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All You Need To Know About Guerrilla Growing Cannabis

Guerrilla growing is when you grow cannabis outdoors, somewhere in a hidden location that won’t easily be discovered. Learn all about how to successfully guerrilla grow cannabis in our guide below!

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Not everyone can grow cannabis in their own home or garden. For some cannabis enthusiasts, the only way to go about growing weed is to do it outdoors in a secret spot in nature. When you stealthily grow weed somewhere (where you hope that your precious crop isn’t discovered), this is known as guerrilla growing. Here is all you need to know on how you can successfully guerrilla grow cannabis!

THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF GUERRILLA GROWING CANNABIS

The most obvious advantage to guerrilla growingis that your plants will be located suitably far away from your place of residence. While this can be a pain in terms of checking up on your plants, it removes the risk of you getting busted should growing cannabis still be illegal in your region. In those places where cannabis laws are still not as relaxed as we’d wish, a guerrilla grow can remove the threat of cops, landlords, and neighbours complaining about the smell or sight of your “devil’s lettuce”.

Then again, growing weed somewhere out in nature can have its own risks. The biggest, of course, is that your grow might be discovered—by humans or otherwise. Animals out in the wild, from deer to birds to nasty bugs, can all take a toll on the health and vitality of your precious plants. And of course, any human passersby who enjoy cannabis themselves may take their own toll by chopping down your plant or stealing your container. Moreover, adverse weather conditions mean that your guerrilla-grown crop largely has to fend for itself.

Still, if you plan your guerrilla grow ahead of time and go about it with some basic know-how, it is certainly possible for the experience to be both fun and rewarding.

HOW TO FIND A GOOD SPOT TO GROW

The very first thing you need to do when planning a guerrilla grow is to find a suitable location. Obviously, you want to choose somewhere discreet where there is little chance of your plants being spotted. For this, you should explore the surroundings of a potential location to see whether you come across nearby paths, footprints, garbage, and other signs that people may come here on occasion.

So make sure to select your secret growing location a good distance away from streets, paths, and buildings. Consider also that the odour of your plants may be noticeable as much as 10–15m away or more, so take this into account when choosing a spot. Parks, public places, and areas that seem to be kept-up well are usually not very good locations. The more difficult it is to get to your secret growing spot, the better!

When you’re choosing a guerrilla growing spot, you must also make sure there are no street lights in the vicinity. The lights could otherwise mess up your plant’s natural dark cycle, causing it to turn intersex or resulting in other adverse reactions.

LOOK FOR WATER

Experienced guerrilla growers often say that a hidden spot near water is optimal. So, if you have a lake or stream nearby, this can be a nice advantage. It can make it easier when it comes to watering your wild plants, and you won’t look suspicious carrying buckets of water over quite some distance. In an ideal location near a lake or river, your plants can just absorb the water that’s already in the soil, and you may not even have to water them. Likewise, locations near water are naturally also warmer in the winter, so there is less risk that your plants would suffer from frost. On the other hand, if you grow very close to a stream, there can be a risk for flooding should it rain heavily late in summer. Keep this in mind.

CONSIDER DISTANCE

If you grow outdoors, you will want to frequently check on your plants. You may need to water them often, and you want to keep a close eye on things such as pests or other possible problems. Because of that, a growing spot that’s miles and miles away isn’t optimal. If you can, choose a guerrilla grow spot that is accessible by foot or bike.

STARTING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW

Now it’s time to get to the exciting bits: how to start your guerrilla grow. The “pros” normally don’t start a guerrilla grow from seed. It can be best to start the seeds or clones indoors first, then replant them in your secret spot outdoors once your seedlings have grown a bit. You can still plant seeds outdoors, just don’t expect the same results as you would when transplanting a robust young plant.

The best time to replant your cannabis seedlings outside is after the last frost has occurred in spring. Make sure to accustom your seedlings to the conditions outside. Before you set them out, you should place them in the sun for a few hours every day so they can get used to the natural sunlight. As you’re doing this, it can be a good time to prepare your guerrilla grow spot for your plants!

PREPARING YOUR OUTDOOR GUERRILLA GROW SPOT

There are some things that you should do to prepare your grow spot before you start planting. You may want to put up extra protection against animals, or camouflage your location. Likewise, most growers bring in outside soil to grow their plants, as natural soil is not always ideal for raising healthy and productive specimens.

