Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get! Sometimes we get good things and sometimes we get not so good things. But in this mix, we always get a top quality final product. With sweet tastes and aromas, together with the flower and resin production synonymous with Sweet Seeds strains. This is the new Sweet Mix Auto from Sweet Seeds, available at the extraordinary price of 35 euros for a pack of 10 seeds! Expecting a fast and abundant harvest, with distinct aromas from easy to grow plants, there was no need to think twice! I germinated 16 of these seeds for a surprise grow with magnificent results that I’m happy to share with all of you, the readers.
Autoflowering strains have always sparked the interest of a lot of growers. We all remember the classic autoflowering strains like Lowrider or White Dwarf, which had a strong presence of Ruderalis genes. The autoflowering characteristic thrilled a lot of balcony growers. Permitting a harvest almost all year round and not only between September and November, as usually happens with photoperiod strains. These first Ruderalis hybrids decorated a lot of terraces and balconies since the first years of the new millennium. And since then it was very obvious that these strains were of great interest for breeders because of their autoflowering characteristic. But it took a lot of work to get to the present moment where autoflowering strains hold less and less Ruderalis genes and more genes coming from modern hybrids of superior quality.
At Sweet Seeds, the first experiments with autoflowering seeds took place in 2007. Two years later, in the beginning of the 2009 season, the first autoflowering strain of this seedbank was presented: Speed Devil. It was a complete success that surprised a lot of growers for its abundant resin production and a pleasant skunky aroma, with tones reminiscent of yeast and cheese which set her apart from the first experiments with wild populations of Cannabis Ruderalis. After the success of the first Sweet Seeds autoflowering strain and hearing very positive feedback from clients and friends regarding the other new 2010 season autoflowering strains – Fast Bud and Big Devil – the Sweet Seeds breeders decided to set forth on a revolutionary trip. This is how the autoflowering r-evolution was born.
Working with seed populations, generation after generation, the breeders select the best specimens to use for breeding. This engineering allows the offspring to reach a higher grade of expression of its desirable characteristics. With this method Sweet Seeds reduces the presence of the undesired Ruderalis characteristics, getting each new generation closer to the traits of the elite clone used and proportionally deviating from the Ruderalis genes. Using the best strains selected from the previous autoflowering generations and hybridising them with elite clones of photoperiod strains from the Sweet Seeds bank of mothers, the breeders work tirelessly in the continuous development of these genetic lines. At present all the strains from the Sweet Seeds autoflowering genetic collection are available as 3rd Generation versions and, for the 2014 season, two new 4th Generation autoflowering strains were presented: Ice Cool Auto and Sweet Trainwreck Auto.
Over the years I’ve had the chance to confirm the quality of these strains and the improvements achieved generation after generation. I’ve had the opportunity of growing most of the Sweet Seeds autoflowering collection during the last 5 years in both indoor and outdoor grows. Taking in consideration my own experience, but also all the grow reports from clients and friends in the 15 cannabic forums where there is a commercial subforum dedicated to this seedbank, I had no second thoughts when deciding to use Sweet Mix Auto. The truth is that every autoflowering strain from this seedbank produces good flowers, covered with aromatic resin and usually don’t disappoint at any phase of the grow cycle, including harvest, which is generally abundant. There is no doubt that using Sweet Mix Auto is just like opening a top quality box of chocolates. Every one of them is great and the only surprise one can find is discovering the individual characteristics of each one of the plants obtained. A very exciting adventure that allows for a significant seed budget reduction.
After all the seeds sprouted I planted them in small 500ml pots and then, at around day 18 from germination, I transplanted them to the final pots. I used 7 litre pots for the 16 plants, but if I had more space I would have chosen 10 or 15 litre pots as they would allow for a higher production. The plants developed with stunning vigour in my favourite soil mix – Canna Bio Plus – and they have been delighted with the bio range of Canna nutrients that I’ve used, even though I only used the flowering nutrients (Bio Flores) between the 35th and the 48th day from germination. Until the 35th day they remained healthy and vigorous just with the nutrients available in the soil mix. Air replenishment is also a very important parameter and the use of a professional extraction system is essential. For this grow I used a 125mm RVK fan. To help I also used a Sunon mini fan and to ensure a correct air circulation inside the room I used a Honeywell fan blowing air in the direction of the top of the plants.
