Outdoor cannabis cultivation involves utilizing the natural resources provided by Mother Nature to produce high-quality harvests. Many cannabis enthusiasts prefer this method of growing as it exposes the plants to the full spectrum of natural sunlight, leading to a more diverse range of cannabinoids and terpenes compared to indoor cultivation using artificial lighting.
The cultivation of cannabis outdoors has a rich history spanning thousands of years. However, it is important to understand the process and the best way to take advantage of the natural environment before planting. Additionally, it is crucial to be prepared to deal with common issues such as pests and weeds.
How to grow marijuana outdoors
To cultivate cannabis outside, the minimum essentials are standard gardening equipment, soil, water, and a location in your backyard that receives ample amounts of sunlight.
Using Mother Nature To Cultivate Cannabis
Cannabis is a resilient and adaptable crop that has been cultivated for centuries in many different environments. Over time, it has grown accustomed to changing climates and extreme weather conditions, making it well-suited for outdoor growing.
Although it may be hardy, cannabis is still susceptible to environmental problems like heavy winds or excess rain that can damage the plant or create molding issues. To protect the health of your plants, there are a few steps you must take to make sure they have the best conditions possible.
Becoming familiar with your local climate and seasons is an integral part of successful outdoor cultivation. You’ll need to understand what temperatures are conducive for optimum growth as well as when are the best times to start planting and harvesting.
Additionally, you must also consider the photoperiod—the duration between sunrise and sunset—to properly plan when your plants should be exposed to sunlight during their life cycles. By doing this preliminary work, you can avoid many potential problems while maximizing your yields to get the best results from Mother Nature’s help!
For optimal growth, cannabis plants prefer temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (23.9 to 25.4 degrees Celsius) during the day. At this range of temperatures, cannabis plants have plenty of energy to photosynthesize efficiently and produce more biomass while keeping their cellular functions running smoothly.
High temperatures above 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31.1 degrees Celsius) could cause physiological stress in the plant that can lead to delayed growth, withering of leaves and even death if prolonged. On the other hand, having low nighttime temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 degrees Celsius) can also cause significant damage to the plant’s development because it stops photosynthesis and its metabolism slows down, resulting in yellowing leaves and stunted growth due to lack of energy reserves.
Sustained highs or extreme lows aren’t ideal for any type of cannabis plants no matter whether they are indica or sativa variants, but with good environmental control techniques you can provide the best environment for your crops so that they yield the most potential from them without worrying about temperature extremes that can be harmful for their health.
In the Northern Hemisphere, cannabis is typically planted between early to mid-spring and harvested in mid-fall. This timing depends on the cultivar, or type of plant, as different cultivars may have different growing seasons. In addition, the region where you’re planting cannabis will affect when it should be planted and when you can expect a harvest; For example, areas with a warmer climate may be able to harvest earlier than normal.
Light plays a huge part in the development of cannabis plants. During the first half of the season, when daylight hours are increasing, plants go through their vegetative stage. This is the time in which roots and stems will develop, laying the foundation for the flowering period to follow. However, this all changes at the summer solstice, when available daylight hours start to rapidly decrease.
Cannabis is a short-day plant that naturally begins to flower during this period when nights get longer and sunlight decreases below 15 hours per day on average. This means that as soon as shorter days arrive and light levels drop beneath this threshold, cannabis will instinctively exit its vegetative state and proceed into the flowering stage for bud formation and eventual harvest!
Ultimately, light is one of the most important factors influencing growth cycles for cannabis plants, making it essential from seedlings throughout to harvest.
Choosing The Best Site For Outdoor Cannabis
When selecting the ideal location for outdoor cannabis cultivation, a few simple but pivotal considerations must be taken into account. First and foremost, they should choose a site that receives adequate sunlight exposure.
In the Northern Hemisphere, this means looking for south-facing spots with plenty of natural sunlight; in the Southern Hemisphere, north-facing sites should be prioritized. Depending on the climate and region, additional measures may need to be adopted to protect plants from withering under excessively hot conditions (such as the use of shade cloth) or from succumbing to cold snaps (consider building solid barriers or using natural formations as windbreaks).
On top of these considerations comes the ever-present risk of pest infestations due to local wildlife. For those living near forests or other natural areas, it is recommended to pay particular attention when selecting their plantation’s spot.
Avoiding ground with large amounts of nearby foliage might help reduce this danger somewhat; nevertheless, regular preventive action must be taken by experienced growers in order to protect their plants against detrimental external agents—ranging from fungal infections and bacterial diseases all the way down to locusts and rodents.
Planning Your Garden
Starting a garden from seeds or clones can be a difficult decision. Growing plants from seeds create sturdier and stronger plants because of their deeper taproots that clones cannot produce. With this strength, the plants are better able to withstand harsh environmental conditions and disease pressure.
As well, there is often more vigor and vitality than those that are grown from clones due to the diversity in genetic makeup.
The downside to growing from seed is that more attention needs to be given as you must wait for them to germinate and also remove any males before they have a chance to pollinate the females.
Read More: Do Male Or Female Cannabis Plants Have Seeds
Good soil is an essential part of gardening and growing plants. Quality soil should be dark, rich in nutrients, and have a light and fluffy texture. This structure should be able to hold water while also allowing for drainage.
