Almost anyone can grow cannabis outdoors but not everyone can become successful at it. Outdoor growing depends on a number of factors like climate, soil, environment and the strain you want to grow. These factors should be considered no matter what kind of strain of cannabis plants you want to grow outdoors.
According to experts, cannabis plants will only grow healthy and give you good yields if these are grown in a conducive growing environment. If you want to be a successful grower someday you need to understand how different regions around the world differ and how these differences may help you decide on how to care for your cannabis plants.
We have assembled a comprehensive list of tips for you, to guide you as you start your outdoor growing project. These tips are arranged from the very basic techniques to different tips according to the phases of development of cannabis plants. No doubt that you’ll succeed growing outdoors when you follow these tips.
Cannabis outdoor growing basic tips
Learn about the Ideal cannabis growing climate
Basically, cannabis plants can grow anywhere, but there is an ideal outdoor climate to grow healthy, high-yielding plants. When cannabis is grown outdoors, the ideal environment is just like the climate in the Mediterranean region.
This is a warm climate that can grow hot especially during the summer season. Longer summers are the best for cannabis plants. This gives them a chance to grow taller, wider and give you good yields.
Right after an extended hot summer, fall weather must be mild with very little rainfall. This is the climate similar to the climate in areas like California, Oregon and in Washington.
When there is more rain and has lower temperatures, the number of strains that can grow in your area starts to become limited. Some areas that have cold temperatures require seeds that grow faster and do not need special lighting therefore, you can still cultivate cannabis and harvest better yields.
You must understand what type of strain you are trying to grow. Be sure to do research on what kind of climate it needs to grow. And if you really need to cultivate a certain strain for medication or as medical treatment, then you have no choice but to grow this indoors.
Another way to grow cannabis in areas where the climate is not ideal is inside a greenhouse. Greenhouse growing will help you protect your plants from temperature extremes while allowing natural light for your plants as well. Greenhouse growing is also good for stealth growing since your plants will be hidden from other people.
Learn about sativa vs indica when it comes to climates
As you decide on which type of cannabis to grow outdoors, you will surely chance upon the terms indica and sativa. These are two of the most prominent types of cannabis.
Sativas are grown in places near the equator. This kind of cannabis has a large form that will develop airy buds. Because of this, sativas will can grow in warmer temperatures and humidity. Sativas is a favorite among growers that are found in regions with more rainfall and higher humidity.
The problem with sativas is that these have longer flowering times. In places with a tropical climate and no cold seasons sativas grown here will take a very long time to flower which can take as long as 14 weeks.
Meanwhile, indica strains are from countries where there’s less sun and also from dry and higher areas such as the Middle East. The plant and bud look short with branches that will become bushy and dense. Because of this appearance, indicas will grow in colder temperatures. It’s best to grow these in a place where there are higher humidity and more rain. Indica strains can detect cold temperatures and as they do these start to bloom fast in just 7 to 9 weeks. This makes the indica ideal to grow in places where there are shorter climates.
Another important type of cannabis which is the third type is the ruderalis strain. Ruderalis strains are used to make autoflowering and strains with high CBD levels. Ruderalis plants are from very cold areas in Alaska and Russia which proves that marijuana can grow even in the most extreme cold temperatures. Cannabis ruderalis will not produce plants with high THC levels but are useful in creating autoflowering versions of the strains we love to consume.
Can you grow in native soil?
According to a study at Fremont College, another important point to consider is the kind of soil where cannabis grows. As there are different climates in different regions of the world, the quality of the soil may also change.
Regional cannabis will grow very well in their native land because of the combination of the best climate (temperature and humidity) and the right soil. Soil found in different regions of the world varies. As an example, soils in the volcanic islands of Hawaii can give you very potent strains. Many growers in the islands say that this is due to the impressive amount of nutrients in the soil that cannabis needs. These tropical strains won’t be able to thrive in other soils. Same goes with marijuana grown in the warmer regions of Afghanistan or in Thailand and other Asian countries.
Native soil for cannabis growing
There are some breeders that take cannabis growing very seriously and they use the native soil from where the strain has developed. Some say that by doing so, they will preserve the original flavor, taste, aroma, and effects of the tropical strain.
You can also grow cannabis from their native soil. You may also use the soil you have from where you are located; if you believe that this is good for growing cannabis. Test your soil first before planting your cannabis seeds.
If soil is suitable for cannabis then it must have all the nutrients that cannabis needs to grow healthy and give you good yields. The best soil should contain macro and micronutrients and must have nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as macronutrients and magnesium, calcium and manganese.
The pH of soil conducive for cannabis growing is between 6 and 7. Cannabis can’t survive when the soil has a lower or higher pH. There are some nutrients present in the soil won’t be absorbed by the roots when pH is higher or lower. These may stay near the roots and these can create solids concentrates that can coat the roots and affect the absorption of nutrients.
Cannabis plants may also suffer from nutrient deficiencies due to incorrect soil pH. Clues that plants are suffering from incorrect pH are changes in the color and texture of leaves, overall discoloration, stunted growth, wilting leaves and longer flowering times.
After taking a sample of the soil and testing it, correct soil accordingly. You can use supplements to add any missing nutrients or you may use chemicals to balance pH. Special chemicals can balance pH are available from garden shops and from online cannabis supplies shops.
