify nutrients and training, you can get numerous small harvests from autoflowers and a few larger harvests from conventional photoperiod cannabis throughout the year.