Pros and Cons of Growing Cannabis Outdoors

As more states and countries begin to legalize cannabis, many growers are faced with the decision of whether to cultivate their plants indoors or outdoors. While indoor growing allows for better control over the growing environment, outdoor growing has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Outdoor cannabis farming may offer a larger yield potential at a lower cost, as well as the benefits of natural sunlight and fresh air. However, outdoor growers must also contend with the limitations of local climate, the risks of pests and disease, and security concerns. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of growing outdoor cannabis, how to choose the right strains for your local climate and goals, tips for preparing the growing site, caring for your plants, and harvesting and processing your crop.

Advantages of Growing Outdoor Cannabis


Advantages Of Growing Outdoor Cannabis
When it comes to growing cannabis, there are a variety of options available. One of the most popular methods is outdoor cultivation. While there are certainly some drawbacks to growing cannabis outside, there are also many benefits that make it a valuable choice for many growers.

1. Larger Yield Potential: One of the biggest advantages of growing cannabis outdoors is the larger yield potential. This is due in large part to the fact that outdoor plants are not as limited in terms of space and resources as indoor plants. When grown outside, cannabis plants have plenty of room to spread out and grow to their full potential, resulting in larger and more abundant buds.

2. Lower Production Costs: Another advantage of growing cannabis outdoors is the lower production costs. While indoor cannabis cultivation requires a significant investment in equipment, outdoor cultivation requires little more than soil, water, and sunlight. By avoiding the costs associated with things like grow lights, ventilation systems, and hydroponics, growers can save a significant amount of money.

3. Natural Sunlight and Fresh Air: Finally, growing cannabis outdoors allows plants to benefit from natural sunlight and fresh air. While indoor plants are often subjected to artificial lighting and climate-controlled environments, outdoor plants get to experience the full spectrum of natural light and temperature fluctuations. This can result in healthier, more robust plants that produce higher-quality buds.

While there are certainly some challenges associated with growing cannabis outdoors, the benefits make it a worthwhile choice for many growers. With its larger yield potential, lower production costs, and natural sunlight and fresh air, outdoor cannabis cultivation is certainly worth considering.

1. Larger Yield Potential

Outdoor growing of cannabis provides various advantages over indoor growing. One of the significant advantages is the larger yield potential that outdoor strains offer. With appropriate care and maintenance, growers can expect to harvest bountiful crops from their outdoor plants. This is because outdoor strains have access to natural resources such as fresh air and sunlight, which play a crucial role in plant growth and development. Let’s dive deeper into the advantages of growing outdoor cannabis strains.

2. Lower Production Costs

Growing outdoor strains can be more cost-effective than indoor growing. One of the significant advantages is that it requires lower production costs, resulting in higher profits for growers. Here are some factors that contribute to lower production costs:

Factors How it Helps Lower Production Costs
Cost of Electricity Outdoor growing eliminates the need for expensive lighting, ventilation, heating and air conditioning systems that consume a lot of electricity. This can massively reduce the operational costs.
Cost of Equipment Indoor growers need to invest in various equipment like hydroponic systems, grow lights, fans, filters, and other necessary tools to maintain the grow space. Outdoor growers have to bear very low equipment costs as nature provides everything for the plant growth process.
Cost of Nutrients Outdoor strains generally require fewer additional nutrients than indoor plants because they get their nutrients from the soil. Unlike indoor plants, outdoor plants require minimum additional expenses of nutrients, which help growers save a lot of money.
Cost of Renting Space Outdoor growers can save money on rent or purchasing space from a real estate enterprise as they can select a proper location on their own, which is free of cost.

Outdoor growing is often a more economical option for those looking to grow cannabis for personal or medicinal use as well as for those who want to set up an effective and profitable commercial cannabis growing business. With low production costs and a high yield potential, growing cannabis outdoors can be the perfect way to increase your profitability.

