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Outdoor Growing

Cannabis has been grown outdoors for thousands of years, but it is wise to learn how

the full process works and take many things into account before planting a seedling

into the soil. Outdoor growers use mother nature’s full spectrum of natural sunlight to

produce their harvest. The matchless spectrum created by sunlight can result in a

larger variance of cannabinoids and terpenes than artificial lighting produces. However,

indoor grows are known to produce a higher level of THC. Outdoor growing is more

cost effective than indoor growing because less resources are required, making it the perfect option for new growers. Although you will need to adjust

based on the seasons and local weather, there is no need to spend a ton of money on

equipment and indoor utilities. A great way to get started is by finding other growers in

your area to learn techniques they use for your local climate and what strains

grow well in your area. There are also several online chat groups and forums, but

finding local growers, who have experience with growing in your climate is ideal.

Getting Started

To get started growing outdoors, you will need soil, pots, basic gardening tools, water,

and an area that receives sufficient sunlight. However, growing cannabis indoors is not as easy as planting a seed and watering it. Many elements must be considered to

ensure the best grow possible. Things you should consider include the location for the

grow, using seeds or clones, what soil and containers to use, watering schedule, what

nutrients to use, and how to control weeds and/or pests in your garden. Let’s break

these down individually.


Choosing the right location for your garden is extremely important because it can

directly affect the quality of your yield. Make sure your plants are exposed to the most

available sunlight. However, extreme sunlight and wind can negatively affect your yield.

To minimize the risk, use natural formations in your garden to break the wind and

shade cloths to prevent plants from overheating. Moreover, natural enclosures or brick

walls should be used in cold climates to keep the warmth from escaping. Keeping up

with the rain schedule in your area is another pivotal part as over watering can result in

a loss. Plan ahead and ensure you are able to cover or move the crops as needed.

Seeds or Clones

Deciding whether to use seeds or clones is an important question because there is a

difference in the process. Plants yielded by seeds are usually stronger and sturdier

than plants grown from clones and sturdier roots can serve as an advantage if

weather conditions are rougher in your area. However, more work is required, when

using seeds, because of the attention needed to make sure the seedlings germinate

properly, the need to remove males before they pollinate females, and the uncertain

and variable growth characteristics associated with their genes. Using seeds will

require about 30 extra days to make sure the seedlings germinate properly.

Although seeds can result in stronger plants, inexperienced growers can benefit from

using clones because they can be purchased at a local dispensary and come from an

established genetic lineage. Whichever you decide to use, keep in mind that many

experienced growers start their plants indoors as they develop their root system. Once

the plant root is ready or during times that the plants need natural light, they can be

moved outdoors.

Soil and Containers

There are several soil and container options available for planting and growing

outdoors. When selecting your soil, you should look for dark color, included nutrients,

and a soft and light texture. The soil should be able to soak up enough water and allow

excess water to be drained. Whether you choose to use potting soil blends found at

your local hardware store or blend your own soil, make sure it has a pH of around 6,

easily tested with an ordinary pH test kit.

The use of pots and other containers are recommended if you regularly need to move the plants due to weather and sunlight conditions. When considering

your pots or containers, you should avoid using clay because they are typically very

heavy, retain heat, and can be very costly.  Plastic pots are light

in weight but can also retain too much heat and this could ultimately dry out the

soil and roots. The most commonly used pots, by outdoor growers, are made of fabric.

Not only are they the least expensive but they also allow sufficient oxygen and

drainage. Whichever container you decide to go with you should make sure it is at least

5 gallons in size, to avoid the plant outgrowing the container and roots breaking


Watering Schedule

How much water your plants will need will be determined by the size of the plant, the

size of the container holding the plant, and your local weather, adjusting for rain and

the sun's intensity. The bigger the plant and the warmer the temperature, the more

water will be necessary. Keep in mind that the amount of water a plant needs will vary

throughout its life cycle. It is recommended to water your plants thoroughly during its

vegetative stage. One rule of thumb is to water your plants once the top 1 inch of soil

has dried, which can vary between hours and days depending on weather conditions.

Overall, the amount of watering will subside as the plant grows its roots.

Choosing Nutrients

Although quality soil has enough nutrients to start off the grow, once the plant begins to

grow and transitions into the flowering stage, it will most likely require additional

fertilizers after the transition into flowering stage as cannabis plants require more

nutrients than most common plants grown outdoors. The three nutrients needed to

cultivate properly are potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.