Growing Weed From Seed Outdoors

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If you've ever thought of growing cannabis outdoors, then this comprehensive guide is for you. We discuss climate, soil, nutrients, watering, and more. Growing cannabis outdoors has been mans traditional method of growing his favourite recreational and medicinal herb for thousands of years.

How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors: A Beginner’s Guide

Although it’s possible to purchase high-quality weed from a dispensary, there are few things more thrilling than growing cannabis outdoors.

Having the ability to choose the right marijuana strain, the ideal location, and the best possible soil is one thing. Possessing the patience to see the entire project through is quite another.

If you live in a state where an outdoor grow is permitted, then this article is for you. This step-by-step guide will go through everything you need to know and show you how to grow marijuana outdoors.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Growing Marijuana Outdoors: The Beginner’s Guide

Just to be clear, growing cannabis is a time-consuming process. However, it is also an extremely rewarding one. This is a guide for a first-time grower who wants to grow quality cannabis without breaking the bank. If this is your first outdoor grow, and you miss a single step, then you may end up with a disappointing yield.

It is also an outdoor growing guide designed for small-scale cultivation. It is crucial that you check your state’s laws before proceeding. For example, weed is legal for recreational use in Colorado. You can grow marijuana plants as long as you’re aged 21 or over.

However, all marijuana growing areas must be enclosed, locked, and they can’t be viewed from the outside. In other words, it is tricky to grow cannabis outside and meet all state laws.

Incidentally, Colorado residential properties are allowed to grow a maximum of 12 plants, while medicinal marijuana growers are permitted up to 24.

We are offering this guide with the assumption that it is legal to grow marijuana plants in your state. First and foremost, it is imperative that you have the right climate for optimum growth.

Benefits of Growing Marijuana Outdoors

There’s no doubt that growing marijuana outdoors comes with challenges (which we address later on), but it also has a list of cool benefits:

  • Eco-Friendly:Indoor growing uses a lot of electricity because it requires so much lighting, not to mention ventilation systems and other equipment. In California, it’s estimated that growing marijuana indoors uses the equivalent of 200 pounds of coal to grow just a single pound. Outdoor growing needs sun, air, water, and minimal equipment for your plants to survive.
  • Better Quality Buds: Marijuana that is grown outdoors carries a distinctive flavor and aroma. As long as you choose the right strain, you’ll enjoy every single smoke.
  • Low Cost: Assuming that you have selected the right location, outdoor growing offers unlimited sun, fresh air, carbon dioxide, and rainwater. Buy the best seeds, take good care of them, and when they sprout, they’ll need minimal maintenance. Once you learn how to handle pests and inclement weather, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to grow marijuana outdoors.
  • Larger Yields: It is common for outdoor marijuana plants to grow nearly six feet tall. Plants of this size offer 500 grams of dried bud. A harvest from just six plants is usually enough to provide you with a year’s supply of premium cannabis.

Step #1: Determine the Climate in Which You’re Going to Grow the Marijuana

Climate is all-important when growing cannabis, with the primary concern being the amount of available sunlight. While this isn’t a problem in sun-kissed California, not every American state has the same luxury. However, don’t assume that glorious sunny weather is perfect for growing flowers.

When growing cannabis outdoors, you have to realize that, while weed is reasonably adaptable to different weather conditions, it is still vulnerable to temperature extremes.

For example, sustained temperatures of over 86 degrees Fahrenheit can prevent growth. On the other hand, temperatures below 55 degrees could kill your precious plants.

Step #2: Choose the Best Possible Location

Outdoor cannabis plants love basking in the sun. Therefore, find a plot that offers at least five hours of sunshine a day. Once again, residents of certain towns and cities will find it easier than most. For example, those who live in San Diego will experience 14 hours of sunlight during the Summer Solstice (June 21).

As we mentioned above, make sure the temperature of your location does not exceed 86 degrees. If your area regularly surpasses this temperature, then you will need to be careful where you cultivate your plants.

Look for a plot that gets direct sunlight early in the day and filtered sun later in the afternoon. It is also ideal if you can find a place that offers a constant breeze. However, bear in mind that this increases water consumption.

Areas that are subject to high wind will need a wall or hedge to act as a windbreak. Then there is the small matter of privacy and security.

Even if it is legal to grow outdoors in your location, there will always be judgmental individuals and possible thieves. Try and plant your marijuana so that it is hidden behind tall fences or shrubs.

It may also be worth investing in wire cages to keep animals at bay. As already mentioned, some plants often grow over six feet tall. However, some plants, when grown outdoors, can become so tall that they resemble mini-skyscrapers. These plants can sometimes be over twelve feet in height, so make sure you plan for this.