3. Natural Sunlight and Fresh Air

One of the great advantages of growing cannabis outdoors is the abundance of natural sunlight and fresh air that the plant can access. Unlike indoor growing, outdoor cannabis plants are not confined to a closed and controlled environment. Instead, they can grow under the natural conditions that are similar to those in their native habitat. Below are some benefits of growing cannabis under natural sunlight and fresh air:

  • Increased Cannabinoid Production: Natural sunlight is rich in a full spectrum of light wavelengths that promote the production of cannabinoids in the plant. This results in higher yields of trichomes, where the precious compounds are stored.
  • Better Terpene Profile: Terpenes are aromatic compounds that provide the unique flavors and aromas associated with different cannabis strains. Fresh air and natural sunlight help to develop a more complex and robust terpene profile in the plant, making it more flavorful and fragrant to use.
  • Natural Growth Rhythms: Since outdoor cannabis plants are exposed to natural light cycles, they tend to exhibit healthier growth rhythms. This means they are more resistant to disease and pests and require less intervention from the grower. Additionally, they may produce more resin and trichomes, which leads to a better overall quality of the final product.
  • Greater Structural Integrity: As the plant grows under natural sunlight and fresh air, it develops a strong and resilient structure. This enables the plant to withstand harsh weather conditions and resist wind damage, which can be a significant challenge for indoor growers.

Growing cannabis under natural sunlight and fresh air is an excellent way to produce high-quality cannabis at a lower cost. While outdoor growing has its challenges, the benefits can far outweigh the disadvantages. By using the right strain, preparing the site appropriately, and caring for the plant conscientiously, you can harvest a bountiful crop that is flavorful, fragrant, and potent.

Disadvantages of Growing Outdoor Cannabis

Disadvantages Of Growing Outdoor Cannabis
Growing outdoor cannabis certainly has its advantages, but it also comes with a set of disadvantages. Here are some of the drawbacks to consider before deciding to grow your cannabis plants outdoors:

1. Climate Limitations: One of the most significant disadvantages of growing outdoor cannabis is that it’s highly dependent on the climate. This means that weather conditions such as humidity, temperature, rainfall, and wind directly affect the growth of the cannabis plant. If you live in a region with unpredictable weather patterns, it can be challenging to achieve the optimal growing conditions necessary for healthy plant growth. Extreme heat, cold, or rainy weather can cause damage to your cannabis plants and lead to low yield.

2. Pests and Disease: Outdoor cannabis plants are more susceptible to pests and diseases. Insects such as aphids, spider mites, and caterpillars can damage the leaves, stems, and buds of cannabis plants. Similarly, fungus and bacteria can cause diseases that stunt growth, reduce yields, and even kill the cannabis plants. Without adequate preventive measures, pests and diseases can have a devastating impact on outdoor cannabis crops.

3. Security Risks: Finally, outdoor cannabis cultivation is vulnerable to security risks. Cannabis plants are often targeted by thieves and can be easily viewed by passersby. It’s common for outdoor growers to experience theft or damage to their plants, which can lead to significant financial losses. Growing cannabis plants outside can attract unwanted attention from law enforcement agencies, leading to legal problems for growers in some areas.

Considering these disadvantages, outdoor cannabis cultivation may not be suitable for every grower. However, with proper planning, preparation, and precautions, these risks can be mitigated, and successful outdoor grows can be achieved.

1. Climate Limitations

When it comes to outdoor cannabis cultivation, one of the biggest challenges growers face is dealing with the unpredictable nature of the climate. No matter how carefully you select your strains or how efficiently you manage your growing site, you are always at the mercy of the weather gods. Strong winds, unseasonal frosts, heavy rains, and scorching heat waves can all wreak havoc on your outdoor plants and seriously impact your yields. In this section, we will explore the various climate limitations that outdoor cannabis growers need to be aware of and provide some tips on how to mitigate their effects.

2. Pests and Disease

One disadvantage of growing outdoor cannabis is the potential for pests and disease to affect the plants. These issues can significantly reduce yield and even destroy entire crops if not properly managed.

Outdoor cannabis crops are vulnerable to a wide range of pests and diseases, including spider mites, aphids, caterpillars, and whiteflies. Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, bud rot, and root rot can also pose a threat to outdoor plants.

To address these concerns, it is important to take proactive measures in preventing and managing pests and disease. Here are some ways to do so:

  • Regular inspections: Regularly inspecting plants for signs of pests and disease is essential for early detection and prevention. Look for yellowing leaves, spots or discolorations on leaves or stems, and any visible presence of pests.
  • Natural predators: Encouraging the presence of natural predators such as ladybugs and praying mantises can help control pest populations.
  • Organic pesticides: Using organic pesticides such as neem oil, garlic spray, or insecticidal soap can help manage pests without harming the environment.
  • Cultural practices: Proper cultural practices such as adequate spacing, watering in the morning, and removing infected leaves can help prevent the spread of disease.

