Growing Cannabis Outdoors
Growing cannabis outdoors is the traditional and most natural method of producing our crops of joy and medicine. Outdoor growing requires several considerations, adequate soil culture, adequate sunlight, adequate water, and adequate security.
While it is truly a shame that security concerns are an issue with growing this wonderful herb that nature has provided us, nonetheless it is the reality of our current culture. In light of this situation, one must carefully consider the location of one's crop. If one has acquired a medical marijuana license to grow herb, the concerns are a bit lessened, but not entirely, as community resistance and thievery are still legitimate concerns.
It is important to select seeds that are appropriate for outdoor growing. Royal Queen Seeds carries an abundant selection of feminized and auto-flowering varieties that will produce petite and larger plants for your crop.
Small crops can be grown on a balcony or deck in pots, and will provide an individual with a sufficient harvest for their needs. Pots that are filled with rich loose soil, preferably sandy loam enhanced with up to 50% pearlite will provide the proper conditions for good root growth.
The pots should be placed in full sun on a surface that will not magnify heat such as wood, Styrofoam, or clay so the roots don't cook or stress out. Potted plants will require watering once the top two inches of soil feel dry. Feed your plants with compost tea or chelated food every couple of weeks or use food spikes. Check here our Guide on how to make your own soil mix!
Remember that over feeding your plants will burn the roots, so do your best not to over feed. A plant that suffers from overfeeding will have wilted leaves with crispy edges. If this happens, flood the plant with water and give it a bit of shade (not full shade) for a couple of days until you see signs of recovery. Morning sun is cooler. Organic food sources such as compost greatly reduce the risks of root burn. Check here our Cannabis Troubleshooter if you have any problems with you cannabis plant!
Larger grows require more thought and planning. The cannabis plant will achieve its optimal potential when growing in full sun, which means at least eight hours or more. Once the grower has selected a secure location, it is wise to put conscientious time into soil preparation.
Experienced growers are known to dig their holes up to two feet deep and prepare the soil with compost, pearlite, a dead fish at the bottom, water absorbent crystals that slowly release water during the dry season, and a hearty two to three-inch layer of mulch to maintain moisture about three inches in diameter from the plant. An optimal situation would incorporate a drip watering system preferably attached to a timer. Each gardener must adjust the timing of their watering cycle according to their personal environmental needs.
Clever cannabis gardens have been incorporated into other crops such as tomatoes, elderberries, and other herbs such as peppermint. These crops are manicured for height maintenance, and the seed variety is chosen that will produce a more petite plant.
Guerrilla gardeners have been known to situate their gardens in wild remote locations or even in large sturdy bags heisted into tall trees where no one can see them. Check our guide on how to Grow Guerrilla for dummies!
In the former case, some farmers have prepared their growing environment, or located a naturally occurring environment that encircles their crop with thorny plants such as boysenberries, raspberries, or wild roses to protect their crops from munching critters like rabbits and deer. It should be noted, however, that deer love to eat roses, when selecting an environment with naturally growing thorny plants. The gardeners create a crawl space so they can enter that can be covered when they leave. Creating one's own natural barrier of branches and brush is another option. With tree top crops, it's important to tie the bags securely and in a way that they can be lowered for occasional watering and feeding unless you intend to climb the trees with your supplies.
Many gardeners prefer to germinate their seeds in a controlled situation in two to three-inch pots either outdoors or indoors and then move them to their final growing location once the plants have four to five sets of leaves. Others prefer to plant the seeds in place and carefully nurture them through the initial stages of growth. Each gardener must choose the method that suits them best.
Once the gardener has established their growing location and method of cultivation, they can look forward to many years of bountiful crops. With in-ground gardening, it is important to restore the viability of the soil in the off season with compost, manure, coffee grounds, or by planting cover crops from the pea family, which naturally restore nitrogen through nodules on their roots. Many gardeners plant a dead fish every year during the off season.