Some Potential Grow Sites for Outdoor Growers

It isn’t easy to find the best location. Not only must it offer ideal growing conditions, but it must also be safe from discovery, even when planting legally. If you are adhering to the law, private property is best because you have full access and can control security. Otherwise, you have to risk public property, which increases the chances of discovery.

Some places to consider for an outdoor grow include:

  • Balcony: This allows easy access; however, it is also highly visible. Frosted plastic film can conceal your plants and reduce the spread of the scent. As the U.S. is in the northern hemisphere, it is best if your balcony faces south. This will ensure your plants get the most sunlight during the day.
  • Personal Garden: Again, your plants are highly visible but easily accessible. If you have the right security measures in place, this is the best location.
  • Roof Terrace: Guarantees the maximum amount of sun, but strong winds and odors are an issue.
  • A Forest: Streams provide an excellent source of water. Alternatively, you can dig a couple of feet into the earth to find groundwater. It is well hidden, but just about anyone could stumble upon your stash. As the soil is also likely to be acidic, it is best to use huge pots filled with premium-quality soil.
  • An Open Field: You will need to camouflage it with other plants that are capable of growing as tall as marijuana. Look for land where nettles grow. This is a sign that the soil is filled with nitrogen, which is an essential nutrient for healthy marijuana growth.

Tips for Choosing a Grow Site

When choosing the ideal location for your outdoor grow, look for the following features:

  • Sunlight: More sunlight equals bigger plants and larger yields.
  • Water: Marijuana plants thrive in most areas as long as they get enough water.
  • Wind: A gentle breeze is perfect because it helps develop robust root systems. Heavy winds can damage or destroy a crop.
  • Soil: We explore soil choice below, but suffice to say, it has to be rich in the right kind of nutrients.
  • Access: You don’t need to spend as much time tending to outdoor plants as their indoor counterparts. However, you still have to visit your crop every couple of weeks. This helps you identify if they lack nutrients, need more water, or are infested with pests.
  • Security: If your crop is easy to access, don’t be surprised if someone comes in and helps themselves. Also, we urge you not to break the law. Getting caught will lead to a massive fine and possibly jail time.

Step #3: Buy the Best Soil for Your Plants

We are assuming that you intend to grow your cannabis plants from seed. In this case, you should germinate indoors during the early spring. In a warmer climate, seeds can start to sprout by early April. If you live in cold weather, this process probably won’t happen until May.

Typically, seeds only begin to germinate when exposed to constant temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Experts suggest keeping your plants indoors for up to four weeks before bringing them outside when the weather is more suitable.

When choosing the right soil, bear in mind that it is made up primarily of clay, sand, and silt. Your plants require slightly acidic soil with organic matter that has been adequately drained. Therefore, you have to test the soil if you intend to plant your cannabis directly in the earth.

Different Types of Soil

If you decide to use the soil in the earth, make sure you have its pH tested. Otherwise, purchase the soil from a garden store. Please remember that even store-bought soil could use added nutrients from compost. Your options include:

  • Clay-Rich Soil: This is heavy, doesn’t hold oxygen particularly well, and drains very slowly. Around four weeks before you start planting, dig the holes for the marijuana. Add significant amounts of manure, compost, and any other decomposed organic matter. This process improves drainage, offers aeration, and ensures your marijuana plants receive adequate nutrients.
  • Sand-Rich Soil: This is a good option because it drains well and warms quickly. On the downside, it doesn’t hold nutrients very well, and this can be problematic in wetter climates. Dig holes for the plants and add peat moss and compost to bind the soil together. If you live in a warm environment, mulch the soil to prevent the roots from overheating. This process also helps the soil retain water.
  • Silt-Rich Soil: This is the best soil for growing marijuana plants because it warms rapidly. It also has excellent drainage, holds moisture, and is easy to work with. You will find the best silty soil at the bottom of lakes or in prehistoric riverbeds.

Step #4: Add Some Fertilizer to the Plants

For outdoor growers, it is best if you skip commercial fertilizers and focus on organic fertilizers. You should add it to the soil before planting and throughout the growth cycle. Natural options include:

  • Compost
  • Kelp Meal
  • Blood meal
  • Fish meal
  • Worm castings

Adding these to the soil before planting means you won’t have to add as much fertilizer during the growing cycle. After planting your marijuana in premium quality soil, you don’t need to add anything else for a few weeks.

It is tempting to make your soil amendments with store-bought fertilizers, but remember, they are filled with chemicals. This can significantly impact the flavor and aroma of the finished product.

If you elect to purchase soil from a store, don’t assume that it has a balanced pH level. Also, don’t think that it will maintain this standard for the duration of the season, either. Ideally, your soil’s pH will be 7.0. However, it may change over the course of a couple of months and become too alkaline or acidic.

It is a fact that some store-bought soils are too acidic at the beginning. This means you have to use organic fertilizers after a couple of weeks because the plants are lacking crucial nutrients.