By taking these measures, growers can effectively manage and prevent pests and disease in outdoor cannabis crops, ensuring a successful and healthy yield.

3. Security Risks

One of the major disadvantages of growing outdoor cannabis is the security risks involved. Growing cannabis outdoors can attract unwanted attention from thieves, law enforcement, and even wildlife. Here are some specific security risks to consider:

  • Theft: Outdoor cannabis plants can be easily spotted by passersby or trespassers, making them vulnerable to theft. This is particularly true during the flowering stage when the plant’s buds are most valuable. To mitigate this risk, consider installing a fence, security cameras, or even hiring a security guard.
  • Law Enforcement: Depending on the laws in your area, growing cannabis outdoors may be illegal or strictly regulated. Even in areas where it is legal, there may be zoning ordinances or other restrictions in place. Make sure you understand the applicable laws and regulations before setting up your outdoor grow operation.
  • Wildlife: Outdoor cannabis plants can attract all kinds of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, rodents, and even bears. These animals may be attracted to the plant’s leaves, stems, and flowers, which can result in damage or loss of the entire crop. To prevent this, consider installing fencing or using repellents to keep wildlife at bay.

The security risks of growing outdoor cannabis can be significant, but they can be mitigated with proper planning and precautions. It is important to weigh these risks against the potential advantages of growing outdoors before deciding on the best approach for your situation.

Choosing the Right Strain for Outdoor Growing

Choosing The Right Strain For Outdoor Growing
When it comes to choosing the right strain for outdoor growing, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. Local climate is the first and foremost factor that needs to be evaluated, as different strains have varying tolerances for heat, cold, and other climate conditions. The yield goals of the grower must also be considered, as some strains are bred for high yields while others are known for their psychoactive effects.

Another vital aspect to consider when choosing a strain for outdoor growing is pest and disease resistance. Outdoor grows are more susceptible to pest and disease attacks than indoor ones, so it is important to select a strain that can withstand these threats. Additionally, it is worth considering strains that have a natural smell or flavor that can help keep pests away. For example, strains with a strong peppermint scent have been known to naturally deter pest infestations.

It is also important to consider the size and structure of the strain selected for outdoor growing. Outdoor plants have more room to grow, so taller and bushier strains are preferred. Conversely, strains that grow too tall and heavy are not recommended as they can break under the weight of their own buds.

Ultimately, the strain chosen for outdoor growing should align with the grower’s personal preferences, but the aforementioned factors should be carefully evaluated to ensure the selected strain is well-suited for outdoor cultivation.

1. Consider Your Local Climate

When it comes to choosing the right strain for outdoor growing, one of the most important factors to consider is the local climate. The success of your harvest depends on selecting a strain that can thrive in the conditions that your outdoor grow site provides. But with so many strains available, it can be perplexing to determine which one is best suited for your particular location. Let’s explore some important considerations for choosing a strain that can adapt to the unique climate of your area.

2. Determine Your Yield Goals

When choosing an outdoor strain, it is important to consider your yield goals. Yield is the amount of cannabis that a plant produces, and it is affected by factors such as genetics, growing conditions, and care.

High-yield strains are those that produce a large amount of cannabis per plant. However, these strains may also require more care and attention, and may be more susceptible to pests and disease.

Low-yield strains may produce less cannabis per plant, but they may be easier to care for and more resistant to pests and disease.

To determine your yield goals, you should consider how much cannabis you need, how much space you have available, and how much time and effort you are willing to invest in growing.

Here is a table outlining some common yield goals and the recommended strain types:

Yield Goal Recommended Strain Types
Low Indica-dominant strains, autoflowering strains
Moderate Hybrid strains, some Sativa-dominant strains
High Sativa-dominant strains, some hybrid strains

Indica-dominant strains tend to produce less cannabis per plant, but they are known for their relaxing and calming effects. Autoflowering strains are also low-yield, but they are easy to grow and have a short flowering time.

Hybrid strains are a good middle ground, offering moderate yields and a balance between Indica and Sativa effects. Sativa-dominant strains are known for their uplifting and energizing effects, but they may require more care and attention to produce a high yield.

Ultimately, the best strain for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. By considering your yield goals and the characteristics of different strain types, you can make an informed decision and maximize your cannabis harvest.