In this case, start out by digging a hole for your plant, and filling it with a rich growing medium of soil, coco, and perlite, if possible. The hole should be big enough to accommodate the spread of roots into nutritious soil.

Although the above process requires only one visit, watering becomes a little more complicated. Frequently watering your plant out in the wild can be challenging. A good way to go about this is to mix water-absorbing polymers into your substrate. These polymers are like water-filled gels that can absorb and store water, which they slowly release so your plants can drink during dry spells. When you add mulch and cover your growing spot with straw, this can also help keep water from evaporating so that the soil in your grow spot will stay moist for longer.

You can also consider adding slow-release nutrients to your substrate. You should be able to source the substrate, polymers, and the slow-release nutrients from any good garden centre or grow shop.

After digging the hole and filling it with a suitable substrate, you can finally plant your seedling or seed. Water your plant well until all the soil in its surroundings is moist.

CAMOUFLAGING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW

The possibility that your secret grow spot could be discovered is arguably the biggest risk with guerrilla growing. Because of that, you want to camouflage your growing area.

Ideally, your grow spot should already be hidden enough that you don’t need to go through much effort to conceal it. If necessary, you can use the surrounding vegetation to hide your plants by constructing a sort of natural fence, making it necessary to move these plants out of the way to access your hidden crop.

Then again, there will always be a small risk that your plants could be discovered, no matter how well you hide them. This is the reason that guerrilla growers often spread their plants around in multiple locations, rather than relying on one single spot. In other words: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you plant your weed in more locations, any unexpected happenings will not result in the failure of your entire crop.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PLANTS

Outdoors, a lot can happen to your plants since they will be susceptible to all nature has to offer. You can increase protection of your cannabis plants by making simple cages out of chicken wire. These should at least keep larger animals like birds and deer away from your plants. When you visit your guerrilla grow, you should also make a habit of checking for common signs of pest infestation. Some natural pesticides such as neem oil can work in a preventative way so you can decrease the chances for common pests, such as aphids, to appear. Online, as well as in grow stores, you can find a number of products to repel deer, rabbits, and other animals.

EXTRA TIPS TO KEEP YOUR GUERRILLA GROW UNDER THE RADAR

As you will likely go to your secret cannabis plantation fairly often, avoid always taking the same route. A fresh path out in the wild could draw suspicion, so take a different way as often as you can. If you notice that you leave footprints, cover them up with dirt.

It can also be helpful to prepare a credible story for the eventuality of someone seeing you near your spot and asking what you’re doing. You could, for example, carry a camera or binoculars on you and say you’re bird-watching. And if there’s a lake or a river nearby, you could carry fishing equipment to conceal what you’re doing. Needless to say, when you have gotten away with your story, it would be smart to look for another growing location.

FEEDING AND WATERING YOUR OUTDOOR PLANTS

Unless you added polymers to your substrate as mentioned earlier, you will need to water your plants regularly. For this, you can simply observe your local weather. If it didn’t rain for a week or longer, chances are your plants will be thirsty.

If you’re using slow-release nutrients mixed with your substrate, your plants may do well throughout their entire life without you needing to feed them. Otherwise, make sure that you give them sufficient nutrients so they can grow and stay healthy. When you’re purchasing cannabis nutrients, make sure that they are suitable to use in soil outdoors.

KEEP YOUR PLANTS DRY IN FALL

Watering your plants frequently is important, but so is keeping them dry as the weather gets rainy at the beginning of fall. Especially in our European climate, extended days of rainfall can increase the risk for mould to grow, which could spoil your entire harvest. When you visit your plants, shake the excessive moisture from rain off the buds to decrease the risk for mould. If the weather doesn’t look as if it will get better at the end of summer, or it is expected to stay cold and rainy for weeks on end, you may want to harvest early so you can save your buds from rot.

TIPS FOR HARVESTING YOUR GUERRILLA-GROWN CANNABIS PLANTS

When it’s finally harvest time, it can help if you don’t get too excited that you rush things. Know that harvesting your outdoor guerrilla crops can be the most sensitive part of the entire grow. After all, you will likely be carrying back a whole bunch of juicy and aromatic buds, and you want to do this without drawing unwanted attention.

For harvesting, most guerrilla growers begin early in the morning before the sun comes up. You will need at least one large container where you can place your buds. Get a sealable container with a lid so that your harvest won’t raise suspicion from the smell. Quickly cut the branches and place them with the stem down into your container. This helps keep the buds intact. It shouldn’t require long until you have cut all the branches so you can take them home.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS FOR YOUR GUERRILLA GROW

What makes growing cannabis outdoors exciting, yet also challenging, are the many factors that decide whether your grow may turn out awesome, or not so much. And not always can we keep these things under control. Mother Nature may bless your grow with optimal conditions to reward you with amazing yields, or she could be moody and spoil your plans with poor weather, rain, and pest infestations.

