Growing Autoflowers Outdoors in Calgary – IncrediGrow Garden Centre

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Growing Autoflowers Outdoors in Calgary

Calgary, Alberta, is known for its stunning landscapes, with the Rockies as a backdrop and a burgeoning cannabis community. The short growing season and unpredictable weather can be a challenge for cannabis enthusiasts, but growing cannabis in Calgary during the summer is very achievable. 

If you're looking for larger yields, strain variety, and have the time and space to cultivate, photoperiod cannabis may be your best bet. However, if you prefer a quicker turnaround, smaller, discreet plants, and are dealing with light pollution, autoflowers could be a better choice.

Weed Plant


The first step in a successful summer cannabis cultivation adventure is selecting the right strain. Autoflowering strains, as the name suggests, automatically switch from vegetative growth to flowering based on their age rather than relying on changes in light cycles. This makes them ideal for Calgary's short summers.

Some popular autoflowering strains to consider for your Calgary outdoor grow include Northern Lights, Blueberry, and AK-47. These strains are hardy and can withstand the local climate.

In Calgary, the risk of frost persists well into June, so it's essential to time your outdoor planting correctly. Plan to transplant your seedlings outdoors in mid to late June when the risk of frost has significantly diminished. This timing will allow your plants to take advantage of the long daylight hours during the peak of summer.


The location for your garden is crucial. Look for a sunny spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. South-facing or west-facing areas are often the best choices, as they maximize sun exposure. Additionally, consider using raised garden beds or containers to help control moisture and temperature.

Autoflowering cannabis strains typically have a shorter growth cycle compared to photoperiod strains. This means you'll have less time to train and shape your plants. Consider using low-stress training (LST) techniques to encourage your plants to grow bushier and take advantage of every bit of sunlight they receive.

Calgary's relatively dry climate can be helpful in preventing some common cannabis pests and diseases. Still, it's essential to remain vigilant. Keep an eye out for aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites, which can quickly become problematic. Regularly inspect your plants and, if needed, use organic pest control methods to keep these pests at bay.

One of the benefits of growing autoflowers is the relatively quick turnaround from seed to harvest. Keep a close eye on your plants, as they'll transition from flowering to harvest relatively quickly. Ensure the trichomes on your buds have turned cloudy or amber, indicating optimal cannabinoid levels before harvesting.

Aim to be done outdoors by early September to avoid the potential frost that can occur as autumn approaches.


Comparison of Growing Photoperiod and Autoflower Cannabis Outdoors in Calgary

Aspect Photoperiod Cannabis Autoflower Cannabis
Growth Cycle Longer (10-16 weeks) Shorter (8-10 weeks)
Yield Potential Higher yields Lower yields
Size Taller and bushier Shorter and compact
Light Dependency Dependent on daylight Not dependent on daylight
Light Pollution Tolerance Sensitive Tolerant
Strain Variety Wide selection Limited selection
Training Options More options for training (LST, topping, SCROG) Limited training potential
Cloning Clonable Non-clonable
Harvest Time Varies by strain, usually late summer Quick turnaround, multiple harvests
Complexity More complex Easier for beginners
Suitable for Calgary Summers Requires meticulous care Suitable for the short growing season
Temperature Sensitivity Sensitive to temperature fluctuations More resilient to temperature variations
Recommended for: Experienced growers Beginners, limited space

Please note that this chart provides a general overview, and individual strain characteristics may vary.

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