Composting is the way forward because it is cheap and relatively simple. You can also add all sorts of organic matter from fruit clippings to animal manure. Avoid using meat or animal fat as it will attract pests.

See also  Autoflowering Cannabis Seeds

Make sure you layer the compost heap and ensure it has proper airflow. Turn the heap every few weeks and test the pH regularly to ensure it is balanced. These days, consumers are turning to super-soil to help fertilize their plants. This is organic pre-fertilized soil, which contains all the nutrients your marijuana needs.

Step #5: The Importance of Properly Watering Your Cannabis Plants

Obviously, your plants need water, and the benefit of growing outdoors is that your marijuana should be exposed to rainwater. However, in places like California, the hot summer months mean minimal rainfall, so you have to water your plants manually. The main danger is overwatering your cannabis. A good rule of thumb is that a large plant needs 10 gallons of water a day during hot weather.

If you live in a dry and hot climate, then try this tip. Dig beneath your plants before adding rocks or clay-rich soil beneath the planting holes as a means of slowing drainage. Some growers believe that adding polymer crystals to the soil helps improve water retention as these crystals absorb water.

Three Ways to Boost Drainage

Those who live in wetter than average climates need to improve drainage. Marijuana that grows in waterlogged conditions is susceptible to root diseases. Here are three ways to improve the drainage of your soil:

  1. Plant your weed in beds or raised mounds.
  2. Dig ditches to ensure that the water flows away from your plants.
  3. Add clay pebbles, perlite, and gravel to the soil.

If you use tap water, test it first. It could have a significant number of dissolved minerals that build up in the soil and impact the pH level. Alternatively, tap water could contain an excessive amount of chlorine, which is very bad for the soil. Therefore, we recommend filtering the water you use.

Some people use a container garden instead of planting straight into the soil. If you opt for this, bear in mind that they dry out much faster than soil. Therefore, you may have to water your plants daily. Additional watering is also necessary for warm or windy conditions. To avoid overwatering, wait for the top inch of the soil to be dry before adding more. Invest in a soil moisture meter to make things easier.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Step #6: Select Carefully the Type of Container You Need

If this is your first outdoor grow, you may not realize that the surrounding soil is unsuitable for growth until you try and use it. If so, you have no choice but to use container gardens.

Also, when using natural soil, you have to dig holes and amend the soil regularly. For people with debilitating medical conditions, this level of manual labor will prove difficult.

One of the main advantages of container gardens is that you can place them anywhere. Therefore, you can grow your weed on a patio or even on a rooftop. Make sure you move the plants around to make the most of the available sunlight. You can also use store-bought nutrient-rich soil, which simplifies the fertilization process.

Take note that growing the weed in containers will impact the size of the plant. Container-grown marijuana will be smaller because root growth is restricted. In other words, the size of the container determines the size of the plant.

You will have to learn specialized techniques if you wish to grow a few large plants.

Don’t use a container smaller than five gallons. If you want large plants, try 15+ gallon containers. There are even 100-gallon container bags!

If you live in a warm climate, be wary of excessive heat damaging the roots. It is normal for container-grown pots of soil to exceed 90 degrees on a hot day. Always water the plants generously in the morning to ensure they don’t dry out during sweltering afternoons.

Airflow is also critical, so be sure to invest in breathable containers. These enable air to penetrate the root zone quickly and ensure that oxygen gets to the roots. Once marijuana plants breathe in the CO2, the roots use the most with the highest consumption occurring at night.

Step #7: Protect your Cannabis Plants from Pets and Inclement Weather

Outdoor cannabis growers face a significant disadvantage compared to their indoor growing counterparts; outdoor plants are vulnerable to inclement weather. Also, plants grown outdoors are susceptible to attack from pests and pets. Rapid changes in the weather can damage or even kill cannabis plants, while animals and aphids are a constant threat.

Protecting Your Marijuana Plant from Pets & Pests

Don’t just focus solely on bothersome insects. Larger animals such as rodents, dogs, cats, rabbits, deer, and raccoons can damage or eat your crop.

While insects damage your plants over a few days or weeks, larger animals can destroy them in minutes. You must examine your cannabis plants daily.

You should be able to deal with animal threats by surrounding your plants with a high and sturdy wire fence. If you are concerned about birds, you can place netting over the plants.

Threats like moles, who push up from the soil beneath your plants, require extra planning. An excellent way to prevent them from causing damage is by building a fence around 2-3 feet beneath the soil. You can also use deterrents such as urine from predators like coyotes, to ward off rabbits, gophers, and raccoons. Household items such as garlic and castor oil are pretty effective deterrents, too.

Homemade solutions for every g…

It is imperative that you keep your marijuana healthy because blooming plants have a natural resistance to specific pests. You can add ladybugs and lacewings, as these predators keep harmful pests at bay while doing no damage themselves.

