Growing Marijuana Outdoors: Guide for Beginners
Growing weed is a rewarding and enjoyable experience. However, it is also a challenging activity that takes some amount of money and time. For a novice grower who has limited resources, growing cannabis indoors might be a more expensive option.
When it comes to weed cultivation, you don’t need to spend more. Having just a small outdoor garden will be enough. It can already yield you with a decent amount of delicious-looking buds without a big monetary investment. If there is a private spot within your property or even a terrace, rooftop, or balcony, growing cannabis outdoors will be possible.
Sunlight and Location
The most important factor to consider in outdoor marijuana cultivation is the availability and access to sunlight. Cannabis plants will need much light for them to mature and yield eventually. When choosing an area for some plants or a garden pot, make sure the area where you preferred to grow cannabis receives much sunlight.
An outdoor garden within the northern hemisphere must have southern exposure. This means the garden is open mainly to the south and faces the archway of the sun during the day. On the other hand, for people within the southern hemisphere, it should be northern exposure because of the position of the sun in relation to Earth’s axis.
Of course, those cannabis growers who live in the areas near the equator have no problem about this because the sun’s arc passes directly overhead.
Nutrients and Water
After choosing a suitable area for growing marijuana, the next thing you need to consider is its proximity to the caretakers. If the plant is on your property and you have no problem in terms of access, you will gain more flexibility when it comes to feeding and irrigating your garden.
Going outside to water the cannabis plants and adding nutrients to the soil should not be a problem if the garden is just a few steps from your house. However, if the plants are in a considerable distance from your house, you can use a growing medium which can hold moisture for an extended period of time. In this scenario, you can amend the soil with vermiculite, perlite, and other additives that can absorb water.
For those guerilla growers who want to conceal their plants, they should consider adding an irrigation system. In such case, find pots that have good sunlight and is also near the source of natural water. Using a natural water source for just some plants through hand-watering every other day must not negatively affect the nearby environment.
Likewise, when your plant is in a distance from your house, you can use time-release mineral pellets which will dissolve in the long run and slowly release the nutrients to the soil.
For a garden in your backyard, it’s better to use a gentle nutrient solution crafted by dissolving the organic nutrients in the water and applying it to the grow medium every 3rd day.
Containers and Grow Medium
It’s up to you if you cultivate the plants straight to earth beds or use plant containers. If you choose to use a specialty mixture or made a mix of mediums as a growth substrate, your best option will be big container bags or pots.
Container bags intended for cultivating marijuana outdoors are available in different sizes to choose from. Some of them can hold medium of up to 100 gallons or more.
Known for their sturdiness, these container bags are crafted using sturdy plastic. Also, they often have sewn handles. Those container bags made of fabric are your best option because they are more breathable compared to plastic container bags.
Breathable containers allow the air to enter the root zone easier, which is more important in taking oxygen to the roots. While cannabis plants need carbon dioxide, their roots need oxygen in most periods of time, especially during the dark hours.
The bigger the roots of your cannabis plants are, the bigger your plants will be. Therefore, you will likely earn more in the next harvest period. It’s the distinct advantage which outdoor cannabis cultivation offers over indoor cultivation – there’s no limit on the plant size or space outdoors.
Outdoor plants will achieve heights of 14 feet tall and yield 4 to 8 pounds per plant. These things will also depend on the final size of your plants and their genetic potential.
Choose a Good Strain to Grow Outdoors
Cannabis can be sativa, indica, or a mix of both. ProCon.org said cannabis has two main subspecies: cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. Choose a strain that can grow successfully outdoors. The one that you choose will be very important in your grow’s success. You can’t just choose a cannabis strain and go. You need to do some research to know what strain can fit outdoor cannabis cultivation.
If you are from an area with a good weather condition, then you can choose whatever cannabis strain you like. Your possible options will include all pure indica and indica-dominant strains including the old school sativa strains, such as the phenotypes of Haze that have a long flowering time and can produce massive yields.
Fewer tropical climates but then sunny like the Mediterranean will have fewer options. The good thing is that you can still cultivate and grow different cannabis strains with indica genetics by using the modern breeding methods. At the same time, you can cultivate a few hybridized sativa strains like the Silver Haze #9, a variety of Haze that has a shorter flowering time.
Seeds or Clones
You can actually grow cannabis plants in two ways: by seed or by clones. Cloning is the process in which you take cuttings from fully mature cannabis plants and use them to grow new plants that share the same traits and genetics with the parent plants.
Clones come with guaranteed genetic qualities, especially if you need only female plants. Clones will give you a head start over the seeds through being more developed with roots and existing leaves.
However, buying cannabis seeds from the local dispensaries and online seed companies will give you more choices on good strains to grow. Be sure to get your marijuana seeds only from a reliable source. Look for the best pieces before buying.
If you choose to get started with clones, then make sure you treat them with the utmost care. Likewise, ensure that the roots of your cuttings are fully developed before you plant them.
Outdoor Marijuana Cultivation – Protecting Your Marijuana Plants
There are some things you can’t control. Unlike indoor growing, you cannot control the environmental factors like temperature and humidity when you choose to grow weed outdoors. Thus, you need to protect your plants from all the possible environmental factors that can do harm to them. Failing to spot and resolve these issues before they worsen may significantly harm your plants or even lead them to death.
If the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it can rapidly damage most cannabis strains. You have to maintain the ideal temperature for their survival. Hence, if you are from one of those areas where late spring and early fall frost is more common, use a greenhouse or any other sturdy enclosure that can effectively protect your cannabis plants when the temperature suddenly changes.
High winds are also a big enemy of cannabis. Just one or two strong blows of wind can already break the branches of cannabis plants. Just one windy day will make your plants overly stressed.
If your outdoor garden is in a place that is often windy, you have to make sure your plants are safe. Do a simple measure like attaching a plastic sheet to some garden stakes to cover the entire grow space. This will provide sufficient protection for your cannabis plants against the high winds.
One of the best things about cultivating marijuana outdoors is that your cannabis plants will not entirely depend on you for their hydration needs. Rain is already enough in keeping them hydrated. However, leaving them wet in case of a nonstop rainfall is not a good idea. Excess moisture can seriously damage your plants and cause mildew or mold. Also, rain is not good for the flowering plants.
You may build a do-it-yourself greenhouse. If not, use a plastic sheet and some stakes to form a temporary shelter for your plants to keep them safe from consistent rainfalls.
Pests can also be a problem when cultivating marijuana outdoors. Large animals like a deer can mess up with your cannabis plants if you leave them unguarded. However, the biggest challenge is to protect your plants from small flying or crawling insects that can easily hide and attack the plants while you’re sleeping.
The solution? Just keep your cannabis plants healthy. This way, they will be naturally resistant to pests, making a minor infestation easier to resolve. You can also keep your marijuana plants apart from other plants to prevent the tiny pests from spreading.
Regular inspection is also important to make sure your cannabis plants are 100% free and safe from pests. Remember, an infestation is easier to eradicate with early detection. You can use organic pesticides and beneficial insects that can attack the pests.
You can now start planning for an outdoor garden by following what you have learned here. Growing cannabis outdoors is a rewarding hobby. You will enjoy doing this especially when the plants begin to amaze you. Take care of them and give everything they need to stay strong and healthy.