Alaskan Thunder Fuck, a.k.a., Matanuska Tundra or Matanuska Thunder Fuck, is believed to have originated in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley. However, most cannabis consumers refer to it by its initials ATF.
This legendary old-school sativa is said to have been brought to Alaska from Northern California in the 1970s. From there, it was hybridized with a Russian ruderalis and then later with an Afghani indica landrace.
With a name like Alaskan Thunder Fuck, (ATF), you would be correct in assuming that this is a hard-hitting strain. While ATF’s THC level is typically in the 16%-23% range, it can reach as high as 27%.
Smokers of this strain describe its high as euphoric, uplifting, and energizing.
ATF’s potent THC level is offset by a relatively low CBD content of approximately 0.80%. Smokers of this strain describe its high as euphoric, uplifting, and energizing. Be warned, though, ATF is a notorious creeper, which means its effects take longer to kick in than your average strain.
ATF is known for its intense aroma, which smells of skunk and diesel. Others say that ATF smells like pine or has an earthy fragrance. While ATF’s pungent smell may be off-putting for some, its rich and unique variety of flavors make up for what it lacks in the way of pleasant fragrance. ATF smokers generally say it has subtle undertones of menthol, pine, and lemon, with hints of spice, banana, and even orange.
If you are reading this article, you probably have been a consumer of ATF in the past. Maybe you have always wanted to grow your own ATF at home but didn’t know where to start? Hopefully, these tips will help guide you through the process and prevent you from making any rookie mistakes.
Tip #1: Difficulty Growing ATF
One of the challenges faced when growing Alaskan Thunder Fuck outdoors is that it is only moderately resistant to diseases. One tip for improving your ATF plants’ resistance to disease is by adding some silica to the soil. This can be done without too much difficulty by dissolving silicon in water and applying it separately from your two-part feed. For more on this, check out tip number 4 in this article: “Feeding for Alaskan Thunder Fuck.”
Silica stimulates the development and speeds up the process by which plants produce their cell walls. This leads to a more robust, healthier plant and helps to improve its resistance to pathogens. Another added benefit of silica is that it is a wonderful, natural alternative to toxic fungicides and pesticides.
You will need to closely monitor your plant and the weather to prevent it from being adversely affected by extreme weather conditions. In terms of pH, ATF grows better in a more acidic growth medium. Experienced ATF growers believe that the optimal pH level is 5.5.
Tip #2: Growing Techniques for ATF
ATF is best suited to a cooler climate due to its heritage. Outdoor ATF growers recommend planting in trenches rather than in pots to keep the roots warm.
Pruning methods such as topping and training are recommended for plants like ATF with large internodal spacing as they will produce longer, taller stems. Pruning the necessary nodes and internodal spaces will create more desirable branching, leading to higher yields.
ATF growers recommend that you use dowels to help the plant support its own weight as it grows. You will also need to stake the branches and the apical stem to prevent your buds from drooping into the soil.
Tip #3: Alaskan Thunder Fuck Yield
It is in the yield where growers will notice the most significant difference between growing outdoors instead of indoors. ATF can produce as much as 32 ounces per plant when grown outdoors, with October being ideal for harvesting. The indoor yield is considerably less; growers can expect an average yield of 16 ounces per square meter.
Tip #4: Feeding for Alaskan Thunder Fuck
Experienced growers recommend using nutrient-rich soil to achieve the highest possible yield. Opt for an organic mix, which is high in both nitrogen and microorganisms to boost growth.
As mentioned above, silica can be a very beneficial supplement when growing your ATF plant. Not only will silica help strengthen your plant’s cell walls, but it also increases the amount of available nitrogen to your plant. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for aiding growth, particularly in the vegetative stage.
Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for aiding growth, particularly in the vegetative stage.
Another of silica’s many benefits is it also increases the plant’s uptake of water and other nutrients. It is important to note that hydroponic feeds do not contain silicon. This is because silicon’s high pH level would react adversely with the other nutrients included in the feed. Therefore, this could lead to your plant being deprived of essential nutrients.
Keeping your silica application separate from the normal two-part feed ensures that your ATF plants receive all of the benefits silica has to offer. Please note that plants absorb silicon as monosilicic acid after it has been dissolved in water. If you intend to grow hydroponically, the main silicon additive to use is potassium silicate.
Tip #5: Growing ATF Outdoors/Indoors
While Alaskan Thunder Fuck can be grown indoors and outdoors, the plant thrives outdoors, particularly in colder conditions. The optimal temperature range is between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If growing ATF indoors, please note that the plant has quite a pungent odor. Growers should ensure adequate ventilation to prevent any unwanted lingering odors.
Tip #6: Alaskan Thunder Fuck Flowering Time
So when can you expect those bodacious buds to reach maturity? Well, the flowering time for the Alaskan Thunder Fuck plant is approximately 9-10 weeks. By this time, the plant’s flowers should have a generous coating of trichomes. Trichomes get their name from the Greek word “tríchōma,” which means “growth of hair.” When you see them up close, you will notice that’s what trichomes on a cannabis plant resemble.
Trichomes are sticky, and the ATF plant’s flowers can be difficult to break up without a grinder. It is easy to tear off the leaves from the stem to reveal the ATF plant’s chunky buds, which are medium to large. ATF’s orange pistils are much longer and thinner than those of other strains and grow predominantly around the leaves.
Tip #7: Climate for Growing the Alaskan Thunder Fuck Strain
As already mentioned, ATF thrives in a cold to moderate climate due to its heritage. Autumn is the best season for growing ATF, with October being the ideal month for harvesting. Some ATF growers believe that the plant produces its best yields when grown in temperatures ranging from 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, others believe that the optimal range is slightly higher, at 75-85-degree Fahrenheit.
While such a difference may seem minuscule, ATF – just like other plants – is vulnerable to temperature changes. If the temperature drops too low, ATF is more susceptible to fungal diseases like powdery mildew. Higher temperatures can dry out and kill your ATF plant unless it is adequately watered.
Tip #8: What Type of Lighting Should I Use?
Indoor growers should avoid any source of lighting that will drive temperatures above the 80-degree Fahrenheit mark. High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lights, such as High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Metal Halide (MH) lighting, are generally considered to be the best available lighting sources for growing indoors.
Higher wattage HIDs tend to produce more heat and use a lot more energy. There’s also the added hassle of setting up a supplemental ventilation system for dealing with the excess heat produced.
Growers should allow a few days of darkness before harvesting for the plants to reach their full potential.
ATF growers recommended that you use a lower wattage HID. These require less electricity to run (saving you money!) and produce less heat. This helps to keep the temperature in that optimal 65-80-degree Fahrenheit range.
Implementing a 12/12 light cycle throughout the process will produce fewer trichomes. Experienced growers note that during times of the year when days become shorter and nights longer, trichome coverage increases dramatically. Therefore, to maximize resin maturation, growers should allow a few days of darkness before harvesting for the plant’s cannabinoids to reach their full, potent potential.
Final Thoughts on Growing Alaskan Thunder Fuck
Alaskan Thunder Fuck can be a challenging strain not only to come by but also to grow. Novice growers should opt for an easier strain to grow. ATF requires quite a bit of maintenance, e.g., pruning and staking, so it’s pretty labor-intensive. Growers will need to pay close attention to their grow room temperature and humidity levels to ensure they remain in the optimal ranges. In conclusion, it may take a few attempts to perfect your ATF grow, but the good news is that the rewards are worth the extra effort.