As technology has advanced, growing cannabis outdoors has become increasingly popular.
While indoor growing requires lots of equipment and attention, outdoor growing is completely dependent on the outside elements.
The entire process of growing marijuana outdoors, from seed to flower stage is rewarding; however, it’s not without its challenges.
While the marijuana plant is a persistent and resistant plant, there are still some conditions that will need to be met for your plants to grow well.
So the question remains, how do you grow marijuana outdoors?
In order to grow marijuana outdoors, you need to give your marijuana garden some loving care over the months to ensure a fine yield of state-of-the-art cannabis.
Ultimately, the soil needs to be warm enough for you to plant, and this is the ideal condition to make seeds germinate and then move on to the vegetation stage.
So basically you need to have good soil, you need to have the right strain and your seeds need to germinate early enough for the rest of the process to be successful.
Below will take a closer look at how to go about growing marijuana outdoors to yield a successful harvest.
Table of contents
- Climate Conditions
- The Verdict
- Related Questions
What Is The Sustainable Climate For Growing Marijuana Outdoors?
Climate is probably one of the most important aspects when it comes to growing outdoor marijuana. Your primary concern should be your plants getting enough sunlight.
This may not be a problem in some parts of the country; however, it’s not the case in many other places.
Another important point to remember when growing weed outdoors is that although the marijuana plant is relatively resistant to the outdoor elements, it is very susceptible to extreme weather conditions as well as extreme temperatures.
Certain temperatures, such as anything over 86 degrees, can prevent growth, and temperatures between below 55 degrees could kill your precious plants.
High winds and heavy rains can also cause physical damage to plants and reduce the harvest. Excessive moisture will ultimately lead to mold and mildew, especially during the flowering stage.
In addition to being conscious of the weather patterns, you also need to acknowledge the fact that the length of the day changes throughout the different seasons.
So there are some seasons where you’ll have 14 hours of daylight and others where you’ll have about 16 hours on the same day.
You will need to have knowledge of the amount of sunlight provided to your garden to be able to flip your plants from the vegetative to the flowering stage.
Therefore these are some of the challenges outdoor marijuana growing comes with it. However, it can be accessed.
What Is The Best Season For Marijuana Growing?
As a grower, one of the first things you need to know before planting a marijuana garden is when to plant.
Unfortunately, in this case, a one size fits all approach will not work. And there are a number of factors involved.
Some of them include the latitude where the garden will be located, the altitude of the garden, the precipitation level as well as the temperature where the plant is growing.
A very important point to remember is that you should avoid planting your seed too early in the year as this could result in death; due to the air being too cold.
You should also avoid planting your cannabis trees too late in the season so that it has enough time to go through the entire growth cycle.
So as a guideline, you want to plant your cannabis trees in early to mid-May. This is also the recommended time for tomatoes.
Tomatoes don’t grow like cannabis; however, for planting purposes, they are very similar.
Where To Plant Your Marijuana?
In looking for a spot to plant cannabis trees, you need to remember that they need at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day.
The more light they get, the more weight you get at the end.
The plant should also be well hidden, and you need to access it for watering purposes easily.
Another suggestion is putting marijuana trees in pots. This makes it convenient to move them around and also easy to hide them if necessary.
Marijuana trees also mix quite well with others, and by placing them between some other large leafy trees, it will become hard to spot.
If you are struggling to find the ideal spot, a balcony or terrace will also make a nice marijuana garden area.
Ultimately, you need to remember that the temperature and amount of sunlight received in any area you choose to plant a marijuana tree is ample enough so that your marijuana garden thrives, flourishes, and ultimately brings forth a huge harvest.
How Much Sunlight Does Marijuana Require?
Of all the elements needed for your marijuana trees to thrive, light is ultimately the most important one.
However, when you plant cannabis outdoors, you cannot control the sunlight, and it is completely up to mother nature.
The best way to make sure that your marijuana trees are getting enough sunlight at the correct time is to choose an ideal location before beginning.
In order to choose the right spot, though, you need to have a good understanding of how light and outside elements come together to affect your cannabis garden.
You also need to understand why they affect your cannabis in such a way.
