This week I went to visit Eric with Oregon Blissful Botanicals in Damascus. Eric sowed a few thousand of our seeds in late April, transplanted outside in mid-May, and is in the process of harvesting as I write (mid July).
Despite a unusually cold and rainy May, Eric managed to grow some of the largest day neutral plants I've ever seen - many reaching head height! He attributes this to his deep, heavily amended beds, which give plenty of soil volume for the plant roots to explore, as well as personalized attention to the plants - hand feeding forces the growers to pay constant attention to each plant's health. Eric also uses extensive cover cropping around the base of his beds.
While yields overall are going to be very good from the autoflower crop; uniformity is far less than ideal with variation in morphology from plant to plant pretty high - this makes nutrient and harvest management more difficult. This is a classic case of gene x environment (GxE) interaction - when we grow these varieties in the greenhouse they often mature at the same time and size, but when they are exposed to cold weather the genes express themselves differently and we see much more variation from plant to plant.
Eric chose to plant his autoflower plants using an intercropping model, in which day neutral plants are planted early, then photoperiod plants come in later and replace the space where the autoflowers were growing. Eric is hoping to get a full sized harvest off of his photoperiod plants, plus an additional partial harvest from the day neutral, thereby making optimal use of his OLCC canopy. Thank you Eric for working with us this season, and best of luck with all your harvests!
Mature day neutral plants flank the space where photoperiod plants are growing.