Purple Skunk Automatic

Purple Skunk Automatic

Purple Skunk Automatic has an incredible lineage. It is the result of crossing Skunk #1 with Shiva Skunk and Hindu Kush automatic. Each influence has something unique to offer, and growers will see these desired traits quickly. Heavy yielding, strong branches, compact shape, thick trichome coverage, and hues of purple leave many cultivators in admiration.

Flowering stage: 56 days

Total time, seed to harvest: 85 days

Final yield: 136 grams

THC content: 18.3%

The grow space had been optimised for our Purple Skunk Automatic before planting our seeds. A 1000w Green Power Phillips HPS fixed at 300 cm above the soil surface provided light for the plants, which was a fantastic light to use for both the vegetative and flowering stages. The chosen medium was BAC Lava Soil Mix, which was used throughout the entirety of this growth cycle.

When creating this indoor grow space, we used multiple fans to gently move the air above the canopy and throughout the lower foliage. This design reduced the potential for stale, moist air to collect and stagnate. We also used an inline fan which pulled air out of the grow area into a carbon scrubber, which reduced the odour created by our Purple Skunk Automatic.

Lighting and airflow are essential elements, but none would matter without the right environment. We kept tight controls on conditions during the grow. Temperatures during the lights-on period remained at 23 °C. During the lights off period, the temperature dipped to 21 °C. Humidity was the other factor to strictly control. We began our Purple Skunk Automatic with 65% humidity, but we adjusted the RH downward as we got to the later weeks of flowering.

Germination & seedling

We started by placing our Purple Skunk Automatic seed into a pre-moistened jiffy cube. Within a few days, we saw the seedling emerging from the top of the hole. Throughout week one, we let our Purple Skunk Automatic grow in the jiffy cube for a few days under 18 hours on, 6 hours off light schedule before we transplanted our Purple Skunk Automatic into a 5-litre container. Up-potting will allow the roots to stretch and build their network under the soil.

After placing the Purple Skunk Automatic seedling into the soil, we gave it 100 ml of pure water around the base of the stem. Throughout the grow, whether we used pure water or a nutrient solution, we always pH’d the contents to 6.2 before applying it to the soil.

Our IPM program relies on the use of beneficial insects to hunt and eliminate any harmful insects that could be damaging to our garden. We start this early to ensure our chances for success. As we placed our plant in the soil, we also released Hypoaspis Miles, an insect that likes to devour fungus gnats and thrip pupae.

Vegetation

To start week two, we did some gentle plant training to build strong branches, which will later support the weight of the buds. The first thing we did was to make sure the Purple Skunk Automatic had a steady breeze moving the leaves and branches. The airflow wasn’t too heavy; growers should avoid heavy, sustained winds on cannabis plants. We were still feeding pure water in 100 ml increments when needed.

Secondly, we turned the plant 1/2 turn each night before the lights went off. Like sunflowers, cannabis will lean towards the light source. Giving them a turn each evening will force the branches to build cell walls and realign.

Our Purple Skunk Automatic had grown to 12 cm tall by week three. We felt the root system was established enough to start using the Bio Grow nutrients. We added them to our water to get a final EC of 1.6 and then pH’d the solution to our target of 6.2. The watering volume remained the same, at 100 ml around the base of the stem.

We added two new beneficial insects into the garden. Amblyseius Cucumeris is a beneficial insect that will destroy thrip larvae on sight. Additionally, Amblyseius Californicus was added to eliminate any hiding populations of two-spotted spider mites. Both of these insects come in small sachets, which we placed on the soil in each container of Purple Skunk Automatic.

It was clear that the nutrients we added the previous week were giving the plant a boost. By week four, our Purple Skunk Automatic had reached 29 cm tall. Just as it grew upwards, the root system grew downwards, and we increased our watering volume to 150 ml daily. We also added another sachet of Hypoaspis Miles to prevent fungus gnats and thrip pupae from proliferating in the garden. Even though we didn’t actively see them, it is a good idea to be preventative instead of reactive.

Our Purple Skunk Automatic had over seven nodes by this point, and the lower branches had done a phenomenal job catching up to the new tips. Each branch reached into a light path unoccupied by the new additions above. We were excited about the structure and how this plant was growing.

Flowering

At the start of week five, we noticed the first signs of flowering. At first, a few of the upper nodes had the tell-tale stigmas protruding. By the end of the week, each of the branch tips looked like it had a spikey cotton bud growing out of it. Because this Purple Skunk is an automatic variety, we did not need to change the light schedule to initiate flowering; the plant will begin flowering when ready.

