Growing marijuana outdoors may be challenging. Unlike indoor growing, where you can recreate a natural environment and control temperature, humidity, and lighting, it’s hard to control the variables in outdoor growing. Exposure to uncontrollable elements and pests may pose a great danger to the plants.
However, despite all these potential challenges, growing your marijuana seeds outdoors can significantly reward you. Tending your plants early in the morning as the mist skates across the grass can be a magical moment. Inspecting your plants’ leaves and foliage in the glow of the sunset can also be refreshing. But before initiating your outdoor operation, you need to factor in several things to be successful.
Here are tips you need to know as you grow your cannabis outdoors.
- Choose The Right Strain of Seeds
It’s important to select the right strain of seeds from a homegrown cannabis company to grow outdoors. Your location and climatic conditions may affect your choice of seeds. Some seeds grow well in warm climates, and others do well in cool climates. You want to choose the right strain of seeds that suit your environment.
If you live in a warm temperate climate, finding seeds suitable for your region may be easy because most commercial strains are designed for warmer climates. Long summers and mild winters are the perfect conditions for growing cannabis. Warm climates support the growth of almost any strain, whether it’s Sativa varieties of Indica variety.
But if you’re living in a cold temperate climate, worry not. There are strains that are best for your region. You can choose strains such as Feminized, Early Skunk, and Jamaican Pearl. These strains are hardy and flower early.
- Germinate Your Seeds Indoors
It’s advisable to let your seeds germinate indoors before transferring them. You can grow them in a pot for one or two weeks under artificial light, such as a CFL. That’ll protect them from being destroyed by insects or birds when they’re tender and head-start them if the outdoor conditions are a little cold.
When you’re transferring your plants outdoors after germinating them, take them through a hardening-off period. Hardening off will help your plants to adapt to the change in the environment gradually. You can do this by taking them out and keeping them sheltered from the elements. After exposing them to outdoor conditions for a week, they’ll be hardy to withstand the conditions full-time either in bags, holes in the soil or pots.
- Select the Right Spot For Planting
Choose a spot that receives a fair amount of sunlight when planting the seedlings in your garden. The plants need to photosynthesize as much as possible to grow and give superior yields. However, if you’re living in a region with brutal sunshine during the summer, ensure you monitor your plants’ hydration.
Planting your seedlings on a spot that has a breeze may also help them to carry the weight of their buds later on. Plants exposed to a continuous light breeze become sturdy, especially when they’re still young. However, if you are residing in an area with gale-force winds, consider positioning your plants next to walls, have windbreaks or other forms of shelter.
- Choose the Right Time For Growing
Indoor growers can grow cannabis plants at any time of the year. Outdoor growing, on the other hand, is dependent on nature, and it can decide it’s too chilly for plants to live.
Outdoor growing needs you to have patience. You must know the time of the year to germinate seeds, tend them through their vegetative and flowering periods, and harvest them. If you’re living in the tropics, you can be fortunate enough to grow cannabis throughout the year. But if you’re living in cold regions, you may be forced to obey the seasons.
In most of Europe and America, you can have your seedlings in the soil around May and harvest them in September. Because various regions have different times for sowing, it’s essential to check the recommended times and appropriate strains.
- Ensure You Mix The Soil With Fertilizer
Before planting your cannabis seedlings, you want to ensure you’ve prepared their food well. Just like humans, marijuana plants need food to grow and blossom. Through their roots, they suck minerals from the soil to conduct photosynthesis, build proteins, and bloom flowers. If they don’t get these minerals, they’ll grow slowly and give low yields.
Planting your seedlings on quality soil can help them thrive. That’s why you want to add fertilizer to it to add more nutrients. Healthy soil has bacteria, fungi, and beneficial microorganisms that will support your plants’ growth.
- Water Your Crops Well
Water, just like healthy soil, ensures the optimal growth of plants. With these two components, your plants will take care of themselves and give you the yields you desire. But even as you water your plants, be careful not to overdo it. After saturating the soil with water, wait for the topsoil to become dry before watering again. Too much water may cause roots to rot and prevent them from absorbing nutrients.
During hot temperatures, your plants may take up a lot of water. It would be best if you ensure they get sufficient water to enable them to grow vigorously and not dry out. If you can’t access your plants regularly, set a drip system that will ensure your plants remain hydrated.
- Keep Your Plants From Pests
One significant challenge that you are likely to face as an outdoor grower is pest infestation. Harmful pests such as spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, and whiteflies can be a menace to the growth of your plants. Therefore, to get yields from your cannabis plants, you want to control these pests.
There are many ways of controlling pests. You can use chemical pesticides (though they pollute the environment and are a health hazard) or biological pest controlling methods.
Growing cannabis outdoors may be a great experience though it has its shares of challenges as well. You need to know when to plant, choose the right seeds, mix your soil with fertilizer, hydrate your crops, and keep them from pests if you want to have a bountiful harvest. Though all that may seem to be a lot of work, it yields success.