Keep in mind the following facts about soil pH
Sandy soils are acidic in nature and therefore, these soils have only a small amount of nutrients. You can’t plant cannabis in this soil because your plants won’t survive. Clay soils have a higher pH and are alkaline. This soil is has a large number of nutrients.
Meanwhile, soil that has animal debris or woodland soil has the closest to a balanced pH than any other kinds of soil. This has a wide variety of nutrients which your plants need to grow healthy and strong.
Different regions, different water quality
Consider water coming from different regions of the world because these vary as well. You can use rainwater, deep well water or tap water on your plants but expect that the result of each kind of water is different.
Considering this information, do you need to go to Hawaii just to grow Hawaiian strains? Definitely not. By learning about the type of water that a particular cannabis strain needs or the pH of the water source that was used to water the strain, you can tweak the quality of your water source at home.
Just a quick rundown, West Coast and Midwest strains are cultivated in basic soil with a high pH. Water that supplies the East Coast especially in the Northeast has lower pH levels. This may be one of the reasons why most strains coming from this region have favorable characteristics.
Similar to correcting soil pH, use chemical products to reduce or increase soil pH. Also, there are minerals which may change water pH. Increased levels of fluoride or chlorine can increase water pH.
Use a special filter such as an RO filter which is efficient in removing any trace minerals in water and microorganisms that can affect plant health. You may also take advantage of natural microbial life in water to enhance plant health, consider using local water as long as you test it first.
General outdoor growing tips
Consider cannabis growing laws in your state or country
Different countries have different rules regarding cannabis growing and if this is permitted in your country then chances are you have unique laws as well. If you live in Canada, growing recreational and medicinal cannabis is legal therefore you can grow a certain number of plants only. Every province in Canada has additional provisions of the cannabis law so get to know local laws too.
Take note that cannabis growing may be legal but local areas may be allowed to improve the laws. For instance, growing cannabis may be prohibited from where you live like your apartment building or condominium unit. And if cannabis growing is not legal in your area, there are still options to get weed. You may grow indoors stealthily or simply purchase your supply from a grower or breeder.
Take tips from growing bibles
Growing bibles are made from expert growers, and this the best way for trusted and expert tips for cultivating cannabis. If you’re looking for help growing a hard strain or techniques for caring, watering, feeding, training, harvesting or drying cannabis, you’ll find these in a growing bible. You may download one or two growing bibles for easy access on your device.
Create your own growing diary
Make your own growing diary to document your work. Documenting your projects will help you identify your mistakes and better your next growing activity. A growing diary is your gift for future generations of growers you can proudly pass it on to family or friends who want to start growing marijuana.
Consider professional help
If you find it hard to grow cannabis, don’t worry because you are not alone. There are so many cannabis growing experts who can support beginner growers just like you. Simply look for cannabis growing techniques online and you’ll find results coming from professional growers and experienced breeders. And no matter what strain you’re growing, you’ll find good help online or from your local seed bank.
Share your blessings
Don’t keep your good fortune to yourself, share it! Help people who are also struggling with outdoor growing. Extend a hand to those looking for information. Also connect with people online, in forums or social media to help more first-time growers.
Choose the right outdoor cannabis strain
Grow easy outdoor growing strains first
Choose outdoor growing strains to increase your chances of success in your outdoor growing project. These strains are perfect for outdoor growing and maybe cultivated even by someone new to marijuana growing. Just some of the best outdoor strains are sativa strains which grow taller and are perfect for recreation.
Do you want to grow recreational or medicinal strains
Consider if you want to grow cannabis for medicinal or recreational usage. Recreational cannabis has higher THC, a natural cannabinoid compound that gives users psychoactive properties of weed. There is an increased demand for recreational cannabis and new recreational strains.
Medicinal strains come with higher CBD content and this is the therapeutic compound in marijuana. A strain with high CBD, strains are less psychoactive and you may experience little to no psychoactive effects. THC has medicinal properties but you must deal with psychoactive effects.
Understand for the outdoor cannabis strain’s climate requirements
Choose the right strain for your outdoor growing. Select strains that can grow in your outdoor climate. Experts say that you must select strains that will match your growing climate despite planning to grow indoors in case you have to move your indoor growing project outdoors.
Consider that an electrical outage or mold growth may be reasons why you need to revert to outdoor growing. However, if you guarantee that these may be avoided then you can grow your plants indoors without worries.
Growing inside greenhouses
If you pick growing outdoors in greenhouses then you’ll enjoy several advantages. Growing inside greenhouses will allow you to grow cannabis stealthily. Most basic greenhouse setups are made of semi-permeable covering to allow natural sunlight to pass through. These are also equipped with grow lights, fans, and heaters.
Some greenhouse is more updated with dehumidifiers, control panels, power strips, and light reflectors. The main problem with greenhouses is the size. You need to allow a large area outdoors, in your backyard or garden to construct a greenhouse. Another disadvantage is not all people can construct a greenhouse. Consider these advantages and disadvantages of using a greenhouse and decide if this is the ideal option for your outdoor growing needs.
