First Auto flower grow So many questions

A bit of intro. I am recently retired (Dec 31,2021). I started smoking pot (again) about two years ago after a nearly 40-year hiatus. This is my second year growing and first year with auto flower. Strains, white widow, blueberry dementia, and autopilot xxl, two each. My grow medium was one-part sifted topsoil, one-part moldy leaf compost, one-part composted yard clippings and veggie scraps, and one-part commercial potting soil (to help with compaction). I started the seeds outdoors (hoop house) in peat cups and a commercially available starting soil mix on April 30th. I transplanted from the peat cups into the final container (4 gallon) when the third set of leaves were well established about 4 weeks. I used blood meal, bone meal, wood ash, and pulverized eggshells for nutrients. I’m not anti-commercial I’m cheap. Starter nutrient mix, one cup blood meal, one cup bone meal, and one tablespoon of wood ash. I put a healthy teaspoon in the hole and mixed in the soil placed seedling in and watered. I applied the stater mix one week later at first watering then discontinued. I read too much wood ash can cause nutrient block. I kept watch on the moisture in the pots and watered every 3 - 5 days and applied one tablespoon of veg mix every other watering. Veg mix is three parts bone meal and two parts blood meal apply one tablespoon. I kept a close watch and as soon as the flowers appeared and pistils readily visible (about 5–6 weeks) I switched fertilizer to bud bad bash. One half cup bone meal, one teaspoon blood meal, and two teaspoons pulverized eggshells. I collected eggshells and dried in the sun. Then pulverized with a stone mortar & pestle to a talc consistency. Applied on the surface and worked into the soil prior to watering. I used only rainwater to water. The buds matured and developed quite the lovely funk. A lesson learned from last year’s mistake was air movement. So, from day one after transplant I have had three fans running. I have the sides up on the hoop house and it makes like a high tunnel. Along about mid-July/10 weeks the pistils were turning tan / light brown on most of the plants. Most what I had read said auto-flowers were ready in about 10 - 12 weeks. So, I kept a close watch on them, at least twice daily. Then on the 5th of August after my first review of the morning I said to myself if my gut says the same this evening I’ll pull half the plants and I did. Pulled’em roots and all and hung them by the roots in the basement (6’x6’x6’) where the dehumidifier was set to 60%, I had a fan moving air and black curtain blocking the light. I looked at the remaining three plants the next day and could see no difference in them and what was hanging in the basement, so out they came and hung in the basement with the rest. Then after two days I clipped all the big fan leaves and left the leaves around the buds. Five more days I started getting some faint snap in the smaller stems. At seven days the main stalk on the smaller plants had some definite breakage. Oh yeah I “accidentally” broke a small bud from one of the plants. The leaves surrounding the buds were dry as dust and the bud was so sticky, I could hardly get it off my fingers to put in my pipe. Then I put fire to the bowl. All I can say is wow! The smell and taste was amazing. However, the mostest & goodest part was just starting. I was soon hip deep in that warm thrill of confusion. I briefly got lost in the greenhouse (8’x12’). Two more days (9-1/2 days total) passed, and I pulled another small sample of buds (for quality assurance purposes only). The buds were dry to the touch and the smell was most gone. But break them open the smell is amazing and the stickiness was ever so slightly less, but definitely still very very tacky. So, I trimmed all the plants and jarred them by strain. Currently burping 2x daily.

Yield total = 150 grams from six plants
White widow = 39 grams
Blueberry dementia = 51 grams
Autopilot XXL = 60 grams

First off, I am blown away by the quality of the weed. I have never had this much, not just good, but awesome weed. I’m an ole stoner and smoke a lot of weed. All of this will buzz my coconut every time, but I’m partial to the white widow.

Should the harvest have been appreciably more or is this not out of line for auto-flower. What errors do you see? The plants were very healthy all during the grow. At harvest the biggest fan leaves were on their last legs, but that normal at harvest time. Also, these were at about 14 weeks at harvest. Is that common?

All in all, I will do this again. I have already made note on what I saw that can be improved next time. I really like my soil mixture. It has a good balance of drainage & retention. I count on the compost components to provide the trace minerals. So far, it’s working. I’m going to experiment with compost teas next season.

Now I’ll turn my attention to the six photo period plants in the green house.

peace to all


This is typical for autoflowers, especially for beginning grows. A normal auto yield is around the 2-4 ounce marker and a good auto yield is around the 3-5 marker. Outstanding is 5+ ounces per. My very first autoflower yielded about 14 grams.

They get better as you learn to listen to the plants - dial in what they need and learn to water on a wet/dry cycle (waiting til the pots are nice and light but not totally dry, since you have organic soil it’s important to keep it a little damp).

My best suggestion at this juncture is to look at some mycorrhizae and beneficial bacteria to help with speeding up root growth. It’s the best kick-start to autoflowers I’ve ever had.

Not knowing the germ process totally, I’ll tell you how I do autos and maybe that will be info you already had, or perhaps will be helpful.

I’ll sprout the seed (floating in a cup of water first) then pop it into a solo cup full of coco coir (soil works fine too). Once she’s big enough (2 sets of true leaves is the longest I wait), I’ll transplant her into her final home (biggest pot you wanna grow in). When it’s transplant time, sprinkle the root ball so it’s good and covered with Great White (a mycorrhizae blend) and Azos (a beneficial bacteria) and then place it into the final pot. Water in a ring right around where you added the mycos and Azos, and watch her growth rapidly explode.

Autos will do their own thing on their own time, but if you can train them early, with low stress training like bending over, or topping them, then they will often dramatically improve their yields.

No flaws in your method, it netted you ample stellar weed. :v::100:

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Congrats on the retirement and harvest! Great stuff from @Graysin. My 1st two auto harvest were around an ounce-two but like you mentioned some great smoke. The White Widow is a true classic smoke and one of my evening chill out strains. I improved several areas of my grow, mostly medium, lighting and environmental conditions and get approximately 4-6 zips per plant with a little over 9 being my personal best. It’s a learning experience and I’m still learning with every grow :love_you_gesture: