Have you ever had trouble getting your autos to “look like the ones online” or are your autos “small” compared to others you’ve seen? Most folks have, and we here at Multiverse see it much more often than we would like. So, we want to try and address the absolute most common issue we see when it comes to growing great autoflowers.
That main issue is watering! Watering autos, especially at first, is by far the most important thing to getting them to grow to their full potential. When it comes to watering your autoflowering cannabis, less is more. These plants don’t need a lot of water. In fact, they can very easily have too much water. That is the most common issue we see, overwatering! Overwatering can cause so many issues, especially with young plants.
Let’s talk a little about how the root(s) grow and how to have optimal hydration for your autoflowering plant throughout its entire life. When the plant is young, (its first few weeks of life) its roots are in a constant state of “searching.” The roots are searching for optimal nutrition and optimum hydration levels. If there is too much water present in the medium, the roots have no need to seek out that moisture. They basically drown because there isn’t enough oxygen to allow them to do their thing. The roots grow in the humid space between the very moist soil and the very dry soil, therefore giving them the proper amount of water at the beginning is essential.
Unlike photoperiod cannabis, autos only have a certain amount of time to establish a large root system prior to the flowering phase of life. Here is a good rough guide to get your autos to start on their best foot forward when it comes to watering.
Step 1) you always want to “water in” your new seedlings, this is basically just the process of pre moistening your soil before placing the seed or seedling in the pot. To water in you want to take a handful or so worth of soil out of the pot, make a hole. In this hole you want to pour enough water until you get a kind of mud soup in the hole. A slurry is what you want. After the water has drained you can place your seed or seed plug in the pot.
Note: ** If sewing your auto straight into the soil, take some of the dirt that was removed from the hole and place it back in the hole. It should suck that wet soil up through osmosis and provide a perfect place for your Multiverse Beans seed! ** This should provide enough water in and around the seedling for at least 3 days, in most cases it will be 5 days (this is dependent on your temperature and humidity).
Step 2) After the medium has gone through a “dryback” period (which means the soil has been drying out) of anywhere from 3-7 days, you can water again. Again, keep in mind that less is more! I have always used a medicine cap (like the ones that come on a bottle of NyQuil or Pepto Bismol). Fill this with regular water (no nutes) and pour it in a circle about an inch away from the stem. You don’t want the area right around the stem to be too moist. Too much moisture can cause dampening off, so give an inch or two of dry soil in the center of your water ring.
This will last approximately 3 days, but again this depends on your environment. If you have a very humid environment with little airflow, it will take longer than if you have a very dry environment with high airflow.
Step 3) Once your leaves reach the outer edge of the pot, this is the time you saturate the entire pot moving forward. When watering your autos, slower is better and less is more. When you saturate your entire pot for the first time, do it slowly. The slower the better, remember the soil acts like a sponge or piece of paper towel. When you water slowly, you water totally and evenly – more efficient. Watering too fast can lead to dry pockets of soil that have become hydrophobic; this prevents root growth to those areas. You don’t want your soil too dry, and you don’t want it too moist at any stage throughout its lifetime. Finding out what is too wet or too dry is something that you will get an understanding of as time goes on and more auto grows are under your belt. It is a learning process.
We look forward to helping you out with all your growing needs. Don’t forget to follow us on our socials and join our Facebook Group!