Determine how many plants to grow outdoors
Find out how many plants you can grow in your outdoor growing area. The number should be in compliance with the number of plants you can legally grow in your country or state. Also, consider where to place your plants outdoors, if you should grow in containers or grow from soil or the ground instead.
Keep in mind that the location of your outdoor growing area determines how many plants you can grow. Growing cannabis in pots in your patio may only allow you to grow one or two plants while greenhouse growing may give you four or more. Consider indirect lighting to prevent dehydration or over-drying of your plants. Direct sunlight can be very harmful to plants plus can dry soil too much.
Germinating cannabis seeds
Choose viable cannabis seeds
Expert growers can tell if a cannabis seed is viable or will not sprout. You must understand these techniques and make use of these before you germinate your seeds. Begin by checking the outer appearance of the seed.
Viable cannabis seeds have a dark color which is mostly dark brown, brown, dark blue or even black. If you spot seeds that are white, yellow or green, don’t bother germinating this because this won’t sprout at all.
Mature cannabis seeds are mostly decorated with spots, stripes or unusual patterns, which indicates that these are ready to germinate.
Hold one seed in between your forefinger and thumb. Press on it the seed gently and if this opens, throw it away. Seeds that will sprout are hard, with no pits, holes, scratches, and cracks.
Germinate in peat pellets
Peat pellets are perfect for germinating seeds. Peat pellets can be a growing medium and will give your seedlings the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. These pellets can absorb more water to prevent dehydration they become mature plants.
When your plants are ready to transplant to a larger pot or to the ground, there’s no need to remove your young plants in peat pellets. You may place the pellets in -the soil so you don’t have to worry about stressing your plants. Finally, peat pellets are very cheap and you can purchase peat pellets from any garden supplies online or near you.
Germinate seeds in a moist, dark and quiet area
Understanding how cannabis seeds germinate naturally is a step to a successful outdoor growing project. Germinating cannabis artificially is according to what is natural.
In a natural environment, cannabis seeds fall from the female plant to the ground and will be covered in the soil by wind action. If the ground where the seed falls on gets water through rain, the seeds will soon germinate.
Cannabis seeds need darkness, moisture, and a quiet place. Outdoor growers often germinate their seeds indoors to ensure success. Most germination techniques like the damp paper towel technique and the peat pellet technique are the most commonly used.
Cannabis seeds will soon sprout with the taproot first coming out from the seed. In just a day, you will soon see the first round leaves appear and after a short while, the first layer of serrated leaves. As the roots start to thicken, the juvenile plant will soon start to grow taller and stronger. This time the plants are ready to be transplanted.
Germinate using distilled water
Give your seeds the best kind of water for germinating. The safest kind of water is distilled or bottled water. Don’t use tap water, deep well water or rainwater because these may contain dangerous chemicals and compounds which can ruin the germination of seeds.
Don’t drown seeds!
One of the best ways to germinate cannabis seeds is the glass of water method. This is simply placing seeds in water and picking the seeds that sink and discarding seeds that float.
This method is also a way to test the viability of the seed. Seeds that float don’t have any viable insides and therefore won’t germinate. Seeds that sink are heavy due to their viable insides. Heavy, viable seeds must be planted because these will germinate.
And as you use this technique, your seeds may remain in the water for less than a day and more than this can drown your seeds.
The right kind of soil for cannabis growing
Transplanting seedlings is important to allow plants to reach their optimum size and height. When you’re transplanting from a small party cup size container to a larger pot or to the ground, use sandy-clayey soil. This soil is important for cannabis plants because it can absorb more water and nutrients and will drain excess water and nutrients.
Sandy-clayey soil may permit better aeration so that oxygen from the air can pass through the soil to reach the roots. Cannabis plants need oxygen to manufacture food and to facilitate a variety of metabolic processes.
Sandy-clayey soil is available from local garden shops or online cannabis supplies stores.
Avoid small containers when growing cannabis plants
Avoid party cups or a very small container to germinate seeds and to house newly-sprouted plants. As much as possible, start with a large container or just germinate in the soil if you plan to cultivate your plants from the ground. This will minimize any damage to the taproot and other precious structures of your young plants.
Use handy growing containers
If you don’t want to grow cannabis directly from the soil, you may choose to cultivate these in containers outdoors. This will let you move your plants in case of poor weather in case of a storm, intense heat or high winds.
Aside from using traditional ceramic or plastic pots for outdoor or indoor growing, fabric pots are also popular. Fabric pots can efficiently hold enough soil to grow cannabis but can effectively drain excess water or nutrients.
Fabric pots are disposable and are very affordable. These pots are available at local garden shops or from online cannabis growing supplies sites.
Use strong lighting and high humidity post-transplant
While your seedlings are still starting to grow stronger, these need high humidity. Seedlings also need strong lighting to grow larger, taller and with more leaves, stems and thicker roots. Use an 18-hour light and 6-hour darkness schedule to keep your plants at their best state of health.
Avoid touching the taproot
The taproot is the first structure that sprouts from a germinated cannabis seed. The taproot is very important to the growth of the plant. It is needed by plants to absorb more water and nutrients and for strengthening the plant and stabilizing it in the ground.
