The good news is that a tiny outdoor garden may produce a lot of high-quality cannabis without requiring a lot of money. You can successfully cultivate cannabis if you have access to a sunny location in your own yard or even a balcony, terrace, or rooftop.
This outdoor marijuana growing guide will go over all of the key things you should think about before starting your first outdoor marijuana grow.
Jump to a section:
- Benefits of growing weed outdoors
- Step 1: Consider the climate
- Step 2: Pick a space for your outdoor grow
- Step 3: Decide on cannabis genetics
- Step 4: Acquire some soil
- Step 5: Get some fertilizer
- Step 6: Choose your containers
- Step 7: Give your cannabis plants water
- Step 8: Protect your cannabis plants
Benefits of growing weed outdoors
- Low costs: You won’t need to spend a lot of money on an outside grow because it will be powered by the sun. To get them started, you’ll need soil, fertilizer, seeds or clones, and perhaps a tiny greenhouse. Lights, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers will not require electricity, and rainwater can be collected.
- Big yields: With outside plants, the sky is the limit—as long as they’re manageable, you can let them grow as big and tall as you want. A single plant can produce up to a pound of cannabis! It’s plenty to grow a handful for yourself. With an indoor grow, you have a lot less room to work with.
- Environmentally friendly: Indoor growing can be wasteful, as all those lights, fans, and other equipment consume a lot of electricity. The sun and the wind are both completely free!
- It’s fun and relaxing: Gardening has a therapeutic purpose that should not be overlooked. Spending some time outside, rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands filthy for a moment is calming. And there’s nothing like smoking marijuana that you raised yourself.
Step 1: Consider the climate
Heavy rains and strong winds can cause physical damage to plants and limit yields, while excessive moisture can induce mold and powdery mildew, especially during the flowering stage.
In addition to weather patterns, you must understand how the length of the day changes in your area over the seasons.
For example, on the summer solstice (the longest day of the year), you will have just over 14 hours of daylight at 32° N latitude (San Diego), but at 47° N (Seattle), you would have about 16 hours.
Understanding the quantity of sunshine available throughout the year is critical for causing plants to “switch” from the vegetative to blooming stage, when buds begin to form.
It is beneficial to use local resources because skilled gardeners in your region will have a plethora of knowledge about growing flowers and vegetables, which can be applied to growing cannabis.
If you have any expertise gardening or growing vegetables, you will probably find that cultivating cannabis outdoors is a rather simple task.
Step 2: Pick a space for your outdoor grow
As the seasons change and fall approaches, your plants will receive less and less sunshine throughout the day, causing the flowering period to begin.
A steady wind is beneficial to your plants, especially in hot conditions. However, if you live in a windy environment, consider planting near a windbreak of some kind, such as a wall, fence, or tall shrubbery.
Some growers plant in containers hidden on balconies or rooftops, while others construct heavy-gauge wire cages to keep thieves and animals at far.
Whatever you choose, consider how big you want your final plant to be—outdoor cannabis plants can grow to be 12 feet tall or more, depending on how much space you give them.
Step 3: Decide on cannabis genetics
The success of your outdoor cannabis grow will also be determined by the strain you choose to grow for your specific environment and location.
If you reside in a place where cannabis has been grown in the past, chances are that many strains will grow successfully there, and some may have even been created specifically for your climate.
Plants grown from seed can be more robust as young plants than clones. Even in mild, damp climates, you can put seeds directly into the soil in early spring.
The biggest disadvantage of growing from seed is that you never know what you’ll get. If your seeds aren’t feminized, you can wind up with both men and females, in which case you’ll have to sex them to get rid of the males (only females produce buds).
Even if you have all female plants, each will be a unique phenotypic of the same strain. To achieve the greatest form of that strain, you must first choose the best phenotypic, which can be a time-consuming process. Many new growers start with feminized seeds.
You may be able to purchase clones or seedlings from a local dispensary, depending on the legality of cannabis in your state. Some growers avoid these because they believe they are not as strong as growing plants from seed.
Autoflowering seeds are another popular alternative for outdoor gardening because they begin blooming as soon as they reach maturity, independent of day duration.
With autoflowering cannabis, you may either have a fast-growing crop or fit numerous harvests within a year. The disadvantage of autoflowering cannabis is that it is far less powerful.
