How To Protect Cannabis Plants Outdoors
There are a lot of benefits to growing outdoors but you need to be careful, too much rain, wind or extreme temperatures can affect your plants, if you don’t want to have your harvest affected you should protect your cannabis plants.
1. Why protect your plants?
When growing outdoors our plants are exposed to the environment and, in nature, there are a lot of things that can affect our cannabis plants.
Because your plants are exposed, bad weather can seriously affect your plants, despite being able to check on the internet the expected weather for the next couple of weeks, a storm can come out of nowhere.
Too much rain, excessive heat or cold or frost can make our plants the perfect spot for pests and bugs to appear, even if you check your plants everyday, it’s a good idea to have protection for the days you won’t be home.
Protecting your plants outdoors is fairly easy, you don’t even need to spend much. With a little bit of work you can build a small greenhouse to keep your plants safe from bad weather, have companion plants to protect them from pests or place a wire cage against predators.
Remember that your plants can get attacked by bigger animals also, like moles, gophers, cats and dogs so having the appropriate protection will save you from worrying at all.
2. What do we protect plants from?
As you may know, cannabis can easily get stressed if you keep your plants in bad conditions for a long time, if this happens your plant can slow down growth, start to show signs of stress or even become a hermaphrodite and all of these things can affect your harvest.
Plants (not only cannabis) can and will get stressed if they get too cold, hot or get parts eaten by bugs or bigger animals, the most common elements you should protect them from are:
Heat or cold
When your plants are kept in excessive heat they’ll start to curl their leaves to try to conserve the water left in them, if this keeps on going for too long they will start to yellow, get crispy and die.
If they suffer from extreme cold, the leaves can get frostbite and if the temperatures are too low the oxygen available will decrease, resulting in slower growth or no plant growth at all.
Cannabis plants need wind to strengthen the stem and branches but strong wind can not only snap the branches but also completely tear your plant from the ground or pot.
Rain increases the humidity and in combination with the right weather, your plant can get infected with bugs or mold, pests like white flies, spider mites or fungus gnats can rot or kill your plant with ease.
There are a lot of bugs that feed on cannabis, some of them being easier to eliminate than others but all will damage your plant, not only this but cannabis also can get mold so keeping your plants safe is a must if you want a successful harvest.
When growing outdoors you also have to worry about predators, animals like gophers, moles, rabbits or even cats and dogs love to eat cannabis plants so you should take the appropriate safety measures.
Depending on what you’re dealing with, there are simple and effective ways to protect your plants, from building a greenhouse to using nature to your favour, growers have come up with ways of growing top-quality buds outdoors.
3. How to protect your plants?
There are a lot of ways to protect your plants from these things and they’re not expensive, they just require a bit of work, obviously, you don’t need to have all of them but preventing is essential when growing cannabis.
The best way to use these things is to first know what things you think you’ll deal with and then use them in combination, for example, if you know your plants can get attacked by cats and you know the weather will be bad, you can build a greenhouse with a wire fence around to prevent animals from going in.
A greenhouse is fairly easy to build, by having a covered structure you can protect your plants from rain, snow, wind, and harsh weather.
There are several ways to build a greenhouse and it really doesn’t matter what it’s made of as long as it has the basic structure and it’s sturdy enough, this structure will allow you to cover your plants with a plastic sheet when you need to protect them from cold, rain or snow and you also give you the option to cover them with a shade net for hotter days.
Companion planting basically consists of adding other plants to your cannabis garden, plants like lavender, basil and peppermint (and a lot of other plants) produce chemicals that can help keep bugs off.
The strong aroma some of these plants produce will make insects go look for other plants to feed on, although you have to be careful because some plants can spread super fast and can limit the space your cannabis plants have so it’s better to have them in pots.
Some bugs can attack your plants but others actually protect them, using beneficial bugs like companion plants and it’s a good natural way to get rid of pests.
Some insects like the praying mantis, parasitic wasps or ladybugs can help you keep bad insects away from your plants because they feed on caterpillars, crickets and other bugs that may attack your crop.
Have in mind that beneficial bugs won’t eliminate a bug infestation if it already started but are a way to prevent an infestation because they will get rid of those bugs before they start to reproduce.
A wire fence is used to protect plants from bigger animals, cat, dogs, and rabbits (among others) can eat your plants, a lot of animals are attracted to cannabis plants and because of their size, they can kill your plant quite fast so it’s essential to have a wire fence or wire cage around your plant and also underground, protecting the roots from animals that you can’t see, like gophers and moles.
Even though these tips are super effective and will surely prevent a lot of problems, remember it’s essential to check on your plants every day and make sure they’re fine, some things can kill a plant really quick so checking on them every day is the best way to prevent problems.
4. In conclusion
Growing outdoors has a lot of benefits but there are basic safety measures we should have so we don’t risk ending up without a harvest, depending on your growing space you can use some of these methods in combination to make sure your plants are safe at all times.
If you grow outdoors and have more tips to help outdoor growers, please leave us a comment below!
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