However, the taproot is vital to a cannabis plant’s growth but it’s also very fragile. If you touch the taproot, this can cause stress to the plant and this may also break it. So whatever you do, never, ever touch the taproot
Outdoor vegging phase tips
Direct light for vegging plants
You can find different types of grow lights for marijuana growers but since you’re growing outdoors, the sun is your grow light.
Direct sunlight will keep plants healthy and ready to grow new plant parts. But you can’t just place plants under the hot sun. Look for a shaded area in your yard. This could be under a large tree, near your patio or near the house. This way, your cannabis plants will only have a few hours each day when it’s totally exposed to the sun.
Water when the ground is dry
For a successful vegetative stage, water your plants only when the soil is dry and high and not when the soil is wet. The ideal time to water plants is during the early morning because this is the time when evaporation is slower and everything is still fresh. Your plants can absorb more water than watering these any time of the day.
If you notice a puddle of water on the soil, use an electric fan to dry it. Wait until puddles completely disappear before you water your plants. If this happens more often then your plants may be overwatered.
Apply fertilizer mixes with high nitrogen content
It is during the vegetative or growing stage when cannabis plants are actively growing. So, when feeding vegging plants, the fertilizer mix must have higher levels of nitrogen. Nitrogen is necessary for growing more leaves, stems, and roots and will ready plants to grow larger and denser buds during the flowering time.
Training outdoor cannabis plants
In the growing phase, your plants will be growing actively and therefore, this is the best time to train. When it comes to training, cannabis plant growth should be controlled to grow more yields. Just some of the most common training methods during the vegetative stage are pruning, trimming and SCROG method. Other methods are for the flowering stage like topping and FIMming while pruning and removing large leaves are for plants in the flowering stage.
Vegging cannabis plants need ample space to grow
Cannabis plants in the vegetative stage should be given time and space to grow and to mature. Whether your outdoor growing or inside a greenhouse or indoors you should provide enough space for your plants to stretch vertically and horizontally. Combined with good lighting, nutrition, and training, your plants can reach their growth potential.
Outdoor flowering phase tips
Watch out for the pre-flowering phase
The flowering phase has an initial phase known as pre-flowering. This is when cannabis plants show their genders and when you can distinguish between male and female. If you want to grow seeds then allow the male plants to remain but if you want to grow weed then remove these from the growing area as soon as you spot them.
The thing with cannabis seeds is that you can never tell if you’re growing male or female plants. You can only find out once your plants are at the pre-flowering phase. Female plants will grow white wispy flowers called pistils while males will have balls or sacs that contain pollen. The pollen will be released to fertilize the females when mature.
Low humidity during the flowering phase
Keep in mind that the larger your buds are, the more prone these are to certain plant problems like pests, molds, and mildew. Moisture can accumulate inside the buds and this causes mold.
Molds prefer dark, high moisture areas and when these attack, you can never use your buds anymore. A way to avoid this is to remove moisture, improve lighting and reduce humidity. You may open a window or door, use a dehumidifier or fans to reduce humidity and prevent mold attack.
About lighting schedules for regular/photoperiod plants
The flowering phase of photoperiod plants depends on their readiness. If you think your plants are ready to make buds, use a 12-hour light and 12-hour darkness schedule which will stimulate flowering.
So how do you control an outdoor environment when it comes to lighting? Some growers use tools like tarps, thick garbage bags and large boxes to cover their outdoor crops for a straight 12-hour period. There should be no light allowed to penetrate to disturb outdoor plants even your car’s headlight, porch light or your flashlight.
For autoflowering strains, won’t need special lighting because these will automatically flower in a matter of 7 to 9 weeks.
Flowering phase nutrient needs
Compared to cannabis plants in the vegetative phase, flowering plants stopped growing and thus will now require a new set of fertilizer feeds. A combination of low nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium is the ideal mix. These nutrients will support plants in growing larger and denser buds.
You can get fertilizer mixes best for cannabis in the flowering stage or the vegetative stage from online or local stores. As much as possible, use commercially-prepared mixes because these come with precise components. Nutrient problems and costly mistakes in feeding may be avoided.
Check for hermies!
Hermies is a term for hermaphrodites and these are plants that have two genders. This happens in cannabis plants when the plant is stressed. There are many factors that can stress plants such as incorrect nutrition, watering problems, pests, plant diseases, poor lighting, poor humidity, long harvesting times and so many more.
Some cannabis strains are also prone to growing hermies and therefore these characteristics may show during the pre-flowering time and possibly later, before harvesting.
Hermaphrodite structures are seen in females plants as they try to self-pollinate to save their species. This happens when the harvest time has passed. Female cannabis plants may grow male parts such as balls or sacs which contain feminized pollen. Also, these may grow tiny yellow structures that look like bananas. These bananas have pollen that’s not hidden and are ready to pollinate female parts.
If you spot these structures, remove the affected plant. But if you plan to grow feminized seeds then you may let these remain.
Outdoor harvesting tips
Watch out for harvest time clues
Harvest time is highly anticipated because this time you can tweak your crops to get the effects that you want in weed. Depending on the strain, you can get light and relaxing effects, moderate psychedelic or powerful stoned effects.
Remember the following combination of harvest time clues: the color of the pistils and the clearness of the trichomes.
