1 . Picking a Sight
For most medical marijuana consumers,choosing a sight,if they can even grow outdoorat all,is not an option. A lot of people dont have back yards and if they do they are not big enough to be picky about where to plant your crop. Never-the less,if you do have an option,picking the right spot to grow your crop could be the difference between healthy plants or weak dying plants. The most important factor to growing marijuana period,is lighting. Find a place that gets at least 5 hours of direct light. If your plants are in a spot that gets 5 hours of direct light,that means that for 5 hours of the day the suns light will shine directly on your plants,and the rest of the day the plants will get in-direct light,which is basically shade. South facing locations will get the most sun. Look all around the spot where you are going to put your plants and see if there is anything that would block the sunlight. A good way to find out how many hours of direct sun the spot where you want to grow get is by checking on it throughout the day. Go to the spot first thing in the morning and check on it every 2 hours. This will give you a good idea of how much sun the gets.5 hours is the recommended minimum,the more direct sun the better. A spot where your plants would get direct sun from the moment the sun rises to the moment it sets,would be ideal. Also,think about how many plants you plan on growing. If you are starting your plants in spring, meaning you plan on your plants getting big,you want to space your plants at least 3 feet apart from each other. If you are starting your plants later in the year you can get away with only 2 feet between plants. Be aware how visible your plants will be to neighbors and other people. Growing marijuana is like growing no other crop. You could grow tomatoes and lettuce all day,but as soon as you have a few marijuana plants,people with bad intentions will start targeting your location. Keep in mind that your plants could get as big as 15 to 20 feet. If you simply can’t grow your plants that big,then I suggest you use the short and stalky method described below. Remember,your plants will start flowering in fall. So if you start your plants in spring,they will get big before it is finally time to flower. Access to water is another important factor to choosing your location. A few years back I thought it would be a good idea to grow on this mountain about 3/4 of a mile uphill from my house. At first when the plants where small I would bring a couple of jugs of water to water them. When the plants started getting big,they needed a lot of water. I had to carry gallons and gallons of water up this hill pretty much every day. If there is no running water get a 55 gallon drum to store rain water at the site,or find a nearby stream. Finding a spot with ideal would be nice,but you can always add amendment to make the soil better. Most places in North America simply don’t have the best soil anyways. If it comes down to it,it is better to find a spot with good sun and bad soil than vise versus. You want a soil that is a nice loam. A soil that drains well and also has enough organic material in it to hold water well too. You should be able to scoop out soil with one hand. Temperature is na important factor to choosing your spot. I know you probably thinking that the temperature is the same whether you plant on this side of your yard or the other. That is not necessarily true. You can find micro-climates. A warm micro-climate won’t be drastically different that the surrounding area,but hopefully just enough to extend the growing season a few weeks,or a few degrees above frost when the rest of the town is experiencing frost. Once again a south facing location is prime. A south facing location will get more sun than a north facing location,making the area get warmer faster in the spring and stay warmer longer in the fall. Be aware of the surrounding materials. Large bodies of water,dark surfaces,concrete,stone and buildings all will retain heat keeping the surrounding area just a little bit warmer at night,when your plants are more susceptible to frost. Also keep in mind that warm air rises and cold air falls. So the air at the top of a hill will be a little warmer than the bottom. On top of that the soil on top of the hill will drain a little better,because all of the finer sentiment will have fallen through the years. In a general sense,think like a plant. Be aware of everything your plants need and make sure that the location you are choosing is the best fit to suit their needs. You can go to your local garden center or look in a farmers almanac to find out when it is recommended to grow warm season crops in your area. Find out when the last frost in spring and the first frost in fall usually is in your area. Once you have a general idea when the last frost is,you can know when to start your plants. For a more fine tuned forecast of your local weather,google it. Google will give you a 5 day weather forecast for your area. 32 degrees is frost. So check google every 5 days,if the weather is supposed to dip below 32 degrees,cover your plants with black plastic or a 15 gallon black growers pot to keep the hot air in. If they are in pots simply bring them in for the night to guarantee they won’t get frost. No weather forecast is perfect,but the google 5 day forecast hasn’t done me wrong yet. The trick is to allow a few degrees margin of error. If google says the temperature low for the night is 34 degrees or lower,I assume it is going ot freeze and I take the necessary precautions.
