How to Make Your Own Autoflower Seeds Like a Boss!
Last week I wrote about creating your own feminized seeds. This week we’re going to talk about making your own autoflowering seeds.
Because the world is going green and understanding these nuanced techniques could very well enable you to make a valuable contribution to global cannabis genetics.
When it comes to autoflowering plants, there are many benefits.
Benefits of growing autoflower
There’s a reason so many growers use autoflowering cannabis strains – it has several advantages.
For starters, you can harvest earlier. Unlike regular seeds or even feminized seeds which are limited to the photoperiod [light cycles] – Autoflowers will bloom within a set period of time. Typically, these plants can be harvested between 8 and 10 weeks, while regular stems can take more than 4 months.
While you can’t keep an autoflower as a “mother plant,” you can use it in full to consistently clone and maintain a good cycle. In addition, the short growing season means you can technically get more harvests per season.
It’s also easier to grow because you don’t have to worry about switching light cycles and the plants themselves won’t grow too big due to the genetics required for autoflowering.
In addition, these cars tend to be more disease and weather resistant, and if there is a slight leak it will not affect them either.
These are just a few examples of why people love autoflowering cannabis plants.
But the question is – how do you make autoflowers? To answer this question, we need to look at where it came from
The story of how the autoflower came about
Most people are familiar with indica and sativa, but many people are unaware that there is a third important “type” of cannabis – ruderalis.
These plants developed in places like Siberia, where the nights were longer and the temperature colder. This forced the plant to adapt as it could no longer rely on the typical light cycles a cannabis plant uses to create flowers.
So what did Ruderalis do?
It was decided that light cycles are not that important to their development. If the sun didn’t tell you when to bloom, just do it yourself!
Autoflowers come from breeding this genetic trait into other species such as sativas or indicas.
So do I have to grow autoflowers?
Yes! That’s true. Unlike making feminized seeds, you need to breed autoflowers selectively by combining the right genetics and gender-specific the traits you want in order to produce autoflower offspring.
As you can imagine, it takes months to even years for this to be achieved.
This is yet another reason why autoflower seeds are so expensive to buy.
Now – depending on the goal of your operation – you either do a “general breeding” or a “selective breeding”.
General breeding simply means that you don’t separate the plants with similar traits, while selective breeding means that you group plants together [male/female] together that both wanted properties that you want to reinforce.
Selective breeding explained [in more detail]
We have the short version of the selective breeding process – but let’s take a more detailed approach on how to get the strain you need to become an autoflowering plant.
When it comes to “by when”, you’ve grown the trait you want into the genetics – think about 3-4 generations. This can be anywhere from a year to two years in terms of “time” before you have the seed you want.
But that’s okay – you’re working to create new strains of cannabis that, if done right, could be sold to the world. Seed companies make great money, yo!
How do I get this cute autoflowering magic?
Now let’s get to the heart of the story. Of course, to get an autoflower you need to start with the right genetics. Because the gene is recessive, you will need to breed with two parents who have the gene to create an autoflowering strain.
That said, if you grow a sativa with ruderalis, the offspring will only contain around 25% of the genetic information needed for autoflowering.
In most cases, the first generation of a cross will not produce autoflowering genetics. However, the seeds of this first generation will now have both a man and a woman with this genetic marker.
If you grow these two together, the chance increases to around 50%. Which means you’ll want to breed it all over again to get it to 100%.
But this is where the fun begins. Now you have an autoflower seed, but it may not have the traits you want.
Then everything revolves around backcrossing
Backcrossing? Now you’re just doing shit!
On the contrary, my red-eyed friend. Backcrossing is basically taking the third generation seed you produced and then crossing it again with a non-autoflower.
This allows you a larger pool of genetics to play around with the traits you want.
So let’s say you liked the thickness of the pimples of a particular variety. Crossed it with a ruderalis and then created the third generation of fully autoflowered offspring. You take this seed and cross it again with the original “thick nugged variety” to now double those properties.
In the third generation of this second variant, you now have more autoflower genetics in the stem and denser buds because you have refined this genetic trait.
It sounds simple – but it takes a lot of time and patience to really pull off.
Autoflowering is great to grow, but not that easy to do. Hopefully this article has shed some light on the process and also helped you justify paying so much for autoflower seeds.
Remember, when you are growing you will want to have multiple acreage. This won’t work if you only have one acreage as pollen will migrate far and sow every female in the area.
So if you are planning to start your own seed bank, you will need at least 3-4 different growing areas. Fortunately, a cannabis plant can produce hundreds of seeds, so you essentially only need enough space for 2 plants per plot. Also have plenty of odorless glasses around.
Hope this has inspired some of you to join your growing endeavors! Be the breeder!
BE THE BREEDER, READ MORE …
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN FEMINIZED SEEDS, BECOME A BREEDER!
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