The pistils are flowy hairs that stick out from the buds. These will change color as the buds mature. If you see that the buds have a few hairs with yellow or amber color then these are not yet ready for harvest. If you do harvest your buds at this time, you will have very light effects. More pistils with darker colors mean that you’ll get a cool moderate-high. If all the pistils have turned dark, orange or red colors then you’ll get buds with very strong psychedelic effects and thus you should harvest ASAP.
Check the trichomes using a magnifying glass to check for trichomes clarity. Trichomes are very small, glass mushroom-like structures that are all over your buds. Some strains come covered with so many while some have only a few.
Trichomes will turn from a lovely glass-like appearance to a dull, amber-colored which means that these are ready for harvest. When you find that only a few of the trichomes heads are dull and most are clear, the buds are still not ready for picking. But if you spot that almost half of the trichomes are dull and slightly amber-colored then this is the best time. If most of the trichomes are amber-colored then it’s almost too late for harvest.
Avoid fertilizer and other chemicals days before harvest
There are some important daily tasks you need to cease days or even weeks before harvesting. Stop giving your plants fertilizer mixes and supplements at least a week before harvest. Water should stop around two to three days before harvest time.
If you continue to water and feed your plants, these will develop a chemical smell and taste that will be very hard to remove. It will take more time to dry wet plants. Therefore, it’s best to stop feeding fertilizer and supplements a week before harvest.
Protect your hands when harvesting buds
Don’t hurry to harvest your plants. As much as possible, use gloves to protect your buds from contamination and also from getting ruined while harvesting. Wear gloves to keep your hands resin-free because this is sticky and can cling to your hands and be very hard to remove.
Never harvest too late
The most important thing to remember is to never harvest late. Check harvest time cues using a magnifying glass. Remember that harvesting late can stress plants.
Cannabis plants are very sensitive and it will sense that the air is getting colder and the nights shorter and will soon be too late to reproduce.
It compensates by becoming a hermaphrodite in an effort to save its species. Female cannabis will grow balls and sacs with pollen. And similar to male structures, it will ripen and open release feminized pollen. Your precious female buds will grow seeds instead of weed if you wait longer.
Clean and disinfect your tools before harvest
Protect your buds during harvest time as well by making sure that the tools are clean. You should clean and disinfect blades, scissors and other equipment you will use to harvest plants. Harvesting is done by hand and done carefully. Aside from gloves, you must wear suitable, clean clothing to protect your crops from contaminants.
Drying tips that matter
Exercise patients when drying your crops
Drying is a long and steady process so don’t be too eager to smoke your crops but as much as possible, give your buds time to dry out. To find out if your buds are dry, hold them with your hands and feel if these are already dry. Crush a portion of the buds and leaves to check if the buds are ready or not. And once your plants are dry, you must cure these before storage.
Use a designated indoor area for drying cannabis
Drying needs a large area where your plants can remain undisturbed for many days. Drying cannabis is compared to drying food, you must hang these or place in an airy space so that drying can happen evenly and efficiently.
Growers use a spare room, an attic or basement as long as the area is moisture-free, clean and quiet.
Use a digital hygrometer to measure humidity
Monitor humidify efficiently using a digital hygrometer. The drying area must have very low humidity to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Use a reliable dehumidifier
A dehumidifier can maintain low humidity inside your drying area. Most dehumidifiers are digital, easy to use and needs very little maintenance so you don’t need to worry about anything even if you’re new to growing cannabis.
Use plant parts too
Aside from the cannabis buds you may also dry the leaves and stems to make different cannabis products including joints, spliffs, oils, concentrates and more. Dry these with the buds but in a tray or basket.
Curing cannabis techniques
Exercise patience when curing buds
If drying takes a long time, combine curing times and you’ll surely become too eager to smoke your pot. But you can’t overlook curing because this improves the quality and effects of the buds. Curing also allows you to store your buds longer. Your buds will taste perfect when you wait a little longer.
Curing preserves the flavor of weed and it helps preserve the buds and plant parts so you can store these longer. A successfully cured bud has a distinct smell but a poorly cured bud has that unpleasant newly-cut grass smell. If you wait just a few weeks more, your buds will be cured and ready to smoke.
Cure in a room with low humidity levels
Store your dried buds in smaller containers such a mason jar and place these in a room with very low humidity to start the curing process. Use good quality containers, but never plastic because this may reek chemicals which can change the smell and taste of your stash over time. Monitor humidity levels with a hygrometer and correct mistakes with a dehumidifier. It’s crucial that the humidity levels remain constant.
Place a label on your containers
Take time to label your containers. Take note that once your weed is dry and cured, these will pretty much look the same thing. A label will save you from guessing what you’re smoking or consuming.
On the label, place the name of the strain, the date of harvest, the start date of curing and other important information. Make sure to clean and dry the containers well before placing your buds to cure. You may also use bits of rice or silicone gel packets to prevent moisture build-up inside the container.
Cure buds in a dark cabinet or closet
Curing needs darkness. This is because light and heat can stimulate the release of THC and this is not supposed to happen during curing. You need to preserve the taste, flavor, and effects until you’re going to smoke or use your stash.
