You’re probably going to be home for the next couple of months anyway, so why not take advantage of the time of year and grow some cannabis plants outdoors?
No need for grow tents and expensive lights, all you need is a location away from prying eyes, soil and some autoflowering cannabis seeds – ideally a variety that’s well-suited to the UK’s less-than-tropical climate.
And what dya know? Now (April/May) is the ideal time to start germinating seeds.
Why grow autoflowering seeds outdoors?
Whether you’re an experienced grower or a newbie, autoflowering seeds are well worth the (little) effort it takes to grow them. They shoot up with minimal attention besides watering and produce very respectable yields of pungent, resinous buds.
Due to their ruderalis genetics, auto seeds grow exceptionally quickly. The fastest can go from seed to harvest in as little as 6 weeks! Autos are often smaller in size compared to photoperiod strains, perhaps because of their speedy growth.
While some cannabis varieties are notoriously difficult to grow, requiring all manner of nutrients and supplements, auto seeds are a breeze. They may be a bit on the small side, but auto seeds are incredibly hardy and persistent.
As long as you have good soil and water, you’ll have decent results.
Today’s autos produce dense, frosty and stinky nugs coated in resin. And lots of em’. Many are shocked by the yield of auto-flowering strains.
Some varieties have even been bred to give off less smell than is usual of weed plants. Ideal if you’re growing near others.
What are auto flowering seeds?
Regular cannabis varieties require environmental cues in order to progress through their life-cycle. Most notably, they need a light cycle of 12h light to 12h dark in order to enter their flowering stage (where a plant start producing buds).
Autos don’t. Autos will start flowering automatically after a certain amount of time. This is because of their ruderalis genetics – a type of cannabis that has adapted to thrive in colder northern latitudes where there is less sunlight.
Therefore, ruderalis-type cannabis plants evolved to flower when they reach a certain age and regardless of light cycles. They have also learned to be very hardy and resilient to cold, mould and pests.
Modern day auto strains have been made by crossing ruderalis genetics with the potent weed strains. The result is easy-to-grow, high-grade autoflowering cannabis seeds.
Here are 5 that are best for growing outdoors in the UK…
1. Northern Lights Auto (Seedsman)
A classic strain, Northern Lights autoflower is probably one of the most robust strains in the world. The regular (or photoperiod) version is also hardy, so there’s little chance of failure when it comes to the auto version.
2. Super Silver Haze Auto (Zambeza Seeds)
Super Silver Haze Auto – the result of the legendary Super Silver Haze photoperiod strain bred with a ruderalis strain – can grow up 1.5 metres and be ready to harvest in 70–85 days after germination.
THC levels should be a strong 17% and can produce yields of 120–170g per plant. Dense buds have a potent haze taste.
3. Purple Bud Auto (White Label Seed Company)
This stunner, Purple Bud Auto, is a good option for an outdoor UK grow. She handles the cold climates well and even flourishes on a balcony, often bending under the weight of their resinous purple flowers.
An Indica dominant strain, the high is cerebral and relaxing.
4. Sensi Skunk Automatic (Sensi Seeds)
For high yields and a powerful high, Sensi Skunk Auto is what you need. Proven to excel outdoors throughout the UK – and even colder countries – this auto seed is very reliable and extremely resilient.
5. Magnum Auto (Buddha Seeds)
My friend the Dope-Smoker highly recommends this strain. Planted outdoors in the UK between May and July, it can produce up to 250g per plant. The high is focused and energising.