Should You Grow an Autoflower in a Spacebucket?
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No, you shouldn’t grow an autoflower in a spacebucket.
That’s the short answer. If you want to know why, keep reading.
Autoflowering cannabis is one of the few strains that take a more hands-off approach to growing, requiring less intensive care due to their “automatic” blooming. While this may seem like a dream scenario, less work for an easier and faster yield, there are some downsides.
More specifically, is it a good idea to grow autoflower strains in a spacebucket?
We’ll break down the pros and cons when dealing with autoflower strains and growing in a spacebucket, and what you can expect during your grow.
What are Autoflower Strains?
Autoflower strains are unique when compared to regular or feminized seeds due to their lack of photoperiodic growth. In layman’s terms, you can simply provide adequate lighting for the entirety of the plants grow cycle, without having to worry about the typical light deprivation that is normally found with strains that require cyclical lighting.
The Pros of Autoflower Strains
Autoflower strains can be grown with direct lighting from 18-24 hours per day, eventually blooming “automatically” with flowering first appearing after only 2-4 weeks of vegetation. Because of this much shorter time period, you can expect to harvest as quickly as 10 weeks after seeding your plants.
This results in a less stressful setup, avoiding the typical 12 hours of light and subsequent 12 hours of darkness usually required with most strains. So if your plants grow faster and require less work, why would you choose anything else?
The Cons of Autoflower Strains
While the above-mentioned process seems like a dream scenario, there are however downsides when it comes to growing autoflower strains. Because of the relatively quick time period of growth, your yield is going to be significantly smaller in comparison to regular strains.
This means small plants with limited buds after the duration of the grow. While this may be ideal for some indoor growers, if you are looking for maximum harvest, autoflowers may not be your best bet.
Additionally, because of the hands-off approach, you simply can’t control the size of of your plants. This means growing in something like a spacebucket (which we will touch on below) will be mostly guesswork as to whether it is a good fit, or if it will quickly outgrow its enclosure.
Growing Cannabis in a Spacebucket
A spacebucket is an all-in-one approach best suited for indoor growth of your cannabis plants. Mainly comprised of two stacked “buckets”, the bottom consists of a built-in air circulating fan and base drip tray.
The top bucket is an enclosed lighting system with built-in bulbs, and ideally, reflective material covering the inner walls for increased output. The result is fresh air and direct lighting in one small enclosure per plant, as opposed to having bigger lighting and fan systems tending to multiple plants simultaneously.
The Pros of Spacebuckets
Obviously, due to the compact size, spacebuckets are a great solution for indoor growers who are making use of limited space. For personal use, this means easy focusing on one or two plants in confined and controlled conditions.
This could be ideal for vegetation stages or keeping clones while avoiding the need for bigger setups. Experimenting with different strains, nutrients, and light cycles can all be accomplished without investing the time and money in more complicated builds.
In addition to the controlled atmosphere, they are also extremely affordable to set up, acting as a “mini” version of a bigger grow room. Because of this, spacebuckets are a great starting point for new growers or a playground of experimentation for those who are more experienced.
The Cons of Spacebuckets
Due to the confined nature of growing in a spacebucket, the downsides are purely the limitations of size. Outward and upward growth of your plant is limited to the width and height of the enclosure.
As a rule, plants can only grow as big as their surroundings and spacebuckets are no exemption to this. While some may enjoy the simplicity of a small and contained grow, the ceiling for expansion is quite low and will require alternative builds for bigger strains or multiple plants.
Growing an Autoflower in a Spacebucket
So when it comes to combining the aforementioned autoflowers and spacebucket into your personal grow, what are the benefits and downsides? While this may seem like a perfect combination for newer growers, with less intensive interaction and quicker yields, it may not be as ideal as you think.
The Benefits of growing an Autoflower in a Spacebucket
If you are looking to grow one or two individual plants, this combination will be a convenient starting point for many growers. Autoflowers are notoriously small, so the small and simplistic enclosure can be a solid option in the beginning.
This also means a cheaper and faster grow for those looking to dabble in their own personal plants for the first time. While you are handicapped in the customization, aside from normal maintenance, you simply turn on the lights and let the plants do the rest.
The Downsides of Growing an Autoflower in a Spacebucket
The biggest issue you will run into when combining these two methods is the bottlenecking of the size of your plant. Due to the unpredictability and lack of control with autoflower plants, you can never be sure of the expected growth.
This could result in improper growth as your plant can quickly outgrow the size of your enclosure, leaving you to transplant your cannabis into a bigger enclosure or completely different setup altogether.
At the end of the day, the risk of growing an autoflower strain in a spacebucket will come down to luck. In general, when you are unsure about the expected growth (which is typical with autoflowers) it isn’t recommended to grow them with such stringent limitations.
While it may turn out fine, growing in an alternative build setup such as a shed, tent, or outdoors will give the plant ample room to grow without running the risk of ruining your yield when it comes time to harvest.