Cannabis can be a deceptively easy plant to grow, and in fact just like roses and grapes it can actually be found growing wild in many countries around the globe.
But just like roses it’s important to keep in mind that in the end what you’re really growing is flowers. Then just like grapes to be made into wine there’s aesthetic, flavor, and aroma issues that need to be considered as well.
So for the backyard gardener whose operating without the benefit of a cannabis growing guide the prospect can be as easy as sprinkling some seeds around on the bare ground. They’ll get plants too, and just like a healthy well fed tomato plant the rate of growth can be surprising. Two and 3 inches per day is not uncommon.
When it comes time to producing flowers however, which is what the buds are comprised of, the final harvest can fall well short of what they may have estimated judging on the rate of plant growth. Then to top that off, the quality of the limited amount of bud they’ll end up with can also be sorely lacking. This in spite of a successful summer growing season.
Cannabis Growing Guide to Outdoor Seeds
So it all begins with the seeds and the last thing you should do is plant seeds that you’ve picked out of a bag of cannabis that you bought, regardless of the quality.
The reason here is that over the course of the last few decades plant geneticists in places like Amsterdam have managed to successfully isolate a large variety of cannabis strains.
So that bag you have may in fact be grown from a specialized “indoor” hybrid.
“Hybrid is really a expression used to explain marijuana plant offspring created by crossbreeding two different ‘true-breeding’ parents. True-breeding marijuana plants will produce in keeping with type if produced using their own seed products, so different decades will share similar qualities.”
So the problem now is that just like any type of hybrid strain of plant or animal, along with the positives that were targeted or sought after during the hybridization or genetic isolation process come some negatives.
Things that were perhaps lost in exchange for perhaps better flavor and aroma. Genetic traits like a plants natural resistance to insects and root fungus.
Not to worry though because strains that grow better and produce a higher quality product “outdoors” have also been isolated and the good news is that they’re now easier than ever to buy online. So not only can you buy the outdoors seeds you need but you also have a very broad selection that allows you to pick out the size and the shape of the plants as well, along with the color and flavor of the finished buds.
Start Out With a Flat of Plant Starts
Then even though it’s now possible to order up a specific strain of outdoor seeds online, just like a litter of, say puppies from a specific breed, in spite of their shared genetics each one of those seeds can produce plants with their own unique subtle characteristics.
Little differences that slightly separate each one from the others.
Little things like flavor, color and general health that make some more preferable than the rest.
So this is why you don’t want to just stick your seeds in the ground and go “with whatever” pops up. Instead what you’re going to do is plant about three times as many seeds in cups of potting soil than the number of plants that you intend on growing.
“Chrystal limit is a stable indica/sativa hybrid of two potential marijuana strains, Crystal and K.C. 606, and one of those cannabis which has no limits. Her highest qualities have been noticed – she won the first place at the HighLife Cup 2002.”
About a third of them will end up becoming males which will leave about twice as many young plants for you to select the best out of.
A Few Tips on Soil Mulching and Conditioning
Cannabis plants grow best in a well conditioned soil for deep rooting.
Then given the value of the crop that you’re going to harvest you may want to invest a little more money in higher priced soil conditioners.
Conditioners like Canadian sphagnum peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. Cannabis also does better in a pH balanced soil, so if you’re going to use the peat moss which tends to be a bit acidic you’ll also want to add some lime to the mix.
“Some garden experts suggest that lime is a soil amendment. Others claim that it is a soil conditioner.
These are both rather vague terms.”
Common lawn lime is also marketed as dolomite and it works just fine for sweetening soil. Or if you’re gardening in a mountainous region were soil tends to be naturally slightly acidic you’ll want to add some lime into the growing mix even if you’re not mulching in any peat moss in.
Also keep in mind as you’re preparing your grow bed that the volume of it will work to determine the size of the plant that grows in it.
Tips and Pointers for The Final Budding Stage
Then at the end of the summer growing season when early fall begins setting in, the initial budding stage becomes evident by small white hairs that start sprouting on the tips of the branches.
A time when the nutrient intake of the cannabis plant also begins to change with nitrogen intake going down while potassium and phosphorous consumption goes up to produce the flowers that will make up the buds.
So adjust your fertilizer blend accordingly and there’s also one other thing to keep in mind here.
That is that the large swollen heavy seedless buds that you’re cannabis plants will produce is an “unnatural process” because under normal circumstances the plant would be pollinated.
“If you’re growing outdoors during the summer, you can cover your greenhouse with a blanket during the appropriate times, so that the plants get about 12 hours of light and 12 of dark.”
So it in turn causes an unnatural level of stress on the joints of the branches where they meet the stock, that can result in them snapping off. So as the branches become weighted down by growth you’ll want to use tie wire to keep them from snapping off, particularly in a rainstorm.
Attach a piece of tie-wire about a foot or so out on each branch from where it joins to the stock. Then take the other end of that section of tie wire and run it back to the main stock about a foot or so up from the joint into the stock. When you’re done each branch on your plant will have its own supporting wire holding it in place in the same fashion as cables are used a suspension bridge to hold the road up.
Harvesting and Drying Your Final Product
Now the longer you leave the flower buds out on the plant to accumulate and get heavier, the more potent they’ll become, up to a certain point.
That is that you don’t want to leave them out too long at the end of the fall season if you live in an area that’s prone to wet weather because they are susceptible to mold if they stay wet too long .
Then another thing to keep in mind here is that once the buds stop producing white hairs at the tips, and the existing hairs begin to dry and turn brown, the flowered process has completed.
“Having spent time, money and effort growing your marijuana, it is a shame to let it all down by not drying and curing the harvest properly. Luckily it’s not a difficult thing to transform the sticky flowers into a good smoke, but there are a few rules.”
To harvest them simply cut the entire branches away from the stock and hang them upside-down from a string or wire strung across a cool dark room in much the same way as you would hang laundry.
A dark room so the chlorophyll in the buds will be dissipated is much as possible and also a cool room so the finished product will remain fresh smelling and flavorful. Then on a final note: finished cannabis buds keep best in a sealed plastic bag in a freezer.
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