Outdoor marijuana has an annual growth cycle.
Cannabis’ Growing Season – It Is Different Around the World
In the introduction, we said that harvest time occurs in September or October. This is the case in the Northern Hemisphere. However, it is essential to remember that the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. Therefore, while American growers are planting seeds in March, Australian cultivators are getting ready to harvest at the same time.
Not All Marijuana Strains Mature at the Same Time
Overall, sativas from regions near the equator have the longest flowering time of all. If you try to develop one of these strains too far north or south, they will die long before harvest time. Meanwhile, if you take a strain out of its natural coastal region and grow it in a warmer midlands area, it will probably flower faster.
We can’t stress enough that the timeframes in the above graphic are ranges of time for the Northern Hemisphere. You’ll need to adjust them based on your specific region and local weather and climate.
Be sure to keep a grow journal to track the progress of your plants. Looking back on your notes will help you learn from mistakes and maximize the quality and quantity of your buds.
Important dates for growing marijuana outdoors
It’s important to know these stages and how long each lasts to know what the plant needs and when. Knowing where your cannabis plants are in their life cycle will dictate when to prune, train, and trellis your plants, and when to harvest.
Notes on marijuana growth phases
Flowering stage length: 8-11 weeks
In general, 5-gallon pots are a good size for small-to-medium outdoor plants, and 10-gallon pots or larger are recommended for big plants. Regardless of size, you’ll want to protect the roots of your plants from overheating during warm weather, as pots can quickly get hot in direct sunlight. This will severely limit the growth of your plants, so be sure to shade your containers when the sun is high in the sky.
Typically, outdoor growers will add amendments to soil when weed plants are transplanted outside. Outdoor amendments usually come in powder form that you mix in with soil.
However, plants grown in pots, buckets, or barrels will likely be smaller than those planted in the ground because their root growth is restricted to the size of the container. In a broad sense, the size of the pot will determine the size of the plant, although it’s possible to grow large plants in small containers if proper techniques are used.
Buying the right soil for an outdoor cannabis grow
Sandy soil is easy to work, drains well, and warms quickly, but it doesn’t hold nutrients well, especially in rainy environments. You’ll want to dig large holes for your plants and add compost, peat moss, or coco coir, which will help bind the soil together.
Having a constant breeze is good for your plants, and especially in hot climates. But if you live in an area with a lot of high winds, consider planting near a windbreak of some sort, like a wall, fence or large shrubbery.
Some growers plant in containers on balconies or rooftops that are shielded from view, while some build heavy-gauge wire cages to keep thieves and animals at bay. Whatever you decide, think about how big you want your final plant to be—outdoor cannabis plants can grow to 10 feet tall or even more, depending on how much you let them go.
How to set up your outdoor marijuana grow
Garden plot: Probably the most common outdoor growing spot, many will plant cannabis alongside other growing veggies.
Most potting soils used in gardening are loam soils. If you’ve ever worked with potting soil, you’ll know that its composition is rich and diverse, and it looks dark and hearty. Beyond texture and color, the soil should smell rich and alive.