If treated correctly, cannabis can grow quite well. In most cases, the more sunlight it gets, the higher it grows.
So why exactly is sunlight so important?
Ultimately, marijuana plants need to produce stems and leaves so that they can take in more sunlight and ultimately develop more energy to provide further growth.
Ultimately by maximizing your cannabis trees growth, you are maximizing your yield and the quality of your cannabis.
The best way to make sure that you are growing a healthy cannabis garden is to give it a proper amount of sunlight.
While soil and water are necessary, they won’t make as much difference to your garden as sunlight will. Ultimately as mentioned before, the more sunlight, the higher the yield.
During the flowering process, the darkness after daytime is crucial. This is also an essential part of maximizing your marijuana yield.
When your garden has consistent darkness for a certain period of time, a mature plant gets the message to start diverting its energy to being used for flowering, instead of going.
So the best time to start growing the plants is in early spring so that they can absorb an optimal amount of sunlight and enjoy the majority of the lifecycle for growing.
Ultimately the minimum amount of sunlight that a cannabis garden needs is six hours a day. Anything less than this will hinder the growth of your cannabis.
Although there are myths stating that the quality of cannabis is inferior, the truth is that outdoor marijuana growing yields high-quality results.
There are exceptions to this rule, and crops that are not prepared correctly and rushed off without any curing will naturally be lower quality.
So before making your decision to start a marijuana garden outdoors, ensure that you have adequate space to control, dry, and cure your harvest discreetly.
Just like with indoor marijuana, the potency, the taste and scent of outdoor marijuana are potent.
Due to the high demand for organic food and products, outdoor marijuana is growing in popularity.
Outdoor cannabis has less human interference due to the natural light of the sun, which cannot be replicated exactly indoors.
Ultimately it is this specific wavelength of light that has sustained cannabis gardens and strains for millennia.
Tips For Avoiding Attention
If you have limited space outdoors, you want to avoid the attention of neighbors. Especially if they are prone to making issues out of nothing.
Ultimately, you should be a good neighbor, and this means being considerate of your neighbor’s when growing marijuana.
Ultimately, if you are growing a weed garden in a limited outdoor space, you want to make sure that it doesn’t reach.
One good way of doing this is called a low-stress training technique.
It involves tying the stems to increase the potential of your buds while allowing them to grow in an arc-like shape, which is closer to the ground. Ultimately this conceals them more.
However, you are keen on growing cannabis trees; you’ll find lots of gardening tools that you can use to hide your plants.
If you’re growing just one or two trees, then trellis, compost, etc. will do the trick.
Out Of Sight
One of the best ways to hide marijuana plants is to plant them out of the way of casual onlookers and passersby. You also want to plant it somewhere that it is not smelled easy.
So don’t plant near footpaths or parts of your garden that are near your neighbor’s fence.
One of the best ways to conceal your marijuana trees is to camouflage them with companion plants.
Place them on either side of your marijuana trees, and they will deliver various functions, including deterring pests, attracting pollinating bugs away from your marijuana.
For example, the leaves of the peppermint tree camouflage your cannabis and also will add a subtle hint of mint flavor to your yield.
One good way to fool neighbors or curious passersby is to add the flowers of another tree to your marijuana leaves.
After putting them on, they will usually dry out and die after a few days, so you need to supply them to your marijuana garden constantly.
While passersby who approach your cannabis to investigate may figure things out, the majority of them will not.
One of the most ingenious ways of hiding your cannabis trees is to grow them amongst similar looking plants.
You could even grow them in a thicket of bushes as long as they get the required hours of sunlight that they need.
Some of the trees that look very similar to marijuana plants include Bamboo, Giant ragweed, Tomato plants, Staghorn Sumac, and corn.
How To Test Your Soil?
Healthy soil contains a complex ecosystem of living organisms. There are literally billions of microorganisms feasting on a handful of healthy soil.
They are also digesting, breathing, and dying in that soil. Ultimately this tells us that soil is alive.
When growing weed outdoors, you need soil organisms. Although you are not able to see it, plant roots engage with the soil organisms in a give and take operation.
So organisms also break down the detritus in the soil and turn it into nutrients that your plants can use.
As a bonus, they also fight off pathogens and pests that might be detrimental to your plants.
