The list of states in the US where cannabis is legalized is ever-growing. In 2020, four more American states passed laws to legalize cannabis, and so far in 2021 cannabis became legal in Montana, and will be legalized in South Dakota as of July 1st, 2021.
Though the laws differ in each state, many places are also allowing residents to grow their own cannabis.
Growing your own cannabis can be rewarding, exciting, and downright fun. However, if you're thinking of growing cannabis outdoors, you'll want to be very considerate of the ideal growing conditions for the plant and whether or not you can create those conditions for your cannabis.
Are you wondering how to grow cannabis outdoors and what type of conditions the plants need to thrive? Let's take a look at everything you need to know.
Cannabis Growing Conditions: What Does Cannabis Need to Thrive?
No matter where you decide to grow cannabis, there are a number of things that cannabis, like all plants, need to thrive. Let's take a look at the basics to help make sure that you set up your growing operation with the most ideal conditions for your plants.
One of the essential components that cannabis plants need to grow is light. When people grow cannabis indoors, they use grow lights to control the number of hours of light that the plants are receiving each day.
When growing outdoors, find the sunniest spot in your growing location. Cannabis plants like as much sun as they can get! More sun will also mean the plant will grow larger and produce higher yields.
Are you looking to increase your yields this year? Check out these ten proven tips to take your grow to the next level).
Oxygen and Airflow
During photosynthesis, plants convert sugars into energy and respire oxygen. Even though plants produce oxygen, they also need to take in oxygen from the air.
Additionally important when considering the air when you are growing is the airflow. It's important that oxygen-rich, fresh air is constantly circulating to ensure that your plants are healthy. This is a bigger concern for people who are growing indoors, as it’s necessary for them to create an air circulation system.
Why is air circulation so important? Not only does having fresh, circulating air ensure that all of your plans are receiving enough oxygen, but the movement of air also helps to avoid issues like mold, bud rot, mildew, and pests. All of these problems thrive in conditions where there is stale air and high humidity.
When growing outdoors, airflow is not usually a major concern. Make sure you do not plant your cannabis plants too close together, so they have airflow between the plants, and you can also remove some of the large fan leaves to create more airflow when your cannabis plant is flowering.
For more information on how to prune your cannabis plant, check out our blog: Lollipopping Cannabis: Prune, Trim and Increase Yields!
You are likely not terribly surprised to know that cannabis plants need water to grow. Different types of plants require different amounts of water, though, and cannabis happens to be a pretty thirsty plant.
Coming up with a system to make sure that your plants are getting the ideal amount of water is important. Both underwatering and overwatering can cause issues with your cannabis plants. To make things more complicated, different cannabis strains can require different amounts of water.
Make sure you plant your cannabis plant in a well-draining area, a garden bed would be best. Make sure the land is flat, so water doesn’t pool or run off too quickly. Also, make sure to check the soil moisture more frequently when it’s hot and sunny outside as your plant will dry out faster!
If you are growing in a container outside, make sure you are using well-draining soil, such as a high- quality all-purpose garden media. Using a high-quality mix will also ensure your plants are getting the nutrients they need.
As for checking the moisture level, you can use a moisture meter, or simply stick your finger and see if the soil is wet. Think about when you are baking; if the knife comes out and there’s cake batter on the knife, it’s too moist/ not ready. If the knife comes out clean, it’s done. So, if your finger comes out with no soil on it, it’s time to water.
Cannabis plants are a bit like Goldilocks. They don't want to be too warm, nor do they want to be too cold. Additionally, they have a sweet spot in terms of humidity.
In general, when cannabis plants are growing in their vegetative stage the ideal temperature is between 70° and 85°F. During the flowering stage, the ideal temperature is slightly cooler, between 65° and 80°F.
For some strains, the colors of the flowers can be more pronounced if you drop the temperature during the flowering stage.
When growing outdoors, unfortunately, you don’t have the luxury to control temperature or humidity. On very hot days, you can spray your plant down with water in the morning to help cool it down. Just make sure not to soak it in the evening, as the sun helps evaporate that water.
Cannabis is a plant that is typically happy to grow, but you can optimize its growth by using the right nutrients. The three most important nutrients are potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus. When you buy fertilizer, you will notice that it has an "NPK ratio," which is descriptive of how much of each mineral is in the fertilizer mix.
