Newbie with a million Q's getting ready for this summers outdoor


Hi all,

I’m a newbie from the south & I pulled the trigger on some White Widow Autoflower & I’m going to have a go at some outdoor this summer. I’ve got a million questions & I’ve been reading as many threads as I can, but that’s just making it worse for questions, lol.

First few Q’s are, what soil should I use? What size pots should I use? When is the best time to start/germinate? How do I know when to water, & how often do I fertilize? Do I really need to use 100 different ferts like in some other threads? Is Canna Bio Vega, Flores & Boost adequate for my first grow to be successful?

I could go on but I think that will do for now, & I’m sure the answers will end up creating more questions, lol.

Thanks in advance for the help.


Hi @Buds007. Welcome to the ILGM forum. Lots of questions there, just like the rest of us. OK, on the soil, I don’t think I can tell you the best to use as there seem to be so many but do NOT use MiracleGro soils, I used Fox Farm Ocean Forest but next time I grow I think I will layer FFOF and FF Happy Frog so that my soil wont be too “hot” or full of nutrients that can burn the plants when they are babies. If you use a nutrient rich soil from the beginning then you probably won’t have to have nutrients for your plants for at least 4 weeks. I think a lot of people use whole systems of feeding for their plants and I can’t speak to that. I use the 3 Biobizz organic nutrition and had to add Cal/Mag due to some minor deficiencies. I don’t know about Canna Bio Vega but I am sure others will stop by and lend you a hand. I am a newbie at this myself, about 3 weeks out from harvesting my White Widow Auto. Good to meet you


Getting kinda late for an outside grow, but if you have nice weather an auto is the way to go with the shorter days.

@FreakyDeekie gave good advice and I’ll add when you start your seeds, use a seed starter or peat plugs or rock wool to get them going instead of soil. A common mistake we see is planting in nutrient enriched soil and that will harm or kill your seedlings.

No Miracle Grow. Ever.

Fox Farms is a good name but your local nursery could provide you with a good organic soil without added fertilizer.

Get a good ph meter and calibration fluid and use it. This is the number 1 mistake made.

Finally, Welcome!


Thanks for the welcome & replies, @Myfriendis410 I live way down south, as in Down Under :upside_down_face: so the days are just starting to get longer here. I’ve kept fish for about 25yrs so I have a great pH & TDS pen(thanks for the tip). I have peat discs to germinate in, when would I transplant to soil & how big should the pot be?

@FreakyDeekie, unfortunately we don’t have Fox Farm in Aus, or at least I haven’t been able to source any. :frowning_face:

I’ll have a look for some organic soil without any added ferts & see what I can find.

Thanks again for the help. :grin:


@Buds007 welcome to ILGM promix and sunshine mix #4 are both good grow mediums. Not sure if they are available to you but any soil that doesn’t have a lot of nutrients should be sufficient.
As for pot size I would go with 5 gallon for autos outdoors (if grown indoors 3 gallon is sufficient for autos)
I’m not familiar with those nutrients but no you don’t need a mess of different nutrients to have a successful grow as long as the nutrients you are using are sufficient for each stage of growth. Typically you will have 1 nutrient for the Veg stage 1 nutrient for bloom and another booster for later on in bloom to help the buds bulk up.
If this is your first grow I would try and keep it simple.
The best advice I could give would be to purchase a digital PH meter to monitor your water after you add your nutrients. This piece of equipment can eliminate a lot of issues that can arise.
I judge when it’s time to water based on the weight of the pot. On my first grow I kept a bucket full of dry soil to use as a gauge to tell when it was time to water by comparing the pots my plants were in to the dry pot with soil in it
I’m not familiar with the temps down there but as long as the temps are ok you could germinate whenever. I would recommend getting a T5 fixture and start them indoors to let them grow a bit then put them outdoors. Seedlings won’t require any nutrients for quite a while. When they sprout they have 2 small leafs called cotyledon that feed the plant nutrients until its roots are developed enough to start taking up nutrients from the soil. When they are young they don’t require a lot of water either I suggest misting the soil around the base of the seedling to keep it moist, you don’t want it wet just moist.

Let me know if you have any other questions I will be happy to lend a hand and if I don’t know the answer I can tag someone who might now.
Happy growing :+1:


Thanks @Jmesser80, that’s awesome info!

It gets pretty cold here in the winter, but it’s starting to warm up a bit. At the moment we are hovering around 10-15C(about 50-60F) during the day & about -3-3C(25-35F) overnight, pretty sure that’s a bit too low for outdoor? I do plan on getting a tent & LEDs, but for now, outdoor is all I got. :grin:

With the watering, how reliable are moisture meters? We use one on the farm where I work & I’m not convinced it will work well in this situation.


I used one but didn’t rely on it, if you get my meaning. I use @Jmesser80 method.

Improper ph, over watering and nutrients too soon are the 3 no no’s to avoid. I would not transplant into soil until about the third set of leaves have formed and only into a 3" pot (7.5 centimeters).

Hope that helps.


Yeah the night temp I think would be a little cold for young plants you would probably Ben better off waiting a bit for warmer temps. Being autoflowers they don’t take a long time to grow so if summer is on its way you will have plenty of time for those.


Thanks @Myfriendis410 everything helps, I have a great pH pen for my fishtanks (check) got nutrients but have to remember not to use too early (check) & don’t water too much (um, that will be the one I have to learn, but check). :grin:

Thanks @Jmesser80, I was thinking of starting in Nov when the days are about 18+hrs, that means I should harvest in early-mid Jan? :+1:

So what is autoflower anyway? I know it means they don’t need to have a photoperiod change to flower but what does the 56days mean? Is that total time to harvest, veg to harvest, veg to flower or something different again? :thinking:


@Buds007, cannabis ruderalis has been bred into normal sativa and indica strains to produce plants that grow and flower without outside influence of light. Generally though, the quality usually suffers somewhat over photo period plants which trigger based on the day/night cycle.

You could grow a photo period plant in an environment of 14 hour days and it would never flower.


Thanks @Myfriendis410, so would you do that for a plant you are using for clones? Also, what does the day period mean when you’re buying seeds?


@Buds007 the times they list are average flower times. It cam cary due grow conditions etc. I would plan on them finishing early February.
I’ve never grown the white widow autos but have seen quite a few members growing them with great success and some nice looking buds.


Thanks @Jmesser80 that makes a lot more sense now. :grin:

So I went & looked at some soil & where I live there is very little in the way of options, in fact there’s basically only one. Now if I can figure out how to upload pic I’ll show you guys, lol. :rofl:


It worked, yay me!! :v::grin:


Welcome to ILGM @Buds007 that really is the “deep south”!

hahaha good one. I knew where you were as soon as you said “this summer”. These guys have you covered. Best wishes!

That looks like reasonable soil. Not crazy about the fact that it contains fertilizer, but you have to go with what is available in your area.


Thanks @bob31, yep there’s only one or two places that are more south than I am, lol. :rofl:

I was thinking the same thing about the soil, but yeah it’s all I got & short of making my own up this is it. On the plus side, it’s got pine bark which should keep the pH low & zeolite which I’ve read is beneficial as well(in a fishtank it absorbs ammonia, is it the same in soil?) :+1:


My guess would be yes. I don’t recall seeing that in any of the soils around here. But I’m sure it’s a good thing!

The good news is that since it contains organic materials, I think that makes it a soil and the ph should be 6.5


Good to know, thanks @bob31!

So would I use that soil for the whole grow or just germinating the seeds?



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