Why Should You Grow Big Buds Outdoors?
Growing cannabis plants outdoors isn’t for everyone. After all, you’ll need to choose the right outdoor strains and provide your plants with all the nutrients they need to grow. However, once you get them outside, there are several benefits to be aware of. The sunlight, for instance, can provide warm temperatures.
Plus, you’ll often have better ventilation when you’re growing cannabis plants outdoors. This can help your plants develop more fully and produce stronger buds. It can also help prevent a whole host of fungal problems.
Understand What Buds Are to Learn How to Grow Larger Buds Outdoors
If you are new to growing cannabis plants, you might not even be sure what big buds are. The short and sweet answer to this question is that buds are the parts of cannabis plants that show up during the flowering stage of marijuana growing.
You’ll get buds regardless of whether you grow marijuana indoors or outdoors. While THC, the cannabinoid responsible for that telltale “high” everyone knows and loves, can be found in multiple parts of the marijuana plants, it is found in the most concentrated levels in the buds. That’s why buds are so valuable when it comes to growing outdoors or indoors.
Both male and female buds contain THC, but there are some differences between the two. Female buds, for instance, tend to be the most potent and have the highest levels of THC. Male buds can hold their own, too, though, and should not be overlooked.
Male buds look quite a bit like round flowers. Like flowers, they are filled with pollen. It’s important to make sure that males don’t pollinate females, as this will cause them to produce seeds and not as much THC. Some people refuse to grow both male and female plants for this reason.
Female buds generally show up later on the plant than male buds (about two weeks). These look hairy and are usually white in color. They appear at the tip of every branch. They can grow quite long – up to two inches, in fact.
Your goal when cultivating female buds should be to get them to get as large as possible in the shortest amount of time. This will guarantee their potency. The quicker they grow, the more time they will have to become more potent, and that’s doubly true outside.
Get the Right Plants to Help You Learn How to Grow Big Buds Outdoors
Genetics are everything when it comes to gardening – and that’s especially the case when you’re trying to learn how to grow bigger buds outdoors. No matter how hard you try, if you don’t choose the right high-yielding strain, you aren’t going to have a great harvest.
Therefore, you need to start with marijuana seeds or cuttings that have superb genetics. Most strains today have high potency and yields. This probably would not have been the case twenty years ago!
However, today’s strains tend to be prone to fewer problems and yield tons of fat and potent buds. Invest in a high-quality strain beef you plant. Even if it seems more expensive, bear in mind that the upfront cost is often well worth the expense.
Plant at the Right Time
Your plants need to be cultivated at the right times based on where you are growing. In most places, you should grow your plants in the spring and summer. Plants grow tall in the spring and the first half of the summer. They will taper off after the summer solstice as they put more energy into putting out flowers (or smokable buds).
Pruning for Bigger Buds
One of the best things you can do to ensure the development of healthy buds is to prune the plant. Remove any leaves that seem to be dying back. Usually, this is indicated by leaves that are yellowed or wilted.
Leaves that are dying aren’t doing anything to improve the health of your plant. Instead, they’re taking up vital energy and resources that could be used on better, more important things – like producing buds! Gently remove each dead or dying leaf to help conserve the plant’s innate resources.
You don’t need to toss the leaves, either. Instead, keep them. They can be cured and while you probably won’t want to smoke them, you can use them in things like pot brownies.
Pruning for bigger buds is essential because it will help remove interference from the canopy. The less interference there is, the more light your buds will get down below. If light is being blocked by the canopy, you won’t find that your buds get large or very potent at all.
Pruning can also be done to the small shoots on your plants that appear near the bottom of the plant. Generally, these form where there is less light. When you prune these shoots, you free up energy that can be used to make more prosperous buds.
Pruning can be done to increase your yields. Do this only during the vegetative stage, which will give your plants ample time to recover and develop large leaves. Wait three days after pruning – at a minimum – before you force your plants to flower. You also need to make sure that they are growing and evaporating enough water before you do this.
After pruning, let up on the fertilizer. Your plants need a few days to receive. Once you’ve mastered the right pruning techniques, you’ll be able to develop large, heavy marijuana buds.
Scrogging is another way you can prune your marijuana plants. Do this by placing a screen just fifty centimeters above your plants. Remove the top of each plant when it’s ten centimeters from the screen and allow new tops to grow through the screen until you bend them and connect them to the screen. At this time, they’ll be about ten centimeters above the screen.
You can prune your plants once the first initial shoots have developed and pushed through the screens. Wait several days before forcing them into flowering. This technique is known as scrogging and when done in careful coordination with pruning, it will allow for maximum growth.