Without these beneficial bacteria and bugs, your plants are left vulnerable to parasites such as Acari Tetranychidae (spider mites), whiteflies, thrips, etc.
However, maintaining healthy soil can prove to be a challenge. According to many cannabis growers, it is still worth it to maintain healthy soil.
If you’re growing outdoors, a healthy soil ecosystem is essential, especially if you’re using organic practices.
Irrespective of whether you’re planting it directly into the ground or in pots, you’ll still need to do soil testing either way.
Depending on the size of your garden, you can purchase all of your soil from a grower supply store.
If you’re planting directly into the ground, you need to be aware of some additional information about your soil.
This knowledge could save you lots of time and money, and you will have a better idea of your soil needs.
Depending on whether you’re doing this as a hobby or whether you plan on turning it into a business, soil testing may or may not be essential, if you are taking your cannabis gardens commercially, then investing in a soil test is absolutely mandatory.
What Will You Learn From A Soil Test?
A soil test basically lets you know about your soil’s PH levels, nutrient levels, and composition.
These are some of the most important facts when growing any plant, including marijuana or hemp.
The pH scale for soil runs from 0 to 14. If your soil has a pH of seven, then it’s neutral; however, if the pH goes below seven, then it is acidic.
Soils with a pH level above seven are considered alkaline.
Marijuana plants are believed to thrive in a mildly acidic growing medium. So if your soil is slightly acidic, the roots should be able to absorb the nutrients well.
However, if your soil is too alkaline, then the roots may not be able to absorb the nutrients effectively.
This problem can be adjusted by adding organic matter and choosing the pH levels. Some gardeners use compost to achieve the same effect. Animal manure can also be used.
Organic matter is basically the life and blood of the soil. Ultimately it’s the part of the soil that used to be alive.
Microbes and bacteria feed on the decomposing matter and then convert it into nutrients for your plants.
Compost has been added to the soil by farmers since the beginning of time.
So if you are growing marijuana using high-quality composting soil is definitely going to improve the quality of your yield.
Soil Testing Makes You More Aware Of Your Surroundings
Basic soil testing kits will be available at your gardening store.
It’s usually quite reasonably priced and will give you all the information you need to get your soil just right for your marijuana.
If you want to grow marijuana at home, and you’re considering doing a soil test first, then you are already one step ahead.
How To Enrich Your Soil?
Fertilized soil is needed for your growing plants. Instead of spending a small fortune on chemicals, you should opt for natural fertilizers that are available in brick and mortar garden stores and also online.
They are various low-cost options available to give your plants and your soil base a nutrient boost. So here are some of them:
1. Banana Peels
Although many of us throw away banana peels, it makes excellent nutrients for your soil.
It is not just the human body that needs the potassium contained in bananas, but your plants as well.
What you want to do is place it in the hole before planting your cannabis trees. They will decompose naturally, and the soil will soak up the potassium.
2. Coffee Grounds
Another good way to provide added nutrients to the soil is to save your coffee grounds. Lots of places save the grounds and allow you to take them to use as you please.
Aside from being rich in copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, coffee also contains some nitrogen, which slowly releases into the soil.
You can even place it directly into the soil instead of composting as it breaks down quickly when mixed with the soil.
3. Fish Tank Water
The nutrient base of natural fertilizers is usually fish emulsion. This is because fish manure has a balanced blend of potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
If you’ve got a fish tank in your house, then you know that it needs regular cleaning.
However, the next time you change the water, save a bucket and use it to fertilize and add nutrients to your soil.
After collecting about a dozen eggshells, you should dry them out and then crush them.
Thereafter you can choose to add them to your compost or place them directly into the soil.
Although there is just a small amount of phosphorus and nitrogen present in eggshells, you are getting quite a bit of calcium out.
5. Fireplace Ash
A small amount of ash can be added to your soil and will give it some added calcium and potassium. It also increases the alkalinity of the soil.
You can also turn this into a liquid supplement by using 3 pounds of wood ash and filling it into a pillowcase then tying.
You should then submerge it into a 50-gallon bin for a week, and then you now have supplements to use for your garden.
If you are a gardener, then you have constantly been told that weeds are bad.