3. Evaluate Pests and Disease Resistance

When choosing the right strain for outdoor growing, it is crucial to evaluate its pests and disease resistance. Some strains are more prone to certain pests or diseases than others, which can be problematic for outdoor growers. Evaluating the resistance of a particular strain ensures a higher chance of a successful harvest. Here are some common pests and diseases to watch out for and some strains that are resistant to them:

Pest/Disease Resistant Strains
Bud rot (botrytis) Amnesia Haze, Durban Poison, Super Silver Haze
Caterpillars Green Crack, Blue Dream, Super Lemon Haze
Spider mites Blueberry, Afghani, Northern Lights
Aphids Girl Scout Cookies, Sour Diesel, Trainwreck
Powdery mildew Jack Herer, Chocolope, Lemon Skunk

These strains have natural resistance to these pests and diseases, reducing the need for harmful pesticides or treatments. However, it’s important to note that even with resistant strains, outdoor growers should still monitor their plants regularly for signs of pests and disease. Quick identification and treatment can prevent further spread and potential damage to the entire harvest.

Preparing the Growing Site

Preparing The Growing Site
Before planting your outdoor cannabis, it is important to prepare a suitable growing site to ensure a healthy and productive crop. Here are some steps to consider when preparing your site:

Select a Suitable Site: Look for a site that gets plenty of sunlight, has good airflow, and is protected from strong winds. Avoid areas prone to flooding or where frost settles, and consider the privacy and security of the location.

Choose Quality Soil: Cannabis thrives in well-draining soil rich in organic matter. Conduct a soil test to determine the pH level and nutrient content, and amend the soil accordingly. Add compost, worm castings, or other organic matter to improve its structure and water retention.

Implement Good Drainage: Cannabis plants require well-draining soil to prevent waterlogging, so ensure proper drainage by digging a shallow trench around the perimeter of the planting area. Consider also adding a layer of coarse gravel or sand beneath the topsoil to further enhance drainage.

Provide Adequate Space: Space your plants at least 3 to 6 feet apart, depending on the strain and its growth characteristics. This allows adequate airflow and prevents overcrowding that can lead to pests and disease. Consider also the mature size of the plant when selecting your site.

The key to preparing a successful growing site for your outdoor cannabis is good planning and attention to detail. By selecting an appropriate site, choosing quality soil, implementing good drainage, and providing adequate space, you can set yourself up for a healthy and productive crop.

1. Select a Suitable Site

Choosing the right location to grow your outdoor cannabis plants is a crucial step to ensure they reach their full potential. The site you choose will determine the amount of natural light, water availability, and soil quality your plants receive. To select a suitable site, there are several factors to consider, such as the proximity to residential areas or roads, the presence of natural predators, and the soil type. In this section, we will discuss some key points to keep in mind when selecting a location to grow your outdoor cannabis.

2. Choose Quality Soil

One of the most important factors to consider when growing outdoor cannabis is choosing the right soil. The soil you use will have a direct impact on the quality and yield of your plants. Here are some tips to help you choose quality soil for your cannabis plants:

  • Test Your Soil: Before planting your cannabis, it’s important to test your soil to determine its pH levels and nutrient content. This will help you identify any deficiencies or imbalances that may affect the growth of your plants.
  • Choose Nutrient-Rich Soil: Cannabis plants require a lot of nutrients to grow healthy and strong. Look for soil that is rich in organic matter, such as compost, worm castings, and bat guano. These ingredients will provide your plants with the essential nutrients they need to thrive.
  • Avoid Heavy Clay Soil: Cannabis plants do not typically grow well in heavy clay soil, as it can become easily compacted and limit the amount of oxygen and water that reaches the roots. If possible, choose soil that is loose and loamy, with good drainage.
  • Consider Adding Amendments: If your soil is lacking in nutrients or organic matter, you may need to add amendments to improve its quality. This can include things like bone meal, blood meal, and kelp meal, which are all high in nutrients and can help your plants grow strong.
  • Avoid Contaminated Soil: Be wary of using soil that may be contaminated with heavy metals or other pollutants. This can have a negative impact on the quality of your plants and can even pose a health risk to those who consume them. If you’re unsure about the quality of your soil, it may be best to opt for a soil mix specifically formulated for cannabis plants.

