Outdoor Cannabis Growing: The Basics
Outdoor Growing Tips For Ontario
1. Start your plants indoorsFluorescent lights will do a great job and are very cheap. If you start the plants in late March, you can easily have mature plants (at about 1 or 2 feet tall) for the beginning of June. If you top them, you'll have small bushes to plant. Plant during June, there is no more risk of late frost and the vegetation will already have started to grow, making your plants more stealth and less tempting for deer (or other animals)
This is a crucial decision; you need a location with a lot of sun. It is best to prep the site by May for out-planting in June.
2. Choose a growing location carefully
My tip would be to choose a place where your plants will NOT receive direct light in the morning. This way your plants will defrost slowly in the morning as the air is warming up, and will tolerate a couple of nights where temperatures go below zero. This is important, because of lot of strains will need these extra days or weeks to be 100% ready for harvest.
Alternatively, find a place near a river or a lake, because water will help moderate night time temperatures. If none of this is possible, try to water your plants during the evening before a frost is forecast this should protect your roots from freezing. If it is possible, you can plant very close to your house; the heat of the house will prevent early frost.
A friend told me that he planted his clones in buckets and buried them in the soil to give temperature protection to the roots. Plants in pots should be buried, or your soil /root zone could become hot during the day and colder in the night — this could unduly stress the plant.
3. The choice of strain is very important
Forget about long flowering sativas - choose great strains with 9 or less weeks of flowering.
Here are a few I know work well in our climate: Northern Lights, Skunk, Cindy99, White Shark and Chemo.
Look in Strain Guide for short period flowering strains. I also suggest to try some of the Canadian seed banks - they have outdoor strains adapted to early frost.
Try multiple strains (2 or 3), you will have more chance to find the perfect one for your region.
4. Get The Right Equipment
Most of the people that I know, grow outdoors once and year and hope for enough weed to last until next years grow season. This is entirely possible. You just need to have the right tools to maximize your growth. Here is my list of outdoor growing essentials:
1. The Pot - the bigger the roots, the better the fruit
2. Grow Food - every plant needs nutrients to grow
3. Potassium Silicate - an added boost to help your plants be extra resilient to the outdoors
4. The Right Soil - our backyards do not always have ideal soil for growing cannabis
5. Bloom Food - to help those buds get huge
6. Bud Boosters - to ensure that those huge buds are dense colas
7. Great Pruners - to help you harvest the fruits of your labour!
Wrap UpStart your plant during beginning of spring (RIGHT NOW), choose a short or medium flowering time strain (try a couple different strains, you will find the best for your region) . Find a good spot who will prevent early frost and at the end of September or beginning of October you should be able to enjoy the results of all your work!
One of the biggest problems (in northern climes) is frost; frost during the spring can damage growing shoots on young plants and seedlings in the spring, and fall/winter frosts can cause problems during harvest. Frost shortens the period of time we have to grow.
Look out for our next blog on some of the biggest risks to your outdoor crop.
If you are thinking of growing outdoors or have some questions, call us or swing by the shop and chat with someone on our grow team.
Address: 1332 Bloor Street West, Toronto