The growth weed plants in Autumn! If you want to grow weed outdoors, you should start the plants during the spring season and harvest in the autumn. In spring, the days lengthen and peak up to summer. Thus, the weed can grow progressively in the vegetative stage of its growth cycle.
However, as autumn approaches, the temperature is set to drop. You have shorter days and longer nights, and the weather is colder, rainy and less sunlight is available. Your cannabis plants will get minimal sunlight exposure within these shorter, colder days. With these conditions, many growers are under the impression that they can’t grow weed again until spring comes back around.
Yes, the conditions in autumn are not as ideal for weed. However, outdoor growers can continue cropping during the autumn months and still get a considerable amount of buds. Below, we share tips for cropping weed in cooler autumn conditions. Autumn doesn’t have to mean misery for weed growers.
Get Feminized Seeds
The most crucial item on your grower’s checklist is getting weed seeds. Remember that only female cannabis plants will produce the highly desirable flowering buds. They contain a high content of CBD, THC, and other types of cannabinoids.
So, what’s the problem with male weed plants? They are regrettably useless. They don’t produce useful CBD or THC content. After plenty of hard work, you would end up throwing away your harvest of male cannabis.
With feminized seeds, your cultivation process becomes easier and less stressful. You’re guaranteed that you will get mature female plants. And this means flower buds full of CBD and THC. Make your purchase of feminized seeds only from reputable seed banks or vendors.
Pick the Right Strain
You also have to think about this question: What type of weather do you expect when growing weed? In this particular case, consider the climate during autumn. Because autumn is characterized by colder temperatures, the ideal weed strain is one labeled with a cool-weather designation, especially for outdoor growing.
Ideally, pick indica strains instead of sativa. Indica plants have densely packed and larger leaves in terms of breadth and length.
Larger leaves do well in autumn, when the days are not bright. They can absorb the maximum sunlight possible at any given time. Thus, they are better suited to withstand autumn’s colder temperatures. Sativa, on the other hand, requires warmer climates and is best suited for cropping during summer.
With the days not so bright and warm, it’s important to pick a strain that grows in the shortest time possible. This is a notable characteristic of indica-dominant strains.
Examples of indica-dominant strains for cropping in autumn include:
- Purple Punch
- Ginger Punch Auto
- Durban Poison
- Afghan Kush
- Grease Monkey
- Blue Cheese
- Northern Lights
- White Widow
Photoperiods and Auto-flowering Strains
A photoperiod is the amount of time a cannabis plant receives sunlight exposure. During the vegetative phase, the photoperiod ranges between 16 and 20 hours daily. You need to modify the light cycle of a photoperiodic cannabis plant to enable it to shift from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase of the growth cycle.
The adjustment entails reducing the amount of photoperiod. In this case, the plant should be exposed to 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness daily for several weeks. This mechanism helps the plant reach the desired flowering phase.
However, there’s a lack of adequate sunlight during autumn. Instead of photoperiodic strains, your best bet is cropping auto-flowering weed plants. They are unique and derived from the cannabis Ruderalis species.
They don’t depend on a specific amount of light exposure to start their flowering cycle. They are designed to bloom at a specific period, regardless of the climatic conditions and sunlight. This means that even in autumn, your weed plants can come into flower and yield resin-filled buds. This makes auto-flowering seeds an ideal choice for novice growers.
And the best part is that you don’t have to worry about whether the seeds will produce male or female plants. This is because they specifically produce female cannabis plants.
Auto-flowering cannabis plants also boast a shorter life cycle of about three or four months. This shorter life cycle is ideal, especially in the not-so-good autumn conditions.
Stagger the Auto-flowering Growing Seasons
You can crop auto-flowering plants at least thrice in a year to significantly boost the amount of yield. Basically, if you plant auto-flowering strains in March, the harvest should be ready in three months. That’s in June. Then, when you begin a second grow in June, you’ll harvest in August. A third grow during August leads to autumn grow and ready harvest in late November.
Ideally, stagger your auto-flowering grows across the year. Plant the second grow at least two weeks before you harvest your first grow. Likewise, plant your third grow two weeks before you harvest the second grow. This method goes a long way in guaranteeing a chain of suitably large crops.
Chances are, the second harvest will produce the largest yield. This is because of the perfect climatic conditions during those months. The first and third grows will also produce a significant yield. Ideally, your third harvest should be allowed to finish flowering in the warmer, heat-controlled environs of a greenhouse.
Of course, you need some extra cleverness in terms of picking the right auto-flowering strain and managing the timing of your cannabis grows. By doing so, you can significantly add to your harvest and lengthen your growing season, concluding in late autumn.
Heat-controlled Grow Rooms
Outdoor grows in autumn aren’t practical due to shorter day lengths and low temperatures. Unless you’re using auto-flowering seed, your buds may be exposed to frost, which may ultimately ruin the potency of your buds. You can navigate this challenge by growing your weed plants in heat-controlled greenhouses.