In order to grow the healthiest buds possible, make sure that you provide your young plants with all the nutrients they need. Take care of your plants during the flowering period in particular, because this is when your plants are most susceptible to fluctuations in nutrient content.
While all nutrients are important, buds need phosphorus the most. You may want to combine a mixture of 30% phosphorus, 10% nitrogen, and 10% potassium. This will help supply your plants with vital nutrients to get it through its flowering phase.
The pH of the soil in which you are growing your marijuana plants outdoors is also important. pH and nutrient levels often go hand in hand. In fact, the pH of the soil (or your growing medium, if you decide to grow indoors will affect how well the roots of your marijuana plant can absorb various types of nutrients.
What many people don’t know when they are trying to learn how to grow bigger buds outdoors is that nutrient deficiency is usually caused by pH imbalances. While nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are the three most important nutrients for marijuana plants, they aren’t the only ones required by this hungry plant. Marijuana also needs things like calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium to be healthy, too.
It’s difficult to say which of these your plants will be most deficient in. Each nutrient will interact differently with its environment depending on the pH level. When the soil reaches certain levels of acidity or alkalinity, there are some nutrients that can’t be readily absorbed by the roots of your marijuana plant – no matter how often you fertilize.
For example, pH that is too low can make it difficult for your marijuana plant to take in magnesium. You might find that your plants suffer from issues like yellow leaves and green-colored veins. You can’t fix the issue by simply supplying more magnesium. Instead, you’ll need to raise the pH level.
If you are trying to figure out how to get the largest buds possible during flowering outdoors, one tip is to use perlite. Don’t simply plant directly in the ground but instead add a bit of perlite to improve the drainage and air retention of the soil. You can do this for plants that are growing in pots, too.
The beauty of perlite is that it will balance out the structure and nutrient content of the soil without affecting its pH.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to add synthetic fertilizer to help your plants receive enough nutrients, either. Instead, consider adding materials like worm castings, compost tea, or bat guano. All of these can increase phosphorus levels in particular, but are well-balanced sources of nutrients. Compost tea, in fact, is one of the best ways to increase mycelium in the soil. This will help your plants stay well-fed, but will also help them to absorb a large percentage of nutrients, too.
If you are learning how to grow bigger buds outdoors, stress training is another strategy that can help you manipulate the growth of your plants. Luckily, the “low-stress training” model doesn’t require any cutting.
Instead, you will simply manipulate your cannabis plants so that they grow bigger, flatter, and wider instead of tall and skinny. The bending techniques are those that anybody can do and it will help plants grow in a manner that will improve its light intake. Each exposed leaf will be able to take in light and energy for the rest of the plant.
This kind of training should be done when the plant is young. This will allow it to be effectively trained before it has developed into its own shape.
You can also utilize the screen of the green method of stress training, which involves a net. The net will keep your plants where you want them while at the same time making the most of your plants’ use of the indoor growing space.
All of these kinds of training can be beneficial in improving the yields of your plants. You can start at any time – as long as you choose the right training technique – and you’ll likely find that your yields are drastically improved.
You can also engage in the “topping” method of plant training. This is often considered a “high stress” training technique, as it causes the plant to become shorter in height and to grow bigger instead. All you have to do is cut off the primary shoot at the very top of the plant. Again, this should only be done during the vegetative stage.
Another technique if you want to learn how to grow bigger buds outdoors is high-stress fimming. Fimming requires you to remove the newest shoot on a plant. In its place, four new buds will appear. This is perfect for small scale cannabis growers who don’t have a ton of space, but still want huge bud yields.
Don’t forget about lighting when it comes to growing big buds outdoors. Often, plants fail to produce strong, potent buds because they aren’t getting intense enough light. You may need to increase your lighting in order to help your plants better absorb carbon dioxide and to convert it into helpful sugars.
While it is possible to provide some types of plants with too much light, that’s seldom the case with marijuana. With these beauties, the more light, the better.
It will be easy for you to tell if poor lighting is the culprit to blame, too. Generally, a lack of lighting is evidenced by plants that are tall, thin, and leggy – they are essentially reaching upwards to get themselves closer to the sunlight.
Cannabis plants that are more developed, such as those that have grown uneven colas, can be difficult to remedy. It is challenging to effectively and evenly distribute light, so you will need to get your plants some direct light exposure in a hurry.
If you’re growing marijuana indoors, you can use HPS lamps to light up your growing area. You’ll need about 600 watts for every 13 square feet. You can also use fluorescent lighting, which is less expensive, but not quite as effective.
