Shortage Guerilla: Going Autoflowering for COVID-19

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Unless you live in certain parts of the US or Canada, chances are you’re having a hard time scoring right now. Luckily there’s a simple solution to the COVID-19 dry spell; growing autos. 

Autoflowering cannabis strains got a pretty bad rap when they first hit the market. Today’s autos, however, are capable of producing great yields and top-shelf flower that’ll give even the most celebrated photoperiod strains a serious run for their money. 

Keep reading to learn more about autoflowering cannabis and why it’s the perfect solution to the weed shortage caused by COVID-19. 

A Quick History of Autoflowering Cannabis Strains

Autoflowering cannabis varieties are crosses of cannabis ruderalis, the only cannabis variety that flowers based on maturity rather than photoperiod changes. Breeders as renowned as Nevil Schoenmakers are rumored to have experimented with ruderalis in the 1970s, but it wasn’t till the 2000s that seedbanks started offering autoflowering seeds for sale. 

Lowryder by The Joint Doctor is widely thought of as the first commercially available auto strain. According to The Joint Doctor’s website, it was bred out of a desire to create a type of “dwarf” cannabis variety “that would work for windowsills, balconies, and cramped apartments.” 

Unfortunately, Lowryder is still one of the reasons people frown at autos; despite maturing extremely quickly, some early Lowryder phenotypes produced tiny harvests of substandard bud that didn’t taste particularly good or get you very high.

Now, however, that’s all changed. Autoflowering strains have come a long way in the last 10+ years, and even The Joint Doctor’s new Lowryder phenos have improved significantly. Today, a good-quality auto produce great yields of potent bud in as little as 60 days from seed to harvest. 

Autoflowering Weed: The Answer To The COVID-19 Dry Spell

If you’ve ever been tempted to grow your own weed, there’s no better time than now. Auto strains are, by far, the best solution to the cannabis shortages caused by the quarantine and social distancing measures put in place by governments around the world in response to COVID-19; they’re easy to grow, flower quickly, and don’t require training or trimming. 

As long as you start off with some great genetics, you’re almost guaranteed a great harvest. From personal experience, some of the best autos to look out for are White Widow Automatic by Royal Queen Seeds and AK47 Automatic (Royal Queen and TNT Seeds both have great versions of this strain). Both produce dense, sticky buds with great aromas and potency. Best of all, they take about 75 days from seed to harvest and are very resistant to pests and diseases. 

Some other great auto varieties worth checking out include: 

Thanks to their short life cycle, autoflowering strains are great for beginner growers. Cannabis ruderalis is naturally very resistant to pests and plagues, and that trait tends to shine through in a quality auto hybrid. Auto strains also can’t be trained or trimmed, which is ideal for rookies who might not feel comfortable with low-stress or high-stress training techniques (like topping or super cropping). 

The fact that autos can grow well both indoors and outdoors again makes them ideal for the COVID-19 crisis; if you’re in the northern hemisphere, your autos will do great under the sun (especially in regions like the South of Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy). If you’re in the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, your autos will do equally well under a lamp or in a small grow tent. If you’re an indoor grower, consider giving your autos 20 hours of light per day throughout their entire growth cycle to maximize their potential. 

Finally, what really sets auto strains apart from their photoperiod cousins is their ease and speed of growth. All your autos need to flourish is some good quality soil, regular feeding/watering, and a solid light source. Just give them 60-80 days to mature and you’ll be ready to harvest your very own home-grown kush during COVID-19. 

Happy growing! #stayhome

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Steve est journaliste et musicien. Il vit en ce moment en Amérique du Sud, entre Argentine et Uruguay. Cet amoureux des chats, nominé pour son travail d'investigation aux Emmy Awards, collabore aussi régulièrement avec High Times, Green Rush, Zamnesia  Royal Queen Seeds et bien d'autres.

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