Organic potting soil blends from the local store are suitable for most projects, but the more experienced gardener will mix their own super soil from scratch.
The pH level of the soil should be slightly acidic with a reading of around 6, this number can be tested using special equipment from any garden store or online retailer.
Growing plants in containers is an excellent option for those who lack a suitable patch of earth to make a garden or don’t have the time or strength to dig and amend the soil. Containers, such as pots, buckets, and barrels, can be situated virtually anywhere; outdoors on decks, patios, rooftops, etc. They can also be easily moved around during the day to take advantage of the sun or shield them from excessive wind or heat.
Though in general terms the size of the pot will predict the size of the plant, due to restricted root growth being limited by the container size, it is possible to grow large plants even in small containers through careful watering and pruning techniques.
Despite this convenience for amateur gardeners, however, it’s unlikely that plants grown in containers will reach full maturity and produce as much yield as those grown directly in the soil. As such, it’s important that when growing plants in containers you pay extra attention to fertilizers and adjust watering schedules accordingly.
Many cannabis enthusiast gardeners know that quality soil is the key to growing healthy plants. Although quality soil initially contains enough organic nutrients for the growth cycle, it can be quickly depleted as the cannabis plant transitions from a vegetative stage into flowering.
Therefore, cultivating marijuana invariably requires additional fertilizers in order to meet the specific nutrient demands of the plant at different development stages.
The three primary nutrients required for growing marijuana are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. During the early stages of growth (vegetative phase), plants will primarily require more nitrogen in order to create strong roots and big healthy leaves; without proper nitrogen levels, it’s not uncommon for growth to slow down or stop completely.
However, as the flowering period begins plants will necessitate more phosphorus and potassium; while decreasing nitrogen levels so that they are using up all available resources to create flowers. The ratios among these primary fertilizers need to adjust towards the end of flowering due to the depletion of nitrogen – at this point, plants will focus on consuming whatever remaining nutrients are left in order to reach optimum yields.
Water is essential to the health and growth of all plants. The amount of water a particular plant needs depends on its size, the type of soil in which it’s planted, the size of its container, and the environment in which it is growing. Plants that are larger and living in warmer climates will use more water than smaller plants in cooler environments.
The amount of water needed during a plant’s life cycle will also change. During its vegetative stage, plants should be watered thoroughly until the top 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) of their soil has dried out before watering again.
Depending on conditions, this could mean watering every day or every four days as the plant establishes its roots, but as long as environmental conditions remain constant, you should be able to establish a reliable watering schedule. Container gardens usually need more frequent watering since their soil will dry out faster than beds in outdoor gardens.
With some patience and diligence, you can discover how much water your plants need for optimal growth – and keep them healthy!
Pest And Weed Control
Pest and weed control is essential for successful cannabis cultivation outdoors. Planning ahead for potential pests can help to ensure a successful harvest. First, it’s important to consider what animals or insects may be in the area that might damage your crop.
Clearing a buffer zone around your outdoor cannabis plants by trimming down any brush or vegetation will make it more difficult for larger pests like deer or dogs to gain access. Another precaution you can take is installing gopher wire – small mesh netting – beneath the soil beds to block rats and gophers from getting to the roots of the marijuana plants.
Secondly, weeds present their own set of problems when cultivating cannabis outdoors. They don’t necessarily cause harm to the plant itself, however they compete with the cannabis crops for nutrients that are found in the soil which compromises yield quality and quantity over time.
Hand-pulling weeds is often cited as an effective solution because mechanical plows create more disruption in the soil which isn’t good for the roots of nearby plants.
Mulching around the marijuana plants can also provide additional protection from weeds by depriving them of direct sunlight, air, and water – all needed elements for growth.
Benefits Of Growing Weed Outdoors
Living in a world where resources are scarce and electricity expensive, growing cannabis outdoors is becoming increasingly popular. With an outdoor cannabis garden, outdoor growers reap the benefits of low costs while still enjoying high yields.
First and foremost is cost efficiency. Outdoor-grown cannabis requires minimal equipment and setup, only soil, fertilizer, seeds or clones, and possibly a small greenhouse to get the plants started. Compared to an indoor grow room that needs electricity for lights, AC units, and dehumidifiers, outdoor spaces are easy on your wallet while still providing top-quality buds.
Rainwater may also be collected if growing in a wetter climate with abundant rainfall; this adds an additional layer of financial savings!
Final Thoughts On Successfully Growing Cannabis Outdoors
Growing cannabis outdoors can be an incredibly rewarding but challenging experience. There are quite a few factors to keep in mind, ranging from soil quality to timing, which all contribute to the success of your crop. For example, using quality soil type is crucial in order for your outdoor plants to thrive.
Also, it’s important to have the right timetable with your crop; too short of a vegetative phase can cause them to flower early, and too long of one can prevent them from finishing their flowering cycle if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
United Seeds is a reliable source for planning around the seasons and preparing your crop for success. Once you get past these basics, you can even make small adjustments as needed to ensure successful results—planting a week earlier or later, adjusting watering levels slightly, and so on.
For anyone who’s considering venturing into outdoor cannabis growing, keeping these tips and strategies in mind will help set you up for success!