why grow cannabis outdoors?
Growing outdoors is a very natural and innate way to grow and one which can bring great satisfaction, fun and fantastic rewards. It is also very environmentally friendly, saving money on electricity and heating costs. If you love working outdoors or have a passion for gardening already, growing your cannabis outdoors can be an enjoyable and therapeutic way to grow.
You will not have to pay for lighting or air ventilation or monitor or timers, you just rely on the sun, wind, and rain. These are things your plant will naturally thrive on and it takes away the stress of having to stick to a lighting schedule and multiple amounts of equipment. Growing cannabis outdoors is perfect for beginner growers for this reason, as well as for budget growers.
Growing outdoors can also produce great quality and dense buds, as well as tall plants with a higher yield. The sun, carbon dioxide, natural rainwater and soil and fresh air will make your plants thrive, producing a pure, clean, and quality tasting bud.
be aware of the climate
You must consider the climate of where you live and how that will affect your plants, as well as what time of year to grow. In Australia, the growing season is usually from August to April (this can differ slightly on which part of Oz you live).
You must consider the temperature of the climate you are in when growing outdoors. Plants that are grown in very cold climates can suffer, particularly if the plant is sitting in temperatures consistently below 13 degrees Celsius. This can cause severe damage to the plant or even kill it.
As with cold temperatures, if your plant receives too high temperatures for too long it can also stop growth. Generally, cannabis plants do not like sustained temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius.
Also be aware of climates with strong winds or heavy rain, as well as excessive moisture, which can cause white powdery mildew. Strong winds and rain will cause damage to plants, which will then decrease bud quality or yield.
find the right space to grow
You will want to find a nice, sunny spot for your cannabis plant, ideally one that has direct sunlight during the middle of the day, when the sun’s rays are at their strongest and best quality. You will not want your plant in a spot with excessive or highly strong winds, but you do want a bit of a breeze, particularly for plants grown in warmer climates.
You will want to also ensure that the plant has access to complete darkness overnight. Even light streaming out from a window or streetlight can interrupt the grow schedule.
It is also a good idea to keep your plant away from full view, to deter any thieves, or even just nosy neighbours who may not realise what you are doing is actually legal. Planting away from visible roadsides, putting up a high fence or placing your plants next to other garden plants (but not too close, as pests cam jump from one plant to another), can help to disguise what you are growing and keep your crop safer from prying eyes.
which seeds to grow
Now that you have picked a good spot for your cannabis plant to grow, you will need to choose whether to pick from clones, seeds, feminised seeds, or auto flowers. If choosing any seeds, be aware that your plant may develop into a male, in which you will need to separate them completely away from the female (if using for breeding) or throw them away.
Buying feminised seeds can help with this issue, as the plants will always be female (the ones that produced buds). Seeds will develop into a stronger plant as opposed to clones, but they can still work very well.
Remember also that certain cannabis strains do well in specific climates but if you live in a place with a good overall climate for growing marijuana then most seeds should be able to thrive well.
Another good option is to pick auto flowering varieties. These plants generally grow smaller, so are great of you are growing in a small garden or courtyard, and they will also flower automatically and not on the changes in light/darkness.
which soil is best for growing cannabis?
The minerals in soil will generally be made from either clay, sand, silt or loamy. Organic matter such as blood meal, bat guano and worm castings, will improve soil quality.
To grow outdoors you need a good, healthy soil. Soil for cannabis plants should be a nice dark colour, rich, loose in texture, it should have good moisture retention but also drain well. If you are planting straight into the ground, then you will need to test the soil for its pH levels and quality and adapt the soil for optimal growth.
Clay is great for soil as it contains many nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and calcium, however if it is too heavy, you may want to lighten it up by adding some vermiculite. Sand does not contain any nutrients, but it does drain well, adding some peat moss or coco coir can help to bind the soil together.
Silt is a mixture of sand and minerals but does not really contain many nutrients. It does have reasonably good drainage and holds water well. Loamy is a combination of clay, sand, and silt but with extra organic compounds. This is a good soil for cannabis but can be expensive.
If your outdoor soil is not great quality, you may want to try planting in pots, then you can create a quality soil mix yourself or buy a soil that has been made for growing cannabis. Be aware that the bigger the pot size, the bigger the plant and therefore the more buds it will produce. A 20-litre pot will suit those who want to grow small to medium sized plants and for large plants a 40-litre pot will do.
watering your plants
In Australia, we can sometimes receive little rain, and being in a hot climate, this means your plants will need more than just rainwater to get by. You will need to water more frequently in a hot climate. For those in rainy climates, make sure your garden has good drainage by adding perlite or hydroton to the soil, and directing rain away from your garden through digging ditches or planting in a raised bed.
When watering, ensure that the top inch of the soil is dry before watering again, this will avoid over-watering. Water every 2 to 3 days, and with seedlings, ensure the soil is always kept moist. Remember to test the water first, to check to pH levels are correct.
which fertiliser to use?
Avoid using a pre-mix soil that has a slow release of nutrients, as this can release either the wrong nutrients or at the wrong time. You can buy nutrients solution from online or in-store but if you want to grow naturally then it is easy to make it yourself.
Adding organic matter to soil like bone meal, fish meal, bat guano, and kelp meal, can fertilise your soil well. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are also the three main nutrients your plants need to grow. It is also a good idea to check the pH level of your soil. For plants grown in soil, then a pH reading of 6 to 7 is best. Check the pH level of the water you give your plants before feeding.