Auto-flowering plants are already getting popular thanks to their desirable traits such as fast harvest times and smaller sizes. Auto-flowering plants are naturally advantageous in these two characteristics due to the Ruderalis gene that is present. However, you could literally affect its growth positively through natural and artificial means.
NATURAL MEANS OF ENSURING AUTO-FLOWERING CANNABIS GROWTH
Natural means of ensuring the growth of auto-flowering marijuana plants depend on how you control its environment.
It is important that in its early life as a seedling that it is neither overfertilized nor over watered as these could have a negative impact on their growth. The temperature should be maintained because auto-flowering plants are genetically adapted to cold climates. 22 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius is optimal for auto-flowering plants
Pot sizes are also an important factor as it is recommended that they are higher than they are taller for better root development. This size is also space-saving, making you put 16-20 pots in every square meter of space. 7-liter pots are recommended for each mature plant.
Artificial means such as fertilizers and growth boosters are recommended too.
GROWTH BOOSTERS FOR AUTO-FLOWERING STRAINS
There are two different types of growth boosters for your auto-flowering cannabis plants:
ROOT BOOSTERS: Roots anchor the plant to the soil and is used by the plant to gather nutrients and water from the soil. Healthy roots are able to absorb water and nutrients more effectively. Roots are also susceptible to diseases so healthy roots are important in keeping overall auto-flowering cannabis plant growth.
Roots are hidden from our view and should be taken care of by ensuring that the plant develops healthy roots. This is ensured with a proper soil mix or a hydroponic system that lets oxygen circulate as there is still cellular respiration in the roots. Water drainage is also important so as not to expose the roots to mold or any other plant diseases.
GROWTH BOOSTERS: Growth boosters add nutrients to the soil. Overall plant nutrition means that your plant should be receiving nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and others and growth boosters ensure that these are present in the soil if you are in doubt that your soil does not have enough nutrients in it. Please take note that the plant requirements may differ in its different stages.
ARE GROWTH BOOSTERS GOOD OR BAD FOR YOUR AUTOFLOWERING PLANTS?
Most growers only think and act according to the best interest of their crops. In the beginning, looking at root and growth boosters will automatically make you feel like companies mean everything in the advertisements they make. But some old-time growers are begging to disagree. They are not saying that you absolutely avoid growth boosters. You must consider the following first before you make any purchase:
NEVER JOIN THE BANDWAGON: Fertilizer producers make very elaborate and mind-altering advertisements to entice you to buy their products for great yields while making you feel like all your plants are going to die if you didn’t use their products. Advertisers have hundreds of years of experience and knowledge in social engineering, psychology, design, and marketing to make you buy what you do not need. So, watch the advertisements sparingly and objectively and always ask a trusted grower for his opinion.
NATURAL IS BETTER: The bane of modern cannabis cultivation is that we are being made to believe that more is always the better especially with growth boosters. But before you pour that bottle or empty that sachet of miracle booster you’ve just bought, think about the older generations of growers who were successful even without these fertilizers and boosters. Think about how they were able to maintain quality, yield, and potency with naturally-derived additives that were cheap and effective. Composting has always been a source of reliable and natural fertilizer for growers since the dawn of civilizations.
IT’S ALL IN THE BALANCE: Again, plant nutrients should be added according to what is required by the plants and not what you thought the plant needed. Fortunately, now in the information age, much information is available on the nutritional requirements of each plant. The nutrients that the plant needed the most is Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium.
Nitrogen is needed for the proper development of leaves and stems. Phosphorus is for the roots as well as plant growth. While potassium is the natural growth booster. 12% nitrogen, 14% phosphorus and 24% of potassium, is generally the best balance for most plants and you are free to consult any competent grower or horticulturist in order for you to decide what is best for your plants.
SOIL AND WATER ARE ALSO IMPORTANT: Soil is the medium through which the plant roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Soil and water are not only nourished by adding fertilizers but are maintained to be nourished by maintaining the proper pH levels.
pH level is the level of acidity or alkalinity of your soil and water. Marijuana plant roots could only absorb nutrients when the soil and water have the proper pH level. The plant cannot take in any nutrient even if they are present in acidic or alkaline soil. The ideal pH balance is between 6.0 to 6.3 and could easily be checked by using pH paper, pH stick or pH testing solutions which are important trade tools that you must own as a grower.
So, having the proper pH balance in your soil and water is actually more important than putting in more additive nutrients and should definitely come first and at the top of your list of things to do in order to ensure a successful harvest.
Growth boosters in plants are not really bad but they often come as unnecessary complications to the simple process of growing your crops. Your soil and water, if they are naturally healthy and at the proper pH level should contain enough nutrients for your plants to absorb.
Your lighting and environmental control too are more important than any fertilizers as temperature and lighting affect the plants’ system. Making sure that you have proper temperature and light levels will make your plant absorb everything it needed naturally from the air and the soil. And if you ever felt like you needed growth boosters, ask competent opinion first before buying any product.
Natural fertilizers made from compost is also a time-tested way of keeping your soil rich.