For some growers, time is of the essence. There’s a multitude of reasons one might want to wrap up an operation as quickly as possible. Some cultivators still live in areas under prohibition; the faster they set up and shut down their project, the less likely they are to get busted and prosecuted. Alternatively, commercial growers want to achieve the fastest harvest possible to boost turnaround.
However, it’s possible to grow any photoperiod variety at a pace that rivals autoflowering cultivars. The very word “photoperiod” implies that these plants require a shift in the light cycle to begin flowering; an acquired evolutionary trait. A decrease in light signals that autumn is approaching, and thus it’s time to produce flowers and seeds to reproduce.
NEED FOR SPEED
Indoor growers have free rein over the length of the vegetative phase in photoperiod varieties. As long as plants receive more than 12 hours of light per day, they will stay in veg. Growers can thus trigger flowering whenever they please. This trait means the photoperiod can be used to force plants to flower very early on in the growing cycle. Applying a 12/12 light cycle from germination will cause photoperiod strains to flower just as fast as most autos. Starting with clones will produce even faster results.
Although this level of speed is practical for some growers, there is a trade-off. The lack of a vegetative phase means plants only reach a small size, which results in reduced yields. However, this deficit can be negated by starting many seeds or clones together and cultivating them using the sea of green (SOG) method.
Regardless of the reason, it’s certainly possible to speed up the cultivation process. Autoflowering varieties are prized for this very quality. Many of them provide ripe flowers only several weeks after germination, although this speed comes at a price. Yields are usually comparatively small, and cannabinoid content is lower too. That means less THC and CBD in each flower.
In a nutshell, QUICK strains are the fast version of classic feminised genetics. They result from the cross of a photoperiod parent, normally a female elite clone selected from a bunch of regular seeds, and an elite autoflowering female. The latter is reversed so it produces the pollen that passes the auto gene on to the cross. The result is an F1 “QUICK” hybrid that is not auto but is indeed much faster than photoperiod genetics. This is down to the autoflowering gene, which helps plants jump from the growth stage to a state of full bloom in the blink of an eye.
The most important traits of our autoflowering lines are:
Such masterfully fixed traits ensure the high quality of our F1 QUICK hybrids, making them virtually impossible to differentiate from their sisters. They need to be switched to the flowering phase and could stretch a lot if provided with plenty of time. That’s why we can clone and store the mother plants for as long as necessary. Once the photoperiod is varied from 18/6 to 12/12, they start flowering at light speed, much faster than any other ordinary plant.
The key to producing top-quality QUICK genetics is our incredible collection of elite autoflowering strains that, besides passing the auto gene on to the F1 hybrids, add to them the extraordinary traits our team of breeders has spent over 10 years trying to obtain.
Thanks to these fast flowering properties, they can be grown in northern regions with fewer risks. By bringing the harvest date forward, they’re less likely to be affected by harsh weather conditions. In places such as Russia, England, Poland, Germany, Scandinavia or the Alps, they make the only viable option for growing outdoors, except for the auto genetics, of course. They deliver far bigger crops than their autoflowering little sisters, though, which is quite an advantage. Wherever you live, they’ll make your life easier, since the likelihood of having your crop ruined by bad weather conditions, by the attack of fungi or by unexpected plant thefts is significantly reduced.
Safety first: Due to the simple lighting schedules necessary for quick strains, there’s a lower risk of safety hazards.
Fewer fungal issues: Due to their rapid growth, FF cultivators can avoid problems usually associated with damp and rainy autumnal weather.
The process starts when you cross a photoperiod-dependent parent with an autoflowering partner. As plants pollinate and seeds are produced, the autoflowering parent passes on key recessive genes that speed up the flowering phase. Essentially, you end up with an express version of classic photoperiod genetics. What you’re left with is a strain that flowers—and can, thus, be harvested—faster than typical photoperiod varieties.
There’s no dread like wanting to get high and having no bud, and that pain is even deeper when you’re growing it yourself. It’s there, but it’s not. You know it can’t pop up overnight, but you may wish it’d pop out of the ground a little bit faster. If you find that thought running across your mind, it may be worth considering fast-flowering cannabis strains for your next harvest.
Lower cannabinoids: For similar reasons, buds from fast-flowering plants usually have lower cannabinoid levels than those from classic photoperiod strains.
On the other hand, there are also disadvantages to using fast flowering strains you should take into account.
Before buying fast-flowering seeds, though, you’ll want to consider the nitty-gritty details of these plants and consider their pros and cons. From there, if you’re interested in growing some yourself, you can consider a few of our personal favorite fast-flowering strains.