On the first day of the week, we flushed our soil using 1500 ml of pure water. This process washes out excess salt nutrients from the soil. It is essential to avoid an accumulation of these salts throughout the grow. The run-off from each pot was collected and disposed of. Do not let your pots sit in stagnant water.

We then continued with regular feedings of nutrient solution at 500 ml per day, but we adjusted the EC upwards to 1.7. At this point, we discontinued the Bio Grow nutrients and began using the Bio Flower nutrients. With our Purple Skunk Automatic beginning to build buds, we reduced the humidity in the grow area to 60%.

Week six is when the stretch was clearly visible. Our Purple Skunk Automatic went from 34 cm the week before to 88 cm. To support this continued growth, we raised the EC of our feeding solution to 1.8. We also removed the large fan leaves from the plant, which opened up all of the bud sites to direct light from above. We were also starting to see trichome development on the leaves and emerging buds.

Week seven saw a smaller increase in plant height, adding just 8 cm compared to the week before. We started the week by giving the plant 500 ml of solution, and we gradually raised this each day to finish the week at 600 ml of nutrient solution. The EC of the solution remained the same at 1.8, which is the highest we pushed the nutrients in this grow.

It had been a few weeks since we released any beneficial insects. Although the Amblyseius Californicus will reproduce, the overall numbers needed to be replenished. We added another sachet and the Amblyseius Cucumeris sachet to the soil container to combat two-spotted spider mites and thrip larvae.

Week eight is when we saw the buds start stacking into larger colas, mainly on the apical stem. Some of the stigmas had already begun to turn brown, but we knew that there was still considerable time to go before our Purple Skunk Automatic would reach peak ripeness. Vertical growth had slowed, adding only 2 cm from the week prior. All of the energy was now going towards bud production.

We had been giving our Purple Skunk Automatic heavy feedings, so we decided to do another flush of the soil to start the week. We used 1500 ml of pure water at a pH of 6.2 to rinse through any accumulated salts. Upon inspection of the plant, we still did not see damaging insect pressure, but we released a final batch of Hypoaspis Miles to be on the safe side.

Vertical growth had stopped by week nine. From this point forward, the goal was to keep an eye on the developing buds, support them if needed, and check the trichome colour regularly. It is the colour of the trichome head which is the most accurate feature used to indicate the peak ripeness of our Purple Skunk Automatic.

With denser buds, comes a denser, moister air surrounding them. We checked our airflow inside the grow area and ensured it was moving air in and around the canopy. To lower the chance of botrytis or powdery mildew in the buds, we reduced humidity levels to 58%.

Week ten saw some beautiful bud development, and the overall bud structure was expanding dramatically, producing tremendous amounts of trichomes daily. However, what really stood out to us about the Purple Skunk Automatic was the range of purple colours that had developed on the bracts. The surrounding leaves were emerald green, but the buds exhibited deep purples. 

We could tell we were getting close to the end of this cycle, but there was still enough time to feed and flush in the final weeks. We started this week by doing a one-day flush using pure water and then returned to our regular feeding schedule for the plant.

The main cola of the plant was making our Purple Skunk Automatic a bit top-heavy. We added a stake in the soil and tied our plant to that for support. Instead of spending energy on supporting its bulk, the plant went right back into heavy bud production. We again lowered the humidity levels in the room, this time to 52%.

Week eleven was a waiting week. The trichome colour indicated the plant still had a few weeks left, but because we saw more clear heads than amber heads, we continued to feed our Purple Skunk Automatic a nutrient solution at 1.8 EC.

When checking the trichome heads for peak ripeness, be sure to look at the heads on the buds and not the leaves. Trichomes on the leaves will mature faster than on the buds, which can give you a false sign of peak ripeness. A general rule is that when you see a lot of amber heads on the leaves, the time to start flushing is almost upon you.

In week twelve, our Purple Skunk Automatic had a little growth spurt. The plant’s overall height grew 2 cm from the week before, but we predominantly noticed the additional growth in the buds. There was some stacking of the bracts on the upper buds, creating more of an open bud structure on top of the denser core. The purple colours were now fully pronounced on the buds, which gave them an exotic and flavourful appearance.

As a plant reaches the end of its life, it will begin to senesce, causing the leaves to lose colour and die. Combined with the changing ratio of trichome heads from clear to milky to some amber, we decided to stop feeding the plant and began to flush it. From this point forward, our Purple Skunk Automatic was given nothing but pure water.

