Growing your cannabis in the open? Congratulations on being in an area where you can! But there's more to it than throwing your seeds in the yard and crossing your fingers. Let's break down what you'll need for your weed!
Yes! But also, no.
Weed can and does grow outside–like any plant. However, we've come a long way since the herb was discovered in ancient Asia. Breeding strains for different qualities and testing/remaking cannabis nutrients over the years has led to unprecedented heights (pun intended) in the weed world that never would have been reached without intentional human intervention and decades of research.
Compare the yields and potency of any given ditchweed to properly cultivated cannabis. The quality is miles apart, and with good reason–good weed has needs!
To grow weed outdoors, you'll need...
Absent a quality grow light, the sun is the best thing for your grow! Cannabis grows best in high light areas, needing a minimum of six hours direct sun daily.
You can maximize the amount of light your whole plant gets with outside trellising or gently training your cannabis to expand horizontally.
Cannabis is a hardy plant, but without a good foundation to put roots in, it's a labor in lost cause! If your yard's soil is all sand, or packed clay, you've got two options. You can rent a backhoe and dig a space for your plants–advisable if you're going for quantity, or you can grow from large pots. Either way, you'll need a nutritious soil that drains well to plant your pot in.
As your cannabis plants grow, they'll start to use up the nutrients in the soil. That's why it's important to fertilize them throughout their life cycle. A good rule of thumb is to start with a soil that already has some nutrients in it. That way, you'll know that your young cannabis is getting what it needs from the start without becoming overloaded and susceptible to nutrient burn. You can add organic matter to your soil, like compost or manure, to give it a natural boost. However, as your plants continue to mature, you can boost their growth with extra nourishment.
Cannabis needs different nutrients at different stages of its life, so it's important to choose a fertilizer that's specifically designed for growing weed during its vegetative stage and its flowering stage. That way, you can be sure that your plants are getting everything they need to grow big and strong and sticky!
If the rain rained and the sun shone on a reliable schedule, planting crops would be a hundred times more easy. But the reality is that sometimes cloud juice just won't be enough for your grow! You'll have to make sure to PH test what comes out of your hose at every watering, and make necessary adjustments if your tap isn't running up to par (most people's aren't). Test your water each time (before adding any nutrients), and make sure you're getting a PH reading between 5.5 and 5.8. Water that's too acidic or basic can cause nutrient lockout, and starve your harvest before it even begins, so set aside the time to test no matter what!
When you're growing green gold, everybody wants a piece. You'll find yourself dealing with insect pests like various caterpillars and aphids. You may also have to contend with macroscopic annoyances like rabbits, deer, and feral cats! All of these pests will chew on, poop in, and ruin your grow if you don't take preventative and curative measures such as insecticidal bacteria and plant-friendly bitterants.
Unfortunately, you may also have to deal with the human element. Both unscrupulous pot proponents and anti-health activists may take an interest in your garden's progress. Keep your grow lower than your fence is high, and on a need-to-know basis only just in case, and be sure to set up cameras, motion sensitive lights, and quality gate locks to keep your grow safe.
It's not uncommon to see outdoor growers camp in their own yards during the flower stage, but if that's not the answer for you, the important thing is to keep as many tabs on your grow as you can!
Growing weed outdoors is a great way to enjoy the sun and fresh air while you cultivate your own personal cannabis crop. While it has its own unique challenges, it's a more cost-conscious practice than indoor growing, provided you're committed to keeping your ladies well monitored and well fed. With the right of planning and effort, you can grow weed that's just as good, if not better, than what you'd find at your local dispensary!
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start growing!