Outdoor The vast majority of you are probably still hiding under the covers, in front of the fireplace or heater and wrapped in coats, hats and gloves. The cold weather insists on staying and the outdoor growing season seems further away than ever. Don’t give up! Hang in there! The good weather will return, and before you know it, you’ll be digging in your garden again, under a blazing sun, preparing for what surely will be an exquisite harvest.
The vast majority of you are probably still hiding under the covers, in front of the fireplace or heater and wrapped in coats, hats and gloves. The cold weather insists on staying and the outdoor growing season seems further away than ever. Don’t give up! Hang in there! The good weather will return, and before you know it, you’ll be digging in your garden again, under a blazing sun, preparing for what surely will be an exquisite harvest.
Germinating the seeds
Once you have chosen your favourite variety of marijuana seeds, the first step, obviously, is to germinate them. It goes without saying that this must be done correctly, as otherwise the seeds will be useless. Be patient and leave the seeds for 2 to 7 days in an environment with the right temperature, humidity and lack of light. Bear in mind that some seeds may need a bit more time to “break through”.
The method for germinating is up to you. The method I will explain here is highly recommended, as it is without a doubt the most effective, straightforward and reliable.
This method is carried out using wet tissues and two plates. The first thing you do is cover one of the plates with wet tissues. Remember to remove the excess water underneath if necessary.
Once you have done this, place your seeds on the tissues, leaving enough space between each one, and cover them with several layers of wet tissues. Repeat the process of removing excess water if necessary. Don’t forget that as the days go by, you need to wet the tissues as needed to keep them from drying out.
To finish, cover everything with another plate turned upside down to create the small “cave” needed for the seeds to germinate. This step is very important because if the optimum conditions of humidity and darkness are created, the seeds can “break through” and be transplanted directly into the soil. Finally, don’t forget to put the plates in a warm place, around 21º C, and keep them out of direct light.
The next step will be to transplant the seeds to seedbeds or pots. That’s it!
You can transplant the seeds once you have seen the first millimetres of root appear. Using tweezers for this is highly recommended. First, make a small hole in the soil (or chosen substrate), then put the seed in root-first, then cover it. Wait 1 to 3 days, and if you’ve done everything properly, the seedling will appear.
As I mentioned, the right conditions are very important, otherwise the seeds will remain in their dormant state and we won’t see our seedlings appear.
The importance of the climate
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the climate. Naturally, we all have our favourite variety, which we anxiously wait to plant after the long, hard winter months. It goes without saying that sunny, Mediterranean climes with long summers are incredibly good for growing any variety of cannabis outdoors. Almost all places in the southern hemisphere, as well as many places below 45ºN and almost all places below 40ºN in the northern hemisphere have this climate. Jack Flash #5 seeds from Sensi Seeds are ideal if you are lucky enough to live in a Mediterranean climate. The dominant sativa Jack Flash is surprising in every way. If you are a gardener with enough space for medium to large plants, you will love this variety. Its flavour, yield and potency for mind and body are unmistakable. Its solid heads full of resin are a treat.
Bear in mind that if the temperature is below 10-12 degrees, marijuana won’t grow very well, but the same is true of temperatures above 30ºC.
In cold climates with short summers, more resistant plant varieties with earlier flowering are grown. Normally, this type of seed has been developed specifically for outdoor growing in northern areas and they are able to grow and flower in latitudes around 50ºN, and in some cases even 60ºN.
Finally, skunk type varieties are a very good option for outdoor growing in areas with temperate climates and normal summers. It’s important to know that places in the northern hemisphere below 50ºN and almost all places below 45ºN have this type of climate.
Bearing in mind these basic concepts, the latitude of the place where you live and the varieties that best adapt to your climate, the spring could be an ideal time for beginning your quest for perfect cannabis.
Remember that outdoor growing in pots on the balcony is not the same as “guerrilla” growing. Needless to say, these two concepts are totally different, but they both have very satisfactory results. In general, outdoor growing is considered the simplest method as it allows the plant to grow in a natural
environment, so as long as you choose the right variety for the climate in your area, everything will work out perfectly!
One of the major advantages of outdoor growing is that significant yields can be obtained with the smallest investment, and in these times, that is good news for everyone!
Once we are clear on the conditions that we need – the right environment, the right growing spot, the type of outdoor growing, and the variety that best suits our needs – we can start without any problems.
