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.
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
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
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.
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.