Although you cannot predict everything that will happen, you can greatly increase your chances for a successful outdoor guerrilla grow by selecting the right strains. This is because some cannabis cultivars are better suited to the outdoors than others. They may have increased resistance to mould and pests, or they may grow particularly short, making them ideal to grow under the radar. Here are 5 strains perfectly suited to a successful guerrilla grow.

TOP 5 CANNABIS STRAINS FOR GUERRILLA GROWING

QUICK ONE

Quick One by Royal Queen Seeds was one of the first and fastest autoflowering cannabis varieties on the market. This formidable indica-dominant auto is still great to grow today, and rewards with decent yields. She will not grow taller than 50–60cm, which makes her a particularly good guerrilla strain. Her entire life cycle is a short 8 weeks from seed to harvest, perfect for getting in and getting out fast!

When you’re growing weed outdoors in a secret location, this is known as guerrilla growing. In this post, we'll walk you through the guerrilla growing process.

Growing Cannabis In The Woods: The Stealthiest Method Of Them All

Many growers do not have the opportunity to cultivate cannabis indoors or outdoors on their own property. The reasons can be different, from a lack of space or nosey neighbors, to the regulations and law enforcement in their jurisdiction or country. For cases like this, we have prepared a guide to growing cannabis in a safer, more discreet area – the woods.

Have You Ever Heard Of Guerilla Growing?

A lot of people wish to grow cannabis but are lacking in available locations or options. Often, growing therefore has to be done on public or private land or in wildlife sanctuaries. This way of production is often referred to as guerilla growing. It can be done in a variety of ways, but the main traits are doing it as discreetly as possible. Growing marijuana in the woods is one of the most common methods of guerilla growing, which comes with its own specific needs and considerations.

Pros Of Growing In The Woods

When we compare the history and examples of others who grow marijuana in the forest, we can see multiple benefits over other methods.

  • Growing weed in the woods doesn’t require significant investments or as much capital as indoor or greenhouse growing, so there’s a far lower cost of entry for production.
  • It’s hard to prove that a plantation belongs to a certain person in the case of legal defense (if ever needed).
  • Growers can have many growing spots in different areas to increase yields as well as reduce risk of losing all of the harvest at once due to thieves or law enforcement.
  • Growing in the woods can be done organically and is eco-friendly.

Easy-To-Grow Cannabis

Now, To The Cons

The benefits of growing marijuana in the forest can often be outweighed by the risks and liabilities that come with guerrilla growing. It’s therefore very important to be mindful of all the factors that go into this style of growing.

  • There’s always a risk of losing all your harvest. This can come from thieves, law enforcement, animals, lack of care or, most likely, the weather.
  • It’s not convenient or safe to visit a hidden garden often. Pruning and watering can suffer because of this, which is important because poor plant care will affect overall quality and yields (unless you or someone you trust decides to live on-site).
  • Nutrient runoff when growing weed in the woods may be dangerous for locals. If you use pesticides or inorganic nutrients, the downstream water could become contaminated for other people or animals.

How-To: Guerilla Growing In The Woods

There are a lot of decisions involved in growing marijuana in the forest. Below is a list of considerations and factors that should be taken into consideration while in your planning phase. Keep in mind that every location and situation is different – you must be ready and willing to adapt to the area you’re in.

Pick The Right Strain

It is important to choose proper cannabis strains for your region. Crucial features to pay attention to when considering guerilla growing in the woods are:

  • Stable immunity to outdoor conditions
  • Resistance to mold and moist conditions
  • Pest resistance
  • Irrigation and watering tolerance
  • Yields
  • Flowering times (depends on your region)
  • Terpene content (smell)
  • Medical conditions or personal preferences

Low Odor Cannabis

When growing at home, your grow op can be maintained more often. However, when growing cannabis in the woods or less densely populated areas, you won’t be able to visit your farm as often as you should. For that reason, it’s better to focus on strains that can be planted and forgotten for a while if you’re unable to access your grow easily.

