Seasons and seeds: what are the characteristics of the auto-flowering winter seeds.
Everything you need to know about winter autoflowering seeds.
As you may know, marijuana seeds are not all created equal. You will find the standard ones, the feminized seeds, but also the auto-flowering and fast flowering seeds, from which ultra-fast flowering plants are born. However, all seeds tend to generate plants that love temperatures between 20 and 28ºC.
PSYCHO XXL AUTOMIX
Farmers who want to perfect their cultivation should know that not all cannabis plants will survive the very harsh winters, typical of continental climate regions or mountain areas. However, some resist well even at low temperatures. These are the plants born from the so-called “winter auto-flowering seeds“.
What is a winter auto-flowering seed?
In reality, there are no winter cannabis seeds, but rather seeds from which the seedlings are very resistant to low temperatures. These plants are the auto-flowering ones.
There is a particular reason why the minimum temperature for auto-flowering plants could even drop below zero without serious repercussions. They come from the mixture between Indica or Sativa plants with Ruderalis cannabis plants. In general, the Indica / Sativa are feminized. Therefore, the hemp seeds that derive from them can produce 99.9% of the female plants.
Ruderalis is the “wildest” strain, which adapts to different temperatures (and that can also resist well to the attack of parasites) as they mostly grow in areas such as Eastern and Central Europe. Perhaps it will not be a surprise to you to know that Ruderalis also grows in Russia, where the average summer temperature does not exceed 19ºC, and where the winter drops many degrees below zero.
But resistance to cold temperature is not the only peculiarity of plants born from auto-flowering marijuana seeds.
Characteristics of autoflowering cannabis plants.
Autoflowering plants are often appreciated by gardeners who do not have a vast space or a large greenhouse and who do not need a tremendous yield in terms of flowers.
The reasons are found in the characteristics of these plants. Here is what distinguishes autoflowering:
- Short stature (often referred to as “dwarf auto-flowering”). For this reason, they can be both in small portions of land or in small greenhouses.
- Resistance to pests and unfavourable climatic conditions. Therefore, those who can cultivate these seeds can choose whether to do it Indoor or Outdoor (we remind you that in the UK, the germination of seeds is prohibited, while it is possible to buy auto-flowering, feminized and/or fast flowering collection seeds).
- Auto-flowering is independent of the seasons. It means that these plants bloom according to their age and not according to the photoperiod (as opposed to standard plants, which are seasonal).
- Very short flowering and ripening times. Flowering often begins just 2 to 4 weeks after germination, and marijuana buds ripen before 10 weeks.
- Average-low yield: you only have few branches with auto-flowering plants, precisely because of the small stature of the stem. Consequently, the number of flowers issued from dwarf-autoflowering seeds is also lower than in standard plants.
Autoflowering plants are ideal for both indoor and outdoor cultivation, and due to their very resistant nature, they also grow well during the winter. Some can even support -15ºC, but we doubt that farmers risk exposing them to such a temperature.
Growing cannabis plants, even autoflowering ones, with very low temperatures entails disadvantages.
The cons of outdoor cultivation in winter.
Although auto-flowering plants can adapt to the most varied climates, it does not mean that they grow and produce the best, even if subjected to very harsh environments. Usually, those who grow auto-flowering winter seeds outdoor choose to do it in pots, so that they can shelter the plants in case of unfavourable weather conditions.
It is not only necessary to consider the temperature resistance, but also the yield of plants and other factors that could damage it.
An auto-flowering cannabis plant subjected to low temperatures could slow down its growth cycle and generate much fewer buds than expected. Consequently, the production of inflorescences would be compromised.
It is not only due to the cold temperature, but also more or less intense rain, wind, hail and frost—all of these things that will irreparably damage a cannabis plant, even the most resistant.
The ideal solution during the winter (in countries where cannabis can be grown, therefore not in the UK) would be to choose a greenhouse or pot cultivation. In the latter case, farmers must be cautious about the plantation, as well as have the space in which to transport and store the pots during heavy rainfall, frosts and strong winds.
Best Strains to Grow in Winter
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that has a climate that allows for it, outdoor cannabis growing is one of the least expensive ways to grow cannabis. However, it’s also a lot more complicated in other ways; outdoors you have to deal with nature’s wrath, changing temperatures, insect infestations and rain. For those that live in more extreme climates and are thinking of starting a late grow, you’ll want to figure out the best strains to grow in winter before getting started.
