Weed seasons: when is the best time to grow weed?
Are you itching to adventure outdoors to grow your weed in the natural world but are unsure of when to plant your marijuana crops? Here at i49, we know the answers, and you’ll soon learn why cannabis growers listen to Mother Nature during their weed seasons to help them achieve maximum yields.
Discover what pot strains grow best in your part of the world and why cultivators harvest their cannabis crops no later than the fall. Find out the best time to buy outdoor weed from marijuana dispensaries.
Even better, survey your climate and weather patterns, buy your cannabis seeds, and start growing your natural outdoor weed today!
What is weed season?
Cannabis cultivators fondly refer to weed season as an exciting term for the outdoor marijuana growing period. The prominent weed seasons during the year are spring, summer, and fall.
Growing marijuana outdoors is a fun, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly way to cultivate weed crops, specifically photoperiod plants.
You don’t have to purchase costly indoor lighting setups and constantly adjust the cannabis temperature in your grow room. Instead, your marijuana plants can soak up all of nature’s free resources while raising your horticultural skills, and you’ll get more satisfaction harvesting outdoor weed.
Weed seasons can differ, depending on where you live, but we’ll look at this from a northern hemisphere perspective.
Many marijuana growers start their seedlings indoors in mid-March or early April. Cannabis plants usually flower in late summer, and the marijuana harvest season typically takes place during mid to late fall before the first winter frost.
Why do growers plant and harvest marijuana at specific times of the year?
If you’re not sure when to harvest outdoor weed, look at your geographical location to determine your state’s climatic conditions. Weed seasons can vary by region, and some areas may have shorter summers and more ideal humidity for weed than others.
Frost can cause significant damage to seedlings and fully mature plants, so timing is the key to avoid the shift in weather patterns.
The primary objective of your marijuana plants is maximum daylight hours in the summer during the vegetative stage.
Photoperiod crops react on cue to Mother Nature and reach for the sun during the bright days. The uninterrupted twelve hours of light and darkness at the fall equinox triggers the cannabis flowering time during September.
Different strains and their growing seasons
Choosing cannabis seeds with specific strain genetics to adapt to your climatic conditions can help with outdoor weed seasons.
Indica strains can handle harsher weather and are suitable to cultivate in northern states. Sativa strains are suitable to southern hot and humid climates and have longer weed flowering times than indica variants. If you’re lucky enough to find landrace strains, they can be demanding and require a lot of care and time to bloom.
Genetics plays a key role in weed variants, enabling marijuana plants to grow faster, become resistant to diseases, and produce higher yields. But it would be best if you chose cannabis strains ideal for your environment.
For example, if you live in a southern state, all you need to do is browse through the best strains for hot, dry climates and buy the weed variant you fancy.
Cannabis stages of growth and timing for outdoor growers
We’re now going to look at the five key stages of a marijuana plant’s life during the year. The timing of each phase during the seasons will help your outdoor cannabis plants thrive.
Early spring: germination stage
If you’re growing outdoors weed and have purchased cannabis seeds, the first stage in their lives is germination. You can use many methods to germinate your precious weed seeds, and most cultivators tend to kick-start this stage around the spring equinox.
It can take between 1–5 days for those adorable little taproots to emerge. So when your marijuana seeds have sprouted, it’s time to tuck them into a cozy pot with nutrient-rich soil.
Two little cotyledons pop up from the soil delivering energy to the seedling, and it’s not too long before those beautiful familiar fan leaves start showing themselves.
Early summer: seedling stage
Now it’s time to plant your baby marijuana plants outside. In cooler climates, most folks keep them indoors until they’re at least a foot tall. This enables them to handle the weather outside and is especially useful if they’re strains with a weak resistance to pests and molds.
Wait until the threat of overnight frost is gone to plant your seedlings outside. Cultivators tend to move their crops outside in May or even as late as the summer solstice in June.