2. Preparing The Sight
So you’ve found a place to grow. Now its time to work. The first thing your going to do is prep the ground. It is always easiest to prep the ground the fall before,while the ground is still warm. If you plan on growing this season,start working the ground when it has warmed up a little. If the ground is still frozen,it going to be hard to work with the soil. Still,try to prepare your sight at least a few weeks before you plant,this will allow the soil to break down a little. Start by figuring out where you are going to plant your plants,how many,how far apart,etc. If you are starting your plants in spring give each plant at least 3 feet on each side of space before you plants another plant. If you are planting seedlings in May or later,you probably can get away with as little as 2 feet on each side,but no less. If you want healthy plants,give them plenty of root and above ground space to grow. Once you know where you are going to plant each plant,mark the exact spot with a rock or a pot so you won’t forget the exact locations. Water each spot deeply the day before planting. It would be good to turn a hose down all the way so it just drips,leave the hose to drip on each location for a few hours. You can also use a hose sprinkler for a few hours to water the whole planting area. This will make the soil a lot easier to work with. Once the soil has absorbed the water,dig a circular hole for each plant about the size of a 15 gallon growers pot (2″wide x 3″deep). Keep in mind,the harder you sweat now,the healthier your plants will be later. Completely empty out each hole and have the soil in a pile next to the hole. Once the hole is empty,pour 2 gallons off amendment and 1 gallon of sand,perlite or vermiculite in the bottom of hole. With shovel break apart bottom and corners of hole while mixing the amendment in. Mix amendment with the existing pile of soil as recommended on amendment directions. If using homemade compost mix about 1/3 compost 2/3 soil. Mix in 2 gallons of perlite,vermiculite or horticultural sand and 1 1/2 gallons of peat moss or coco fiber in with the pile as well. Keep in mind that peat moss is highly acidic as coco fiber is not,if you have the option choose coco fiber over peat moss. Do not add any granular fertilizer. Mix well and fill hole with mix. Make a rim around the edge of the hole to hold in water Check the pH of soil now. It should be between 6.5 and 7.0. Dolomite lime has a pH of 7.0 so you can use 2 cups of fine dolomite lime to neutralize the soil. If the pH is too high you can use peat moss or cottonseed meal to lower the ph. If the pH is too low you can use crushed egg shells,hydrated lime or ashes to raise the pH. Do not use ammonium sulfate as it can easily burn your plants. After change the pH with an additive,water and wait 2 days before checking the pH again. If the pH is fine or you are done adjusting it water each hole deeply with liquid seaweed kelp and fish emulsion. Mark the spots that you prepared by putting a stake or rock in the center of each hole. At the very soonest,you will be planting your medical marijuana plants at this sight in a week. If weeds start to grow,pull them immediately before they have a chance to seed. Now it is time to make small cages for your seedlings. Take chicken wire or even better,1/2″hardware cloth. Cut a piece that is 3′x 1′. Bend the piece long ways so it is a 1 foot tall cylinder. Cut a circle out of the hardware cloth to make a top for it. You should now have a cylinder that has 1 opening. You will place this over your seedlings when they first go outdoors to protect them from pests.
3. Germinating Seeds
There are a thousand and one ways to germinate seeds,though they all work on the same concept. Allowing the seed to absorb water while not drowning it. Soaking your seeds overnight in water helps some thick skinned seeds to absorb water. Rough the edges up with fine sandpaper a little bit can also break down the hard seed wall making it easier to absorb water. Starting your seeds a during a full moon can add to the sucess of germinating seeds as well.