That’s where we come in – while growing cannabis is more or less the same for all strains, some deal with certain conditions much better than others, and some particular strains are well-equipped to deal with colder temperatures, which gives them a fighting chance during the colder winter months.
Some of the Best Strains to Grow in Winter
Keep in mind that the structure of the plant itself is going to influence how well it does in colder climates, which tend to be more humid too. You’ll want to go for a strain that grows airy, open buds that can easily release extra humidity, which when combined with low temperatures can cause plants to rot. Growing during the winter can be complicated enough without attempting to grow the wrong type of strain.
NL is a pure indica strain that is known to pretty much every grower out there, and has been used in countless hybrids over the years since the 70s. The best thing about Northern Lights is that it’s the perfect strain for beginners, as it can deal with quite a lot of stress and mistakes before it reaches breaking point. Plus, this strain is known to do well in colder climates, and although there are many ph3enotypes on the market the general rule of thumb is that it should be ready by late October at the most, which gives it enough time to grow successfully without the harsher winter temperatures. We highly recommend trying GB Seeds’ Northern 100% Feminized.
O.G. Kush is a hybrid strain known for its ability to easily adapt to stressful situations and its fast growth. Plus, the autoflowering version takes just a total of 70 days, allowing you to grow it in colder climates with the correct care and still obtain decent results. Although it does well with cold climates, it’s slightly more susceptible to insect infestations. One of the best ways to keep insects at bay is by using Multiprotection Boom to keep your plants as strong as possible. We highly recommend GB Seeds’ Auto OG Kush 100% Feminized.
Durban Poison is almost entirely sativa and it definitely shows it. This African landrace strain can easily deal with extreme temperature fluctuations, as it was originally grown in areas where temperatures can go from 40°C to 10°C in the blink of an eye. However, it can grow quite tall outdoors so you’ll need to make sure that you have enough space to do so. This strain can produce amazing yields, over half a kilo per plant when grown outdoors, and it does well with stressful issues such as extreme weather. You should be able to harvest it towards the end of September when planted on time, which is quite fast for a sativa strain. Planted later, it can grow smaller and still produce decent yields.
Wild Rose is a hybrid with some complex characteristics, originating from a cross between Rossetta and The Hog, making for the ideal strain for cold and mountainy areas. It’s the perfect strain for growers looking for a special taste, offering flavors such as strawberry and sweets. It has an extremely relaxing effect, making it the perfect strain used to forget your issues after a long hard day. It doesn’t have a very long flowering period, and it should be ready for harvest around mid-October in the North, and in the Southern Hemisphere it should be ready by mid-April.
Pakistan Chitral Kush
Pakistan Chitral Kush is one of the few indicas that is perfectly capable of dealing with low temperatures, so if you’re looking for a relaxing, stoned strain then this might be your best option. This landrace strain comes from Chitral in Pakistan, where there are continuous temperature changes, meaning that this strain has gained low temperature resistance generation after generation. On top of that, in areas with low temperatures the plant will turn a nice purple color. This strain also has a high resin production rate, and you can use its amazingly sticky leaves to make extractions that have an extremely relaxing effect. Its fast flowering genes will have it ready by the end of September in the Northern Hemisphere, and towards the end of March in the Southern Hemisphere.
Snow Bud is one of the most adequate strains for cold climates due to its Swedish strain heritage which makes it extremely capable of dealing with the lowest, most extreme temperatures. As long as this strain gets plenty of light it should grow strong and healthy; after generations of growing on the top of mountains, this strain is more than capable of dealing with the worst sort of climate situations. It has a complex and balanced effect; it begins by relaxing your body without making you feel “stoned” and then combines this with a happy, creative sensation. In the northern hemisphere this strain should be ready by mid-October, and in the south, mid-May.
Best Strains to Grow in Winter – Extra Precautions
Just because these strains are capable of dealing with low temperatures doesn’t mean that they’re immune to fungi, so you should still take preventive measures to avoid any nasty surprises. If you use a decent Propolis fungicide such as Propo Boom you should be safe and so should your harvest. You should also protect your crop from wind, rain or possible scavengers to get the most out of it.
There are a lot more strains that do well in cold climates, but here we’ve given you some distinct strains so that you can choose between tastes and effects.
Monday's papers: Postal strike, cannabis seeds, delayed winter
Among items in the morning papers, postal strike expands, legal sale of cannabis seeds, and unseasonably warm weather.
