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starting cannabis seeds outdoors

Starting cannabis seeds outdoors
Keep in mind that harvesting after October in most areas can be an invitation for mould and excess humidity. In keeping with this, be sure to know the difference between indica and sativa, and how their growing traits differ. Indica-dominant strains will deal better with colder and harsher environments, while sativa-dominant specimens will be more appropriate for hot and humid climates. Additionally, sativa strains often take a few weeks longer to complete the flowering phase, pushing the harvest date further into the future.

Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Growing cannabis outdoors has a lot of advantages, and some consumers simply prefer the flavour and aromas of outdoor-grown flower. In this article, we’ve compiled the most important aspects you need to consider when cultivating weed outside.

A lot of cultivators prefer growing cannabis indoors due to the increased control over the plant’s environment it allows. But outdoor plantations will always have distinct characteristics that certain growers can’t get enough of.

The first, most obvious advantage to outdoor growing is the unlimited vertical space and significant horizontal space it offers. While you can’t control the humidity in the air or whether it will be cloudy or not, you can still bring robust plants to harvest with impressive yields. The aromas and flavours of your plants will develop just as well as they would indoors, and some smokers actually prefer it. Furthermore, it’s difficult to run an organic cannabis operation indoors. Some cultivators believe that if it’s not sun-fed, it’s not organic.

Here are the most important aspects to consider when preparing to grow cannabis outdoors.

CHOOSING LOCATION

Before deciding which strain to grow, you’ll have to figure out the appropriate location for your grow operation. There are numerous factors that influence this decision.

First, you’ll have to consider the high and low temperatures. Cannabis plants shouldn’t be grown when temperatures drop below 12°C. Extreme cold can frost or stress the plant so much, it will eventually die. Similarly, temperatures over 30°C won’t be good either.

Next, you’ll need to make sure your plant is getting enough sunlight during the day. Different regions will receive different amounts of sun during different times of the year. Inform yourself about how this will affect your outdoor cannabis grow, and talk to other growers in the area if possible. Even if they’re not weed growers, local farmers will understand your conditions better than anyone.

Lastly, if possible, choose a location where you can help shelter your plants from especially harsh conditions, such as strong winds and rain. Cover your plants at night if you feel unsafe leaving them out. Furthermore, if you’re only growing a couple plants, consider using pots that you can move inside if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Of course, cropping plants inside a greenhouse will be the safest pseudo-outdoor option.

GENETICS

With your spot chosen, it’s now time to pick a seed. First, you’ll have to consider when harvest month will be, then backtrack to determine the proper time for germination. If you’re purchasing automatic seeds, you will be able to take advantage of the hottest summer months for both vegetation and flowering, without worrying about light cycle. For this reason among other, auto seeds are especially beneficial for beginners.

Keep in mind that harvesting after October in most areas can be an invitation for mould and excess humidity. In keeping with this, be sure to know the difference between indica and sativa, and how their growing traits differ. Indica-dominant strains will deal better with colder and harsher environments, while sativa-dominant specimens will be more appropriate for hot and humid climates. Additionally, sativa strains often take a few weeks longer to complete the flowering phase, pushing the harvest date further into the future.

GERMINATION AND SOIL

The next step is to decide whether you want to germinate your seeds using a specific method, or simply plant them in soil and wait for them to sprout. If you plant them in the soil, you’ll be able to bypass the stress of transplanting seedlings later on. For this method, try placing the seeds in water for 24 first. This will help them germinate, and let you choose the best seeds to plant if you have a limited number of containers.

Another way to germinate is to just place seeds in-between two sheets of moist paper towel. Leave them like this in a dark and warm place. After a few days, you’ll see the taproot breaking free from the seed. At this point, place your little seedling in the soil. Make a hole with a pen. Remember, if it’s too deep, the plant will have difficulty developing.

Soil is also a critical variable to consider before you sow your seeds. If you’re planning on making your own soil mix, we have a great article on the subject. But if you’re planning on buying pre-mixed soil, don’t buy the cheap stuff. It’s important you do your seed justice. If you live somewhere that cannabis cultivation is legal, ask the local grow shop if they have any soil advice. If not, try to go with a cannabis-specific soil that can be purchased online. Do some research to make sure you don’t buy the wrong product.