Growing Autoflowers In The Woods

Autoflowering strains are also good for a few reasons and have become more common for outdoor growers around the world. They have shorter flowering times and will flower regardless of the amount of light they receive. This removes the consideration of the number of hours of light needed for plants to start flowering. However, traditionally, these types of strains have lower yields and cannabinoid content, which is why commercial growers have tended to avoid them over the last few decades.

Pick Feminized For Guerilla Growing

For anyone growing in the woods, it’s better to choose feminized strains over regular seeds. Regular seeds need constant attention at the beginning of the flowering stage. You have to scrupulously watch for the appearance of pollen sacs on the male plants. These should be destroyed as soon as possible and with care so as not to spread pollen. This can be done by putting a plastic bag over the plant before cutting it down. Plan to then burn or bury the plants far away. When growing in the woods, there’s the risk of missing this important step, as the grower will not be able to inspect the bushes multiple times a day or week. If female flowers are pollinated, this will cause all the nutrients and energy to go toward producing seeds rather than THC and other cannabinoids.

Small Plants

Consider The Climate

The act of guerrilla growing outdoors is possible in most geographical locations. That said, there are places in the world that don’t get enough hours of sunlight to grow cannabis plants up to a large enough size during the vegetative stage. This lack of size will reduce your yields. Normally, the bigger you make your plants for flowering time, the more they will produce.

On the other hand, if there’s too much light (14+ hours), this won’t allow the plant to flower or start producing buds at all. Growers in these regions require autoflowering genes in the strain variety they plan to use.

Choose The Spot

The location for planting cannabis in the woods must be approached with caution and research. Mistakes at this stage could lead to a random passerby or law enforcement discovering the crop. Cannabis can also easily die if the place is not well-lit with enough direct sunlight, or if the soil has excess moisture, contaminants or improper nutrients.

How to find a place for cannabis in the woods? Here are some important rules:

  • Make sure there is a water source nearby. If there are no streams close to the site, try to find groundwater. If you’re lucky and diligent, you can find this by digging the soil to a depth of 1 meter to see how moist the soil is.
  • Keep the soil pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Soil in pine forest is usually acidic (low pH), so the best solution is to dig a large pit and then fill it with a balanced, high-nutrient soil mix. Often, this is not a requirement, but for a better yield, it’s recommended to create the best possible soil conditions.
  • Choose places in the forest where there’s enough sunlight. Light is a necessary factor for the active vegetative growth and development of cannabinoids during flowering. Plants should be in direct sunlight for no less than 6-8 hours a day. A good option is somewhere on a southern slope on a forest hill, where old trees are felled and new ones have not yet had time to grow and cast shadows.

Think Of An Alibi

When planning a trip to your plants, make sure you have a suitable alibi (for example, hunting, rock climbing or fishing) and take the appropriate equipment with you.

Nothing looks more suspicious than a random human in places where humans don’t normally go without good reason. It also helps if you actually have an interest in whatever activity you’re pretending to be doing. In the case of unexpected interaction with other people, whether it be government or private citizens, having deep knowledge, equipment and a cover story will help prevent unwanted attention or additional questioning.

It’s also important that during flowering and harvest time, you have a clean pair of clothes sealed in a plastic bag for when you return home. The resin will stick to your body and clothes as you work, and the smell can be a dead giveaway to others as soon as you’re within a few meters of them. Packing hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to help remove the resin or “finger hash” off your hands, body and equipment is essential to keeping your work hidden.

Keep Your Grow Secret

Your planting area should be located far from paths trampled by hunters, mushroom pickers or fishermen. This is where environmental or conservation enforcement (like rangers or game wardens) will often pass by as well. The best way to check whether people are walking near this place is to attach a couple of paper banknotes to the branches. If the money stays intact for a week or two, it means the place is far enough from random eyes to notice.

It’s a good idea to plant cannabis in thickets of similar plants like raspberries, nettles, sage or any prickly shrubs. The plants act as a form of concealment. This way, you can reduce the risk of your plants being detected.

Cannabis Strains For Concentrates

Plant In Spring

It’s important to know when the proper times to plant are and when to harvest. This will be specific to your spot in the world. However, to ensure your plant has enough time for vegetative growth, it’s advisable to plant in spring, as soon as temperatures are warm enough (not colder than 10C or 50F at night). To solve the most common problems associated with traditional harvests that the fall weather brings, like cold temperatures, rains, winds and early snow, we recommend planting as early as possible or to choose strains with shorter flowering periods. This way, you’ll be able to harvest before the weather gets worse. In any case, to avoid unwanted complications, you need to know the strain you’re growing and follow the seed bank’s directions on when to plant and harvest.