Pyrethrum is one of the most popular organic insecticide options. Homemade remedies include combining soap with water and misting your plants with it. Soap and water solution is effective against a mild outbreak

Garlic is useful for fighting beetles. Check your plants daily for signs of infestation and act immediately if you see any issues.

Another method of fighting pests is to grow companion plants. Companion plants are plants of a different species to cannabis that you plant near your crop. Clover, rosemary, basil, and marigold are good choices as they are capable of repelling pests.

Protecting Your Weed from Rain & Wind

High winds are a significant problem for cannabis growers as it can damage the plants. It can break branches, damage trichomes, and leave your weed vulnerable to disease and infestation. Any type of excess strain like this can over-stress the plants, causing the buds to produce seeds. You do not want this to happen.

If your crop is in a windy spot, create a windbreak such as a wall. Alternatively, tying perforated plastic sheeting to garden stakes is also effective.

Although rainwater helps your plants grow, too much of it results in mold and mildew. This problem is at its worst during the flowering stage.

If you live in a wet climate, choose a mold-resistant marijuana strain, and support it with stakes or cages. Otherwise, the rain will collect on buds and leaves, and your plants will be weighed down. Alternatively, try and predict wet spells and be prepared by adding a makeshift shelter to your crop.

Protecting Your Precious Crop from High Temperatures

It is best to maintain the temperature between 55-86 degrees Fahrenheit for as much of the growing cycle as possible. Marijuana plants can survive outside this range for short periods.

However, once the temperature goes below 42 degrees Fahrenheit, most varieties of cannabis will be damaged quickly. If excessively cold temperatures are a problem, use protection such as cold frames, hot caps, or cloches.

Step #8: Choose the Right Genetics

It’s essential to first consider your climate because it will dictate the kind of marijuana strain you’re able to grow. If you live in an area with a history of cannabis growing, find out what strains people have grown. There is also a good possibility that there are strains available explicitly for that climate.

Picking the Right Marijuana Strains for Your Climate

Whether you like it or not, certain strains don’t grow well in specific climates. No matter how much care and attention you give your crop, its yield will always be disappointing.

It is important to remember that cannabis plants start flowering as the days get shorter. This is why growing marijuana in northern latitudes is a problem. Your cannabis will flower. However, the process happens too late to get the most from the sun in late summer.

Southern California growers can grow these strains and not worry about late flowering due to plentiful sunshine. Growers in British Columbia, on the other hand, won’t achieve a decent yield because they won’t finish flowering until December. By that time, the lack of light, cold weather, and heavy rainfall will probably have killed the plant.

Cannabis Seeds vs. Clones – Choosing the Best Seeds on the Market

The best genes equal the best marijuana. Marijuana with good genetics not only smells and tastes fantastic but is also extremely potent.

Indoor growers tend to grow their marijuana from clones, while outdoor growers prefer to grow from seed. You can get quality buds using either method, and they both have their advantages and drawbacks.

Clones

If you elect to clone, you need a mother plant. It’s possible to buy clones from your local dispensary. However, bear in mind, clones require at least 16 hours of light a day to ensure that they don’t flower.

All clones are female plants that have the same traits, and they are known for producing premium quality weed.

You must root the clones indoors before they are ‘hardened off.’ This is the process of moving a plant outdoors for a few hours a day. This method gradually exposes them to air, cold nights, and sunlight.

The main downside to using clones is that they produce small yields. If you want a more abundant harvest, you have to grow the clones indoors during the winter and early spring. Cloned plants never develop the thick central taproot that goes into the ground, which stabilizes the plant and consumes groundwater. As a result, they are vulnerable to drought and windy conditions.

Seeds

Plants grown from seed offer larger yields and are more robust in the face of inclement weather conditions. You can plant these seeds in the garden in the spring, even if it is still cold and wet outside. Another option is to begin the growing process indoors, but they have to be hardened off eventually before they are transplanted.

The chief downside to growing from seed is that the outcome is less predictable than it is with clones. If you don’t choose an inbred seed line, you could end up with a different plant to the one you expected. Also, cannabis seeds produce males and females. This means you have to sex your plants when they achieve sexual maturity. This process involves culling the male plants. You can avoid this issue by purchasing feminized seeds.

One other option for outdoor growing is auto-flowering seeds. As soon as they reach maturity, these plants begin to bloom irrespective of the length of the days. If you live in a temperate climate, you will benefit from two crops every year by using auto-flowering seeds. Simply plant one crop in late winter (or even early spring), and another at the beginning of summer.

Step #9: Cut Your Cannabis Plants Carefully

You can use training tools such as screens and ties to ensure the plants grow in a specific shape. You need to prune your plants if you’re concerned about height control; an essential element of low-key growing!

