Whether you want to make a little bit of money on the side or you just want to grow enough for yourself, growing marijuana outdoors is a great way to spend your time. While many people look to grow marijuana indoors in kits or boxes to offer more concealment and more control over the final product, for a first-time grower with minimal expeirence in the hobby, growing weed outdoors is going to be much more budget-friendly.
Luckily, growing cannabis outdoors doesn’t need to be expensive or even time-consuming. As long as you have a terrace, yard, or even a private rooftop, you can grow y our own marijuana. When you’re just getting started with growing pot outdoors, it’s important that you take certain factors into consideration to help provide you with the best yields of all time.
Here’s what you need to know if you are interested in growing weed outdoors.
Pick the Right Plants for Your Climate
Before you can start with your new hobby of growing marijuana outdoors, it’s important that you understand exactly what you are getting yourself into. Cannabis is quite the accommodating plant and can adapt to many types of weather conditions, but if you have any extreme weather where you live, you are going to need to be careful.
For instance, sustained temperatures that are higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit can cause your plants to stop growing. On the flip side, temperatures consistently below 55 degrees can cause damage, stunting, and even death.
The risks don’t end there when you are growing marijuana outdoors. You also need to watch out for high winds and heavy rains, both of which can cause physical damage to your plants and cut into your yields. Too much moisture can even cause fungal diseases like powdery mildew or mold during the flowering process.
It’s also important to understand daylight and day length when you are growing weed outdoors. Know whether you will get 14 hours of daylight or 16 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year – this will depend on your latitude, of course. You should understand how much sunlight you will get throughout the year because these varying amounts are needed to cause plants to flip from the vegetative to the flowering stage and to start producing buds.
How do you gain this information? Experience, mostly – but you can also consult the expert gardeners who live in your area. They will likely have a wealth of knowledge about growing plants, even if they aren’t marijuana plants – and often, that knowledge can be applied to growing cannabis outdoors, too.
Choose the Best Location
Your next task is to select the perfect space for growing pot outdoors. Decide whether you would prefer to plant directly in the ground or in a container.
Whichever you select, your plants should have access to as much direct sunlight as possible, especially during midday hours when the light will be of the highest quality. Once fall approaches and the seasons change, your plants will receive less sunlight, which will trigger flowering.
You should also make sure your plants will have access to a constant breeze, particularly if you live in a warm area. If you receive lots of high winds, you may want to plant your marijuana plants near a windbreak like a fence, wall, or shrub.
Installing some sort of privacy or security system might be a good idea, too, particularly if you want to hide your plants from the eyes of prying neighbors or even potential thieves. Tall fences and shrubs can not only provide a windbreak but can also hide your plants away.
It might not be a bad idea to plant your marijuana in containers on rooftops or balconies that are hidden from sight. You could also install a heavy-gauge wire cage to keep both animals and thieves away. Just think carefully about the potential size of your final plant – since some cannabis plants grow up to 15 feet tall, it’s important to factor this into your planning.
Select Your Strain
When you are thinking about the aforementioned factors – such as how tall your plant will grow and how much sunlight it will need – you also need to consider the strain of your plant. The type of strain you select will have an impact on the growing you ultimately need. Depending on where you live, there are some strains that are adapted or bred specifically for your climate.
You also need to consider whether you want to grow seeds or clones. Plants that are developed from seeds tend to be hardier as young plants, especially when compared to clones. Eeds can usually be planted directly in your garden in the early spring, even if you have a cool or wet climate.
Unfortunately, though, growing from seed does not allow you to specify whether you grow male or female plants. If you don’t purchase feminized seeds, you could wind up with both male and female plants, meaning you’ll need to sex them out to remove the males. And if you do have all female plants, each one will be a different phenotype of the same strain, so you will need to select the best phenotype to get the best version of the strain.
As a result, most new growers purchase feminized seeds or clones (also known as seedlings). You can often buy these from local dispensaries, depending on the laws in your state, but it’s important to note that many growers stay away from buying clones since they view them as not as sturdy as seed-started plants.
You might also consider auto-flowering seeds. These plants begin to bloom as soon as they reach maturity – this is regardless of the daylength. When you purchase auto-flowering seeds, you can choose between those that are quick-growing or you can opt for multiple harvests each year with auto-flowering cannabis. These plants often aren’t quite as potent, but can still be a good option for novice growers.
Get Some Soil
Consider the type of soil you have before you investigate how to grow marijuana outside. When you are first learning how to grow pot outdoors, your soil type is going to play a major role. Soil is essentially broken down into three different types – clay, silt, and sand. You can plant directly into the ground or you can purchase soil and grow in pots if your soil is not well suited for growing pot outdoors.
If you choose to plant in the ground, understanding your soil composition is important, as you may need to modify it to fit the types of plants you want to grow. For instance, clay soils are heavy and waterlogged, and aren’t the best at holding oxygen – therefore, they will need to be amended. About a month before you need to plant, you should dig large holes and stir in portions of manure, compost, worm castings, or other kinds of organic matter. This matter will help aerate the soil and improve its drainage.
Sandy soil, on the other hand, drains well and warms up quickly, but it isn’t as good at retaining nutrients or water – this is true in rainy climates. To fix this, again, you should dig large holes and add compost, coco coir, or peat moss, all of which will help the soil stick together and retain nutrients. You may need to mulch your sandy soil in hotter times of the year to improve water retention and prevent the roots of your plants from overheating.