Prepare The Soil

Peat Coconut fiber Sawdust Polymer Hydrogel

Preparing the grow site in advance is easy and requires little more than digging holes and filling them with a mixture of purchased soil or local forest soil. Organic fertilizers and materials that will retain moisture for a long time can be added to the soil mixture. You can use peat (this is able to absorb twenty times more water than its own weight), coconut fiber, compost and sawdust as possible materials. An excellent modern option is polymer hydrogel, which has a high ability to retain moisture and gradually give it to the soil. The need for frequent watering will therefore be dealt with, even during a drought.

Plant Your Cannabis

There are many options regarding how to plant your seeds, but for most beginners, you can simply dig a small hole with your finger or use a stick to dig a few centimeters down into the soil. Place your seed inside and then lightly compact soil on top.

However, the optimal choice is to germinate your seeds before burying them, as this provides a higher rate of assurance that the seeds will “pop” or break open and start to root.

Maintain Your Plants

There are many different ways to maintain your plants throughout their growth, from pruning, feeding, watering, and pest and mold monitoring to different training methods that improve yields like low-stress training.

It’s important to follow the normal steps for cannabis maintenance during guerilla growing. While weed grows naturally and without much effort in nature, this lack of control can lead to smaller yields and loss in quality. The more effort you put into your grow, the better the results will be.

Watering And Watching For Excess Moisture

If your hidden garden is far from a lake, river or groundwater, it will be difficult to water and feed. The best option is to carry water for irrigation and your premixed fertilized liquid in backpacks, putting your premixed fertilized liquid in as well. You can also bury a rainwater container in the ground nearby. As we mentioned before, it’s a good idea to add water-retaining additives to the soil mix you’re growing in, this in case your hidden grow op is located in an area susceptible to drought. If you use hydrogel or nutrient-balanced soil, there’s no need to worry about watering for up to 10 days without rain. If no precipitation has occurred within 2 weeks, watering will then become necessary.

Another big issue with growing weed in the forest is that excessive moisture from the rainfall, especially in fall, can lead to mold. The infamous problem of bud rot becomes more common as the rains come toward the end of flowering or around harvest time. Bud rot is when the buds start to mold from the inside because of excessive moisture.

A good way to check for this is by lightly pinching the large and formed buds. They should feel dense and tight. If the nugs feel soft, open one up and look for signs of mold. If you do find bud rot in any areas of the grow, we recommend immediately harvesting or beginning flushing to harvest as soon as possible, as the mold will only continue to spread and get worse with time.

Checking For Pests

Every time you visit your hidden garden, check the stems and backs of the leaves to see if the bushes have been affected by pests. Take notes, record and monitor if there are spots on the leaves. If there are signs of infection, take steps to treat the plants or remove them. The sooner this is done, the better your chances of saving the crop.

Feeding

To achieve a healthy crop, it’s important to have a proper feeding schedule. It is better to pre-dissolve the fertilizer in water in larger volumes and ratios to make feeding easier. In the vegetation stage, cannabis needs a lot of nitrogen, while during the flowering stage, it’s better to focus on potassium and phosphorus. Depending on the nutrients or soil mix you decide to use, there will be specific guidelines for mixing ratios at the different stages of growth. However, as long as you follow these steps or have great starting soil at your location, your harvest should go as planned.

Harvesting

It is important to keep a grow calendar to not only track your feeding and watering schedule but also to know the proper time for the marijuana to be harvested. It’s best to research and follow any recommendations from the seed company, the internet or other growers for each strain.

In rainy fall, it’s better to harvest a little earlier or have a strain with a shorter flowering time in order to prevent decay or mold. When finally harvesting, you can stack cut branches in containers that do not carry static shock, doing so very carefully so as not to injure or lose trichomes from the buds.

Manicuring, drying and curing can be done at home in a relaxed atmosphere – it’s important to keep your time at the grow site as short as possible. The longer you spend in the area, the higher your chances of getting caught.

Into The Wild

The option of growing marijuana in the woods has historically been the natural way the earth has produced this wonderful plant. It can provide a higher quality and a lower cost for an average grower. Just keep in mind all the risks and work that will be going into reaping the rewards of a bountiful harvest. It may not be for everyone.

Growing marijuana in the woods can provide a higher quality and a lower cost for an average grower. Just keep in mind all the risks and work that will be going into reaping the rewards of a bountiful harvest