See also  Best Weed Seeds For Cold Climate

Make sure you trim your plants regularly to help them attain optimum growth. Get rid of unnecessary cannabis cuttings because leaving dead leaves and branches will only attract pests. Pruning also enables you to shape your plant. If you see new shoots that are not growing properly, take a pair of pruning scissors and trim them away. This will help your plants develop bigger buds.

The type of strain you’re growing dictates the duration of flowering. For example, most sativa strains will go through the full growth and flowering cycle in a little over three months.

Lastly, make sure female plants are not exposed to males. Otherwise, pollination could occur – a process that decreases the quality of the harvest. If your strain begins flowering during a wet season, excess moisture exposure could prove troublesome. In this instance, find shelter for the plants to prevent mold and mildew growth.

Step #10: Grow, Enjoy, Repeat!

Most cannabis strains are ready for harvest between the end of September and the first week or two of October. Although, this does depend on the strain and climate conditions. Monitor pistil and trichome formation to gain a better idea of when your plants are ready for harvesting.

The growing process can take anywhere from two months to 8+ months. Your plants are ready to be harvested when approximately 70% of its pistils turn from white to a reddish-brown color. If the pistils are turning red, harvest immediately!

Other signs that it is time to harvest include brown resin on the buds, a broader stem, and if the leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow and die back.

The plant’s trichomes should have turned an opaque white color at this stage, too. This is a good indication that they are fully mature and ready for harvesting.

Experienced growers also recommend keeping an eye out for a change in color in the plant’s stigma. A good sign that the plant is ready for harvesting is when the stigma changes in color from white to orange. However, most growers agree that the most accurate method to determine when it is time to harvest is to wait until the trichomes have turned opaque white.

You must be careful not to wait too long to harvest because marijuana plants suffer a decline in health once they have completed the flowering phase.

Is There a Precise Time to Harvest?

It is impossible to provide a ‘precise’ time to harvest. Most experts believe that you should harvest an indica strain eight weeks after flowering. Sativas usually require harvesting ten weeks after flowering. Strains that come from auto-flowering seeds should take ten weeks to grow from seedling to bud. These are just simple guides, however.

When harvesting outdoors, make sure you have the requisite tools. When it’s time, bring sealable bags. We recommend carrying a holdall if you use Ziploc bags for added security. Cut the marijuana plants into lengths that make them easy to transport. In other words, make sure they fit in your bags!

Congratulations! You have successfully grown a healthy and hearty batch of marijuana. We would love to tell you that it’s time to light up and celebrate. However, there are a few more key things you have to do first. Most pertinently, curing and drying the buds.

Once you have a successful harvest under your belt, move onto the next stage with our article on Drying and Curing Cannabis Buds.

EDITOR’S CHOICE – Homegrown CannabisCo

Homegrown CannabisCo are the masters when it comes to seeds. Offering a massive variety of cannabis seeds that are well categorized, not only does this company create a resource for superb quality options including feminized seeds, it also provides extensive growing information for those looking for some support along their journey.

Growing cannabis outdoors

Growing cannabis outdoors has been mans traditional method of growing his favourite recreational and medicinal herb for thousands of years.

Nature has provided cannabis with the adaptations and toughness needed to grow in many regions. Specialist selective breeding by the more professional cannabis seed suppliers has produced some truly outstanding varieties that will produce excellent cannabis in non-tropical northern European climates and even thousands of metres above sea level.

For those growers that don’t wish to grow cannabis indoors or in greenhouses, outdoor growing is a great and easy way to produce your stash. Growing cannabis outdoors with good quality feminized cannabis seed not only gives amazingly powerful weed but it also produces some of the best tasting cannabis with deep flavours and rich aromas.

What is important to know

How to choose an outdoor or garden growing spot?

For some people, outdoor growing means a secure and private part of their back garden or even a balcony. In some parts of the world this is too risky, so growers will choose a private and often remote spot in the countryside where they can grow their cannabis seeds.

Internet maps or local knowledge can be used to find private sun-facing locations. It’s very important that you put your plant in a spot with as many sun hours as possible. Also check if there is any moss growing near the spot you wish to grow. Moss is often an indication for an abundance of moisture, which can give you mold troubles during flowering.

Is your chosen grow location a windy spot or not? While some wind can help strengthen the stems and plant itself, too much wind will damage the plant, restrict growth rates and can cause them to die early. Not enough wind in an enclosed environment can also cause troubles with humidity because of still air, so choose wisely. Many growers like to have a few different grow locations, spreading the risk.

Growing outdoor cannabis seeds

Selecting your location

Which type of soil do you have at your grow location? Is it possible to carry your own soil to the location? If the location is too remote to allow you to carry your own soil you will need to consider if you can work with the soil which is available. If the soil at your chosen grow location is just too sandy or has too much clay you may struggle to grow.