It’s true that they do take up nutrients and space from your plants; however, they do offer some benefits.
Adding them to compost can speed up the breakdown process of nutrients getting to the soil.
They also provide a nitrogen source to compost, and it’s safe to use as you can include hot composting methods to kill the weed seeds.
Usually, the safest weeds to use are the ones that haven’t flowered yet.
So basically, what you need to do is pull them out of the garden and allow them to dry in the sun and then put them into the compost and allow them to decompose.
Make sure that the roots have completely dried out before using it to enrich your soil.
What Is Good Soil For Growing Cannabis?
Before you start to grow, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration, especially when it comes to growing marijuana outdoors for the first time.
Texture, water retention, and the trainability of the soil should all be taken into consideration.
The list does appear to be vague and complicated at the same time; however, the requirements are really simple.
It’s often easy to emphasize the nutrients that are present in the soil, and although that is important, the most important aspect of the soil is actually its texture, drainage, and water retention capabilities.
In order for your marijuana plant to not just grow but thrive, it needs to be a mix of both oxygen and water at the roots at all times.
If your plants receive too much water, they won’t get enough oxygen, and the lack of oxygen will cause the plants to become limp from overwatering.
However, alternatively, if there is not enough water retention, the roots will start to dry out quickly.
Ultimately the best place to grow marijuana is in soil that is light in texture and retains a good amount of water but not too much water.
If you’re looking to spot good soil for cannabis, then look for soil that it dark and rich in color, drains well, holds water without becoming muddy, and has loose texture.
Seeing any soil mixed with all of these ingredients is highly unlikely; however, cannabis soil nutrients are easy to find.
Once you get the soil right, you’ve got everything you need to bring home a good harvest.
So just remember that your soil needs the correct texture, and must have the proper water retention and drainage.
If you can do this, then you got the perfect foundation for your marijuana plants.
Add some good nutrients to the soil, especially during the budding phase, and you should expect an excellent yield.
How Much Water Does The Outdoor Marijuana Need?
The truth is that it’s virtually impossible to tell the exact amount of water that your cannabis constantly needs without knowing all the facts.
Aspects such as soil, the intensity of the sun, and weather will influence the amount of water you need to give your marijuana plants.
You also need to take the strain into consideration in the various stages of growth, as well.
If your weed grows tall, then you’ll need a large amount of water, which is approximately a couple of gallons a day.
On the other hand, if they’re small, you still need far less than that amount.
After a certain time, weed plants can only take in so much water. This is irrespective of whether you provide them with 50 gallons of water or an infinite amount.
Ultimately, the amount of water will not even affect the growth rate.
It is especially important to pay close attention to how you water them because if your marijuana plants are not getting enough water, you will be able to tell because the leaves will become dry and start to wilt.
However, you should be aware of the state of your cannabis trees at all times because if you ignore the signs, your plants could easily die.
Your plants should not be over-watered either. One way to tell if you’ve been overwatering appliances is by checking the soil.
If the soil is damp, it means you’ve given your plants too much water.
It’s also a good idea to dig a little into the soil and locate any water reserves.
One surefire way of checking if your plants are over watered is by checking the soil after you’ve watered it.
If the soil is still damp after four days, then there is no need for you to provide your cannabis with water anymore.
When Should I Water My Weed Plants?
When you plant the seedlings, you need to water them and keep them moist frequently.
After a month or two, you should cut back on the watering to a certain extent and allow the soil to dry.
By doing this, you will allow new roots to be exposed to some air, and the more the roots develop, the better.
The roots will then become deeper and find access to excess moisture and nutrients that are located further under the ground.
Ultimately, this can turn out to be a problem because once it starts to follow these moisture points, they will follow them as they grow.
If your weed is growing in poor soil, you want to consider watching them more often. So the type of soil that you plant your weed in does make a difference.
However, if your plants are near a water source, you don’t need to worry as there won’t be much groundwater.
Hydroponic growing refers to the process of growing your weed without the soil.
It is high in nitrogen, and that’s especially needed for the vegetative growth stage and bloom nutrients, which are high in phosphorus and suited for the flowering development stage.