By taking the time to choose quality soil for your outdoor cannabis, you can help ensure that your plants grow healthy and strong, with the potential for a higher yield and better quality buds.

3. Implement Good Drainage

Good drainage is essential to the success of growing outdoor cannabis. Without it, the roots of the plant could become waterlogged and begin to rot. Here are some steps to take to implement good drainage:

  • Elevate the planting area: If the area where you are planting has poor drainage, it’s important to elevate the planting area by creating a slight slope or using a raised bed. This will allow excess water to drain away from the roots of the plant.
  • Use well-draining soil: Choose an airy soil mix that contains nutrients but also allows water to pass through quickly. Heavy soil that retains water can lead to root rot and other problems.
  • Add drainage materials: Along with well-draining soil, consider adding drainage materials such as perlite or vermiculite. These materials help water move more freely through the soil and prevent water from pooling around the roots of the plant.
  • Avoid overwatering: One of the main causes of poor drainage is overwatering. Make sure to only water the plant when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. This will help prevent water from sitting around the roots for too long and causing damage.
  • Consider a drainage system: In areas where there is heavy rainfall or poor drainage, it may be necessary to create a drainage system. This can involve installing a drainage ditch or using pipes to direct water away from the planting area.

By implementing good drainage practices, you can help ensure the health and success of your outdoor cannabis plants. Remember to choose well-draining soil, avoid overwatering, and consider a drainage system if necessary.

4. Provide Adequate Space

To ensure successful outdoor cannabis growth, providing adequate space is crucial. The plants need enough room to spread out and receive enough sunlight and nutrients. The space requirements will vary depending on the strain, but generally, each plant should have at least 6-8 square feet of space. This allows the roots to grow deep and wide, giving the plant a solid foundation.

It’s best to plan ahead and measure out the desired growing space before planting. This will prevent overcrowding and give each plant the best chance to thrive. A good way to measure out the space is by using an outdoor cannabis growing chart. This chart can also help determine the number of plants that can be grown in the designated space and the proper distance between each plant.

In addition to measuring out the space, it’s important to consider the height of the plant. Outdoor strains can grow quite tall, so it’s essential to provide enough vertical space. This prevents the plants from overshadowing each other and obstructing sunlight. It’s also important to take into account any support structures such as trellises or stakes that may be needed to prevent the plants from collapsing from their own weight.

Providing adequate space is one of the most important factors in successful outdoor cannabis growth. Taking the time to measure out the space and considering the height of the plants can prevent overcrowding and ensure that each plant receives enough sunlight, water, and nutrients to produce a healthy harvest.

Ways to Provide Adequate Space for Outdoor Cannabis
1. Measure out the space before planting
2. Use an outdoor cannabis growing chart to determine the number of plants and required distance between each plant
3. Consider the height of the plants and provide enough vertical space
4. Use support structures such as trellises or stakes to prevent plants from collapsing due to weight

Planting and Caring for Outdoor Cannabis

Planting And Caring For Outdoor Cannabis
Growing cannabis outdoors can be a bit challenging, but with proper planting and care techniques, you can maximize your yield potential. Here are some important tips for planting and caring for your outdoor cannabis.

1. Germinate Seeds or Root Cuttings: Before planting your cannabis, ensure that the seeds are first germinated or the root cuttings are rooted. The germination process can be done in a damp paper towel, while rooting can be done in a rooting hormone. Once the seeds have sprouted or the cuttings have rooted, you can then proceed to plant them.

2. Water and Feed Plants Appropriately: Outdoor cannabis plants require a lot of water during the growing period, especially in hot climates. Ensure that you water your plants regularly and when the temperatures are high. However, be careful not to waterlog the soil, as this can cause root rot. Also, feed your plants with a nutrient-rich fertilizer to enhance their growth.

3. Dealing with Pests and Disease: Outdoor cannabis plants are vulnerable to pests and disease. To prevent any infestation, it is important to inspect your plants regularly for any signs of damage. If you spot any signs of pests or disease, take action immediately by treating the plants with organic pesticides or fungicides.

4. Provide Structural Support: As outdoor cannabis plants grow taller, they become heavier and require support to prevent them from breaking. Provide structural support to your plants by setting up stakes or trellising wire to keep the plants upright. This will prevent the plants from collapsing due to the weight of their buds.

