Growing Cannabis Outdoors – A Beginner’s Guide
Why Should You Grow Cannabis Outdoors?
Growing cannabis outdoors is more cost-effective than inside cultivation. There’s no need for pots or special equipment as the plant can be placed directly in the soil outside.
You’ll still need to get some basics, such as fertilizer and seeds, but you won’t need to get humidifiers or temperature control instruments because mother nature has it all.
There aren’t any restrictions to growing weed outdoors. The plants can grow to their full potential without restrictions. Your herbs could even give you a better crop growing outside than indoors, depending on the climate.
Growing weed inside can be draining on the environment. It requires large quantities of electricity to run all the special equipment. You’ll also need sufficient space indoors for a worthwhile yield, and the area also needs to have air and temperature control.
Growing cannabis from seed outdoors doesn’t have as significant an impact and is more sustainable.
Fun and rewarding
Gardening is relaxing and can provide fuzzy feelings of satisfaction when your harvest is ready. It’s even more rewarding when you sit back and enjoy the sensations when you light up the unique blend that you’ve lovingly cultivated yourself.
How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors?
Consider the climate
Growing weed outside may sound like a great idea, but you need to consider whether your climate is suitable. Extreme temperatures are detrimental and will affect your weed’s quality and quantity.
Choose your space
It’s essential to carefully choose your garden site to affect your plants’ growth and harvest size. When growing weed outdoors, you need to know how much sunlight and wind your plants will be exposed to.
If you’re based in the northern hemisphere, you should place your plants in a space with southern exposure so that you can make the best use of available sunlight. You can anchor your seedlings against a wall, fence, or next to large shrubbery to protect them from strong winds.
Pick your seeds
One of the most critical steps for growing pot outdoors is choosing the correct strain. If you’re located further north, your plants will likely have a brief cultivating season. You can consider stout and fast blooming genetics, such as auto flowers, to plant in your area.
For warmer climates with a more extended season, towering Sativas are a suitable option. Hybrids are also a good pick as they like the hot temperatures. Examine your preferences when choosing seeds and invest in plants based on your tastes.
Choose a grow medium
The best soil for growing cannabis outdoors
Cannabis does well in soil that’s rich in organic matter. Understanding the types of dirt will help you adjust your plants accordingly for a better crop. Heavy clay soils tend to hold water and aren’t oxygen-rich.
Sandy soil drains well and warms quickly, but it doesn’t retain nutrients. This feature will be problematic, especially in rainy environments. The ideal is a silty ground that drains well, holds moisture, and contains many nutrients.
Instead of using a growing medium such as nutrient-rich soil, you can consider growing cannabis hydroponically. This involves using a nutrient-rich water mixture instead of soil. It can be as basic as hand-watering pots with the solution. It’s ideal for growing cannabis outdoors in pots.
Coco coir is processed natural fiber from coconut husks; it’s usually recycled material mainly grown in India and Sri Lanka. It can be used on its own or as an additive to soil. It adds structure, improves acidity, retains moisture, and boosts microbial life.
Weed enthusiasts will go the extra length to get a rich flavor out of their herbs. To get the best soil for growing cannabis outdoors, they’ve discovered that bat guano is perfect for boosting nutrient levels.
Bat poop is free if you want to gather some yourself and is available worldwide. If bats are in short supply, you can also use seabird guano from birds that predominantly eat meat.
Other soilless mediums
Some other soilless growth mediums include:
- Perlite – This is a brilliant white, popcorn-like substance that starts its life as a type of volcanic rock. It has a PH of 0.7 and plays a vital role in growing cannabis outdoors in pots without soil.
- Expanded Clay Pellets – These are small round balls and are also known as lightweight expanded clay aggregate or LECA. It’s a soilless growing medium designed for hydroponic use.
Pick your nutrients
Cannabis is a nutrient greedy plant, much more so than any other you may have in your garden. As the plant grows and flowers, it’s likely to deplete the available nutrients, and you’ll have to add extra fertilizer.
Growing marijuana outdoors successfully requires a healthy dose of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the ground mix. A popular brew for outdoor cannabis growers is organic compost tea. It contains nutrient-rich ingredients such as molasses and earthworm casting compost.
Germinate your seeds
In your journey to discover how to grow marijuana outdoors, you’ll learn that the first phase in your new seedling’s life is germination. For this stage to be successful, the plant needs a healthy dose of darkness, moisture, and humidity.