To grow these 16 autoflowering plants I used CFL lights during their first 8 days of life. I then passed them to a 1 square meter grow room with a 400w HPS bulb. For a grow operation with this number of plants in a 1m2 box, it’s also possible to use a 600w HPS bulb, which would help to improve the final production. But on the other hand it is easier to get a higher “gram per watt” ratio using the 400w HPS. The final production of this autoflowering mix was of 328gr, the equivalent to 0.8gr per watt. A very interesting value, especially if we take into consideration that we are talking about autoflowering plants harvested in between 58 and 70 days after germination.
With Sweet Mix Auto the most interesting and exciting part of the grow operation comes when the grower starts to identify some of the strains. For a grower with previous experience with Sweet Seeds autoflowering strains, it is possible to identify some of them after 35 days from germination, starting approximately from the second week of flowering. Bloody Skunk, Red Poison, Devil Cream, Black Cream and Dark Devil, the 5 autoflowering strains from The Red Family, are the first to show up. Although distinguishing them from each other is a bit more difficult. In this grow operation I got five of these purple flowered autoflowering strains, which allows me to conclude that in a 10 seed package it is expectable to get between 2 and 4 of The Red Family plants.
From the five purple flowered plants obtained in this experience, I could easily identify two Red Poison. It was an easy task due to my personal passion for Green Poison and her sweet and fruity aroma, with hints of skunk that make it unmistakable and that are also present in this red version. The other three purple flowered plants were only possible to identify later on. I ended up finding one Dark Devil, with its Sativa shaped flowers, with incense tones and citrus aromas and one Bloody Skunk that in the final weeks of flowering produced a very clear skunky aroma and some amazing red flowers covered with red stemmed trichomes. The last one of the five plants from The Red Family was a bit harder to identify. But the beautiful purple flowers of the plant, almost black, made me think it is probably a Black Cream although I just can’t be 100% sure because it could also be a shorter phenotype of Devil Cream as they both share a lot of genetic traits.
In a previous grow with Red Poison seeds, after sprouting 6 seeds I only obtained one plant without the purple flowered trait. That’s something the grower should expect as approximately 85% of The Red Family seeds will show purple flowers but the remaining 15% sill not show this colour. I could then try the green phenotype of Red Poison and I came to the conclusion that every time they don’t show purple flowers, the final result is very similar to Green Poison Auto. That being said, in this Sweet Mix Auto grow, I have harvested 2 plants that could be Green Poison Auto or Red Poison (from the 15% that in theory don’t produce purple flowers). What really matters is that they performed like champions, producing buds with the shape of a pine tree, very large and dense. I think that in one of the pictures it’s possible to see 2 plants, in the centre of the first row of the grow room and we can see how they differ from all the others due to their vigour and central bud. When you decide to live the experience of growing Sweet Mix Auto, the only thing I can wish for is that you get a couple of these Green (or Red) Poison Auto plants.
Another very special strain in this Sweet Mix Auto package is Sweet Trainwreck Auto. I got one plant of this marvellous 4th Generation Autoflowering strain. She developed a branchy structure, strong enough to hold the tight and dense buds produced. All this with very fast growth, exceeding the previous versions of autoflowering strains in height and production. Sweet Trainwreck Auto is a very easy to grow strain that is perfectly adapted to indoor and outdoor growing, with some plants reaching more than a meter in height.
In order to obtain this genetic, jumping from 3rd to 4th generation, the Sweet Seeds breeders crossed tall structured autoflowering genetic lines leaning to the Sativa side with a Trainwreck elite clone famed in dispensaries across the USA. The result is a very fruity and sweet taste, with citrus hints. It features a very well balanced Indica/Sativa effect and the production is very substantial. The plants can be harvested only 8 weeks after germination and there is no doubt that we are facing a qualitative and quantitative advance in autoflowering plants, making it really significant if the plants are grown under appropriate conditions that allow them to show all their potential.