By following the above tips, you can ensure that your outdoor cannabis plants grow healthy and produce a good yield. However, be prepared to adapt your planting and care techniques based on your local climate and the strain of cannabis you are growing.

1. Germinate Seeds or Root Cuttings

Starting the process of growing outdoor cannabis requires a careful consideration of several factors, including the choice of strains best suited to the local climate, soil quality, and the provision of adequate drainage and structural support. One of the initial steps in the actual cultivation process is the germination of seeds or root cuttings. This step is of utmost importance as it sets the foundation for a successful growing season. It involves providing the best possible environment for the young plants to develop and mature into healthy and productive cannabis plants. Let’s dive into the details of this important step and explore some best practices for germinating cannabis seeds or root cuttings.

2. Water and Feed Plants Appropriately

When it comes to growing outdoor cannabis, providing appropriate water and nutrients is crucial for a successful harvest. Here are some tips for watering and feeding your plants properly:

  1. Choose the right nutrients: It’s important to select the appropriate nutrients for the specific strain of cannabis you are growing. Nutrient requirements vary depending on the strain, so be sure to research and purchase nutrients accordingly.
  2. Use high-quality soil: Quality soil is key for plants to absorb the necessary nutrients. Invest in soil that is designed for cannabis growth, or create your own using a mixture of compost, peat moss, and perlite.
  3. Water appropriately: Cannabis plants require a consistent level of moisture, not too much and not too little. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can stunt growth and reduce yields. Water your plants when the top inch of soil is dry, and avoid watering during peak sunlight hours to prevent damage to the leaves.
  4. Consider using drip irrigation: Drip irrigation systems can be helpful in providing a consistent level of moisture to plants without overwatering and wasting water. They are also efficient in distributing nutrients to the roots.
  5. Apply fertilizers regularly: Although quality soil provides many necessary nutrients, cannabis plants still require additional fertilizers throughout their growth cycle. Be sure to follow the recommended schedule for applying fertilizers, as over-fertilizing can cause plant burn and damage the plant’s growth.
  6. Keep track of pH levels: The pH level of soil plays a crucial role in nutrient absorption. Test the pH level regularly and adjust as necessary to ensure your plants are getting the nutrients they need.

By following these watering and feeding tips, you can help your outdoor cannabis plants thrive and produce a bountiful harvest.

3. Dealing with Pests and Disease

When growing outdoor cannabis, dealing with pests and disease is one of the biggest challenges that a grower can face. In order to keep your plants healthy and avoid damage, it’s important to take preventative measures and know how to identify and treat any problems that arise. Here are some strategies for dealing with pests and disease:

1. Monitor your plants regularly Take the time to inspect your plants for signs of pests or disease on a regular basis. This can help you catch problems early on and prevent them from spreading.
2. Practice good hygiene Make sure to clean your tools and equipment regularly to prevent the spread of disease. Also, remove any dead or diseased plant material from your growing area.
3. Use natural pest control methods Consider using natural methods like companion planting, beneficial insects, or neem oil to control pests without the use of harmful chemicals.
4. Treat pests and diseases promptly If you do notice a problem, act quickly to address it. There are many organic treatments available for common pests and diseases, but timing is critical.
5. Know when to call in the professionals If a problem becomes too overwhelming or you’re unsure of how to treat it, don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional or experienced grower.

By taking these steps and being vigilant about pest and disease prevention, you can help ensure a healthy and abundant cannabis harvest.

4. Provide Structural Support

When growing outdoor cannabis, it is important to provide structural support for your plants. This is especially true for strains that yield large, heavy buds that may cause branches to snap under their weight. Without proper support, your plants may suffer damage or even die.

There are several ways to provide structural support for your outdoor cannabis plants, including staking, trellising, and using cages. The best method for your plants will depend on their specific needs, as well as your own preferences.

One of the simplest ways to provide support for your plants is by using stakes. This involves inserting sturdy wooden or metal stakes into the ground at strategic locations around your plant. Then, use soft ties or string to tie the plant to the stake, giving it extra support as it grows.

Another option is trellising. This involves creating a horizontal net or grid above your plants, using stakes or poles to hold it up. As your plants grow, you can train them to grow through the openings in the trellis, allowing the buds to spread out more evenly and reducing the risk of branches breaking.

Finally, cages can be a good option for larger plants, or for those that need more support than stakes or trellises can provide. Cages can be custom-made or purchased at gardening stores and are typically made of wire or plastic. Simply place the cage over your plant and secure it in place with stakes or wires.