MAINTAINING THE PLANT

Now that everything is up and running, it’s time to make sure the rest of the process runs smoothly. There is no reason to put in the effort with all that comes before if you’re not going to take great care of plants when they’re growing. Watering will be very important. And it’s even more important to know that there is such a thing as too much water. Some growers will overwater, thinking it won’t do any harm. Take it from us, it definitely can. You should be watering your plants according to the level of moisture in the soil. Allow the soil to become dry before watering the pot more. And when you do water, drench the medium until water runs out through the holes in the bottom of the container.

If you live in a rainy climate and are growing in garden beds, be sure you’re draining your garden properly. Also, be careful with the water you give your plants. Outdoor cannabis plants prefer a pH of between 6.0–7.0, so it’s important that your water doesn’t deviate outside of this range. If your soil mix isn’t providing your plants with the full amount of nutrients they need, you can add liquid fertilisers. However, like water, overdoing it with the fertilisers will hurt you plant more, even killing it in some cases.

PREVENTING PESTS AND OTHER PROBLEMS

This is one of the main disadvantages of outdoor plantations. In an indoor operation, you can control nearly every aspect of the environment, making it much easier to keep most pests out. If you find yourself with an unsolvable problem, there are a few organic cannabis insecticides/pesticides that you can try. Just be sure that whatever product you choose, it’s safe to use on a plant that you’ll be smoking or consuming later.

Protecting your plants from large animals is easy with the help of a fence or chicken wire. But the best way to keep small, nasty creatures away is to ensure your crop is as healthy as possible. There is no simple trick to it. Check your plants daily for pests. This is the easiest way to prevent an infestation. You can also try washing your plants with a solution of water and a bit of soap. This can be a very helpful trick to keep crickets out, and you can read more about those little guys here.

Growing outdoors will make your plants subject to a wide array of uncontrollable environmental factors. You may have to deal with periods of extreme heat or drought, as well as cold. You’ll learn more and more with every challenge you face, which will ultimately make you a better grower. As long as you take care and have a genuine passion for your garden, you’re likely to succeed. Just be sure to keep a careful eye on your plants. Best of luck with your harvest!

Starting cannabis seeds outdoors
It was all a dream, an illusion; during the spring season the weather can often turn ugly, and one week later it’s pouring rain. Your plants, which have barely taken their first steps, are in a totally drenched substrate, the few roots they had managed to develop are submerged in water, the leaves don’t grow and the plant is blocked. In the case of autoflowering varieties, by the time the plant recovers its vigour, it’s too late, as their growth period only lasts a month (they start to flower starting on the 25th-28th day approximately) and the final result will be a disaster. In the best case scenario, you’ll have a very small plant that will yield very little and of poor quality. In the worst case scenario, it will die.

When to germinate your seeds for outdoor growing

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Sometimes, it’s hard to know when it’s the best time to do it, and a very common mistake is to get carried away by the excitement of the moment and start germinating the seeds too early. Below, we give you key advice to determine the best moment depending on the region you live in. Practical and simple advice that will help you to choose the best date. Let’s get started.

Advice nº1: control your eagerness

It’s very common to get carried away by excitement and the eagerness to start sowing. It’s normal, you’ve spent the whole winter awaiting this moment and now it’s here you can’t wait to start. This, precisely, is one of the most common mistakes in outdoor crops: sowing too early. The spring climate is very unstable and can get nasty; it’s important to pay attention.

The sun is not hurried by early risers

There’s a popular belief that the earlier you sow, the faster the process and the earlier the harvest. This is not true; planting earlier will not result in larger, better plants or earlier harvests. It’s a good idea to control your eagerness and patiently await the best moment, when the good weather settles in.

Temperature changes can be fatal during the plant’s first stages; it’s weak and sensitive due to its small size, and if we don’t guarantee continuous hours of sunlight and good weather, they may not grow with the necessary vigour and can even die.