If you choose to grow Sweet Trainwreck Auto, or find her in a Sweet Mix Auto pack, it is advisable to allow the plants to receive as much hours of light as possible as this is a very basic principle to succeed with this strain. It is also very favourable to use larger sized pots, or even to plant them directly in the ground in the case of outdoor grows. But it is also important to always use rich soil mixes, porous and airy to contribute towards fast root development. They are very fast growing and demanding plants, so every extra hand that we can give them will always be more than welcome. The bud structure is typical of the Trainwreck variety, with lots of dense and compact flowers, crowding together with each other, oozing with a dense layer of trichomes that are visible to the naked eye. It’s a very resistant and easy to grow strain that is perfect for SOG systems. One can be sure to obtain some amazingly tasting fruits, with a great quality of effect. The taste is very sweet and it has a very pronounced hashish aroma, together with a peculiar creamy citrus note. It is a very recommendable plant for how easy she is to grow. If you’re lucky enough you can also get this strain in the Sweet Mix Auto.
On the other hand, there are other strains that I could only identify after drying and curing the flowers. Cream Mandarine Auto is simply delicious, with her rock solid flowers all covered in resin and an extra rich citrus aroma that is reminiscent of mandarin oranges. If I didn’t know this strain so well, I could have easily mistaken the Cream Mandarine Auto plant that I got with a Red Family strain, because she developed some magnificent purple tones in the end of flowering. There was also a Sweet Skunk Auto that I could easily identify after grinding a couple of buds and feeling the skunky fresh aroma released by the sweet flowers. It was also covered with resin with the trichomes beginning to turn amber very early, at around day 58 from germination. I’m truly convinced that there was also a Big Devil XL or a Big Devil #2, even though it is not easy to distinguish them. That being said, it could even be a Big Devil #1 that simply performed very well. But the large size and the incense aroma of the flowers leave me with no doubts that the plant belongs to the Big Devil family.
Two more plants I harvested were a Cream Caramel Auto and a Sweet Afgani Delicious Auto. Both easy to recognise, especially the S.A.D. Auto as it is my favourite flavor from the Sweet Seeds genetic collection. The sweet aroma of this strain brings to mind the taste of cough syrup. But there is something about the taste that also reminds me of carrot juice with cane sugar. The orange pistils of Sweet Afgani Delicious Auto are also a very unique characteristic of this wonderful strain. In contrast, Cream Caramel Auto is a very aromatic strain that features a base of earthy aromas with a soft mix of candies and citrus hints. When rubbing the fingers in the flowers it’s easy to identify a molasses aroma with a soft touch of anise and licorice. That’s when I realised I had a Cream Caramel Auto in the group of the 16 plants. Later on, when I tried the smoke and vapour of this autoflowering strain, I could confirm that the taste is as exquisite as the smell, with a remarkable flavor of caramelised sugar that brings to mind medicinal caramels. In the end it leaves a complex universe of sensations in the mouth and nose.
Recognisable, even with eyes closed, there was also a Jack 47 Auto with the traditional lemony notes and hints of incense, intense as poison. But the final confirmation came a couple of weeks after. On smoking some of her flowers, a strong and instantaneous Sativa effect left me with no doubts that it was a mix of Jack Herer and AK47 in autoflowering version. Later on, an exotic aroma with clear resemblances to the smell of a good old Diesel genetic allowed me to identify one Ice Cool Auto plant, with some beautiful flowers and a good resin production. Ice Cool Auto is another 4th Generation Autoflowering strain that you can get in this package. The last plant that I could recognise was a Sweet Cheese Auto because it was somehow similar to the Sweet Skunk Auto. But in the moment I crushed the first flower and cheesy terpenes filled the air, I had no doubt than it was a Sweet Cheese Auto. All in all, it was a very pleasant way to finish this adventure with an authentic box of candies.
In this package it is possible to find all the Sweet Seeds autoflowering strains featured in the 2014 catalogue, including the two new recently released 4th generation autos: Ice Cool Auto (Ice Cool x Fast Bud #2) and Sweet Trainwreck Auto. As well as two new Red Family autoflowering strains: Bloody Skunk (Sweet Skunk Auto x Red Poison) and Devil Cream (Dark Devil x Black Cream). If you want to get a package from a recent batch so that you can be sure that it includes all the new autoflowering strains mentioned before in the mix, my advice is that you get the seeds directly from the seedbank at www.sweetseeds.es
In the official Sweet Seeds website you can also find all the other autoflowering strains mentioned in this grow report, as well as a very complete genetic collection of photoperiod strains, famed for their sweet and aromatic characteristics.
Happy smokes and sweet surprises!
Words by Tommy G.
Pictures by Tommy G. and Jaypp
Originally published in Weed World Magazine 113