If you’re worried about erratic weather patterns, use outdoor pots so you can bring them inside if the conditions turn harsh.
Early fall: vegetative stage
The vegetative stage is when your cannabis plants grow vigorously and shoot up towards the glowing sun in the weed growing season. As your crops become denser, topping and pruning enable more light to penetrate the inner leaves while managing their height.
If you’re looking to experiment and cross breed with regular weed seeds, your male marijuana plants release pollen during this stage. So if you only want a field of ladies, separate your female plants from your male crops to prevent pollination.
Your weed plants will continue to thrive and grow in the vegetative stage until the light to darkness ratio starts tipping in favor of the dusk. Then, they’ll enter the exciting flowering phase.
Fall: flowering stage
During weed seasons, this is the stage where your marijuana plants will direct all their energy into producing flowers. You’ll observe the following three phases during the blooming stage:
- Flower initiation: Long, white pistils will emerge from your cannabis crops as their growth spurt starts to slow down.
- Mid-flowering stage: Your weed plants will stop growing as beautiful buds start developing on your crops.
- Ripening: The buds will fatten up as the pistils turn orange or brown, signaling it’s time for the highly anticipated weed harvest season.
Mid-to-late fall: harvest season
After the fall equinox, you may notice some of your cannabis leaves dying or turning yellow and brown.
If you’re not sure when to harvest outdoor marijuana, take a close look at the trichomes on your weed plants. If they’re displaying orange hues, it means the cannabis harvest time has arrived.
Now’s the time to cut down your marijuana plants to trim and dry the buds. However, please don’t leave it too late to harvest as you risk some of your weed plants’ THC content degrading to CBN, affecting the overall quality of your cannabis.
Marijuana grow calendars
When you’re growing marijuana outdoors, it’s crucial to be aware of the cannabis grow schedule.
Considering your location and how that affects your weed season is vital to raising a successful cannabis crop.
For this purpose, we’ve created two marijuana growing schedules for the USA – one for the northern states and the other for the southern ones. Just in case just knowing about the seasons isn’t enough for you and you need even more details.
While designing these schedules, we considered:
- When to plant marijuana
- Your weed plants’ needs during their lifespan
- Average temperatures
- Day lengths per region
- What you need to know during the outdoor flowering stage
Northern states: Weed seasons – Month by month
The northern parts of the USA have much shorter weed growing seasons than the southern regions.
Although you should keep your plants indoors until mid-May, there’s a lot of prep work you can do in the meantime. These preparations will boost your cannabis growth and ensure a decent harvest.
- The averages used for this marijuana growing season are based on New York, Chicago, and Seattle.
- If you’re on the northern West Coast, the summer temperatures are cooler, while spring is slightly warmer than average.
To achieve the best results in the northern regions, follow the marijuana grow calendar below.
Day length average: 9.5–10.5 hours; Alaska: 8.5–10.5 hours
Temperature average: 22–51 °F; Alaska: -8–12 °F
During February, it’s still way too cold to consider planting anything outside. It’s a good time to start your outdoor grow journal and to begin collecting supplies, though.
Here’s a shortlist of the most common items you’ll need:
- Weed seeds: THC or CBD (most growers prefer indica strains due to their shorter growing period)
- Different sized pots
- Soil or your preferred alternative growing medium
- Weed nutrients
- Cultivation tools such as watering cans, sprays, etc.
The best time to plant your marijuana seeds is at the end of February, by creating a controlled environment with artificial light indoors. Be sure to maintain a temperature ranging between 68–77 °F.
It will allow you to germinate your seeds early, extending your growing period, ultimately enabling you to raise any strain.
It’s also essential to prep your outdoor growing soil during this period by adding compost and worms to it.
Day length average: 9.5–13 hours; Alaska 10.5–13
Temperature average: 31–54 °F; Alaska: 0–24 °F
As the coasts start to warm up, the days get longer in Seattle and Portland, indicating that the weed growing season is drawing near.