On top of these three essential nutrients, magnesium and calcium are also important. You want to learn about which nutrients are most important during the different stages of growth. For example, you'll want a high nitrogen formula while the plant is in the vegetative state, but during the flowering stage, you will want a low nitrogen formula with a higher phosphorus content.
Luckily many brands offer fertilizers specially for growing cannabis. Simply follow the instructions on the label, and your plants will have the right amount of nutrients it’s entire grow.
What’s nice about a Grobo is you never have to worry about nutrients. Grobo automatically doses the perfect amount of nutrients for your plant and changes its nutrient recipe depending on the stage of growth your cannabis plant is in.
Ideal Growing Conditions: What Kind of Climate Is Best?
Cannabis is a plant that is highly adaptable to a wide variety of different conditions. However, cannabis plants can be sensitive to extreme weather conditions and climates, so it's important to take the climate into consideration when deciding to grow cannabis.
If your climate experiences continued temperatures above 86°F then your plans will likely stop growing. If your plans are exposed to sustained temperatures below 55°F, the plant can be stunted and damaged or could even die.
Plants can also become physically damaged or yields can be reduced by high winds or heavy rains. If plans are exposed to excessive amounts of moisture, powdery mildew and mold can occur. This is particularly true during the flowering stage of growth.
when considering the climate for growing cannabis outdoors, you also need to take into account the length of the days at your latitude throughout the year. The amount of sunlight that a cannabis plant gets over time is one of the critical things that encourages a cannabis plant to transition from its vegetative stage to its flowering stage.
One of the best ways that you can determine whether or not your climate is suitable for growing cannabis outdoors is to take a look at the available resources regarding growing vegetables and flowers in your region. In this information, you will be able to find out about the climate conditions in your area and start applying that to the question of how feasible it’s for you to grow cannabis outside.
Grow Cannabis Outdoors: What Type of Space Should You Use?
If you are planting your cannabis and large, immobile containers or directly into the ground, you'll want to put quite a bit of consideration into where you place them.
The outdoor grow spot you choose should get as much sunlight as possible, with the ideal growing conditions being plenty of sunlight during the day. As the summer turned into fall, your cannabis plant will be receiving less and less sunlight each day. This is what triggers the flowering stage and can ensure that you get a good yield.
You'll also want to think about placing them where there is a constant breeze. This is particularly true if your climate is especially hot.
However, too much wind is not a good thing either. If your climate experiences frequent high winds, you'll want to think about creating a windbreak of some sort or strategically planting your plants near large shrubbery, a fence, or a wall. When you do so, though, don't forget to think about how the shadows cast by the windbreak will affect the amount of sun your plants get!
Lastly, you're also going to want to think about security and privacy. Whether you are worried about neighbours being judgmental or passersby stealing your yield, you might want to make sure that your grow operation isn't right out in the open. Consult your state laws as well, as they might require that the plants aren't visible from the street.
When you're growing cannabis outdoors, you don't have as much control over the environment as you would if you were growing indoors. You're going to need to have a plan for protecting your plants from temperature changes, harsh wind conditions, too much rain, and pesky pests.
While cannabis is a wonderful plant that loves to grow (it's called "weed" for a reason!) it can still be sensitive to weather events that can lead to damage or even death.
Do you have any tips for growing outdoors? Please let us know in the comments below!
Looking For an Easier, Less-Smelly Alternative to Growing Cannabis Outdoors?
While growing cannabis outdoors can be a fun project, many of us do not have the outdoor space or the time to set up a whole grow operation. There also isn't much you can do when it comes to growing cannabis outside in terms of the smell produced that will waft through your neighbourhood.
Luckily, there's a simple alternative to growing cannabis outdoors. Grobo is an automated grow box that uses hydroponic techniques that yield 2-3 ounces every 3-4 months. Whether you want to grow from seed or clone, Grobo does the work for you.
On top of all that, Grobo can help to reduce the smell while you're growing! If you want heavy-duty smell reduction, you could also purchase Ona. This is a product designed to absorb scents, making your growing space smell fresh!
How does it work? All you have to do is add your plant, choose a grow recipe from our app (which supports hundreds of strains, by the way) and then sit back and let Grobo do the work.
Is it time for you to start growing your own cannabis? Check out Grobo Premium today.