How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors: A Beginner’s Guide
Gardening is therapeutic. Watering, pruning, and harvesting your plants gives you the chance to get out in the sunshine and tend to living things. When you harvest marijuana, you get an extra bonus. You get to smoke your bounty!
Once you’ve decided to grow your own marijuana, ask yourself whether you want to grow your weed indoors or outdoors. There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods. Indoor and outdoor growing are also both legal in California, but with some restrictions.
Use this guide to discover whether you want to grow outdoors and how to get started. Growing marijuana outdoors isn’t accessible to everyone, but with the right climate and care, you can produce a large amount of bud in the same garden beds as your tomatoes, potatoes, and green beans.
Legal Guide to Growing Marijuana Outdoors in California
The laws on growing marijuana outside vary from state to state. California’s laws are pretty sweet - but there are still some restrictions that are worth noting.
Only people 21 and over can grow marijuana. Or smoke it, buy it, hold it in their hands…
Private households can only grow six plants at one time. California allows these plants to grow on your private property at any stage, even if they have started flowering.
Marijuana plants must be kept out of sight. It’s not legal to leave your weed on your front porch for kids to see on their way to school. You can’t have it grow in the community garden either. You can actually only grow marijuana outdoors if you have a backyard that is fenced off from other properties.
This last rule limits a lot of people from growing outside. Apartment complexes just aren’t the best place to grow weed outside. But if you have enough “locked space” outside, it may be worth growing your bud where it can get some sun.
Why Grow Outside?
More space indoors. Six plants doesn’t sound like a lot of weed, but you could potentially produce over six pounds of bud! Marijuana plants grow tall and wide and require containers with 50L of space for maximum yield. That’s not always easy to store in your closet.
Indoor growers will also need to make sure they have proper lighting and humidifiers in their grow room. Those can also take up a lot of space. It’s just easier to pop your plants in your backyard than trying to stick them in the powder room.
Lower costs. Lighting, humidifiers, and other equipment can add up over time. (Also, you might see quite a spike in your energy bill if you’re shining bright lights on your plants for hours at a time!) Outdoor growers may need to spend more time trimming their plants, but overall, there are fewer costs, including the “cost” of your own labor,” that go into outdoor growing. The sun’s rays are free!
Pest protection. Growing plants outdoors can limit your yield. Indoor growers have a lot more control over factors like humidity, temperature, and light exposure. Unfortunately, indoor growers have a lot less control over pest protection. Mites that eat marijuana plants are much likely to invade indoor homes where they can munch on your bud freely. Outdoor predators can help to control the mite population, leaving outdoor growers more confident that their plants won’t be chewed up.
When To Start Growing Outdoors
One disadvantage of growing outdoors is that you have to adhere to the weather. You can make it 80 degrees inside anytime - if you have the equipment and the cash to pay the electric bill. Growing outdoors requires a bit of waiting until the season is right.
We recommend that you start germinating your seeds indoors between March and May. The germination process takes about two or three weeks, or even longer if some of your seeds are duds. Get started early and track the weather to figure out when to transplant your seeds outdoors.
You can move your little plants outside as early as mid-April or slack off until July. Since it only takes about 10 weeks to grow and harvest marijuana plants, you will want to get them in the ground early enough before the winter rolls in. Marijuana plants love temperatures between 50-80 degrees, which as much time on the warmer side as possible.
Best Strains to Grow Outside
Marijuana can be a picky plant. Different types of marijuana prefer different environments - cannabis sativa and cannabis indica have both evolved to adapt to climates with different sun exposure and temperatures.
Having six different plants gives you the opportunity to experiment with a few different strains. You can also take a different approach, by planting one strain and experimenting with different growing methods. While some strains are more likely to produce more bud than others, low stress training or high stress training may be the key to getting a full pound out of every plant.
If you’re new to growing marijuana outdoors, you might want to start by planting these strains. Whether you have a specific growing technique in mind or just want to casually grow some marijuana, you can get your money’s worth of bud from each plant.
Durban Poison won’t just be an easy strain to grow - once you start harvesting, you’ll have enough energy to go back and tend to all of the plants in your garden. This sativa produces loads of tight, pine-scented buds in just 10 weeks.
White Widow is one of the most popular strains of marijuana to smoke and grow. It comes from a strong line of cannabis sativa plants that are used to extra hot temperatures. Pests are no match for this strain either - it contains a thick layer of resin that keeps the bugs away and provides a beautiful flavour and aroma.
LSD is a hybrid strain. It won’t give you crazy, trippy visions, but it will help lift your spirits. This is a great strain to grow if you don’t have a lot of space in your backyard to grow weed. A little shade is okay, as long as the plants get exposure to the nice California summer temperatures.