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outdoor cannabis grow calendar

Outdoor cannabis grow calendar

Figuring out which strains you want to grow, where to purchase them, where on your property you want to grow, and your local climate and weather can take some time and work. And once you order seeds, it can take a few weeks for them to arrive. Be sure to do your research early and get a head start so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute and miss the ideal time to grow.

Take meticulous notes on when and how you perform each step, as well as what the weather is like. Other notes can include how much water you give plants, at what intervals, and how much nutrients you give them. Pictures will also give you a better sense of how your plants look along the way.

As the sun reaches up high in the sky, your cannabis will want to as well. Make sure all of your plants are outside by the Summer Solstice.

Germinate/Sow seeds

Growing cannabis outdoors is easy. All you need is a nice open space that gets lots of light, a water supply, good soil, and a way to cover the plants when the weather turns.

Growers can clean up their plants anywhere from 1-4 times during the season, depending on how big the crop is and how much labor is needed.

Buy seeds

What kind of strain you have and what climate you live in will determine when to harvest your strains. Indicas typically grow stouter and bushier and there is more of a concern that their dense buds will get moldy, so they’re usually harvested on the early side of the season. Sativas are generally taller and less dense, so they usually get harvested later.

Once your plants start flowering and producing buds—generally, sometime in August—you want to stop topping your plants.

Outdoor cannabis grow calendar

Use a grow journal. Tracking the details of your grow efforts, from germination to final cure, will help you become a better cannabis-plant parent. When it’s time for a new season, reviewing the successes and failures from the last crop will make your thumb greener — not to mention improve the quality and quantity of your final harvest. There are lots of ready-made cannabis grow journals out there, but really all you need is a pad of paper and an eye for detail.

This, of course, varies by region. Farmers in California enjoy generally warmer growing seasons and can plant outside earlier while also harvesting later than, say, New York, whose growing season is shorter on both ends. Regardless of where you’re growing, the main goal is to time planting for maximum light during the summer and maximum growth before fall sets in.

Seedlings are baby plants. Whether you’ve sprouted your own seed or bought a clone, during this first stage of life the plants are delicate and sensitive.

Spring to early summer: seedling stage Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Photo by: Damien Robertson/Weedmaps

Timing the harvest is an art form in and of itself, though the general rule of thumb is on or around the Fall Equinox. Aside from brown pistils, a close inspection of the trichomes is helpful. Generally, growers look for trichomes that have an amber hue to them. When the plant is ready to harvest you’ll probably also see the fan leaves starting to yellow, curl, and dry out.

Plant companions. “Plant beneficial companion plants like marigolds, basil, lemon balm, or lavender. Not only do they invite pollinator insects into your garden, but they also invite beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which will prey on cannabis pests like aphids,” recommended Natalie Cox, a horticulturist and cannabis educator in Canada.

Why do growers plant and harvest cannabis at specific times of the year?

Let’s talk about what “weed season” means in the US, and how you can time your outdoor grow to get the best results.

As the flowers fatten up, they might become too heavy for the branches to handle, and growers often give their plants some help with a trellis, bamboo canes, or another form of support. Extra nutrients like phosphorus are often given during the flowering stage.