Growing on terraces and small balconies
There are different methods for outdoor growing. One option is growing on terraces or balconies, and the ease of this method makes it perhaps the most popular among cannabis gardeners. Another option is growing on large areas, far away from observers, which is also known as “guerrilla growing” and is the ideal method for obtaining as many plants as possible. The chosen growing method depends on the grower’s goal, the area where he or she lives, the legal restrictions in force in the relevant country and the desired yield.
Several factors should be kept in mind when opting for the traditional pot growing on the terrace or balcony.
Remember that, obviously, outdoor growing is restricted to spring. The first priority is ensuring the right climatic conditions, that is, that the marijuana receives the greatest number of hours of sunlight possible. The number can vary greatly according to where the marijuana is planted. Remember that, although direct sunlight is desirable, if the temperature is very high, the roots of the plants can be badly damaged, which is not recommended at all! While the goal is to make sunlight an ally, knowing how to benefit from the advantages of our sunlight hours without damaging the crop is essential. One option is to move the pots around throughout the day so that, if done properly, use can be made of all the possible hours of sunlight! Six to nine hours of direct sunlight are recommended, plus the same amount of hours of indirect sunlight, with a total of around 14-16 hours of sunlight per day, depending on the month and the region.
In regard to watering, the rule is “neither too much nor too little”, that is, just the right amount so that the cannabis doesn’t die of thirst and doesn’t get watered too much. Overwatering the plants will mean they need ever more water! Of course, as the plant grows it will need more water too. An increase in water may also be necessary before then if, for example, it is hotter or windier than normal.
When to harvest
Once you dealt with the terrible pests and your plants have grown as they should, it is time to reap the harvest. That unmistakable moment of glory when you can finally see the fruits of your labour, breathe a sigh of relief and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
There are different ways of harvesting marijuana, and the method used depends on the experience of the grower and the purpose – commercial or otherwise.
There is no exact science to tell you the exact moment for harvesting marijuana. One of the most archaic methods, but maybe one of the most effective, is simply observing the plants regularly to see when the best time is. That way you can be sure if the time has come or if it would be better to wait a little longer.
This method may be too general, and difficult to apply for those without enough experience growing cannabis, so if you know someone who has planted the same variety before, don’t hesitate to ask whatever you need to know. They can give you a lot of information, for example, depending on the variety, the harvest will occur at a specific time. This is why it is important to know what you are planting. Also bear in mind that the harvest may be earlier or later depending on the year.
An important thing to keep in mind is that your beloved plants should not receive any type of fertiliser the week before being harvested. Do give them a lot of water, as that will improve the flavour of the marijuana.
Important factors before and during the harvest
Most new growers are keen to harvest as soon as possible. Don’t worry; it’s normal for you to be enthusiastic, so if you can’t hold back, only cut the heads off from the middle of the plant up and leave the rest to continue growing.
Once the time has come to harvest, you must follow a series of important steps for everything to go as planned. One major tip for harvesting your outdoor crop is to start very early, before the sunlight is at full strength.
This method is recommended because often the upper parts of the plants mature first, so harvesting these parts first is no problem. Harvest, then leave the rest of the plant a little bit longer.
You will see for yourself that the heads on the lower part become larger and turn a paler colour as they become more mature.
It is also usually recommended to start cutting the plant away from the core of the root. If the plants are too big to be harvested by cutting the lower part, it is better to start by cutting off the largest, heaviest branches. If you remember to leave one or two larger stems joined to the branches you are cutting, you will appreciate it later, as these stems will form a “V” in the branches which will make it easier for you to dry your precious marijuana.
You should always treat your plant with the utmost care. If you split a branch or cut as if you have two left hands, you run the risk of the trichomes breaking. That is why it is extremely important to use the right tools. Don’t hesitate to buy the necessary equipment, because what you want to harvest is worth more than its weight in gold to you. Don’t mistreat it!
We won’t say goodbye to indoor growing yet
All the same, indoor growing is not over yet. You can still enjoy it a bit longer. The good thing about choosing a variety for indoor growing is that you don’t need to choose one which is suited to the climate of your area, as you have to create a suitable growing environment yourself in a closed room, so you don’t need to worry about the weather outside. Whatever the climate conditions in the place where we live, they will not influence your indoor growing at all.