If you’re planning on growing with clones, your cannabis mother plant should be ready by the end of March. Alternatively, you should begin sprouting your weed plants. Be sure to provide them with enough sunlight and keep an eye on the day lengths.
For the northern regions, it’s best to use cold-tolerant strains with a shorter lifecycle to prevent losing plants to a cold snap or an early harvest. If you want to fit two harvests into the same weed season, it’s best to use autoflower strains.
Day length average: 12.5–14.5 hours; Alaska: 13.5–15.5 hours
Temperature average: 35–62 °F; Alaska: 24–45 °F
Although cold days and overnight frosts are still common, the first signs of spring become visible, resulting in longer and warmer days. In most areas, plants can be taken outside by the end of this month, and you can finally start growing outdoors.
By now, days are over 14 hours long, meaning you won’t need artificial light anymore, and weed seeds will find it easy to sprout naturally. Feel free to plant your weed in pots outside. Just remember to bring them inside at night.
If you grew a cannabis mother plant, now is the time to start taking clones.
Unfortunately, Alaskan cultivators will have to wait another month before they start growing outdoors.
Take note: It’s crucial to introduce your weed shrubs to direct sunlight slowly. If you do it too quickly, it may result in plant stress and cause leaf burn.
Day length average: 14–15.5 hours; Alaska: 15.5–17.5 hours
Temperature average: 52–72 °F; Alaska: 40–61 °F
Spring is finally in full swing, even in Alaska, and now is the best time to grow marijuana outdoors. Be vigilant, though, as some areas, like the Alaskan interior, may still be hit by frost, and cultivators should probably wait until mid-May to be safe.
According to the northern states’ weed calendar, you should begin sprouting autoflowering seeds by mid-May. They typically need three months to develop fully, and in some regions, like Alaska and the Midwest, that’s all time you’ll get before the temperature drops below freezing.
If you do things right, your plants should be ready for the marijuana harvest season in mid-August.
Day length average: 15–16 hours; Alaska: 18 hours
Temperature average: 54–81 °F; Alaska: 52–71 °F
According to the marijuana grow schedule, between 18 and 24 June, your weed crop experiences the most development. During this time, your plants will show rapid growth while they start to develop flowers due to the warming temperatures.
It’s now safe to leave your marijuana shrubs outside, but keep an eye out for cannabis pests, such as plant diseases and bug infestations.
During this stage of the weed season, it’s critical to provide your crop with plenty of water and follow a nitrogen-rich nutes schedule. If you’re not using feminized seeds, signs of male plants will become apparent by the end of this month.
Day length average: 14–16 hours; Alaska: 16.5–18 hours
Temperature average: 58–85 °F; Alaska: 55–73 °F
During this part of the marijuana growing season, autoflowering weed shrubs will grow large flower clusters. Non-autoflowering (photoperiod) cannabis plants will start to develop their first pistils.
If you’re using non-feminized seeds, now is the time to focus on sexing your plants. If you find any males, remove them immediately to avoid pollination.
This stage of the weed calendar also triggers the need for growers to switch to a bloom-supporting nutes schedule, which has to happen as soon as the females show the first signs of flowering.
Day length average: 13–15 hours: Alaska: 14–16.5 hours
Temperature average: 58–84 °F; Alaska: 49–66 °F
August marks the arrival of the autoflowering weed harvest season. It’s now time to cut the flower heads from your marijuana plants and hang them upside down in a dry, dark place to dehydrate them.
This process should be done at room temperature and usually takes about ten days. You’ll know that your pot is ready for use if you bend the branchlet and it cracks.
For photoperiod cannabis plants, the weed seasons continue, and by the end of August, they should start to bloom.
When your marijuana shrubs start showing signs of flowering, it’s essential to adjust the nutes schedule, ensuring that they receive adequate amounts of the right minerals.
