Indoor grows can be wasteful, using a ton of electricity to power all those lights, fans, and other equipment. The sun and the wind are free!
Silty soil is the ideal growing medium. It’s easy to work, warms quickly, holds moisture, has good drainage, and contains a lot of nutrients. The best silty soil is dark, crumbly loam—it’s fertile and probably won’t need any amending.
Climate in your area
For first-time growers, we recommend avoiding commercial fertilizers like long-release granular fertilizers. These can be used, but you need to have a good understanding of how they work and what your plants need.
Sustained temperatures above 85°F will cause your plants to stop growing, while continued temperatures below 55°F can cause damage and stunting to plants, even death.
Sandy soil is easy to work, drains well, and warms quickly, but it doesn’t hold nutrients well, especially in rainy environments. You’ll want to dig large holes for your plants and add compost, peat moss, or coco coir, which will help bind the soil together.
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3 – Another big concern with growing cannabis outdoors in open soil is the quality and uniformity of soil. Most growers opting for this method will make great effort to ensure that the soil is appropriate in terms of drainage, consistency, and pH, and will often mix the soil with additives such as lime (to increase pH), sand (to improve drainage), or manure (to increase available nutrients).
1 – On the other hand, containing plants in pots may be undesirable for the very fact that it restricts growth, thereby reducing potential harvest and general overall health of the plant. Of course, there are some huge pots available for outdoor cultivation, but if you truly wish to maximize the potential of your large plants, restricting their access to soil is not the way to go.
Some varieties of cannabis (particularly sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids) can easily exceed two metres in height, meaning that if nosy neighbours are taking an interest, your plants will be easy to spot and identify.
1 – The most obvious advantage of sowing seeds or planting seedlings in open soil is the fact that they have full, unrestricted access to nutrients and whatever moisture can be reached by the roots. As the roots are able to freely grow downwards, they may be able to fulfill their water requirements purely from the groundwater.
If your site is very remote and there is little chance of trespassers discovering your crop, this may not be an issue, but for many back-garden growers in villages and towns the world over, theft is a very real concern.
For example, if living in an area of occasional extreme weather, the ability to carry your plants to a sheltered spot can be a huge advantage. Leaving plants at the mercy of gale- or hurricane-force winds, driving rain or sleet, or golfball-sized hailstones can be disastrous, and months of hard work can be ruined in one night.
Similarly, if you are growing at a time of year where hours of daylight are not optimum, moving your plants to an artificially-lit room (or a dark room if days are too long to induce flowering) can mean the difference between a good harvest and a non-existent one.