Marijuana plants have different nutritional needs during different stages of growth.
So great care should be taken when using hydroponic nutrients since overfeeding can damage your plant and even lead to death.
As a general rule of thumb, you should start out with 25% of the recommended level on the product label and gradually increase this to full strength your plant grows.
Hydroponic nutrients are also used in indoor growing with great results.
However, it is more recommended for professional marijuana growers as opposed to beginners.
What Kind Of Nutrients Are Best For Marijuana?
Your marijuana plants need a group of elements that are referred to as macronutrients.
The following list is a breakdown of the non-mineral and mineral elements that work to provide nutrition for your plant. The mineral elements include:
During the vegetative stage of life, nitrogen is responsible for your marijuana plant development.
Nitrogen is essential to chlorophyll, and without it, your plant will not be able to turn sunlight into energy and, therefore, will not be able to grow.
Nitrogen also makes the amino acids that are building blocks for proteins in your plant. So without these proteins, your marijuana plants would likely be frail and weak.
When it comes to producing large and healthier plants, phosphorus plays an essential role. Ultimately it helps make nutrients available for the plant to absorb.
These nutrients also play a huge role in the structure of the plant as it grows from the root to the flower.
Without enough phosphorus, your plants will be underdeveloped and may not even flower.
Phosphorus deficiency can be seen as a purple hue in the veins of the leaves.
Aside from regulating the systems that keep plants healthy and constantly growing, potassium has other roles as well.
It is responsible for Osmoregulation, which is the passive regulation of water and salt concentrations and inside your plant.
It achieves this by controlling the opening and closing of the stomata, which is responsible for your plant exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxides etc.
Potassium is also responsible for producing ATP, and this is the element responsible for storing energy that’s us during the photosynthesis process.
This glucose is then used in your plant as it is growing.
Without enough potassium, your plant will appear burnt because it’s unable to regulate the oxygen it needs.
Calcium plays a role in keeping the structure of the cell walls together.
Without calcium, new growth will be highly unlikely, and your plant will not develop properly or function the way it should.
Growth will be stunted, leaving your leaves curled up with rusty spots.
Magnesium is an essential molecule in chlorophyll, and when your plants do not have this element, they will not generate glucose from photosynthesis.
So no magnesium equals no energy.
Magnesium is used to help create glucose and metabolize glucose to make it available for plant growth.
Magnesium deficiency leaves your leaves yellow, and the discoloration eventually reaches the veins as well.
You will also need non-mineral elements that are taken from the air and water, and this includes carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
What Seeds Should You Use?
When growing marijuana, there are ways to tell if your seed is strong and healthy.
The key to getting a vigorous cannabis harvest is to use high-quality seeds.
They need to have the right nutrients, adequate watering during the growing process, and good lighting as well in order for the yield to be of excellent quality.
However, starting off the process with a high-quality seed is essential, as well.
You should carefully sauce high-quality seeds to ensure you are receiving the exact genetics that you are after.
This will provide you with the desired terpene and cannabinoid profiles and help you avoid bad seeds.
There are several factors to look out for when choosing your marijuana seeds, and here are some of them:
A good way to get an idea of the quality of the seeds is by how they look. There are some things that are obvious, while others may take some time to identify.
Healthy seeds are darker in color on the outer shell.
So if the seeds are grey or black in color this is a sign that they are good quality.
Healthy seeds may also look like they are coated in wax, and this can be determined when you expose them to bright light.
Good seeds will also be firm to the touch, and when you place it between your thumb and index finger, it should feel resilient.
So if it doesn’t bend or break then, it is most likely worth planting,
An inferior quality seed, on the other hand, will crumble under any pressure.
These seeds are not worth planting because, in time, it will become unusable.
Immature young seeds will be green and white in appearance, and these will most likely germinate if they reach that stage, or it will just take longer.
However, it is worth getting seeds that are of an optimal age.
Seeds From Bags
Marijuana smokers may consider themselves lucky to find seeds in a bag; however, this is really not as good as you may think.
For one, it’s obvious that the grower has messed up and allowed female plants to be pollinated by invading males.
When flowers are pollinated, they stop producing THC, which contains resin and converts energy towards producing seeds.