Storing cannabis methods
Making cannabis last for months
Successfully dried and cured cannabis will last for many months. When kept in a good storage container that’s free from moisture and light, you can bet that your stash can last even six months. Still, it’s best to smoke freshly-dried cannabis rather than to smoke old pot. This is why it’s important to grow only the weed you need.
Using a humidor
One way to store cannabis after curing is using a Mason jar. But if you want to keep your cured buds in perfect condition, place these in a humidor. A humidor is a container made for keeping cigars and cigarettes fresh. This small container also has a portable humidifier that can keep your buds crisp and perfect.
- Keep your stash safe and secure
Most countries and states that allow the growing of recreational and medicinal cannabis recommend growers to keep their stash safe. Keep these from children and pets.
Don’t keep your stash in the cupboard, in the refrigerator or in the kitchen because these could be mistaken as food. In case of accidental ingestion, take your child to a doctor right away. For pets, cannabis can cause terrible seizures in dogs and thus must be taken to a vet quickly.
Important storage techniques
Most home-based growers try to hide their stash in places that may seem less likely to have cannabis. This is a smart move but no matter what never place your stash at the back of electric appliances. These can emit heat and damage THC in weed. You will have weed with poor taste, smell, and weird effects. Don’t keep your dry weed inside your pantry because any strong smell can affect the natural smell, taste, and flavor of weed.
Any specific rules about storing cannabis?
Depending on where you’re located, you may only be allowed to keep a small amount of cannabis in your area. And if cannabis is illegal from where you are located, keep your stash well hidden. You may otherwise let someone else grow cannabis for you.
Important pest control techniques
Only natural pest control techniques, please
Pests are the most common problems of outdoor growers and when it comes to pest control, we don’t recommend any chemical-based products because these can harm your plants. Chemical products may also affect the overall flavor, taste, and effects. A safe way is to use water in a spray bottle. Spray water on the bug or pest and when these fall to the ground, remove it using a piece of tissue. Be diligent and soon you can remove these pests for good.
We advise you to never overlook pest control because chances are many of these bugs are still present in your garden. You must diligently perform pest control until harvest time. You may find it too worrisome to look for pests on each plant in a large outdoor garden and so you can monitor leaf health instead.
Check for any bite marks on the leaves and stems. Wilting of leaves is also a sign. Most pests are found at the back of leaves where the area is softer so check these areas out.
Always keep the growing area clean and hygienic
Pests in all shapes and form can sneak into your outdoor growing area without you knowing. One of the most practical ways to control pests is to maintain cleanliness in your outdoor garden. Remove dead leaves, loose soil, and any kind of litter whenever you can. Remove dead plants, cuttings, and any leftover fertilizer or nutrients because these can attract insects. Place your equipment neatly in one corner of your growing area.
When using neem oil, don’t spray on your buds
Neem is a natural oil that’s harvested from neem trees. This is a popular way to remove pests from cannabis plants for outdoor gardens. To use neem, dilute it with water and place inside a sprayer.
Spray neem oil and water all over the plant but never on the buds. Neem can cause discoloration, changes in smell and taste of cannabis plants. But despite these, neem is very effective in removing almost all kinds of pests especially insects.
Ladybugs are garden friends
Ladybugs are predators and will kill most small pests such as aphids and spider mites. Use ladybugs to kill pests inside your growing area and you don’t need to use chemical pesticides. Ladybugs will also leave buds and leaves alone because these are mostly carnivores.
Quarantine new plants from other gardens
Even if you keep your outdoor area clean and tidy, sometimes, insects and pests can still enter. This is through new plants from other gardens. When you’re growing different plants and strains at the same time in a garden, a new plant can threaten the safety of your crops. It’s best to use a small space in your garden as a quarantine area.
In the quarantine area, inspect the new plant’s leaves, stems and the soil for any pest. Pests such as crickets can burrow deep into the soil and come out when you are unaware. Also, very tiny pests like spider mites can hide at the underside of leaves and be very difficult to check due to their color. The new plant may also bring mold and mildew in so be very careful.
More humidity control techniques
Improve airflow outdoors
Humidity may be easily controlled when you’re indoors by opening a window or a door. You can also use fans to enhance humidity levels. But what about the outdoors? Wind usually improves airflow and humidity but what happens when there’s not enough wind?
You can remove some of the trees or large plants to enhance airflow to your garden. And to prevent airflow problems, plan ahead where to place your garden.
Grow only a small number of plants
Maintain airflow in your outdoor garden by growing only a small number of plants. Overcrowding can increase humidity and this can affect the growth and health of your plants. To avoid overcrowding and grow only the plants you need.
Use effective odor control measures
Strong odors may also emit from your outdoor garden and this can instantly alert neighbors or passersby. You can avoid weird smells by growing only a few plants and by using fans to remove the smell.
Sometimes the best strains are the smelliest, therefore, the best way is to grow your plants indoors. Use carbon filters and fans to reduce smells in an indoor growing space.
Prune large fan leaves to improve humidity
The large leaves at the bottom, also known as fan leaves are very prominent and can sometimes block air and light from reaching the bottom part of the plant. This can sometimes lead to poor development of the buds found in the area and an increase in humidity here as well. So to avoid these, prune these large fan leaves.
Removing large fan leaves can improve airflow. Small underdeveloped buds along the lower canopy can also receive lighting better and these buds can increase your yields as well.