Silt soil is the best growing medium, as it’s easy to work with and warms up quickly. It also has the ability to hold moisture and to drain, containing plenty of nutrients. If you have silt soil, you’re in luck – you probably won’t need to amend it in any way.
Purchase Your Fertilizer
Even if you are lucky enough to not need to amend your soil at all, you will still want to invest in some fertilizer for growing marijuana outdoors. Cannabis plants require a ton of nutrients throughout their lives, generally in the form of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. You will likely need to feed your plants at some point, but how you feed them will depend on the composition of your soil.
For instance, commercial fertilizers are designed for home gardeners and should be used when you have a solid understanding of how they work for growing weed outdoors. If you are a first-time grower, though, you might want to avoid them and opt instead for nutrient solutions designed for cannabis specifically.
Keep in mind that these fertilizers tend to be quite pricy and over time, they can damage the healthy bacteria that live in your soil. These are usually for indoor growing only since they have such longterm effects.
A better option when you are learning how to grow cannabis outdoors is to choose organic fertilizers. These are usually comprised of natural ingredients that support your soil instead of damage it. They might contain natural materials like bat guano, fish meal, blood meal, kelp meal, or even bone meal.
When you are just learning how to grow weed outdoors, choose fertilizers that are inexpensive and easy to find in your area. Some of them may release nutrients very quickly while others might take months to release beneficial nutrients back to the plant. If you do this correctly, you can easily mix in a few of these amendments to provide nutrients back to the plant.
Getting your soil tested is an easy way to tell you which nutrients your plants actually need. This will give you information on how to best amend your soil, as well as which fertilizers you should be using. If you aren’t sure how much fertilizer to use when growing marijuana outdoors, keep in mind that you can always add more later if your plants begin to show signs of nutrient deficiencies.
Invest in Good Containers
If you don’t want to spend the time to amend and modify your soil, a great option is to place your plants in containers. These are also ideal if you aren’t able to modify your growing conditions or you don’t want to dig holes.
When you are considering the best methods of growing pot outdoors, containers are a clear alternative to planting directly in the ground. You can place your containers on patios, decks, rooftops, or other spots, and you can easily move your plants around during the day to protect them from the sun, heat, or wind. There are also many more cannabis nutrients you can use that are designed for indoor growing because they include premixed soil. You won’t have to worry about how to fertilize your plants because the soil includes everything you might need.
Keep in mind, though, that plants grown in buckets, pots, or barrels will be smaller than those grown in the ground because the potential of their root growth is limited to the size of the container. The container will influence the size of the plant in most cases, but you can grow large plants in smaller containers if you choose the proper technique.
A five-gallon pot will be ideal for small plants, while a ten-gallon pot is best for a large plant. No matter what you do, protect the roots of your plants from overheating with mulch, as potted plants will get much warmer than soil-grown plants.
All plants need water, and one of the most important things to know when you are learning how to grow marijuana outside is how much you need to water your plants. Some large strains of cannabis need up to 10 gallons of water each day during hot water, while others will need just a small fraction of this.
If you live in a particularly hot, dry place, you may need to dig deep and place clay soil beneath your planting hole. This will slow drainage and make sure water is retained around your plants. Regardless of where you live, you should adopt a practice of watering deeply in the morning, which will give your plants adequate water throughout the entire day. If you live in a wet, rainy area, you will also want to encourage adequate drainage, as the roots of cannabis plants are prone to fungal diseases when they are wet.
To do this, you might want to plant in raised beds or dig ditches that direct water to drain away from the garden area. You can also add drainage materials like perlite, gravel, or clay pebbles.
No matter what kind of drainage you have, there are a few good watering practices to keep in mind. For example, test any well or tap water that you are using to irrigate your plants. Water from these sources can contain high amounts of dissolved minerals, all of which can build up in your soil and interfere with its pH. They can also contain chemicals like chlorine which can kill off helpful microorganisms. You may need to filter your water.
Avoid overwatering at all costs – try instead to water deeply and then wait until the top inch of soil is totally dry before you water again. Remember, plants that are grown in windy or hot areas will cause your plants to transpire more quickly, so you will need to water more often.
Care for Your Plants
You can easily learn how to grow weed outside by following the tips we’ve detailed for you above. However, keep in mind that you will need to watch out for sudden temperature changes or changes in wind conditions. Temperatures that drop below 40 degrees will almost instantly kill most varieties of cannabis. If you live in an area where late springs or early autumns are common occurrences, you might need to grow indoors or in an enclosed greenhouse.
Overly windy or rainy conditions also need to be guarded against. If you’re at risk for high winds, you might want to set up a windbreak, like some heavy plastic sheeting, while if you have a rainstorm in the future, you might want to construct a DIY greenhouse or cover your plants with plastic sheeting to protect them.
Finally, you might want to watch out for pests. You need to build a deer fence around your plants, and you almost always will need to guard against flying or crawling insects, too. The best way to protect your plants is to make sure they are nice and strong. This will provide disease and pest resistance in the longterm.
The best tip for growing marijuana outdoors? Check on your plants every day. That way, you will stay up to date on any problems they might be having, and you won’t have to worry about being caught off-guard by any issues. Otherwise, cultivating your own marijuana plants is a fun and rewarding hobby- it’s one you’re sure to enjoy!