3. Outdoor Grow Essentials

Marijuana plant gardening outdoors

New DIY growers should continually remind themselves of the most important fact – marijuana is one of the easiest crops to grow recreationally. In this book we provide the essentials for a terrific outdoor grow that produces potent marijuana.

Everything we outline in this book gets you a near-perfect outdoor marijuana grow! There are many growing gimmicks, like adding fishbone meal to your soil, that have very marginal to non-measurable impacts on your grow. Bottom-line: it simply isn’t worth the extra cost or the headache.

 

Tools and Supplies

It doesn’t get any more complicated than simple gardening essentials!

Marijuana tools and supplies

Selecting a Suitable Site for your Outdoor Grow

You don’t need swathes of pasture to grow marijuana. Most small balconies are suitable for up to 4-6 plants. A small backyard provides even more flexibility, depending if you opt to plant your marijuana directly into planter boxes or keep them in pots.

If privacy is a concern, pots are absolutely the best option. One of the things we most often hear is that gardeners would like to grow marijuana, but were concerned what their extended family would think. If the plants are in pots, it’s easy enough to sneak them inside or to the side of the house for an afternoon.

Cannabis plants in pots on balcony in Spain

Depending on your geography winds can be a challenge– many healthy potted marijuana plants have been toppled by strong winds! Anchoring down pots with stones or bricks is always a good idea. You may also want to consider a fence to protect your plants from animals that could hurt your corp.

Optimizing Location for Sunlight

Sun orientation for growing marijuana

Where will the sun rise from? Remember, sunlight is the most important element that your plants use to develop. Take full advantage of the morning

sun and make sure your plants get at least six hours of direct sunlight.

The optimal location depends on where you live: for example, those who live in the northern hemisphere should always try to plant their garden so it’s exposed to the south. That’s because this location will get the most sunlight by constantly facing the sun’s trail as it rises and sets.

Conversely, people in the southern hemisphere should try to plant with northern exposure. If you’re lucky enough to live near the equator, feel free to disregard this advice, as the sun’s arch will pass directly above your head! A few hours of extra sunlight per day will work wonders for your plants, so choose carefully!

marijuana plant spacing in garden

Spacing

If you’re planting directly into the ground or into a planter box we recommend 1 square-foot spacing between each plant, this allows them enough room for the root system to develop and importantly it allows you room to navigate around each plant to trim them properly.

 

Types of Soil

Soil is an important consideration for marijuana DIY growers. Just as a hobby gardener tills the soil and adds rich compost for a better vegetable crop, the same applies to marijuana.

Ideal Soil for Potted Plants

Potted marijuana plants require a soil that has a good combination of nutrients and excellent drainage.  Most manure is too dense and can result in water not being able to drain adequately. We recommend the following soil mix composition for potted marijuana plants:

  • 2/3rd – Organic composted soil, we recommend Scott’s Nature Care Organic Raised Bed Soil
  • 1/3rd – Perlite potting soil mix, this is soil that has white rocks inside (the perlite), which increases the drainage within the pot and improves the oxygen content of the soil.

Soil for In Ground Plants

Depending on the soil conditions where you live, you’ll need to enhance the quality of your grow bed as required. Dry, sandy soil will require far more soil enhancement versus rich loamy black soil. We recommend that you augment your outdoor soil conditions with organic composted soil (recommended: Scott’s Nature Care Organic Raised Bed Soil).

Reading the pH Levels of Soil

For an in ground outdoor grow, it’s important you check the acidity of the ground – if it’s too acidic or too alkaline. You would add lime to raise the acidity or add elemental sulfur to reduce it. A soil pH meter costs about $8 and can help you test the acidity of the soil before planting.

The pH spectrum is between 1 and 14: The lower the number the more acidic the soil is. Marijuana generally thrives at levels between 5.5 to 7, which is quite a broad range, considering the value of the difference between two numbers is tenfold. To give you an example, a pH of 5 is ten times more acidic than a value of 6!

The pH is important because in extreme cases, nutrients won’t be able to be absorbed, leading to dead or sick plants. Too acidic soil can cause a nutrient lockdown, meaning the plant won’t be able to process nutrients. On the other hand, too alkaline soil can also have negative effects.


Chapter 4 – Indoor Grow Essentials »

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