It’s unusual for Dutch Passion to see a best selling variety equally at home with indoor growers as well as outdoor growers. The normal rules of selective cannabis breeding tends to result in highly focussed genetic lines. Indoor varieties are often created to maximise yield and total cannabinoid content whilst maintaining faithfulness to a particular genetic line - such as a beloved Kush, Skunk or ‘Fruit’ lineage. Outdoor varieties are often the result of several years of selecting the earliest bloomers, while ensuring that features such as plant size, mold resistance, pest resistance and outdoor toughness are retained.
Sometimes the different requirements of indoor and outdoor breeding are mutually exclusive. Yet AutoMazar is an anomaly, adored by indoor growers and equally at home on a river bank or in a roadside ditch.
The Mazar story began back in the 1980’s when parts of Afghanistan still offered a sliver of safety for foreign tourists and travelling hippies. For Dutch Passion, the attraction was being first to find some genuine landrace Indica Kush genetics which delivered consistent growth, and the legendary mind-numbing indica stone that is always in demand from either the medical grower or the determined couch loving recreational smoker. In those days the best way to get the genetics was to travel the valleys meeting and greeting the friendlier locals, getting stoned with them and getting to know the main cannabis cultivators in the locality. Eventually we found the genetics that we were looking for, and our original photoperiod Mazar variety was born. Our customers appreciate the rich blissful body stone and narcotic strength levels as much as the consistent performance from one crop to the next.
One of the nice aspects of working with Mazar has been the fact that the genetics came fully adapted to tough outdoor conditions. The mountainous Afghan region is often barren, well above sea level and therefore cold at night. Mazar genetics have adapted to these bleak conditions over thousands of years, and its this genetic resilience which has been of such benefit to the outdoor performance of our autoflowering version of Mazar, AutoMazar.
These days the seed companies, or at least the premium quality ones, have completed the challenge of converting all their best legacy photoperiod varieties into good quality autos. This is nothing like as simple as it sounds. The better seed banks have found their own tips and tricks to maximise quality and performance, but there are still plenty of seed suppliers that were late to embrace autos and as a result have slipped behind with performance and, in particular, potency.
AutoMazar performs well outdoors where others might struggle. Two areas where AutoMazar succeeds are with mold resistance and resilience to cool nighttime temperatures. All autos will see their growth slowed down by cold nights, but AutoMazar is able to battle through where lesser autos might falter. Indoors, autos take around 75 days from germination to harvest under 20 hours of daily light. Effectively this is the equivalent of 20 hours of midday sun. With an indoor grow tent AutoMazar, or any good quality automatic, will grow well especially if intense light is given. But outdoors the auto life cycle can be 2-3 weeks longer than it would take indoors. Auto varieties that contain tough outdoor genetics have a marked advantage, especially in climates prone to cool evenings.
In warmer, mediterranean-style climates, AutoMazar will thrive outdoors. Outdoor harvests of 150g+ are quite possible especially if planted in good quality soil which has been improved with organic soil improvers such as bat guano, worm castings, Fish-mix etc. Outdoor growers often protect their autos with slug/snail pellets. A protective collar of chicken wire is a great way to prevent rabbits, goats or deer from munching on your autos. Those living in warm climates can get 3 successive auto crops in a year, allowing them to harvest their cannabis gradually thought the year. For some growers this is much more convenient than growing outdoor photoperiod plants which deliver their harvest only in Autumn/fall.
In cooler outdoor climates it may only be possible to get a single auto crop completed. But most areas of the world are able to find a warm, sunny 3-month window to grow AutoMazar. If necessary your autos can be grown indoors under 24-hour light for the first 2-3 weeks until they are ready to be planted outdoors. This gives them a head-start, which could make all the difference to the eventual harvest if the local spring weather is typically cold, grey and wet.
Indoors we usually see our customers grow AutoMazar under 20 hours of daily light. Any less than 20 hours of daily light is simply wasted time, the genetics are designed to soak up intense light with minimal rest. A minority of our customers insist on growing AutoMazar under 24-hour light from start to finish. Contrary to popular opinion, autos from the established breeders can cope with 24 hour light from seed to harvest, but you may need to watch out for nutrient deficiencies, especially Calcium and Magnesium. But if nutrient deficiencies are seen under 24 hour light they can often be corrected with occasional use of Epsom salts as a root feed or foliar feed.
Once you have got a successful auto harvest completed you will see the flexibility and convenience that autos offer. You can wave goodbye to the old concept of having your indoor tent on either a ‘veg’ or ‘bloom’ . For autos it really doesn’t matter. Many auto growers keep their tent on a perpetual cycle of e.g. 20 hours of daily light. They can introduce a new seed every couple of weeks into the same tent which is blooming a mature female auto. And they can remove a plant every 2-3 weeks to harvest and enjoy. Growing feminized autos indoors allows you to keep plant numbers low, and allows you the simplicity of a single tent and a single light cycle. Its one of the reasons that autos have become so popular with the average urban self-sufficient home grower.
Originally published in Weed World Magazine 123