There’s often not a lot that you can do to control lighting outdoors. While you’ll be able to influence the amount of light that your plants get when you are growing indoors, the same is not always true when you’re growing outdoors, since you’ll be victim to Mother Nature’s whims! However, you can occasionally bring your plants indoors, where you can manipulate the lighting to help the plants become bushier.
Once you get your plants inside, make sure that you get get the lights as close to the plants as possible. This will maximize your growth and produce lush, healthy plants.
Temperature and Humidity
One of the most challenging situations for growing bigger buds outdoors is the fact that temperature and humidity play a huge role in controlling the outcome of your harvest.
If the temperature is too high, your plants won’t be potent. If the temperature is too low, your plants won’t grow well at all.
The ideal daytime temperature for most marijuana plants is between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature can increase slightly for older plants – plants that are more well-established can increase their maximum temperatures to about 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nighttime temperatures are a different beast, however. When the lights are off, your temperatures should be between 59 and 82 degrees. You should not have too much of a difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, though – wait until conditions are suitable to cultivate your plants.
Humidity, too, is essential, particularly early on in the game. When your plants are in the initial weeks of the vegetative stage, they will need to be held at around 70% humidity. In the flowering stage, you’ll start off at 65% humidity in the first week and lower your levels to about 40% by week eight or nine.
Make sure you pay attention to both temperature and humidity for the entire duration of your plants’ growth.
Carbon Dioxide & Ventilation
Good ventilation around your plants is essential.
Marijuana plants love – and absolutely need – carbon dioxide. In fact, it’s vital not only for flowering and growth, but for your plants’ survival. The more carbon dioxide, the better.
To supply more carbon dioxide, you’ll need to improve ventilation. With too little carbon dioxide, your plants will produce less sugar. Ventilation helps increase the amount of carbon dioxide that is available to your plants.
Split the Stem
This unique method of increasing buds on your cannabis plants is known and practiced by very few growers. However, it’s highly effective.
Splitting the stem involves separating the stem of the marijuana plant right at the very bottom. The technique likely originated in Southeast Asia and will cause your plants to become heavier and denser.
All you need to do is tie the stem at the base just above the soil. Tie a second cable a few inches above that, then take a sharp knife and cut between the two ties. Keep the knife inside and then replace it with a pencil. This will prevent the two sides of the marijuana stem from touching each other. Leave the ties in place.
This technique can be tough to master without killing your plants – we don’t recommend trying it on all of your plants at once! It can be done about a week before harvest and shouldn’t be done any sooner.
However, when done correctly, splitting the stem, can better distribute nutrients and water at the stem’s base. This will cause the plant to produce more THC and more trichomes, thus, grow bigger buds.
Timing your Harvest
Knowing when to harvest is vital for producing plants with some of the biggest buds. Wait too long, and you’ll lose some of the buds’ potency. Don’t wait long enough, and your buds might not be as large or as ripe as they possibly can.
Often, you’ll find that the rate of growth in a bud’s final three weeks can be an increase as much as 25%! Therefore, harvesting too early can mean major losses for you.
More often than not, the best time to harvest is within a window of two to three weeks. Harvest before then, and you’ll likely find that your overall yields are reduced.
That said, you may wish to alter your harvest time based on the kind of high you’re trying to achieve. The earlier you harvest, the more of an energetic, buzzing kind of high you will get. Harvest later, and you’ll get a relaxing high.
Still not sure when to harvest to get bigger buds outdoors? Have a look at the trichomes. If you’re new to growing marijuana plants, understand that trichomes are tiny drops of white resin that appear on the buds. You’ve likely seen them at some point or another, although you may not have actually known what they were.
Trichomes are essential for bud development, as this is where cannabinoids come from.
Trichomes also serve as protectors, defending the plant against certain pests and diseases. This is because trichomes are thick and sticky, helping to protect buds against light, wind, and water. Since trichomes are the defense mechanism of the plant, you may find that more trichomes appear during times in which the plant is stressed.
This is why some growers deliberately stress their plants to increase trichome production. You can mimic this effect by using ice water or keeping your cannabis plants in the dark a few days (which is probably not possible if you are growing outside, though).
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How to Grow Heavy Buds
Learning how to grow the biggest buds outdoors possible can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Don’t get down on yourself if things don’t go as planned during your first harvest instead, follow all five steps of pruning your cannabis plants and caring for them properly. Within time, you’ll enjoy heavy big buds with minimal effort and stress on your part.