With greenhouses, you can dial in on the specific needs of the plants at all phases of the grow cycle. Elements such as air circulation, temperature, ventilation, humidity, and more can be controlled. The nature of the design of a greenhouse traps solar energy and preserves the heat generated by sunlight, which is exactly what your plants need. You can also make great cost savings on energy bills compared to employing lighting systems indoors.
Here are some great modifications that you can make to your greenhouse for maximum yields
When the plants inside a greenhouse are photoperiodic strains, growers often use high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting. This is done to prolong daylight beyond the shorter autumn days. With HIDs in place, the warmth produced by the lights will add to the natural heat retained by the greenhouse.
You can adopt blackout systems like screens, curtains, and tarps. Anything providing heavy and thick shade can help your plants switch to the flowering stage. Ideally, the best blackout systems create a total blackout. Any cracks, edges, or gaps through which light can seep through may impact the quality and potency of your flower buds.
If the plants contained inside the greenhouse are auto-flowering strains, then there’s no need to use the above-mentioned HID lights and blackout systems. This is because they bloom automatically and within a shorter period.
Autumn Colour Effect for Growing Indoors
It’s also possible to crop weed plants indoors during autumn, thanks to the autumn color effect (ACE) technique. You not only end up with a significant yield but also quality buds.
Many growers feed nitrogen to their weed plants all the way up to the flowering stage. By doing so, the plants are kept in a simulated state of health. The ACE technique removes nitrogen from weed plants at the end of the flowering stage. This is in an attempt to imitate the autumn responses that would occur when weed was grown outside in nature.
With the removal of nitrogen, the plant is forced to turn to its own preserved nutrients to complete the flowering phase. It also produces extremely low chlorophyll levels. The reduced level of chlorophyll adds to the aroma and flavor of the bud. Ultimately, you get sizeable yields, good quality, and potent flower buds.
Timing Is Key
With this technique, growers can get sizeable yields even in autumn. However, timing is of great importance here. When you begin too early in the flowering stage, your weed plants may not have adequate nutrients to complete flowering properly, and your yields may suffer.
The colour of the leaves during harvest will confirm the actual timing when you implemented the ACE technique:
- Brown, crispy leaves: You began too early
- Purple/red/yellow leaves: Perfect timing
- Light green leaves: Late timing
Whether you grow indoors or outdoors, before the autumn grow season begins, you can dedicate some time to replenishing the soil after the previous harvest. This helps to reduce any potential problems for your upcoming fall harvest. Unless the soil is disease-infested, you don’t have to replace the soil before cropping in autumn. With a couple of simple techniques, you can revitalize old soil by adding the required minerals to it. Here are some important things that you should know about this process.
Cannabis Depletes Soil
You need to revitalize your soil between harvests because weed crops are infamously hungry. They take up huge amounts of phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium, potassium, sulphur, and magnesium from the soil. They also require several other minor elements in smaller quantities. These include boron, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, and molybdenum.
The soil these plants are grown in is depleted after every harvest. To guarantee sizeable yields for the autumn growth cycle, regenerating the soil should be first on your checklist.
Here are a few techniques for a more holistic strategy to soil management:
- Add compost to the old soil in 30:70 ratios. This will add nutrients and life to the washed-out soil.
- The addition of perlite to the soil is also important. This helps to enlarge the surface area for useful bacteria to flourish and spread out on.
- If you want to add an even greater variety of useful minerals to the soil, consider dolomite, crushed rock dust, and molasses.
- Some microorganisms will also help bring life to the existing soil. For example, useful root bacteria support weed growth and strengthen their response toward lower temperatures, disease, and pests. Microorganisms can also speed up the decay of old roots to act as constituent elements for new growth.
Growers should grow companion weed plants close together with weed. They help fend off notorious pests. They also attract useful insects and add some of the necessary soil nutrients.
For optimal growth, the soil should act as an intricate, interlinked, and self-sustaining closed-loop system. Companion growing helps the soil maintain this self-sufficient web of life.
To achieve optimal soil composition, the most important aspect is to maintain colonies of nutrient microbes adjacent to the roots. In a symbiotic relationship, the roots fuse together with the microbes. The microbes offer nutrition to the roots, which deliver sugars to the microbes. Ultimately, the soil becomes full of life.
By adding these important microbes to the soil, companion plants add to the flourishing food network within the soil. The following companion plants will rejuvenate soil during your weed plant growth in Autumn:
- Sweet peas
The Bottom Line
Nothing is stopping you from extending your growing season to incorporate the fall season. Given that temperatures are set to drop considerably during the autumn months, auto-flowering seeds are your best bet for outdoor weed growing. They don’t need sunlight exposure to bloom from the vegetative phase.
Equally, a greenhouse can provide protection and warmth to your plants through supplemental heat systems, like HID lights and heaters. The growth of weed plants does well in warmer temperatures, so adequate heat is crucial during the cold and rainy autumn months. With all of this in mind, you’ll be able to grow cannabis throughout the fall without a hitch.