Germinating seeds with Rockwool
The easiest and most effective way I have found to start seeds is using Rockwool. I have tested different mediums to germinate seeds in,in the exact same environment,time and time again,the results are either the same or better with Rockwool. Rockwool is also easy to use and doesn’t make a mess. Soak Rockwool starter plugs overnight in water that has a pH of 5.5. You can also fill a bowl with water,squeeze a lemon into the water and soak the Rockwool in the lemon water to neutralize the pH. Place the Rockwool plugs into the seed starting tray. Place a single seed in each Rockwool plug. Water the Rockwool plugs. Drain off excess water. Place the clear dome on top of the seed starting tray. Place tray in a warm,dark place. Monitor the seeds daily. As soon as seedlings emerge,remove tray and place in direct sunlight. If your wait to long to give the seedling light or dont give them enough direct light the seedlings will be skinny and weak. If placing them outside,cover with hardware cloth or something so birds cant get at them. given the chance,birds will pull them out of the soil and leave them there to die. Also,if you leave the clear dome on in direct sun,the cover will trap all of the suns heat,cooking your young seedlings.
Germinating with seed starting mix
Open bag of seed starting mix. Pour water in bag and let bag sit. Seed starting mix is usually high in peat and peat takes a few minutes to absorb water. If the mix still appears dry after it has absorbed the water,add more water until it can’t absorb any more. Drain off excess water. Pack seed starting mix in seed starting cell tray. Poke a hole in the center of each cell and place a seed in the hole. Cover hole with moist seed starting mix and gently water. Drain off excess water. Cover the tray with clear dome. Place in a warm,dark space. Monitor seeds daily. As soon as seeds emerge remove clear dome and place in direct sunlight. If your wait to long to give the seedling light or dont give them enough direct light the seedlings will be skinny and weak. If placing them outside,cover with hardware cloth or something so birds cant get at them. given the chance,birds will pull them out of the soil and leave them there to die. Also,if you leave the clear dome on in direct sun,the cover will trap all of the suns heat,cooking your young seedlings.
Starting outdoor plants from clones
For in depth info on how to clone,go the the cloning section of monsterbuds.com. Transferring clones outdoors needs to be done gradually. When rooting your cuttings,this is usually done in a low light,high humidity environment. Putting your freshly rooted cutting outdoors in direct light will shock them. Instead,gradually move them to direct sun by giving them a few extra hours of direct sunlight everyday until they get used to it.
4 Weeding out the males (if using feminized seeds skip this step)
Once roots start to grow out of the bottom of the medium and the seedlings start to develop a few nodes it is time to transplant them. Mix 3/4 potting soil with 1/4 perlite or vermiculite. Fill the 1 gallon growers pots with the potting soil mix. Place the seedlings in the pots with the soil. Water the seedlings with B1 mixed with water as directed on bottle. After a few weeks your precious seedlings will no longer be seedlings anymore. They will be bratty vegetative teenagers. Complete with attitude and all. Once they have developed a few nodes,start checking for pre-buds. Some plants pre-bud later than others. Once you identify the males,weed them out. Now you should have just about the perfect amount of female plants,maybe even a few extra.
5. Transplanting Outdoors
Go the the garden sight that you prepared in step 2. In the center of plant hole,you should have marked it with a rock or stake,make a small hole,a little bit bigger than roots of your seedlings. Gently push on the sides of the container that one of your seedling is in to loosen the soil. Pushing on the bottom of the container,push out the roots of your young plants. Try to keep the medium around the roots together as much as possible. If the roots are heavily root bound,break apart the bottom of the roots a little with your fingers. Place the plant in the small hole you dug. Fill the hole up with surrounding soil mix. Pack the soil around the seedling. Water the seedling with water mixed with vitamin B1,or another starter solution. Cover the seedling with the cylinder of chicken wire or hardware cloth,you made in step 2. If you have mole or golfer problems go to “golfer proofing”below. Continue to water your seedlings with B1 or starter solution.