To cut large leaves, use a sterile blade or scissors. Remove and discard the leaves you cut and never leave these inside your growing area because of pests.
Make a watering schedule
One of the best ways to maintain humidity levels is to water responsibly. Monitor your plants for overwatering or under-watering. Usually, you can tell when you see puddles of water on the soil near the plants. If you are growing plants in pots, then the soil inside may still be in water or is damp or moist. If the puddle remains, check signs of dehydration and root lock. Use a large fan to dry up the soil.
Take note of these cloning tips
Choose the best parent outdoor cannabis plants well
The first thing to consider when cloning is to look for good parents. Usually, growers and breeders keep a breeding stock of healthy plants that they use to harvest clones. Choose a healthy female that has new leaves and stems growing almost every day. The plants should have good genes, with no pests or molds and of course, must have all the qualities that you want in a strain.
Always use cloning gel/powder
Cuttings can take a long time to grow roots and one way to speed this up is to use cloning solutions. These are made of hormones which stimulate the development of roots in a cutting. These are available in gel and powder form and you can purchase these from online stores and from local garden shops. Follow the instructions on how to use these products as stated by the manufacturer.
Supporting cloned plants
When clones are compared to plants grown from seeds, clones may not be as strong as regular plants because these don’t have taproots. This is the first structure that pops out of cannabis seeds after the seeds sprout. The taproot improves the strength of the seedlings and possibly the plant since it anchors the plant better in the ground. The taproot can also absorb water and nutrients far better than minute roots of clones.
Use sterile tools to get cuttings or clones
Any kind of tool you will use should be sterile or brand new. This prevents contamination of the clones and transfer of disease from the environment to the clones. Use a strong cleaning solution to clean the tools. You may also boil metal tools for five minutes before use.
Always cut cleanly using one quick move. Using poor tools can affect precious root development. Also, don’t heat the tip of blades and scissors to sterilize these because this can only make the tip blunt and affect the way you cut clones.
You can’t clone autoflowering cannabis
Autoflowering cannabis is a kind of cannabis other than sativa and indica plants. Also called ruderalis plants, these can grow faster without the need for 12/12 lighting schedules. These plants will flower in just 7 to 9 weeks without any kind of lighting. Autoflowering cannabis is smaller than most cannabis plants making these the best for outdoor or indoor stealth growing.
The problem with growing autoflowering cannabis is that you can’t clone these strains to get plants with automatic traits. If you clone an auto you will only end up with plants that are in their vegetative stage with no automatic traits. You must grow auto plants using seeds.
More hydroponic growing tips
Hydroponic systems for outdoor growing gardens
Hydroponics is cultivating plants without soil. The roots are suspended in nutrient-rich water in a hydroponic system. Hydro growing may be simple or may be constructed so that everything is automatically working. Complicated hydroponic systems require time and effort to master but once you are able to cultivate plants, then you can grow anything from hydro even outdoor plants. Make sure to use quality equipment and plants which can survive a hydro growing setting.
Always use hydroponic nutrients
Whether you’re growing your plants in an indoor or outdoor hydroponic system, you must use nutrients made for hydro growing. Don’t use regular fertilizer mixes unless these are specified safe for use in hydroponic systems.
Follow the instructions in the packaging carefully. Take note that there are different nutrients for a hydro setting for plants in the growing stage and in the flowering stage just like growing cannabis in soil.
You must have backup power at all cost
The most common problem that most growers have to deal in a hydroponic growing setup is a power outage. Short power outages may not be a problem but when longer power outages, especially during storms, hit, your plants could die if you don’t do anything to save them.
Invest in a heavy-duty backup generator power for your pumps, filters, and grow lights. A small diesel generator is a good idea. You may also use battery-powered pumps, lamps, and filters. Always keep extra batteries and diesel gas handy if longer power outages are expected.
Regular pH monitoring is needed
pH monitoring must be done regularly to keep your roots healthy. The right pH ensures that the roots are receiving nutrients. Root pH should be 6.6 so this can receive the necessary nutrients your plant needs.
For any pH changes, use pH corrector products which you can find in most garden supplies shops. Follow instructions found on the packaging. pH strips to monitor pH are also available in garden supplies shops as well. These are very easy to use with a color results chart to check for pH levels.
Check for root rot signs
A common problem in hydroponic systems is root rot. Root rot is described as a smelly and sticky fungus that is found in the plant roots in hydroponic systems. You can easily see this since plant roots are suspended in water.
Root rot is caused by a fungus that is found in dirty hydroponic systems. You can avoid this by cleaning everything at least once every week. Always replace hoses in your system. You need clean and unblocked hoses that move water from the reservoir to the nutrient bath. Some growers say that once root rot happens, your plant may not be saved. Therefore it’s best to prevent this by regular, cleaning and changing the components of your hydroponic system.
Remember these cannabis training tips
SCROG is a reliable training technique
SCROG is a sea of green or screen of green where you will grow your plants under a screen twine or wire. As your plants grow taller and wider, you must keep stems and leaves from passing through the screen and allowing only the precious buds to pass through.