Is there water available nearby? If you are in a hot and dry climate it is always preferred to grow near a river, lake or stream. This allows easy access to water in hot conditions.

Can other people see your plants? Privacy is key if you want a successful harvest. When growing in your own garden it is recommended to keep plants low so neighbours or people that pass by can’t actually see the plants. It’s a risk you should avoid. If people can see cannabis plants, it’s usually just a matter of time before problems start. Often people call the police or steal the crop themselves.

SCROG grow technique

Growing autoflowers (which often stay around a metre in height) or using grow techniques like an outdoor SCROG to reduce the height of the plants are both popular with outdoor growers using their own garden. When growing guerrilla style, it is very important to protect your plants from the eye of unwanted visitors. Many that see your plants will wait until it is almost time to harvest and steal your plants before you can put your scissors to good use.

Those growing outdoors on their own land should be able to ensure that the plants receive all the water and nutrients that they need. This should guarantee the very best results assuming they originally invested in quality feminized cannabis seeds or autoflower seeds.

Those lucky enough to live in a Mediterranean climate with a private sun terrace are ideally placed for easy outdoor cannabis growing.

How do I select the perfect outdoor cannabis seed variety?

Step 1

Which climate are you in? Northern European climate, Mediterranean? Desert or Jungle? Select the right variety that is most suitable for your environment with a bloom time which works for your climate..

Step 2

Are you growing them in your own garden or guerrilla style? Some plants will be more suitable for guerrilla farming. Dutch Passion Hollands Hope for example was developed to be grown in the corn fields to become mature and ready to be cut faster than the corn that was grown by the farmer.

Other Dutch Passion outdoor cannabis seed varieties, like Frisian Dew, Passion #1 and Durban Poison are real outdoor champions. They will do well both in guerrilla style grows as well as the garden, because they have vigorous growth and better resistance to mould and fungus.

Autoflowers need to be checked more regularly because of their short, accelerated growing cycle. They benefit from a little more protection more than traditional photoperiod strains, which have 2-4 months just for vegetive growth. Where possible, regular visits to your outdoor autoflowers allows you to keep on top of small pest outbreaks, nutrient & water issues etc.

Step 3

What type of plant are you looking for? A big yielding plant? A certain type of high? Type of flavor? Does the strain need to be short? Will it cause visibility problems if the plant gets too tall? You may wish to keep your plant below a certain height to prevent others from seeing it.

If so, don’t grow Sativa dominant fem varieties, choose Indica’s, Indica-dominant hybrids or grow strictly autoflowers if you want them below 1.50 – 1.75m. Choose wisely. A stretchy Sativa variety can easily reach 3m tall and will be visible from some distance.

When growing cannabis outdoors think carefully about the variety. Not all strains are suited to outdoors, so read the reviews carefully and choose a good seed supplier. The best outdoor strains for Northern-Western Europe (or similar climates) were often developed over a period of several years, selectively breeding those offspring that displayed the best suitability to outdoor conditions as well as retaining premium potency levels.

This is a full time job that requires an expert ability not just to create premium outdoor strains but also to stabilise them. Some good examples are the best selling outdoor varieties Frisian Dew®. Hollands Hope®, Passion#1® and Durban Poison®.

You can also choose one of the autoflowers, which are all suitable for growing outdoors during spring and summer.

When can I start growing cannabis outdoors?

It’s important to place your cannabis plants outside after the last frost. That’s because young seedlings struggle to survive if planted out too early. Starting around the middle of May is generally a safe option for northern European growers. The outdoor grower typically grows from April/May to October in the northern hemisphere.

Outdoor growers often germinate the cannabis seeds indoors and give their plants a head-start by growing them indoors under lights for a few weeks with an 18/6 or 20/4 light schedule. Outdoor cannabis growers often acclimatise their plants to outdoor temperatures gradually before permanently planting them outdoors. This allow the plants to adapt slowly from indoor conditions to outdoor life.

It’s also possible for northern European growers to start growing cannabis outdoors around the beginning of April with the help of a greenhouse or polytunnel. This will help protect the plants from the worst of the early season weather. In mediterranean climates the growing season is longer and more varieties can be successfully grown. Growers in the southern hemisphere often grow cannabis outdoors from October to April.

When can I harvest my outdoor cannabis?

Harvest times given on this website are for the Dutch climate and latitude. Most outdoor varieties you can find in the ‘Dutch Outdoor‘ selection on our website. All our outdoor feminized cannabis seed varieties are carefully selected, developed and bred in Holland. This makes them very suitable to grow in the Dutch climate (or similar), which can be very wet and cold from time to time.

Important for these varieties is that they finish flowering early in the year. Good examples are varieties like Frisian Dew®. Hollands Hope®, Passion#1® and Durban Poison®. You can harvest these outdoor varieties from around the end of September until late October. Because the genetics of these outdoor varieties have been bred to handle bad weather conditions, in combination with an early finish, they are perfect for outdoor growing in Northern latitudes.

