The marijuana that you bought today is either grown indoors or outdoors. Many people grow indoors due to several reasons such as crop security but why would you want to grow cannabis outdoors? And if you decided that you want to, how would you know that it is possible and how should you do you plant marijuana seeds?
WHY GROW OUTDOORS OR INDOORS
To begin, growing indoors has lots of benefits compared to growing outdoors. One of these is protection. In a well-controlled environment, your plants are protected from different dangers such as pests and other natural phenomena such as heavy wind and rain and possibly, human and animal intruders. But the greatest thing about growing outdoors is that you do not need a planting season. Every month is a planting season as you are in control of everything such as lighting, temperature, and even your soil quality.
Having said these things, growing outdoors still has lots of benefits compared to indoor growing. Despite the popularity of indoor cannabis growing areas with the recent developments in artificial lighting, climate control, and others, nothing beats growing marijuana outdoors wherever it is possible. Greater yields are reported with by outdoor growers compared to the indoor yield of others.
IDEAL OUTDOOR CONDITIONS
Perhaps the most important thing about growing cannabis outdoors is the climate. Climate dictates what kind of temperature ranges you have in your areas such as temperate, desert and others. You will know if you can grow cannabis outdoors if you live in a climate that has temperatures ranging between 20 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius throughout your growing season.
Growers describe the ideal climate for growing cannabis outdoors as the Mediterranean climate which is characterized by warm summers, mild fall weather, and less rainfall. In the United States, California, Oregon, and Washington have these climates which are ideal for growing marijuana outdoors.
But if you live in an area that is colder or rainy, you may still find some marijuana varieties that thrive in these conditions.
Speaking of seasons, the seasons in your place where you are going to grow marijuana outdoors also matter. You want to grow marijuana in the season which has the most sunlight as marijuana loves sunlight and they require about 16 hours of daylight to give great yields.
These two conditions, climate and season are two general things that we would talk about to relieve us the burden of discussing different geographical locations such as the northern hemisphere or South hemisphere and others. Generalizing the ideal growing conditions by identifying the factors that matter most will greatly simplify the issue.
MARIJUANA VARIETY FOR GROWING OUTDOORS
Marijuana is divided into different species and they are classified according to the family they belong to as either Sativa, Indica or Ruderalis. They may even be divided between regular and feminized. But the thing that would matter to us the most is whether they are photoperiodic or autoflowering.
PHOTOPERIODIC PLANTS: Some marijuana plants are photoperiodic which means that these plants will only enter the flowering stage after their vegetative stage once the amount of light they receive is decreased drastically.
Photoperiodic plants are easy to grow indoors because you could simply expose them to artificial light for 18 hours a day from their seedling stage up to their vegetative stage and reducing their light cycle to 12 hours once they are at the end of their vegetative stage.
AUTOFLOWERING PLANTS: Autoflowering plants are different. Autoflowering plants do not need the photoperiod of regular cannabis plants as they would approach their flowering stage directly from their vegetative stage simply by age. Autoflowering cannabis plants do not need to have their light cycles changed to enter the flowering stage. It is also easy to grow autoflowering plants as you do not need to change their light cycles throughout their entire lives but this characteristic of theirs is going to make cultivating outside much easier.
Your plant genetics will also affect your choice of whatever plant to grow outdoors depending on the climate or temperature ranges in your area. Some marijuana plants naturally thrive in the Mediterranean climate that we discussed earlier but will not survive in areas with colder summers and rainy winters. You may need to ask your local seed bank and friendly local growers about which plants are good to grow outdoors in your area. But here is a rundown:
SATIVA: Sativa cannabis typically grows in the equatorial regions in the world. This means that if you live in an area that snows in the winter, you may have difficulty growing these as they have long flowering cycles of up to 14 weeks and planting them in the spring may not give you time to harvest until fall. If you live in such an area, you might find better luck with the Indica variants.
INDICA: As the name suggests, this marijuana type thrives in India and the Middle East, particularly in their mountain areas and so they can survive cold climates but they do not love humid and rainy areas. If you are in a really cold area and wish to plant autoflowering plants, you may opt to plant the Ruderalis variety instead.
RUDERALIS: These are genes that are found in the autoflowering plants and they thrive in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Alaska. They have very short flowering times, high in CBD but low in THC and are quite resilient and easy to grow.
The best marijuana plant to grow outdoors are autoflowering plants as they do not require photoperiod and one of the best characteristics they have is that they mature quicker and you could harvest them in within 3 months. But if you plan to cultivate regular cannabis plants outdoors, things would get a little complicated and you may need a growing calendar.
THE GROWING CALENDAR
A growing calendar is a calendar prepared by growers in your area that would suit your cultivation needs. It contains all the necessary information about when to plant and when to harvest depending on the type of plant you wish to cultivate as they differ greatly in their harvest times. We could not give you a detailed growing calendar for each area because growing calendars are locally published and these are the calendars that you should look for both online or in any cannabis resource center in your area. You local seed bank may also help you with it. We will not be able to help you make your growing calendar let us discuss how to look at a marijuana growing calendar in your area if ever you’ve seen one.
GERMINATION AND INDOOR GROWING: You will have to let your seeds germinate and grow into seedlings indoors as seeds and seedlings are very delicate. It is ideal to begin germinating during the Vernal equinox in March which will be discussed further below.
SOWING AND MOVING OUTDOORS: Sowing and moving outdoors meant planting or transplanting your marijuana plant to soil on the ground or in a pot once your plants are quite robust already as seedlings to get sunlight. This is best done during the summer solstice on June 21
TOPPING AND PRUNING: Topping and pruning are ways to keep your plants healthy. Topping is cutting the top branch after the plant grows five nodes or more for your plant to bush out and grow laterally than vertically. A bushy plant will be able to receive more sunlight and is more physically stable than tall plants of the same type. This is best done during the September equinox which happens on September 21 in the northern hemisphere.
Pruning is done to remove dead leaves and lower branches that do not receive enough sunlight.
HARVESTING: Harvesting buds is the climax of your cultivation and you must time it right before winter becomes too cold in your area. This is best done in the winter solstice or December 21 in the northern hemisphere.
UNDERSTANDING THE MARIJUANA PLANTING SEASONS
Below are the important seasonal phases as well which you have to consider wherever you are:
VERNAL EQUINOX: Also known as March equinox or Spring equinox, this happens on March 21 in the Northern hemisphere. It is the time when the center of the sun is at the center of the equator. It is better to be called March equinox as March is the beginning of autumn in the southern hemisphere.
SUMMER SOLSTICE: Also known as midsummer and happens when one of the earth’s pole is at its maximum tilt towards the sun and marks the longest day in terms of daylight.
SEPTEMBER EQUINOX: September equinox is also known as Fall equinox which happens on September 22. It is better to be called as September equinox because September is the beginning of spring in the Southern hemisphere.
WINTER SOLSTICE: This is the opposite of the summer solstice and this is the time of the shortest day in terms of daylight.
This is the most information that we could give and the best information you need in order to grow marijuana outdoors could be found locally in your area. So, ask around and check with local folks about the information we have given on which choices you could take in planting marijuana seeds and in order to secure for yourself a bountiful harvest.