If you live in a warm climate, you can start growing the seedlings directly in outdoor garden beds or pots. Growers that live in a cold climate will have better success germinating their seedlings indoors during low temperatures.
Choose some pots or containers
Seedlings are ideally germinated in root riot plugs designed to keep the seeds toasty during the beginning stages of growth. You can use basic black nursery pots or air pots to plant cannabis. The benefits of using these are:
- Better root growth as the plants are kept warm.
- Better access to air through the mesh holes.
- Massive root terminals.
- Mobility to move the seedlings around for more sunlight or warmth.
Plant your seeds
Once you’ve decided on which strain you want to go with and have collected all the required equipment, you’re ready to start planting. Pop the pods into the root riot plugs and make sure they’re nice and snug.
Set up plant protection
A challenge to growing cannabis outdoors is nurturing and protecting the plant from all sorts of nasties until it reaches maturity. You’re not the only one that enjoys weed, and you can expect predatory insects and even animals to find your crop and munch away to their heart’s content.
It might seem funny to find a slightly dazed deer wandering around your weed patch, but they can be pretty destructive. Erect some chicken wire fences to prevent animals and birds from getting in. Companion plants such as basil, dill, or lemon balm will help repel pest insects.
Water your weed plants
If you start growing cannabis outdoors in pots, don’t overwater the seedlings, or it might result in a host of root problems and a weaker plant. The rule of thumb is to only water after the top 3 to 5 cm of the soil has dried out. This could be anything between 1 to 4 days.
Care for your plants
You should keep an eye out for various plant diseases. The moment you spot anything strange on the leaves or stems, such as black spots or discoloration, attend to it immediately to prevent loss of foliage.
There might be instances when you’ll need to prune the plants. If you cut the main stem, the lower branches will grow larger and sprout several other twigs. If you then prune those, your plant will be bushier but won’t grow as tall. Clipped plants produce greater yields than ones that haven’t been cut.
The seedling stage lasts about 14 days. You need to provide consistent humidity levels of approximately 70% during this time. Make sure the plants get enough sunlight, and remember to water your crop sparingly.
When the seedling stage comes to an end, the vegetative phase begins. Your plant’s primary focus is now on photosynthesizing and creating energy to fuel further growth.
You can expect to see a burst of large fan leaves throughout this phase. Ensure that you don’t overwater the plant at this stage, as they tend to be vulnerable to root rot if there’s too much moisture.
Early flowering stage
The next stage in the cycle of outdoor cannabis growing is the early flowering stage. You’ll start to see buds forming on the plants. Now, you’ll need to adjust the lighting to promote growth.
You also need to remove any male plants to prevent them from pollinating the females. This is critical since pollinated females will produce seeds instead of the consumable weed you’re hoping for.
Late flowering stage
When the pistils start turning brown, this is the late flowering stage of growing cannabis from seed outdoors. Now that the flower is fully formed, you might get a whiff of the plant’s enticing aroma.
Don’t be tempted to pick now, as it could cost you up to 50% of your harvest. Marijuana pistils are known to go brown several times during the flowering stage. This phase of growing weed outside can continue for a couple of weeks.
Harvest your plants
One of the most satisfying parts of growing cannabis outdoors is when you get to harvest the fruits of your labor. You’ll know your plants are ready when most trichomes are cloudy. For best results, start picking when the first ambers appear in a concentration of around 10% max.
Drying and curing
Many people want to learn how to grow marijuana for the primary reason of using the herbs for themselves. The final step in cultivating a successful stock of weed to enjoy is drying and curing. Below is a simple step-by-step instruction on how to dry and cure your stash:
- Remove the buds from your plant.
- Hang in a cool, dry place for ten days (Aim for 70F and 60% humidity.)
- Dry trim.
- Store in brown paper bags for another one to two weeks.
- For long-term storage, use glass jars with a 62% humidity pack.
Discover the Joy of Growing Cannabis in Full Sun!
To grow pot outdoors may sound challenging, but if you follow the steps, you’re bound to have a plentiful harvest and some good puffing. You can grow marijuana outdoors in pots or directly in the soil, depending on what’s suitable.
Watching the plants flower and develop is a pleasurable experience, especially since this is probably the only farming activity that you hope will eventually go up in smoke. Growing huge cannabis plants outdoors is possible with careful planning and patience.