Growing Marijuana Outdoors
Growing marijuana outdoors the way nature intended with fresh air, rain water and the sun is the more economical method of growing weed. Go figure.
Lights and electricity cost money and can draw unwanted attention of our increasingly intrusive government. Be sure that you are operating within your medical marijuana laws. And keep these laws in mind when doing your cost analysis and return on investment if considering the idea of outdoor marijuana cultivation.
Selecting A Location
When growing marijuana outdoor your first thought should be of security and the utmost discretion. Despite whatever local laws are passed by the People, the federal government still insists on interfering with legitimate local commerce. Do not draw any attention towards yourself. And for God's sake, don't be this guy. Do not invite the local news crew to film your grow operation, talk about how much money you're making and then wonder why the DEA paid you a visit the next day. C'mon, man!
You'll need to to consider the movement of the sun and where it shines and the shadows it will create from the surrounding environment. South hills are ideal as is east to west exposure all day. Also wide open fields with northern exposure will get good southern exposure.
Growing Marijuana Tip - Don't grow on your own property unless it’s remote or well hidden from prying eyes. Being able to say someone else could have walked through a field and drop seeds could go a long way (but no guarantees). Even though medical marijuana has been voted for by the People of 14 states (as of this writing) it hasn't stopped the federal government to raid growers and dispensaries trying to remain squarely within the laws. Always keep it on the down low and never tell anyone about your outdoor cannabis fields who doesn't need to know.
Think about methods to conceal your cannabis fields. Sticker bushes, fences, or other tall, fast growing foliage can be excellent for concealing your secret garden. Some growers will buy fake plants and flowers to "disguise" their crops.
When growing marijuana outdoors you need to be aware of external threats to your crops (a partial list):
- Water Resources
- The Man
- Those Meddling Kids
- Anything You Didn't Plan For
Starting By Seed
There's a certain poetic metaphor for life when growing marijuana outdoors by seed. That said, make sure that you select a seed that is genetically designed to withstand the whims of mother nature.
Select a seed that will have the optimal odds of success in your growing region. Seeds for growing marijuana outdoors are bred for weather conditions, natural pest resistance, maximum sunlight absorption and other ideal genetic characteristics that would make Gregor Mendel, the father of genetic studies, proud.
A very common cannabis germination method is to soak seeds overnight.
Don't soak more than 24 hours or you risk "drowning" your marijuana seed. Some growers will use distilled water for the pre-soak to reduce the amount of undissolved solids in tap water.
Place the seed between damp paper towels to start the sprouting. Pay close attention to the paper towel ensuring that it remains damp and does not dry out. After the seed sprouts a small white tap root will emerge. Afterwards the cotyledon, or seedling, appears. Its seed leaves spread out and stem elongates. Eventually the first cannabis leaves begin to develop.
During this stage the seedling's root system is growing rapidly while the above ground growth is slower. Water and heat is critical at this delicate stage. Too much water can drown the plant. Too little can cause the seedling to dry out.
When the plant's above ground growth begin to really accelerate, the seedling has moved into the vegetative growth phase.
Soil consists of mineral particles mixed with living and dead organic matter and incorporates water and air. Three factors that determine success growing marijuana outdoors is texture, pH, and nutrient content.
Growing Marijuana Tip - pH is a measurement of acid to alkaline balance. One is most acidic, fourteen is most alkaline. Cannabis grows best in soil around the center of the spectrum with a pH of 6.5 to 7. Inexpensive electronic pH testers are easy to use and available at most garden centers.
Clay soil holds water well and provides slow, even drainage. It is slow to warm in the spring but retain warmth well in to autumn. This soil tends to have very small, flat mineral particles that pack tightly when wet. This can make root development difficult.
Clay-based soil for growing marijuana outdoors can be amended by adding a lot of compost, manure, and other organic matter. Peat moss is good for breaking up clay and making the soil more porous. Do not mix sand with clay soils. You'll make cement. Add straw and you've just make a brick.
Sandy soil have larger particles which give it good aeration. However, the good aeration means water is not retained as well and requires more watering.
Loam soil is ideal for growing cannabis as it contains a mix of clay, silt, and sand. The different sized particles creates growing medium that drains well but still retains nutrients and moisture.
Keep in mind that water needs for the hot summer growing season will be significant. Having a reliable source of water near your outdoor cannabis horticulture operation is critical. Hauling water to a remote location is possible. But I don't recommend it. Not only get old very quickly, but also increase your odds of attracting unwanted attention. An ideal location for an outdoor cannabis field is near the water table.
The biggest advantage of growing marijuana outdoors is the life giving energy of our Sun is free to anyone who can harness it. Try to find an area with at minimum five hours of sunlight a day. Preferably morning sun.
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