See also  Germinating Old Weed Seeds

Many outdoor cannabis growers with short growing seasons grow feminized autoflower seeds. These grow from seed to harvest in around 100 days outdoors, the shorter life cycle of the autoflowering cannabis varieties makes them a good choice for outdoor growers.

With autoflower seeds it is possible to grow 2 successive crops in one outdoor growing season, (or even 3 in warm sunny Mediterranean conditions) but you need to prepare and time it well.

Can I grow ‘indoor’ cannabis seed varieties outdoor as well?

All “indoor” and “outdoor” cannabis seed varieties can be grown outdoors at warmer latitudes. For this reason, the harvest time under natural light is also given for all the “indoor” varieties.

Greenhouse seed varieties and indoor varieties can be grown outdoors in Central and Southern Europe with very good results. In more Northern latitudes (Scandinavia, UK etc) only the outdoor varieties that are harvested early can be grown outdoors. Frisian Dew is particularly well regarded by northern European growers.

Growing cannabis outdoors with the best autoflower seeds

Many growers at extreme northern/southern latitudes find that autoflower seeds are the best option for a short growing season. Many dedicated ‘Indoor’ varieties simply finish flowering much too late. This increases the risk of bad weather conditions destroying your harvest.

A Haze variety which would finish outdoor bloom in November may be possible to grow in southern Spain, but it would be unsuitable for central or northern Europe. Most “outdoor” varieties cannot be grown indoors as well, unless mentioned in the variety description.

Grow in pots or directly into the soil?

Those growing on their own land may have the option of growing the cannabis plants in plant pots or rooting them directly into the soil. Plant pots have the advantage of being portable but will need regular watering in hot weather. Putting your plant in a pot also allows the user to place and relocate the plant into a sunny spot when needed.

The experienced grower will often avoid ‘black’ plant containers which get very hot in direct sunlight. They will also avoid putting plant pots directly onto a hot surface (e.g. tiled terrace) which will stress the roots.

Bigger pots for oudoor grows

When growing outdoors in pots it is recommended to use bigger pots than usual. For photoperiod plants you can use pots from 50litres upwards to a few hundred litres if you want to grow Californian style monsters.

For outdoor autoflowers use anywhere between 20 – 50 litre containers. The longer the autoflowers grow, the bigger the pot needs to be. The extra soil in the pot will create a bufferzone to prevent the soil from completely drying out. Even though most autoflowers will not fill the 50L pot completely with roots, the pot itself will hold more moisture than a 10L pot. This increases your chance of success and reduces the chance of plants struggling due to lack of water. Make sure to use a well-aerated pot like Autopot, Rootpouch or Smartpot for the best results.

Growing in pots gives you more control (as described above) and provides the plants with more air/oxygen at the root zone which stimulates faster and healthier growth.

Furthermore rain water will flush plants that are grown in pots more than plants which are rooted into the ground. This gives the grower a better control of nutrients when growing plants in containers.

What should I look for when growing outside? (Guerrilla cannabis grow)

One of the most important factors for the outdoor grower is to correctly identify and prepare the site. Your cannabis seeds are valuable, so it’s well worth taking extra time to check and evaluate plenty of possible grow sites.

The ideal grow site should get unrestricted sun for as much of the day as possible. Protection from strong winds will also shield your crop. A grow site will often benefit from shelter; a small earth bank, a fallen tree stem or thick bushes can not only protect the plant from prevailing winds but it may also protect the plant from animals and unwelcome human attention.

Having a close source of water, such as a nearby stream can make it easy to get water to your crop during hot weather.

How do I pick a private safe spot for my outdoor grow?

Those growing outdoors may not always be able to visit the plants regularly so a grow spot has to be chosen which is private, sunny and with some protection from animals such as rabbits and deer that will eat the cannabis. Some growers surround their secret grow spot with branches and undergrowth to conceal the crop and deter grazing animals.

Other growers deliberately plant thorny plants (blackberry plants etc) around their grow area to provide lasting and effective protection. This technique usually involves systematically surrounding the grow patch with a thick, tall and impenetrable barrier to humans and animals

How do I protect my outdoor guerrilla plant?

Those growing outdoors may not always be able to visit the plants regularly so a grow spot has to be chosen which is private, sunny and with some protection from animals such as rabbits and deer that will happily munch the plants if not kept away.

Some growers surround their secret cannabis grow spot with branches and undergrowth to conceal the crop and deter grazing animals. Other growers deliberately plant thorny plants (blackberry plants etc) around their grow area to provide lasting and effective protection. This technique usually involves systematically surrounding the grow patch with a thick, tall and impenetrable barrier to humans and animals. When done properly there is absolutely no way that anyone could guess cannabis plants are growing nearby.