Talks aimed at ending a strike by Finnish postal workers failed to reach a settlement over the weekend.
As a result, a number of other unions have announced the start of support action to help the Finnish Post and Logistics Union PAU press its demands.
Joining in as of Monday are the Transport Workers’ Union AKT, the Finnish Seafarers´ Union, the Trade Union for the Public and Welfare Sectors JHL and Service Union United PAM. Members of the Finnish Aviation Union IAU began supporting the strike last week, severely delaying airmail deliveries.
The newsstand tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that so far the postal strike is causing a delay of several days in the delivery of packages and may cause delays of weeks for the delivery of letters and periodicals. Daily newspaper distribution is not, however, affected.
Jarmo Ainasoja, Posti's Head of Exception management, told the paper that the company will be able to mitigate the effects of support action by the Transport Workers’ Union by using its network of subcontractors.
"There is always somebody who wants to work and take part in deliveries. We have a fairly extensive network of partners. A lot depends on how involved they become. That's something that can be better evaluated on Monday," said Ainasoja.
Ilta-Sanomat warned, however that problems with post moving through port facilities can be expected.
The paper goes on to provide a detailed day-by-day listing of union actions impacting postal deliveries through the upcoming week.
Negotiations on a deal to end the Finnish Post and Logistics Union strike are set to resume on Monday afternoon.
Buy seeds, but don't plant them
The legal use of cannabis has become a hot topic again, especially after a citizens' initiative calling for its decriminalisation passed the 50,000 signatures mark and headed to parliament late last month.
According to Finland's largest circulation daily, Helsingin Sanomat, the initiative has met with little enthusiasm from lawmakers, with a majority of MPs saying they oppose legalisation, and Prime Minister Antti Rinne pledging that his government will not push for passage.
On Monday the paper reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that while cannabis is still not legal, the sale of cannabis seeds and cannabis paraphernalia is.
The paper spoke with Juha Vihervaara, the owner of one Helsinki shop, Seeds of Love, which openly imports and sells a wide range of cannabis seeds.
If planted and properly cared for, these seeds will produce a plant containing the psychoactive cannabinoid THC and CBD, an active ingredient used to treat conditions like pain, insomnia, and anxiety.
However, these seeds are not sold to be planted. By law, cannabis seeds cannot be sold to produce plants for the purpose of producing banned drugs. Instead, they can be legally sold as collectors' items and for decorative purposes.
"The only permitted uses for the seeds sold are collection and the preservation of genetic materials. One should not try to get the seeds to sprout, and they are not guaranteed to sprout," according to the Seeds of Love shop's disclaimer.
Helsingin Sanomat notes that seed collection seems to be a popular hobby. Juha Vihervaara says that his storefront shop sees about 500 customers walk in every week and somewhat fewer in its online shop.
There are several specialist shops in the country dealing primarily in cannabis seeds and paraphernalia, but seeds can also be found on sale by many more mainstream retailers, as well.
Electric snow scooter
From Lapland, where moving around in the snow is a way of life, Lapin Kansa reports (siirryt toiseen palveluun) on plans for the start of serial production of an innovative means of transport — an electric snow scooter which is being touted as the first of its kind in the world.
Pasi Kauppinen of eLyly, the company that has designed the device, told the paper that the official launch of the scooter was planned to take place at the World Cup Levi alpine skiing event this coming weekend, but that launch has been delayed.
Now Kauppinen says that the target is to get the first electric snow scooters on the market by next spring.
Lapin Kansa writes that the scooters are not well suited for use in heavy snow, working best on packed snow or soft snow at depths of 10-15cm.
The first of the scooters are likely to be targeted at commercial operators in the tourism sector. With a projected price tag of 5,000-6,000 euros, they are unlikely to replace granny's traditional kicksled anytime in the near future.
The Helsinki daily Iltalehti (siirryt toiseen palveluun) points out the obvious to anyone who has been outside — the weather in Finland is unusually warm for the time of year.
FMI meteorologist Petri Hoppula explained that while the temperatures are unusual, the mechanics of the phenomenon are not. Warm air has been moving up from the south, across Poland and Belarus into the Baltic region.
Warm air is flowing up from the eastern Mediterranean, from Greece and Turkey, where by Finnish standards, it is still full summer.
The weather over the next few days is expected to remain humid, with fog and mist, but little fear of any downpours.
Sources: Yle News, Helsingin Sanomat, Ilta-Sanomat, Lapin Kansa, Iltalehti