Short girls? and newbie questions

Hello everyone, I wanted to ask a few newbie questions and get any feedback I can… I am in week 7 (ish) from seed with three auto flower plants and week five on 2 photoperiod plants, and I have a few questions.

When a seed vendor talks about “flower time” and it’s noted as 8-10 weeks or 10-12 weeks etc. does that mean that is the flower stage time so entire life would be 3-4 weeks for veg and then the flowering time… so an “8-10 flower time” is really like 11-14 from seed to harvest?

Another question is my oldest girls feel really short, they look great but really don’t look nearly as big as any grows I have watched on youtube, etc.; Also have to note the three oldest plants are Autoflower. I am using a MarsHydro SP3000 in a 2x4 tent. I have them around 16-18" inches from the light. Using a PAR meter, I was trying to keep them in the 500-600 PAR range, now that I know my older girls are in flower I moved to more of 800-1000 PAR value by turning up the light to 100%. Other environmental are ok. CO2 is ranging from 450-950 ppm with avg of 600ppm. running an 18-6 light schedule

So my question is, should I keep the girl’s farther from the light to get them stretching a bit, especially right after seedling… like week 2-3? Am I giving them all the light they want, so they are remaining dense and short? I am getting ready to start some new seeds, so I would like to improve the process this time around.

Other things to note, I am using BioThrive Grow/Bloom/CaMg near the recommended amounts (a little less to be on the safe side). This weekend I top-dressed about an inch of worm castings before giving them a drink w/ nutrients. I water to soak the medium (Happy Frog Soil) very little runoff. And I have been feeding them every 2-3 days when the soil seems dry about an inch down.

These are the Autoflower plants… started at same time and are at 7 weeks old from seed.

These are the 5 week old girls. they are Photoperiod.

and here is just a pic of my grow tent.

And last comment since wanted to get the autoflowers as big as possible i am staying not he 18-6 schedule, but i have ordered a 2nd tent so i can have a separate 18-6 and 12-12 space so I can get those younger plants moved into flower, but again they just seem small… so I have not been concerned keeping them at 18-6 for now.


Most breeders and seed banks advertise seed to harvest in 8-10 weeks for autos, but most seem to run closer to 12-14 weeks total, from what I’ve seen.

Advertised flowering time on photos is the approximate amount of time from start of flower to harvest.

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