Often the only way into the centre of such a grow is by crawling along the ground through a single secure route that can be easily covered and hidden.

A good tip for outdoor growers is to surround the plants with chicken wire, or a similar green garden wire. This helps keep animals away from the young and vulnerable plants. Once the plants are larger they become more difficult to be eaten.

How do I prepare the soil for the cannabis seeds?

Many outdoor growers will use organic fertilisers such as bat guano, worm castings, bloodmeal, bonemeal etc to improve soil condition before the grow starts, perhaps digging in plenty of compost as well. More proficient outdoor growers will test the soil when preparing the site and fertilise it accordingly. Professional soil testing kits can be bought from garden centres which will indicate the soil type, the pH and factors such as sand content, loam and clay content etc. There is no ‘perfect’ soil for growing in and different varieties will often perform well in a range of conditions so long as nutrients are present, drainage is good and pH is within 5.8-6.5.

Growing cannabis seeds outdoors organically

These days many outdoor growers often have a preference to grow organically, avoiding chemical pesticides, additive and fertilisers where possible. BioTabs are a nutrient company who specialise in making grow additives from entirely natural materials. A full range of products are available. One of the most popular products are the palm-sized general fertilizer tablets.

BioTabs take plant root health very seriously, the products contain beneficial bacteria which create a healthy root zone as well as supplying all the required minerals for healthy plant growth. Just place a few of the tablets in and around the root zone.

Many growers dig a hole somewhere between 5-100 litres. Often they will fill this with a high quality pre-made soil from the garden centre/grow-shop. The plant (and supplementary BioTab nutrient tablets) are just placed in the hole and then watered.

For most growers it isn’t necessary to test soil pH, but professional growers with large crops and a business to run will take soil quality very seriously.

Helpful tips for preparing the soil

Visits to the grow spot will often involve checking the plants for pests and treating them accordingly. In dry weather water may need bringing to the plants. Some outdoor growers transport their own soil to the grow site, often it will have been pre-enriched with e.g. worm castings and perhaps water absorbent gel crystals will have been added.

Water absorbent gel crystals can be bought in many garden centres and absorb excess moisture swelling into large water retaining gel particles. These then slowly release the water during dryer times. They allow plants to thrive with additional water reserves for their roots even in drought conditions.

It is crucial to keep the soil in the best condition possible for the plants. This allows the plants to grow in optimized conditions, and gives you the best chance of producing the best results from your cannabis seeds. Some growers mix coco fibre in with the soil, this increases aeration and is particularly useful if the soil is heavy with a high clay content.

As previously mentioned, BioTabs produce compressed nutrient tablets which slowly release all necessary nutrients into the soil throughout the full grow cycle of the cannabis plant. BioGrow are another proven nutrient provider for outdoor growers. As well as releasing nutrients, BioTabs also produce a healthy microbiological root zone for the plants.

Check the soil doesn’t become too dry during summer. Your plants will need moist nutritious soil to reach their full potential. Although it isn’t absolutely critical to offer your outdoor plants supplementary nutrition, many experienced outdoor growers like to monitor their plants through the complete grow cycle and will add extra nutrition to the soil when they feel it necessary. The best quality outdoor cannabis seeds will produce exceptional results in optimized soil/environmental conditions.

Growing cannabis in the canopy of a tree

Some growers prefer the seclusion remote forests, woods or mountains for complete peace-of-mind and security. A new technique is to grow cannabis plants in large soil-filled sacks that have been hoisted into the tree canopy.

This technique allows growers to choose locations that may be closer to home since the plants are completely invisible to people passing nearby. Plants grown in this way benefit from all-day sunlight and can be grown relatively close to cities and villages without raising suspicion. Just make sure that the sack is securely fixed in place.

Please note that this method does not allow a grower to keep close track of their grow and comes with certain risks of getting your plants where they need to be.

Outdoor growing can be challenging but fun

Sometimes the hardest part of outdoor growing is selecting the right location and preparing it for the cannabis plants/seeds. Often the outdoor grower will have several different grow locations and accepts that losing the occasional plant is an occupational hazard.

Once the spot is ready it will often be used for many years of harvesting by the outdoor cannabis grower. Outdoor growing is challenging but fun, it may require ingenious thinking and professional preparation but when done correctly the outdoor grower can experience the thrill and satisfaction from harvesting all his herbal supplies free of charge, the way nature intended.

A well planned outdoor grow deserves fully proven genetics. Dutch Passion have been relied on since the 1980’s for the best outdoor cannabis seeds. With numerous cannabis cups over many decades, Dutch Passion have earned their reputation for their high quality outdoor cannabis seeds. You can expect heavy yields of top strength cannabis from varieties which are easy to grow and less susceptible to disease and pests.

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