No matter what method you choose, providing structural support for your outdoor cannabis plants is a crucial step in ensuring healthy growth and a bountiful harvest. Taking the time to properly support your plants can mean the difference between a successful harvest and a disappointing one.

Harvesting and Processing Outdoor Cannabis

When it comes to harvesting and processing outdoor cannabis, there are several important steps to consider in order to maximize the quality and potency of your yield.

Determine the Optimal Harvest Time: The timing of your harvest can be critical in ensuring that your buds contain the highest levels of THC and other cannabinoids. Many growers aim to harvest their plants when the trichomes (resin glands) on the buds have turned cloudy or amber, indicating peak potency. It’s important to avoid harvesting too early, as this can lead to less potent buds, while harvesting too late can result in a loss of potency and flavor.

Take Proper Harvesting and Drying Precautions: Once your plants are ready to harvest, it’s important to handle them with care to avoid damaging the buds. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to cut the main stem of each plant at the base, and carefully trim away any large fan leaves. After harvesting, it’s important to dry your buds slowly in a well-ventilated area, ideally with a temperature of around 68-70°F and a relative humidity of around 50%. Drying too quickly can lead to harsh, brittle buds, while drying too slowly can result in mold and mildew.

Curing and Storage: After your buds have dried, it’s important to cure them in order to further develop their flavor, aroma, and potency. This can involve placing your dried buds in airtight mason jars and “burping” them periodically to allow excess moisture to escape. Many growers recommend curing for at least two weeks, though longer curing periods can lead to even more flavorful, potent buds. Once your buds are properly cured, it’s important to store them in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent degradation.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your outdoor cannabis crop is of the highest possible quality, with maximum potency, flavor, and aroma.

1. Determine the Optimal Harvest Time

Harvesting cannabis at the right time is crucial for the optimal potency and flavor of the buds. But how do you determine the best time to harvest your outdoor cannabis plants? It can be perplexing, as the optimal harvest time depends on several factors, including the strain, growing conditions, and desired effects. In this section, we will guide you through the process of determining the optimum harvest time for your outdoor cannabis plants, so that you can achieve the best possible results from your harvest.

2. Take Proper Harvesting and Drying Precautions

Proper Harvesting and Drying Precautions are essential for producing high-quality cannabis flowers. When it comes to harvesting outdoor cannabis plants, timing is crucial. Harvesting too early can result in buds that don’t have the desired potency, while harvesting too late can lead to an overgrowth of trichomes and a decline in quality.

To determine the optimal harvest time, it’s best to look at the color of the trichomes on the buds. When the trichomes turn from clear to cloudy or amber, it’s a sign that the plant is ready for harvest. At this stage, the flowers will have reached their maximum potency, and the terpenes will be at their peak flavor.

Once the buds have been harvested, it’s important to dry them properly to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. The drying process should take place in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Hanging the buds upside down on a wire rack or clothesline is a popular drying method that allows air to circulate around the buds.

Here are some additional precautions to take during the harvesting and drying process:

Precaution Description
Clean Tools Use clean, sterilized tools to prevent contamination of the buds during harvesting
Trimming Buds Remove any excess leaves or stems from the buds to improve the appearance and flavor of the final product
Avoid Overhandling Handle the buds as little as possible to prevent damage to the trichomes
Monitor Humidity Check the humidity levels regularly during the drying process to ensure they stay below 50%
Avoid Direct Sunlight Store the drying buds in a dark area away from direct sunlight to prevent the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes
Curing After the buds have dried, they should be cured in an airtight container to improve their flavor and potency

By taking the proper harvesting and drying precautions, outdoor cannabis growers can produce high-quality buds that are both potent and flavorful.

