Auto Flower ~VS~ Photoperiod
Autos have been bred in such a way that, after a plant has been growing for a certain amount of time, it will automatically begin to flower. This is in stark contrast to photoperiod plants, which rely on changes in light cycles in order to know when to flower, and which will stay in the vegetative stage of growth more or less indefinitely, until the light changes sufficiently to force them to flower – typically to a 12/12 cycle, i.e. 12 hours on, 12 hours off.
The other main difference that needs to be taken into account when deciding which of these two varieties is right for you is the size of the plants, and the subsequent yields. Whilst it wouldn’t be true to say that autoflowering strains are necessarily smaller than photoperiod, it’s certainly the case more often than not, so if you’re looking to grow large plants and to harvest as much bud as possible, it’s usually recommended that you go for the more traditional, photoperiod strains.
Linked to this is the time it takes to get from seed to useable harvest. Because autoflowering strains begin to flower earlier than their photoperiod counterparts, it naturally takes less time to get to harvest, and you will have your hands on the final product more quickly. But, again, you will more than likely have less of that final product to play with, so when making your decision you need to weigh up which is more important to you – speed, or yield.
I personally don’t agree 100% with that picture / chart from seedsman seeds … Yields are off with autos and photos.., not to mention SuperAutos…