The notion of ‘ripeness’ also seems to vary around the world. If you have ever used weed in Amsterdam, you’ll probably have experienced an unusual high. This is because Dutch growers harvest their marijuana earlier than their North American counterparts.
This is what happens when a seller is providing consumers with premium-grade marijuana. Alas, too many commercial and residential growers are impatient and try to consume or sell the product within ten days of harvest.
With the pistil method, you are checking to see the percentage of plant hairs that have transformed from white to a reddish-brown color. For most growers, 70-80% is the ‘ideal’ percentage.
Timing Is Everything
You can force your plants into the flowering stage by exposing them to 12 hours of continuous darkness per day for a couple of weeks indoors. Outdoor growers must rely on their area’s natural climate to help push their weed into flowering.
Now, it is possible to grow potent cannabis in a basic grow room. You can also produce several batches per year. Those who use greenhouses benefit from the power of the sun while protecting their plants from cold and wet weather.
Overall, sativas from regions near the equator have the longest flowering time of all. If you try to develop one of these strains too far north or south, they will die long before harvest time. Meanwhile, if you take a strain out of its natural coastal region and grow it in a warmer midlands area, it will probably flower faster.
How Harvesting, Drying and Curing Dictates Availability
If you plant ten different marijuana strains at the same time and expect them to flower and be ready for harvest together, you face disappointment. The genetics of the strain you choose plays a significant role in when they ripen. This is because each strain has adapted to its natural habitat over hundreds, or even thousands, of years.
In locations where outdoor growing is prevalent, there is usually a surplus of fresh flowers in the weeks after an annual harvest. This is typically the best time to purchase weed because supply outstrips demand. By the end of winter and in early spring, consumers want more marijuana. Demand exceeds the supply by the middle of the year. Prices rise to reflect the relative scarcity of cannabis.
Cannabis plants require a large amount of nutrients over their life cycle, mainly in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. How much you need to add to your plants will depend on the composition of your soil.
Typically, outdoor growers will add amendments to soil when weed plants are transplanted outside. Outdoor amendments usually come in powder form that you mix in with soil.
Your cannabis plants should receive as much direct sunlight as possible, ideally during midday, when the quality of light is best. As the season changes and fall approaches, your plants will get less and less sunlight throughout the day, which will trigger the flowering stage.
In general, 5-gallon pots are a good size for small-to-medium outdoor plants, and 10-gallon pots or larger are recommended for big plants. Regardless of size, you’ll want to protect the roots of your plants from overheating during warm weather, as pots can quickly get hot in direct sunlight. This will severely limit the growth of your plants, so be sure to shade your containers when the sun is high in the sky.
Buying the right soil for an outdoor cannabis grow
There are also commercially available soil blends that already contain the proper mix of these types of ingredients.
Most outdoor weed growers will either dig a hole and add fresh soil for the plant, or grow their weed in pots. This will allow you to better control the growing medium and the amount of nutrients your plants receive.
Here are some important considerations before starting an outdoor marijuana grow.
Most potting soils used in gardening are loam soils. If you’ve ever worked with potting soil, you’ll know that its composition is rich and diverse, and it looks dark and hearty. Beyond texture and color, the soil should smell rich and alive.
Soil also varies in:
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Cannabis Growth Timeline
1. Germinating: 1-7 days
2. Seedling: 2-3 weeks
3. Vegetative: 2-8 weeks
4. Pre-Flowering: 1-2 weeks
5. Flowering: 6-8 weeks
The quality of your plant depends on your knowledge of the cannabis growth stages and the lifecycle of your plants.
How to tell if your plant is a male or female
Male: Small green sacs full of pollen will be seen on the node areas.
Female: Two pistils (the pistil contains the reproductive parts of a flower) will be growing on the buds (flowers grow above these leaves, one cluster on each side).
3. Vegetative Growth
It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 months to grow a cannabis plant, this varies based on where you’re growing. If you have an indoor grow room, your plant has the ability to flower after only a few weeks!
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