Day length average: 11.5–13.5 hours; Alaska: 11.5–14 hours
Temperature average: 54–76 °F; 38–55 °F
As the weed seasons progress into the cooler, shorter September days, photoperiod cannabis plants will grow more flowerheads and pistils. Keeping them dry and protecting them against the wind during this period is crucial.
- Building them a shelter
- Taking them indoors on rainy or windy days
- Using bamboo sticks or adding a net to prevent them from falling over
The end of September marks the beginning of fall and signifies that the northern marijuana growing season will soon end. During this time, it’s not a bad idea to read up on how and when to harvest cannabis outdoors.
Seeing that different weed strains have varying flowering times, it’s essential to know what to expect.
Day length average: 10–13 hours; Alaska: 11.5–14 hours
Temperature average: 46–64 °F; Alaska: 20–33 °F
With fall in full swing, your weed plants should be in full bloom, putting the marijuana harvest season within reach.
Knowing when to harvest marijuana outdoors is crucial for northern growers, as this is a high-risk time. Bud rot can quickly destroy your entire weed crop, especially in high rainfall areas.
Should you notice any signs of this abnormality, you should reap your cannabis crop immediately. It might result in a lower yield, but that’s better than none at all.
Another point of concern is rapidly dropping temperatures. Most weed plants can deal with conditions between 30–32 °F for a short time, but prolonged exposure will kill your cannabis shrubs. Frosts also typically set in closer to the end of October.
The end of this month also brings the annual marijuana growing calendar to a close, giving you a few months to sit back, relax and enjoy your hard-earned weed before having to start all over in February.
Southern states: Weed seasons – month by month
There are various similarities between the weed seasons of the northern and southern states. The main difference, though, is that the lower-lying regions benefit from a longer growing schedule.
A longer, warmer marijuana growing season opens up opportunities for growers to experiment with cultivars that need more time to reach maturity. On the other hand, extremely high temperatures are an issue that cultivators should be vigilant about as it may be problematic for developing weed plants.
It’s also crucial to know when to plant your cannabis outdoors, how to maintain your marijuana shrubs, and what to expect from the various weed seasons.
As with cultivators in the north, it’s vital to get a head start. You can begin preparations as early as February and start growing your cannabis as the final frosts signal “go time.”
- The averages used in this cannabis grow schedule are based on Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles.
- Southern West Coast areas have slightly cooler average temperatures but more sun.
- While the southeast has the hottest spring and fall, central areas have the warmest summers.
Day length average: 10.5–11.5 hours; Hawaii 11.5 hours
Temperature average: 49–80 °F; Hawaii: 67–81 °F
February marks the beginning of the outdoor weed growing season. Now is the ideal time to purchase cannabis seeds and gather supplies.
With an extended marijuana growing schedule in some regions, it’s safe to opt for sativa cultivars. If you’re considering an indica strain, it’s essential to keep in mind how warm your area’s summer generally gets.
If you plan on keeping an outdoor grow journal, this is an excellent time to start making your first entries.
Day length average: 11.5–12.5 hours; Hawaii: 11.5–12.5 hours
Temperature average: 50-81 °F; Hawaii: 68-82 °F
During this time on the marijuana growing calendar, it’s starting to feel like summer in warmer regions, and frost is something of the past for the interior.
You can begin germinating your seeds on a window sill as long as you ensure they get 12 hours of sunlight. If the days aren’t yet long enough, add an extra hour or so of artificial light.
If you prefer to use clones outside during this weed season, spend some time tending to your mother plant as she needs to be ready by the end of March.
Day length average: 12.5–13.5 hours; Hawaii: 12.5–13 hours
Temperature average: 55–84 °F; Hawaii: 70–83 °F
Except in Hawaii, April brings with it slightly increased temperatures and significantly longer days. According to the marijuana grow schedule, you should be able to stop using lamps, as your sprouting weed seeds should be getting at least 13 hours of sunlight per day.
Growers in the Southeast can even safely move their young weed plants into the fresh air, as long as they’re brought inside at night.
