So you are lucky enough to have the best light there is for your plants, the SUN! Growing outdoors comes with its own benefits and hardships so it pays to think about it first. Remember, MAKE A PLAN!
A few of the things to keep in mind before you plant your outdoor garden:
- Know your Soil (type) From “THE BASICS”
- Access – Can you get to your grow site easily, are the materials necessary to care for your grow easily obtained
- Stealth – can anyone, everyone else see, smell or reach it? Don’t forget height, some plants can easily reach 10′ (3m)
- How much Sun will or can it get
- Is there Protection (from the elements, predators, heat, dryness, humidity, wind)
- How will you water your grow
- Will you plant; In the ground, In Containers
- Outdoors, you have less options to reduce heat during a heat wave than growing indoors. Growing in desert climates is extremely difficult. You have even fewer options when it comes to controlling humidity outdoors.
- It is possible to partially shield your plants when you know the temperature is going to get hot. You can also adjust your watering schedule to make sure plants at least have plenty of water.Some things to try when you know the weather outside is going to be hot or dry:
- water plants in the evening or early morning to help prevent water evaporation during the hottest hours
- kelp extract for roots – provide a small amount of liquid fertilizer that contains seaweed kelp extract (can help protect against heat stress)
- increase shade to reduce the heat experienced by plants – you can use an old sheet or other cloth as a short term solution, or get a professionally made “Sun Shade Sail” which is made particularly to create shade outdoors. It’s important to remember that giving plants shade for more than a few days will make them less “hardened” to the sun, and you may need to reintroduce full sunlight back slowly to prevent them from getting shocked from the light intensity
- move potted plants – luckily with potted plants, it’s usually easier to move them out of direct sunlight during a heat wave
- take extra good care of heat-stressed plants – when cannabis plants appear heat-stressed, try to baby them as best you can, and offer shade during the hottest days.
When growing cannabis outdoors, too humid conditions are harder to battle than purely high temps. It can often take a few weeks for plant to recover after a hot or dry spell, so prevention is the best medicine for outdoor plants.
During humid conditions, it’s important to remove wind breaks that may be blocking wind from hitting your plants, which will increase airflow around the plants. By making sure plants are getting lots of fresh, moving air, you can combat mold and other problems normally associated with too-humid air.
Avoid over-watering plants during very humid conditions, and try to avoid allowing leaves to touch each other. Cannabis plants lose moisture through their leaves, and two leaves laying on top of each other during humid weather creates a humid environment for mold to take hold. Some light defoliation (removing leaves) may be needed to help prevent leafy outdoor plants from laying all over each other when it’s too humid, possibly creating the right conditions for mold to grow on the leaves or buds.
Keeping outdoor cannabis plants in pots or other moveable containers can be very beneficial when growing outdoors if you live close enough to your grow spot, because it gives you better ability to move the plants if needed to react to weather conditions. When your plant is in the soil, there’s very little you can do in bad weather besides wait and hope.