When growers talk about the amount of yield they get from their plants, they are talking about the amount of buds they harvest. Yield is the weight of the buds harvested and dried.
Since many growers want to optimize their maximum yields, it won’t surprise you that growers are always trying to find ways to increase their yields. Especially when it comes to autoflowers.
Despite the fact that autoflowering cannabis strains are easy to grow, in the past they were known for their limited yield per plant. Fortunately, nowadays there are many high yielding autoflowering strains. An autoflower can produce as much as 80 to 160 grams of weed.
Let’s take a closer look at the yield of autoflowers in general and how to get bigger yields from autoflowers!
How can you measure yield?
There are several ways in which you can do this. One of the best methods is to calculate how many grams of weed in bud each plant produces. This is easily done by weighing the total amount of dried buds produced by a single plant.
However, for calculating the total yield this method is only useful if all your plants are roughly the same size.
Grams per square meter
Measuring grams per square meter is another parameter that allows growers to compare different grow rooms with the same dimensions but varying growing conditions. With this method, the total production weight is divided by the number of square meters.
If you grow indoors, you can calculate your yield by measuring grams per watt or grams per light or kilowatt hours. The latter is recognized as the industry standard for professional growers and is calculated by dividing the total weight of dry buds harvested by the total daily energy consumption (kWh).
Tips for a XXL autoflower yield when growing indoors
Autoflowers are cannabis varieties that automatically produce buds without the grower having to figure out the best time to bring the plants into the flowering phase. Besides, autoflowers proliferate and have the potential to produce great yields, but you have to know what you are doing.
To get you started and hopefully avoid making mistakes that lead to disappointing yields, we’ve created a guide to growing autoflowers both indoors and outdoors, with tips and tricks for each to give you the best chance of a bumper harvest in a short amount of time.
Reading tip! | How do you grow autoflowers?
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about growing autoflowers indoors and outdoors. We also give tips on how to maximize the harvest:
How much light do autoflowers need?
Growers often disagree on the amount of light autoflowers need per day, the advice can range from 16 to 24 hours per day depending on the strain. But 18 hours of light per day and 6 hours of darkness is generally recognized as the norm. This applies throughout the plants’ life cycle.
Reading tip | The best light cycle for autoflowers
What nutrients do autoflowers need to get the best yield?
From the first day until the thirteenth day, the plants should be watered only. After two weeks you can add a very small amount of growth nutrient. After four weeks, (day 28), you can give the plants some bloom nutrients for the next month. Feeding the plants should be stopped about seven days before harvest.
Some nutrient producers recommend using high doses, but we recommend using only moderate amounts. In fact, too much nutrition can lead to root burn and can cause your plant to die.
What soil should I use for my autoflowers?
No matter what kind of cannabis seeds you use, a healthy soil type is essential. Usually, autoflowering seeds prefer light soil. Traditional potting soil is not ideal for growing cannabis.
Therefore, buy organic potting soil without chemical additives. You can also make your own soil mixture by mixing equal amounts of peat moss, compost, perlite and vermiculite (the last two should be moistened with water first).
What size pots do I need for the best autoflowering yield?
Most autoflowering cannabis seeds do not grow into huge plants. It is therefore advisable to use pots of 15 liters.
If you meet the above conditions, growing autoflowering cannabis plants should be a piece of cake.
Reading tip! | The best pots for autoflowers
Tips for a XXL autoflower yields when growing outdoors
If you’re going to grow with autoflowering weed seeds, be aware that the growth and flowering is very fast. Autoflowers get going at full speed, so every step counts. The short life cycle from seed to harvest is only 2-3 months. As an autoflower is ready for harvest very quickly, it’s essential to optimize your resources even before you start.
Don’t worry too much, though. Their superior genetics make them true resistance champions. In fact, the autoflowering strains contain genetics derived from the cannabis Ruderalis. This is a native species originating from the harsh climate regions of northern Europe, Himalayas and Siberia with a very short summer.
In short, the ruderalis genetics provide extraordinary speed and excellent resistance to bad weather that will definitely benefit you when growing outdoors.
How long does the autoflowering season last?
Autoflowering plants love the warm, sunny weather and depending on the length of your summer; you may be able to enjoy multiple harvests. In southern Europe, you can start sowing between the second week of April and the beginning of May, after the frost and when the days are longer. The end of July is then the time to harvest. It is then possible to sow again in early August and harvest for a second time in October.
In Northern and Central Europe, wet and cold weather is much more common, there is less sun and the summer is usually shorter. As a result, you can often only harvest once. For best results, sow in early June when the soil feels warm and you can harvest in August.
Depending on the weather conditions, you can also sow earlier.
Which pests pose a risk?
Even though they are not immune, autoflowers are less likely to be invaded by insects than non-autoflowers. This is because they have such a fast life cycle that insects and other pests do not have the material time to become a serious problem for the plant.
What kind of compost should I use to the yield of my autoflower?
Autoflowering plants prefer a light, airy substrate to allow them to make the best use of their resources, develop their roots properly and speed up their metabolic processes. For this you need 10 liters of substrate, consisting of 1/3 coconut fiber and 2/3 peat or a pretreated substrate.
Which pots should I use to get the best yield
If you are not growing directly in the ground but want to achieve the best harvest, a pot size of 7 to 15 liters is desirable. Here it is essential to repot your plant at most once, but rather plant your seed directly in the pot you intend to use. Autoflowering species find repotting very stressful.
How much water do autoflowers need outdoors?
Autoflowering varieties can handle a lack of water better than photoperiod plants. Moreover, they do not like to be given a lot of water all at once. Therefore, it is better to water in small amounts.
Never soak the plant’s roots – but water regularly to promote oxygenation. The amount of water required depends on the weather and the environment in which the plant is growing.
Do I need to wash the roots?
It is advisable to wash the roots of your plant. Especially if you use (a lot of) fertilizer. In this way you prevent the loss of flavor.
Washing roots is a simple process. Two weeks before harvest, you should soak the plants thoroughly with lots of clean water – tap water is fine – or treated with reverse osmosis to soak up all the fertilizer left in the substrate.
How do I know when to harvest to get the best yield?
The time to harvest depends on the variety, but on average you can harvest after 70 to 80 days (from the time of sowing).
When your plant starts to approach the time of harvest you will see that the leaves turn yellow and the color of the trichomes of the resin starts to change from white to dark apricot.
We recommend that you stop watering the plants about five days before harvest
Reading Tip! | When should you harvest autoflowers?
Choose the right variety for the best autoflowering yield
Choosing the right kind of autoflower is one of the most important keys to a bountiful harvest. Fortunately, there are plenty of high yielding autoflower strains, for example the: