Outdoor cannabis, producing the best tasting weed with deep flavours and rich aromas
Growing cannabis outdoors has been mans traditional method of growing his favourite recreational and medicinal herb for thousands of years.
Nature has provided cannabis with the adaptations and toughness needed to grow in many regions. Specialist selective breeding by the more professional seed suppliers has produced some truly outstanding varieties that will produce excellent cannabis in non-tropical northern European climates and even thousands of metres above sea level.For those growers that don’t wish to grow cannabis indoors or in greenhouses, outdoor growing is a great and easy way to produce your stash. Growing cannabis outdoors with good quality seed not only gives amazingly powerful weed but it also produces some of the best tasting cannabis with deep flavours and rich aromas.
When can I start growing cannabis outdoor?
It’s important that there is no more frost at night, because young seedlings can’t handle these temperatures at all. So starting in May is a safe option for northern European growers. The outdoor grower typically grows from April/May to October in the northern hemisphere. Outdoor growers often germinate the seeds indoors and give their plants a headstart by growing them indoors under lights for a few weeks. These plants are often gradually acclimatised to outdoor temperatures before being permanently planted outside as established plants in time for the summer. It’s also possible for northern European growers to start growing cannabis outdoors in the beginning of April, the first weeks under a piece of glass or in a greenhouse. In mediterranean climates the growing season is longer and more varieties can be successfully grown. Growers in the southern hemisphere often grow cannabis outdoors from October – April.
When can I harvest my outdoor cannabis?
Harvest times given on this website are for the Dutch climate and latitude. Most outdoor varieties you can find in the ‘Dutch Outdoor‘ selection on our website. All our outdoor varieties are carefully selected, developed and bred in Holland. This makes them very suitable to grow in the Dutch climate, which can be very wet and cold from time to time. Important for these varieties is that they finish flowering early in the year. Good examples are varieties like Frisian Dew®. Hollands Hope®, Passion#1® and Durban Poison®. You can harvest these outdoor varieties around the end of September until mid October. Because the genetics of these outdoor varieties have been bred to handle bad weather conditions, in combination with an early finish, they are perfect for outdoor growing in Northern latitudes. Many outdoor cannabis growers with short growing seasons grow feminized autoflower seeds. These grow from seed to harvest in around 100 days outdoors, the shorter life cycle of the autoflowering cannabis varieties makes them a good choice for outdoor growers.
Can I grow ‘indoor’ cannabis varieties outdoor as well?
All “indoor” and “outdoor” varieties can be grown outdoors at warmer latitudes. For this reason, the harvest time under natural light is also given for all the “indoor” varieties. Greenhouse varieties and Indoor varieties can be grown outdoors in Central and Southern Europe with very good results. In more Northern latitudes (Scandinavia) only the outdoor varieties that are harvested early can be grown outdoors. Many growers at extreme northern/southern latitudes find that autoflower seeds are the best option for a short growing season. Many dedicated ‘Indoor’ varieties simply finish flowering much too late. And the risk of bad weather conditions destroying your harvest is very high. Most “outdoor” varieties cannot be grown indoors as well, unless mentioned in the variety description.
What should I look for when growing outside somewhere? (Guerilla cannabis grow)
One of the most important factors for the outdoor grower is to correctly identify and prepare the site.
The ideal grow site should get unrestricted sun for as much of the day as possible. Protection from strong winds will also shield your crop. A grow site will often benefit from shelter; a small earth bank, a fallen tree stem or thick bushes can not only protect the plant from prevailing winds but it may also protect the plant from animals and unwelcome human attention. Having a close source of water, such as a nearby stream can make it easy to get water to your crop during hot weather.
How do I prepare the soil?
Many outdoor growers will use organic fertilisers such as bat guano, worm castings, bloodmeal, bonemeal etc to improve soil condition before the grow starts, perhaps digging in plenty of compost as well. More proficient outdoor growers will test the soil when preparing the site and fertilise it accordingly. Professional soil testing kits can be bought from garden centres which will indicate the soil type, the pH and factors such as sand content, loam and clay content etc. There is no ‘perfect’ soil for growing in and different varieties will often perform well in a range of conditions so long as nutrients are present, drainage is good and pH is within 5.8-6.5.
How do I pick a private safe spot for my outdoor grow?
Those growing outdoors may not always be able to visit the plants regularly so a grow spot has to be chosen which is private, sunny and with some protection from animals such as rabbits and deer that will eat the cannabis. Some growers surround their secret grow spot with branches and undergrowth to conceal the crop and deter grazing animals. Other growers deliberately plant thorny plants (blackberry plants etc) around their grow area to provide lasting and effective protection. This technique usually involves systematically surrounding the grow patch with a thick, tall and impenetrable barrier to humans and animals.
What is important to know, when choosing my outdoor or garden growing spot?
For some people, outdoor growing means a secure and private part of their back garden or even a balcony. In some parts of the world this is too risky, so growers will choose a private and often remote spot in the countryside where they can grow. Internet maps or local knowledge can be used to find private sun-facing locations. It’s very important that you put your plant in a spot with as many sun hours as possible. Also check if there is any moss growing near the spot you wish to grow. Moss is often an indication for an abundance of moisture, which can give you mold troubles during flowering.
Those growing outdoors on their own land will be able to ensure that the plants receive the water and nutrients that they need and should be guaranteed the very best results assuming they originally invested in quality seed stock.
Those lucky enough to live in a Mediterranean climate with a private sun terrace are ideally located for easy outdoor cannabis growing.
Growing cannabis in the canopy of a tree.
Some growers prefer the seclusion remote forests, woods or mountains for complete peace-of-mind and security. A new technique is to grow cannabis plants in large soil-filled sacks that have been hoisted into the tree canopy. This technique allows growers to choose locations that may be closer to home since the plants are completely invisible to people passing nearby. Plants grown in this way benefit from all-day sunlight and can be grown relatively close to cities and villages without raising suspicion. Just make sure that the sack is securely fixed in place. Please note that this method does not allow a grower to keep close track of his grow and comes with certain risks of getting your plants where they need to be.
Do I grow my cannabis plants in pots or plant them directly into the soil?
Those growing on their own land may have the option of growing the cannabis plants in plant pots or rooting them directly into the soil. Plant pots have the advantage of being portable but will need regular watering in hot weather. Putting your plant in a pot also allows the user to place and relocate the plant into a sunny spot when needed. The experienced grower will often avoid ‘black’ plant containers which get very hot in direct sunlight. They will also avoid putting plant pots directly onto a hot surface (e.g. tiled terrace) which will stress the roots.
Those growing plants rooted directly into the soil will often get the best growth and yield so long as the soil is in good condition and the spot receives good sunlight.
How do I protect my outdoor guerilla plant?
Those growing outdoors may not always be able to visit the plants regularly so a grow spot has to be chosen which is private, sunny and with some protection from animals such as rabbits and deer that will happily munch the plants if not kept away. Some growers surround their secret grow spot with branches and undergrowth to conceal the crop and deter grazing animals. Other growers deliberately plant thorny plants (blackberry plants etc) around their grow area to provide lasting and effective protection. This technique usually involves systematically surrounding the grow patch with a thick, tall and impenetrable barrier to humans and animals. When done properly there is absolutely no way that anyone could guess cannabis plants are growing nearby.
Often the only way into the centre of such a grow is by crawling along the ground through a single secure route that can be easily covered and hidden.
Helpfull tips for preparing the soil.
Visits to the grow spot will often involve checking the plants for pests and treating them accordingly. In dry weather water may need bringing to the plants. Some outdoor growers transport their own soil to the grow site, often it will have been pre-enriched with e.g. worm castings and perhaps water absorbent gel crystals will have been added. Water absorbent gel crystals can be bought in many garden centres and absorb excess moisture swelling into large water retaining gel particles. These then slowly release the water during dryer times. They allow plants to thrive with additional water reserves for their roots even in drought conditions.
How do I select the perfect outdoor variety?
When growing cannabis outdoors think carefully about the variety. Not all strains are suited to outdoors, so read the reviews carefully and choose a good seed supplier. The best outdoor strains were often developed over a period of several years, selectively breeding those offspring that displayed the best suitability to outdoor conditions as well as retaining premium potency levels. This is a full time job that requires an expert ability not just to create premium outdoor strains but also to stabilise them. Some good examples are the best selling outdoor varieties Frisian Dew®. Hollands Hope®, Passion#1® and Durban Poison®. You can also choose one of the autoflowers, which are all suitable for growing outdoors during spring and summer.
Outdoor growing can be challenging but fun.
Sometimes the hardest part of outdoor growing is selecting the right location and preparing it for the cannabis plants/seeds. Often the outdoor grower will have several different grow locations and accepts that losing the occasional plant is an occupational hazard. Once the spot is ready it will often be used for many years of harvesting by the outdoor cannabis grower. Outdoor growing is challenging but fun, it may require ingenious thinking and professional preparation but when done correctly the outdoor grower can experience the thrill and satisfaction from harvesting all his herbal supplies free of charge, the way nature intended.