In the case of autoflowering varieties, if you plant them too early you might pay for the mistake dearly. The life cycle of these varieties is very short and a bad start can have terrible consequences. As they only live for two and a half months, if the weather is bad during the first two weeks the plant will get blocked, and when the sun arrives and it’s capable of restoring its vigour, it will be too late.

In both cases, with both automatic and regular or feminised seeds, we advise that you avoid the mistake of sowing too early. The difference between them is the life cycle; in the case of regular or feminised seeds, as they have more time for vegetative development, that is, a longer growth period (approximately 3 months), there is a greater margin for recovery and that initial error is not as serious.

To give you an example.

Imagine that the good weather starts, suddenly there’s a scorching sun for two or three days. You put your coat away in the wardrobe and start to bring out your summer clothes; you’re looking forward to the beach, the bar terraces. And you go ahead, yes, you’re full of confidence and you start to germinate your marijuana seeds, because there’s no point in leaving for tomorrow what you can do today. And you do it. After a week your little plants are ready to face the world, planted in their pot and outdoors, enjoying the good weather. A serious mistake.

It was all a dream, an illusion; during the spring season the weather can often turn ugly, and one week later it’s pouring rain. Your plants, which have barely taken their first steps, are in a totally drenched substrate, the few roots they had managed to develop are submerged in water, the leaves don’t grow and the plant is blocked. In the case of autoflowering varieties, by the time the plant recovers its vigour, it’s too late, as their growth period only lasts a month (they start to flower starting on the 25th-28th day approximately) and the final result will be a disaster. In the best case scenario, you’ll have a very small plant that will yield very little and of poor quality. In the worst case scenario, it will die.

If you have sown feminised or regular seeds, the growth period is tripled and instead of 4 weeks, you have 12. This gives you a bigger margin, and although they may have suffered at the beginning, there comes a time when the plants can recover and grow normally. In any event, it’s always preferable to bear in mind the weather factor and germinate at the appropriate time. The less stress and suffering the plant endures, the better the final result.

Advice nº2: Take into account your region’s climate

The moment to germinate your seeds varies depending on the region. Depending on where you live, we’re not talking about the same weather conditions and therefore the date will also change. Although you can find a lot of information that claims to provide an appropriate date, our advice is that you don’t take it as something academic, observe the weather and make sure it really is good. In any case, here are some ballpark dates that you can use as a guide:

  • Mediterranean climate: The temperatures are milder and in general the germination period goes from 1 April to 30 May, though the best moment is usually in early May.
  • Non-Mediterranean climate (continental/ Atlantic/ mountain): In these types of climates, germination can take place, in general, from 1 May to 30 June. The most recommended moment is usually early June.

Advice nº3: Look at how the season starts

Every season is different, it can come earlier or later. For example, as we mentioned above, in the Mediterranean climate, in general, the best time to germinate is in late April or early May. But you can find that, depending on the year, it’s hot earlier than that or it may be the opposite, it might be cold at the beginning and summer extends into the months of September and October. You must pay close attention to these types of variations to be able to adapt the cycle of your crop, postponing it or bringing it forward.

If you are starting to cultivate and your knowledge on marijuana in particular and botanics in general is scarce, here’s a trick: ask and observe. The same rules that apply to the cannabis plant’s germination also work when growing vegetables in general. So, when you see your neighbour sowing his crops, start germinating your seeds.

Look to see if the farmers near you are starting to fill their fields with seedlings of summer vegetables. In general, they’ve spent their whole lives growing crops and are experts in observing and understanding meteorological signs, so when you see them at work on their peppers and tomatoes, that’s the sign, the time has come. If you don’t know anyone with crops, you can always go to the nearest garden centre.

Conclusion

Germinate your seeds when the sun’s intensity is sufficient and stable over time; in short, when there’s good weather, as simple as that. This isn’t an exact science, you can’t follow a fixed and immovable calendar. As we mentioned above, the key is to observe the weather, watch out for the signs and try to ride out the whims of mother nature. You must make sure that the good weather is here to stay.

Make sure that the location your plants will be in faces south; ideally your plant should receive some 12 hours of sunlight daily. Last of all, we recommend that you always use professional gardening materials.

Now that you know where to start, you have a solid foundation to start this adventure on a good footing. Have a good harvest!

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