If you decided on using autoflowering seeds and you already germinated your first batch, you should be able to complete two grows during the weed growing season.
Day length average: 13–14.5 hours; Hawaii: 13–13.5 hours
Temperature average: 60–87 °F; Hawaii: 71–85 °F
With spring officially here, days are long enough to support the vegetative stage, making it safe to move your plants outside permanently. With enough sunlight and adequate temperatures, your cannabis crop should be ready for harvest by the beginning of August.
If you opted to use autoflower seeds, mid-May is the best time to plant your marijuana seeds outdoors.
Hawaiin growers should note that their days are the shortest in the USA, so choosing weed cultivars for outdoor growth with a need for more than average sunlight is ill-advised.
Day length average: 14.5 hours, Hawaii: 13.5 hours
Temperature average: 60–91 °F; 74–87 °F
This stage of the weed season boasts the longest days of the year, resulting in marijuana plants outside tending to develop quicker. Autoflowering marijuana strains start to bloom, and photoperiod cannabis plants grow faster.
Growers must adjust their nutes supplements to a nitrogen-enriched solution to sustain the heavy vegetative growth.
According to the weed calendar, non-feminized marijuana plants start showing their sex. Be vigilant about this and immediately remove all males as soon as they’re detected.
Day length average: 13.5–14.5 hours; Hawaii: 13–13.5 hours
Temperature average: 65–93 °F; Hawaii: 75–88 °F
Looking at the marijuana grow schedule, July is by far the warmest month of the year.
During this time, photoperiod weed shrubs will start showing their first pistils. Autoflowering cannabis crops develop large flower clusters while the genetic battle and search for males continues.
This weed season requires growers to be proactive about watering their plants, as high temperatures can quickly dehydrate the soil.
Day length average: 13–14 hours; Hawaii: 12.5–13 hours
Temperature average: 65–95 °F; Hawaii: 75–89 °F
August marks the arrival of the autoflowering marijuana harvest season. Reap the flower heads and hang them in a dry, dark area, allowing your buds to dry out at room temperature, which shouldn’t take more than ten days.
When daylight drops below 14 hours per day during the weed season, photoperiod cannabis plants will begin entering the last flowering phase as they start to wither away.
Weed shrubs with longer flowering periods develop more pistils and flowerheads. Protecting them against the elements, such as wind and rain, is crucial. You can either choose to bring your cannabis plants inside, if you planted them pots, or construct a shelter around them.
Stabilizing them with something like bamboo sticks may also be necessary.
Day length average: 12–13 hours; Hawaii: 12–12.5 hours
Temperature average: 64–89 °F; Hawaii: 75–89 °F
As fall approaches, the days become shorter, marking the beginning of the end of the weed seasons.
It also signals the beginning of the photoperiod weed harvest season. Many cannabis shrubs will be ready to be reaped if you haven’t done so already. As with northern growers, cultivators should keep an eye out for bud rot, especially in the more humid regions.
Day length average: 11–12 hours; Hawaii: 11.5–12 hours
Temperature average: 60–86 °F; Hawaii: 74–87 °F
With the arrival of October, fall is in full swing, and the outdoor marijuana growing season finally comes to a close. If you haven’t harvested your crop yet, now is the time to do so.
Get familiar with your weed season
Genetics has played a significant role in how we grow cannabis during weed seasons. We now have marijuana plants resistant to molds and can withstand harsh weather conditions. All those natural resources make it tempting to grow weed outdoors, so why not give in and discover the joys of it?
Don’t worry if you struggle during your first few marijuana growing seasons. Instead, keep a weed journal to help track your cultivating progress, so you can look back on your experience or learn from past mistakes.
If you do a little research into your climate conditions, you’ll soon find what weed strains suit your environment.
So, buy your cannabis seeds on i49, find your green thumb, and get accustomed to the world outside. Then, enjoy watching your cannabis plants thrive during their various life stages and reap the rewards of a successful outdoors harvest.