It was finally time to harvest at the start of week twelve. In reality, it was a relatively quick grow, 85 days from seed to harvest, but we were anxious to dry, cure, and then sample some of this fantastic-looking bud. Everyone is unique, but our desired ratio to represent the peak ripeness of a cannabis plant is 10% clear, 80% milky, and 10% amber trichome heads.

We continued to flush the soil up until we saw our desired ratio of trichome head colour and decided to harvest our Purple Skunk Automatic.

Harvest

Our Purple Skunk Automatic had been defoliated of most of the large leaves during the growing cycle. This meant we had our work cut out for us at harvest time. We removed the few remaining large leaves and then cut our plant at the base of the soil. The plant was kept in one piece and taken to our drying area, where it was hung upside down for 18 days.

The environment in the drying area was closely controlled to ensure a proper dry, not too quick but not too slow. The room was kept between 18-20 °C, and the humidity was a steady 60%. Lights were kept off because light can accelerate the degradation of THC into other cannabinoids. A gentle breeze was moving the air in the room, but none of the fans were blowing directly on our Purple Skunk Automatic as it was hanging.

After 18 days in these conditions, the thin branches on our Purple Skunk Automatic snapped when bent. Before putting the flowers into glass jars for the curing process, we trimmed the excess leaf material. The buds were wispy, which slowed down our trimming slightly, but there were also very few leaves protruding from the core of the flowers. This made trimming a bit faster than strains with a higher density of leaves.

We completed the trim and placed all our flowers into glass jars, but on the first day, we left the jars unsealed. During this process, moisture remaining at the centre of the buds will migrate outwards and rehydrate the dry outer layer of the buds. Leaving the lid off allows this excess moisture to escape the jar. It is a process called “burping”.

The lids were put on after the first night, but each jar of Purple Skunk Automatic was burped multiple times daily for the first two weeks. Each time the lid was kept off the jars for roughly an hour. The jars were only opened once daily for the final four weeks of the curing process.

At six weeks of curing, we decided that our Purple Skunk Automatic was ready to be weighed, sent to the lab for testing, and placed in our C-vault, which keeps the flower at a perfect 62% humidity. In total, we harvested 136 grams of dried flower in just 85 days from planting the seed. The lab results provided us with a THC percentage of 18.3%. A good yield and some potent flower.

Terpene profile

Our Purple Skunk Automatic had a similar but evolving terpene profile as it went through flowering, drying, and curing stages. As the flowers grew on the plant, there was a sweet and skunky air to the buds but also a thin layer of earthiness. During the drying, that earthiness shifted into light, floral undertones.

By the time our Purple Skunk Automatic was cured and ready to consume, the flowers radiated a pungent, deep, sweet and skunky aroma that filled the room. Lab testing revealed myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene as the dominant terpenes in our flower.

The flavour profile was an enchanting combination and slightly different from the terpene profile. Similarly, there was a skunky sweetness to the flavour, but the rich, earthy tones were far more pronounced in the flavour profile comparatively. On occasion, there were even detectable notes of spiciness on the palate.

Effects from our Purple Skunk Automatic were instantaneous. A soothing wave of relaxation ran from head to toe. We found this an enjoyable treat after dinner when the daily tasks had been completed, and we were ready to enjoy a show before bedtime. This strain didn’t leave us couch-locked, but it put the body in a comfortable place.

The outcome

Overall, this is a beautiful plant that would be a delightful addition to any garden space. The Purple Skunk Automatic was an easy plant to grow, harvest, and trim. She did not require any change in light schedule to flower, and she performed well with an essential diet of water and nutrients. We learned that the main stem might need support due to the weight of the sizeable apical cola.

Our Purple Skunk Automatic was an excellent yielder of colourful, fragrant, and potent cannabis flowers. This strain presented a pleasant flavour and scent profile with immediate and relaxing effects. A total of 85 days elapsed from seed to harvest, and at the end, we had 136 grams of dried cannabis flower. The tested THC levels of our Purple Skunk Automatic were 18.3%.

If you enjoyed the details provided about this grow, be sure to check out our other grow diaries on the blog. We are eager to hear about your experiences with the Purple Skunk Automatic. Let us know in the comments below.

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    Sensi Seeds

    The Sensi Seeds Editorial team has been built throughout our more than 30 years of existence. Our writers and editors include botanists, medical and legal experts as well as renown activists the world over including Lester Grinspoon, Micha Knodt, Robert Connell Clarke, Maurice Veldman, Sebastian Maríncolo, James Burton and Seshata.
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