The SCROG keeps plants small and allows lighting to reach all the buds even the small, underdeveloped buds inside the plant canopy. Scrogging ensures that all the buds get equal lighting and air to enhance yield.
Trimming cannabis plants
Trimming is removing almost all the leaves and stems. You will only retain a few ones as well as the buds or main cola. This is done to maximize efforts in growing larger buds.
If you want to trim your plants, use sterile tools. Follow the steps to clean and sterilize tools in the previous tips.
Set aside cuttings and use these as clones. Place cuttings in water or if you want to use these as clones, dip in cloning gel or powder first before placing these inside peat pellets.
Some cannabis strains don’t like training
Not all outdoor cannabis plants want training so you need to research on outdoor strains that will respond well to training. Usually, very sensitive cannabis strains will not grow well with training because this can only stress the plants out.
Some cannabis strains may require a very controlled environment to grow well. This is one of the reasons why growers cultivate their strains indoors instead of outdoors.
Improve air movement to train plant strength
As mentioned, large fan leaves must be removed to enhance humidity and lighting inside the plant’s lower canopy. Large leaves also block air moving in and around the plants making branches and stems to grow weak. A small breeze under the canopy can you’re your plants stronger and will prepare it for the weight of large dense buds.
Expert training techniques
You may have heard about high-stress training like topping and fimming and although these are very effective, you need to have the experience to use these. So we recommend leaving these techniques to experts. Please use low-stress training techniques only if you’re new to growing marijuana indoors or outdoors.
For educational purposes only, topping is removing the main cola by cutting it several millimeters from the bottom of the bud. When you manage to do this successfully, topping will split the stem into two and will grow flowers on each stem.
Fimming is cutting closer to the bottom of the bud. A successful FIM can make four distinct stems and each stem will grow a bud. These methods can dramatically multiply yields however, you must be very efficient to avoid costly mistakes.
Growing cannabis plants outdoors per region
Aside from the best climate, soil, and water, there are also some important things to consider when growing cannabis and this is about growing cannabis from one region to another.
Cultivating cannabis in the Northwest region
There are a few characteristics of the Northwest region of the US that you must remember when growing weed outdoors. The Cascade Mountain Ranges is wet with very heavy rains and very little sunlight.
This is not a good place for cannabis growing because mold may become an issue. On the eastern area of the mountain ranges is a place where it’s drier because it gets more sunlight. This is the perfect area to grow cannabis during the summer months only. Fall temperatures can be too cold and harsh for marijuana plants.
The best way is to grow autoflowering cannabis. Soil found in these parts have fewer nutrients, therefore, you must add supplements to support cannabis plant growth.
Growing marijuana in the Southwest region
The Southwest region is hot and dry and can be very unbearable during the summer months. Marijuana plants will grow well when placed in shaded areas, not directly under the sun.
These should be areas where nighttime temperatures are higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Very hot climates can slow down a plant’s growth so plant only in shaded areas of the yard.
The best strains to grow in these parts are sativa and sativa-dominant plants. These can survive environments with higher temperatures because these will be able to complete their very long flowering cycles.
The soil in this location has very minimal nutrients. You must use soil ideal for growing cannabis instead of using local garden soil. Growing in a hydroponic or aeroponic system is better than growing directly from the ground or soil.
Nurturing cannabis plants in the Midwest
Summers are harsh in the Midwest which may also have thunderstorms and some heavy rainfall. Rain or heavy rain can cause mold growth so this is going to be an issue. Midwest winters may arrive early and this can affect flowering times of most strains. So, when choosing the best strain, select indicas with faster flowering times or you may plant autoflowering strains.
Soils found in lands that have not been farmed are the best for cannabis cultivation. And as much as possible, test the soil before growing weed. Check water pH as well since there are areas where active mining is present and the compounds can spill into well water and thus can reach plants.
Caring for weed plants in the Northeast
The climate in the Northeast region may vary. Sometimes there are shorter fall seasons and very hot and humid summers. This is perfect for cannabis growing. If you live in this area, grow strains with quicker flowering and those that handle summertime temperatures and high humidity.
Soils here are rich with nutrients and are ideal for cannabis cultivation. You must still check soil pH just to make sure soil is okay before proceeding. When watering plants, you don’t need to worry because water is present almost everywhere and has good quality.
Cultivating marijuana strains in the Southeast
Southeast climate has high humidity so sativa strains are best grown her. Only cannabis strains with light and airy buds should be grown to prevent molds. Sativas will also grow faster here so expect earlier harvests. But if you want to cultivate a diverse selection of strains, you may try indoor growing.
The soil in this region is rich and is healthy. This is ideal for growing healthy and high-yielding cannabis plants. There’s no need to amend your soil time and again but do monitor your water supply changes in pH and correct it using pH corrector products. These are mostly sold in garden supplies shops.
To grow cannabis plants well, cultivate these in a climate quite similar to their natural climates as well as in soils that are close to their native soil. You must provide safe and clean water and don’t overlook soil and water testing for quality. Do this at least every week or every other week for outdoor growing
Still, if all else fails, accept that outdoor growing may not be the ideal way to grow cannabis for you. Indoor growing may just the only way to cultivate your own supply of medicinal or recreational marijuana. Don’t hesitate to check reputable online sources and guides to grow cannabis indoors.