Growing weed outside can be tricky, especially for new growers. There are so many potential issues that depend on completely uncontrollable variables. Such as the weather, insects, mould, sunlight and who knows what else. However, in the right environment, outdoor cannabis growing produces amazing results of healthy, high yielding plants. There are a lot of things that need to be sorted out before we can plant our crops. We need to choose where we are going to grow, we need to look at the soil, think about growing in containers or straight in the ground, and how we are going to look after our plants. It’s also vital that we don’t start anything without considering our growing environment.
Before selecting a strain to grow we need to think about the weather where we live. There are specific strains for different growing spaces. In a tropical environment with plenty of sun, heat and a decent amount of humidity most strains grow relatively easily. For those of us that live in colder climates with shorter summers and a little less sun it can be trickier. However, there are strains that flower faster, like the cold and need less sun. The amount of rainfall will also change the way that we plant our weed. I’ts important to be very sure of the surroundings before we go any further.
Choosing a Grow Space
Growing outdoors requires the perfect space, somewhere where the plants have access to sunlight but aren’t overexposed. Around 5 hours of sun a day is the perfect amount for cannabis plants. We also need to make sure that there is plenty of space so our plants can have their own areas. We need to check that access to the grow site is available for the grower and for watering. Finally, soil needs to be just right and have plenty of drainage and be rich in nutrients.
Checking The Soil
There are a few different types of soil, it’s important to make sure that the grow space is good for the plants. If the soil is home to all sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies this means it is rich in nutrients and is great for plants. It is also healthy if it contains organic matter such as rotting plants or wood. It’s a good idea to check the PH of the soil and ensure that its acidity lies between 5.5 and 6.5. If the soil is too alkaline or acidic the plants will not grow well. Silt-rich soil is the very best for cannabis as it warms well, drains well and holds moisture. If the soil isn’t ideal but the space is we can buy our own soil and change it out or use pots rather than planting right into the soil.
Pots or In Ground?
It can be hard to tell if the soil is right for plants, especially for beginners. In this case, it might be a good idea to grow in pots rather than in the ground. This means growers can choose the soil and ensure the plants get all of the nutrients they need. Also as the growing season goes on the sunny spots will often move, and if the plants are in pots they are mobile.
However, it is often easier to plant straight into the ground and the plant’s roots will have more space to spread out. If the containers are too small the roots can rot or become bound and stop taking in nutrients.
Protecting the Plants
Once the plants are planted and thriving either in the ground or in their pots it’s time to make sure they are ready for the outside world. One of the biggest threats out there are bugs and other pests. Some growers make the mistake of only protecting against the main many legged threats, but it’s important to make sure all threats are taken into account when protecting plants. This is especially important for those who live in an area that has bunnies, deer, rats or any other larger boys that might chow down on the crop.
Make sure the plants are protected by a decently sized wire fence that keeps out larger pests. You may also want to top the barrier off with netting in case of curious birds.
For the smaller beasts just use an organic insecticide such as pyrethrum, and garlic is great for warding off beetles and a few other bugs. It is vital that we keep an eye on our crop for any signs that pests have broken in and started nibbling.
For those who live in an area where the weather is a little bit touchy and unpredictable it might be a good idea to protect the plants from excessive wind and rain. It is always wise to ensure your grow spot has a decently sized wall around it to stop gales from ripping up the plants. For those growers worried about large rainfall drowning the plants maybe pop a lightweightlight weight plastic sheet over the top of the plants. We can also put in holes to allow a little bit of the rainwater to get through. It is vital that we watch out for mould on the plants in wet areas, as it can quickly destroy the whole crop.
There are a few other things that need to be thought about when growing outside, but they depend on the strain. Larger, heavier yielding strains may require some support such as a cage or a screen to ensure the branches don’t snap.
For bushier plants trimming is a necessity to stop them from becoming overburdened and to let them grow healthily. Any dead leaves or branches left on are sure to attract insects.
It is extremely tricky to cover everything a beginner needs to know in so few words, but hopefully this is enough to give most new growers an idea of what’s involved. Outdoor growing can produce incredible crops, if pulled off correctly.
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