3. Curing and Storage

After the cannabis plants have been harvested and dried, the next step is curing and storage. Proper curing and storage can make a significant difference in the quality of the final product. Here are some important things to keep in mind during this process:

  • Curing: Curing refers to the process of drying the buds slowly over a period of several weeks to allow for the removal of excess moisture and the development of the desirable flavors and aromas. During this time, it is important to keep the buds in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area to prevent mold growth. The buds should be checked frequently for signs of mold or excessive moisture.
  • Jar Storage: Once the buds have finished curing, they can be stored in airtight jars. This helps to preserve the potency and flavor while protecting the buds from light, heat, and moisture. It is important to use clean jars that have been sterilized, as any bacteria or microbes could spoil the buds. Additionally, the buds should be stored in a cool, dark place that is free from excessive heat or fluctuations in temperature.
  • Humidity Control: Proper humidity control is crucial during the curing and storage process. When buds are too dry, they can become brittle and lose potency. When buds are too moist, they can become moldy or rancid. Using humidity control packs or a hygrometer can help to maintain optimal humidity levels in the jars.
  • Burping Jars: To prevent moisture buildup in the jars, it is important to “burp” them regularly. This involves opening the jar for a few minutes each day to allow for fresh air to circulate through the buds. This helps to prevent mold growth and ensure that the buds continue to cure properly.

Proper curing and storage is essential for producing high-quality outdoor cannabis. Paying attention to humidity control, jar storage, and burping can make a significant difference in the final product. With the right techniques, outdoor grown cannabis can be just as potent and flavorful as indoor varieties.


In conclusion, growing outdoor cannabis has its advantages and disadvantages. The potential for larger yields and lower production costs can be a great incentive for many growers, but climate limitations, pests, and security risks can also pose significant challenges.

Choosing the right strain is crucial to successfully cultivating cannabis outdoors. It’s important to consider your local climate, yield goals, and the resistance to pests and diseases of different strains.

Preparing the growing site is also essential for ensuring a healthy harvest. This includes selecting a suitable site with good soil quality and implementing proper drainage and adequate space.

Caring for outdoor cannabis involves proper watering and feeding, dealing with pests and diseases, and providing structural support. Harvesting and processing should also be done with care to ensure the final product is of the highest quality.

Overall, growing outdoor cannabis can be a rewarding experience for those willing to put in the required work and attention to detail. With the right strain selection, growing techniques, and care, outdoor cannabis can provide a bountiful harvest of high-quality buds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between growing outdoor and indoor strains?

Growing outdoor strains refers to cultivating cannabis plants in an outdoor environment, such as in a garden or field, using natural sunlight and soil. Indoor strains, on the other hand, are grown under controlled conditions in an indoor setting, often with artificial light and hydroponic systems.

Is it legal to grow outdoor strains?

Laws regarding the cultivation of cannabis vary widely depending on location. It is important to research and abide by local regulations and restrictions before growing outdoor strains.

How much yield can be expected from outdoor strains?

The yield potential for outdoor strains can vary widely depending on factors such as climate, soil quality, and strain selection. However, outdoor strains generally have a larger yield potential than indoor strains due to the natural sunlight and larger growth space.

What are some common pests and diseases that outdoor cannabis plants may face?

Outdoor cannabis plants may be susceptible to pests such as mites, aphids, and caterpillars, as well as fungal diseases like powdery mildew and botrytis.

How can I protect outdoor strains from pests and disease?

Using natural predators, like ladybugs or praying mantis, can help control pests naturally. Additionally, practicing good hygiene, such as regularly cleaning scissors and pruning tools, and using preventive treatments can reduce the risk of disease.

How much space should I allocate for outdoor cannabis plants?

The amount of space needed for outdoor cannabis plants depends on the strain’s growth habits and yield potential. As a general guideline, plants should have at least 3-4 square feet of space to grow properly and prevent overcrowding.

How often should I water outdoor strains?

Watering frequency for outdoor strains depends on various factors, including climate, soil quality, and plant size. As a general rule, watering thoroughly once or twice a week is recommended for most outdoor strains.

What is the optimal harvest time for outdoor strains?

The optimal harvest time for outdoor strains may vary depending on the strain’s growth pattern and geographic location. In general, harvesting when the majority of trichomes have turned milky can result in a more potent product.

How should I dry and cure outdoor cannabis buds?

After harvesting, outdoor cannabis buds should be dried by hanging them upside down in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated area for several days until the branches snap. After drying, buds should be cured by storing them in airtight containers, burping them daily, for several weeks to allow the flavors and aromas to develop.

Can I grow outdoor strains in a greenhouse?

Yes, growing outdoor strains in a greenhouse provides some of the benefits of both indoor and outdoor cultivation. The natural sunlight and fresh air of outdoor growing are combined with the controlled environment of indoor growing, allowing for extended growing seasons and increased yield potential.


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