Soil is made up of three basic components in various ratios:
You can either plant straight in the ground or buy dirt and container it. Cannabis plants grow on soil that is rich in organic matter and has good drainage. If you opt to plant directly in the ground, you must first analyze the makeup of your soil and then amend it correctly.
Heavy clay soils drain slowly and do not hold oxygen well, necessitating extensive amendment. Dig huge holes for your cannabis plants as least a month before planting and fill them with significant volumes of compost, manure, worm castings, or other decomposed organic materials. This provides aeration, drainage, and nutrients to the plants.
Sandy soil is easy to work, drains well, and warms rapidly, but it does not keep nutrients well, particularly in rainy areas.
Again, dig deep holes for your plants and add compost, peat moss, or coco coir to help bind the soil together.
In hot areas, sandy soil should be mulched to aid water retention and keep roots from becoming overheated.
The best growing medium is silty soil. It’s simple to work with, warms rapidly, retains moisture, drains well, and contains a lot of nutrients. The greatest silty soil is black crumbly loam—fertile it’s and doesn’t need to be amended.
If you truly want to secure good outcomes and avoid difficulties, you may have your soil tested, which is simple and inexpensive.
A soil testing service will inform you of the composition and pH of your soil, as well as any contaminants, and will prescribe products and fertilizers to amend your soil.
Step 5: Get some fertilizer
Best nutrients for an outdoor grow
You can buy cannabis-specific fertilizer solutions at your local grow shop, but they are usually pricey and can harm soil bacteria—they are typically made of synthetic mineral salts and are intended for indoor growing.
Organic fertilizer maximizes soil microbial life while minimizing hazardous discharge. Many other natural and organic fertilizers, such as blood meal, bone meal, fish meal, bat guano, and kelp meal, are available at local home and garden stores.
Begin with inexpensive and easily accessible fertilizers. Some of these materials release nutrients fast and easily, whereas others take weeks or months to produce usable nutrients.
If done correctly, you can combine a handful of these products with your soil amendments to supply enough nutrients for your plants’ entire life.
Again, having your soil tested may be quite beneficial since it will tell you how to amend your soil and what sorts and amounts of fertilizer to use.
If you’re not sure how much to use, go easy on it—you can always top dress your plants if they start to exhibit signs of deficiency.
Step 6: Choose your containers
This will drastically restrict the growth of your plants, so make sure to screen your containers when the sun is shining brightly.
Step 7: Give your cannabis plants water
- Planting in raised beds or mounds
- Digging ditches that direct water away from the garden
- Adding gravel, clay pebbles, or perlite to the soil
It’s a good idea to test the water before using it, whether it’s from the tap or from a well. This water may contain high levels of dissolved minerals, which can accumulate in soil and affect pH, or it may contain high levels of chlorine, which can kill beneficial microorganisms in soil. Many people filter their drinking water.
Plants grown in hot or windy climates will require more frequent watering because high temperatures and winds cause plants to transpire at a faster rate.
Step 8: Protect your cannabis plants
Thus, if you live in an environment in which late spring or early fall frosts are a common cause, try using a greenhouse or other protective enclosure, temperatures below 40°F may damage most types of cannabis quickly.
High winds can break branches and stress plants excessively. Set up a windbreak if your garden is in an especially windy area, or if you are expecting an especially heavy blow. This can be as simple as attaching your plants to plastic sheets.
Regulation is usually seen as a nuisance by the growers of cannabis when it is useful for watering your garden. It can damage your crop seriously and cause mould and mildew. In particular, when they flower, you don’t want rain on your cannabis plants.
If you know that rain is under way, you may construct a DIY greenhouse or use only plastic sheets and stakes for temporary shelter.
It may be difficult to protect your cannabis garden from pests. You may have to keep large animals like deer in the water depending on where you live by building a fence around your crop.
However, the harder challenge is to deal with the huge range of flying and crawling insects that can attack your plants.
The best way to protect your plants is to maintain healthy. Strong, vigorous plants of cannabis are natural to pests and can easily cope with minor infestations.
It is also a good idea to keep your cannabis plants separate, as plagues can easily spread among them, from other flowers, vegetables and ornamentals.
Take a look for pests a couple of times a week at your cannabis plants. If caught early, an infestation is much easier to cope with.
Many organic pesticides are specifically designed for use on cannabis and beneficial insects are also an excellent option.
You now need sufficient knowledge to start your own outdoor cannabis garden successfully. The cultivation and cultivation of plants is a pleasant and enriching pastime, so remember spending time on plants and having fun!