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.
It’s crucial to have a good understanding of the climate in the area you’re going to grow. Cannabis is highly adaptable to various conditions, but it is susceptible in extreme weather.
While shopping for soil, you might be overwhelmed by the options available at your local garden store. The soil type is the basic structure of your soil. From there, look at nutrients, microorganisms, and other amendments that improve the soil. Your choices will be flooded with words like:
Heavy clay soils drain slowly and don’t hold oxygen well, so they will need to be heavily amended. A few weeks before you plant, dig large holes where you’ll be placing your weed plants and mix in big amounts of compost, manure, worm castings, or other decomposed organic matter. This will provide aeration and drainage, as well as nutrients for the plants.
Relying on the power of the sun, you won’t need to spend a ton of money on an outdoor grow. You’ll need some soil, fertilizer, seeds or clones, and maybe a small greenhouse to get them started. You won’t need to pay for electricity for lights, AC units, or dehumidifiers, and you can even collect rainwater.
Growing marijuana outdoors is great because you won’t need to spend a ton of money on it and you can rely on the power of the sun. If you have access to a sunny spot in a private yard or even a balcony, terrace, or rooftop, you can grow weed outside. You will be tied to the sun and the seasons and local weather, but you won’t have to spend a bunch of money on equipment and utilities like indoor growers.
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.
Choosing the best outdoor cannabis grow site
Here are some important considerations before starting an outdoor marijuana grow.
There are also commercially available soil blends that already contain the proper mix of these types of ingredients.
The quality of the soil and water a cannabis plant uses is vital. Many new growers think the soil in their yard is sufficient to grow a healthy cannabis plant, however, that’s rarely the case. It is a far better strategy to cultivate cannabis in a container.
The best cultivators in the Emerald Triangle cultivate cannabis in containers that are as large as 200 gallons, with the soil filling the containers carefully selected for its nutrients (often referred to as ‘super soil’). Fiber pots are better than plastic pots, however, having to use plastic pots is not the end of the world.
Growing bigger buds outdoors is easier to do than it is indoors for various reasons. Growing indoors under grow lights has its advantages, not the least of which is benefitting from being able to control every aspect of the marijuana plant’s environment.
Soil, Containers, Sun, & Water
Some cannabis strains do better growing outdoors under the sun than other strains. You will obviously be limited by what is available in your area, however, if you can find a strain in your area that is a notoriously solid outdoor strain to grow, go with it.
Purchasing seeds online, or acquiring seeds or clones from dispensaries — even the most reputable dispensaries — can be a bit like rolling the dice (and blatantly illegal in many instances), so be leery of any claims about particular cannabis strains. If what the seller is saying seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Bracing Is Important
When it comes to cultivating cannabis, the learning journey never ends. Even the most famous cannabis cultivators are still learning new things every day about the cannabis plant and how to cultivate it more effectively.
While it is rare, some of the best sun-grown cannabis cultivators in Southern Oregon and Northern California can regularly harvest 15-18 pounds of dried cannabis flower from one plant, in addition to all of the plant trimmings that can be used to make edibles, topicals, and concentrates.