And on another point, the seeds were added to the weight of the pack which means you actually got less bang for your buck.
One of the best ways to find good seeds is to find a dependable seed bank.
These companies specialize in breeding high-quality seeds and have a reputation for delivering each and anytime.
The only other alternative is to just buy seeds from a hobbyist, and the truth is hobby growers that really don’t use the best genetics.
Additionally, if you don’t know the skills that they have, there’s no way of knowing the type of quality they are offering you.
Which Strain Is Best For Outdoor Growing?
Growing marijuana outdoors can be a very labor-intensive task. The entire process can take anywhere between 6 to 8 months till completion.
The worst thing that can happen is that you spend all of this time and effort only to receive mediocre results.
Often when you’re in doubt, growing a marijuana garden can yield good results; however, it’s much safer to know exactly what you are doing prior to starting your marijuana garden.
In order to harvest a successful yield, you need to find the perfect strain for outdoor growing.
There isn’t one ideal or specific strain that is suitable for outdoor growing; instead, there are several good ones, and the choice you make is entirely up to personal preference.
This is a Sativa plant with some psychoactive effects and comes in some menthol-like flavors.
It’s ideal for outdoor climates that are hot since it needs plenty of heat in order to reach the end of its cycle.
The strain grows long buds that are shaped like rocket ships and covered in resin thanks to the history and ancestry of Haze.
This chain is ideal for treating pains and issues such as loss of appetite and therefore is ideal for medicinal cannabis smokers.
Once this plant begins flowering, it could very well take over your garden.
The buds are quite huge and purple and have a woodlike smell. It’s very resistant to the cold, pests, and also the humidity.
They are ideal for outdoor growing since the flowers grow fast. It’s also perfect for cold climates. Ultimately it has an energizing effect on those who smoke it.
If you’re looking for a marijuana plant with resin and has delicious flavors, then the blueberry skunk strain is for you.
It gives you a similar yield as a skunk and has spots with blue tones and dense buds.
It grows well in the heat, so it’s perfect for growing in the long hot summers of warm climates.
This is probably the perfect mix between Sativa and Indica.
It has thick buds on the tips of the branches, and you can get approximately 1 kg per plant if it has been adequately cared for throughout the growing process.
It’s good at dealing with fungi oidium, and it’s the perfect strain for outdoor marijuana gardens.
It is suitable for cold and humid climates so that it will thrive irrespectively.
6 Mistakes That You Should Avoid
Although marijuana is vigorous and can grow with very little maintenance, there are some mistakes that you should avoid in growing cannabis and here are some of them:
Research the strain that you are choosing to make sure that you’re growing it in the right indoor or outdoor environment; this is key to growing a good marijuana harvest.
You can easily ruin your marijuana garden if you give it too many nutrients at once or too consistently.
This is often referred to as nutrient burn, and often, the signs are yellow leaves.
You can avoid this by using a fraction of the nutrient doses required and increase it gradually.
While an adequate amount of what is necessary for an excellent quality marijuana garden, the water should not drown the root system as this could kill the plant.
The pH level of your Hydroponics system or soil should be kept as close to 6 as possible.
Ultimately this is the optimum level for plants to absorb the majority of the nutrients it needs.
Harvesting Too Early
Harvesting is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
This will ruin the potency of your flowers, and so you should wait until the entire process completes before doing so.
Growing marijuana outdoors can be a rewarding experience; however, there are a few factors and aspects that you need to be aware of in order to get the best possible yield.
Ultimately, there are a few key elements that will give you the type of harvest you’re looking for.
Remember to take the strain into consideration, the climate, available nutrients, preferred medium, and the size of your marijuana garden into consideration before beginning.
Is Growing Marijuana Outdoors Cheaper Than Indoor Growing?
Yes, this is because you eliminate most of the equipment needed in indoor growing.
Is Indoor Cannabis Better Than Outdoor?
Although it is a common misconception that indoor weed is somehow superior, this is not true.
In fact, outdoor cannabis is grown naturally using the outside elements and rays of the sun, so in some ways, it is more potent than indoor cannabis.
Does Outdoor Marijuana Need To Be Cured?
If you want a more potent flavor, then yes it absolutely does.