6. Growing Vegetatively
Once your plants have developed a few nodes you can stop treating them like seedlings and start growing them vegetatively. Since light and air are pretty much taken care of,you can focus on water and nutrients for your plants. If they are weak or there is high wind you can stake your plants up. When staking,give your plants some slack,if they are tied too tight to the stakes,they will rely on the stakes for support and will never establish a healthy stalk. A single stake on the other side of the way the plant is leaning will do for small jobs. If the plants are big or one stake just wont do it,use 2 stakes. One on each side about a foot away from the stalk. Use plant stretch tie to tie it to one stake,then another piece of tie to attach it to the other. Start fertilizing your plants with a balanced fertilizer. Something like 20-20-20 or 5-5-5. Your plants use nitrogen for new,green growth. It is good to give your plants nitrogen now,but make sure you give them phosphorous and potassium as well. Nitrogen is great for promoting new growth and phosphorous is great for flowers and roots,but potassium is key to an overall healthy plant. If you don’t want to give your plants inorganic fertilizer,fish emulsion mixed with liquid seaweed kelp is a great mix. The fish emulsion has a high nitrogen content and liquid seaweed kelp has potassium and plenty of secondary nutrients,micro nutrients,vitamins and minerals. Bugs. I hate bugs. The best way to avoid infestations is prevention. Keeping them away as much as possible before flowering,will make it easier to keep them away during flowering. The last thing you want is to spend all of this time and effort only to have your crop ruined a few weeks before harvest,it’s happened to me. I keep bugs at bay with Pyrethrins. Pyrethrins are a natural insecticide that is actually derived from the flower chrysanthemum cinerarifolium. Pyrethrins will kill the vast majority of insects and eggs that feed off of marijuana plants. A few days of sun will break the molecules down,making the area sprayed safe to consume,although I still don’t use them after the 4th week of flowering. A high level of Pyrethrins in a humans system can cause nausea,vomiting even convulsions and loss of consciousness. I use a product called Take Down which contains canola oil and Pyrethrins,and it works great. Neem oil is another natural insecticide. It is even safer for humans than Pyrethrins but must admit doesn’t take care of the bugs as well. Once your plants are over a foot in height,start spraying with Pyrethrins or neem oil every 3 to 4 weeks for maintenance. Spray on top and underside of leaves so that every part of the plant is covered with the spray,but not so much that the leaves drip spray. If fighting an infestation,spray every week until problem is gone.
7. Outdoor Flowering
When your plants will start flowering depends on the strain and your location to the equator. Marijuana plants are triggered to flower when they recieve a certain amount of darkness a day. Different strains need a different amount of darkness to start flowering. Indica strains generally need less darkness,this allows them to start blooming earlier than sativa strains. All of America gets 12 hours of darkness in mid to late September. I have had plants start blooming in early August and others in late September. If you live in a very cold climate then a plant that starts flowering in late September is probably no good for you,due to the weather. In this case you want a strain that starts blooming earlier,like a typical indica strain. If for some reason you did not get feminized seeds or did not already weed out the males,now is the time to do it. If a male is allowed to bloom in the same area as females,the buds on your females could potentially be full and I mean full of seeds. Another thing to watch out for is artificial lighting around your plants. Too much light during the night will make the flowers less dense and can even cause your females to produce male pollen sacs.
Start fertilizing your plants with a flowering fertilizer. A typical flowering fertilizer has low nitrogen and high phosphorous. Something like 1-5-3 or 10-30-10. Once the flowers start to get bigger,the sun leaves will naturally turn a little yellow. This is a result of the plant using more nutrients for the flowers than the leaves. If the bracts,the small leaves surround the buds,turn yellow,you might want to add a little iron or nitrogen. After week 2 of flowering,start feeding your plants something to plump and harden the flowers. There are products out there that do this,or you can simply add molasses and liquid seaweed kelp to the water. 1/2 a table spoon of each to every gallon of water,twice a week will do fine.This provided necessary carbohydrates,minerals and vitamins that will encourage the buds to swell and be more dense.
Marijuana plants are very sturdy and well like weeds. But the finished product you are looking for can be fragile. Heavy rain or thrashing winds can knock off trichomes as well as withered hairs. There isn’t much you can do about mother nature,just keep this in mind.
8. Checking Trichomes
After week 5 start checking the trichomes with a microscope. A small handheld microscope at least 70x will be sufficient. Trichomes are located all over the buds and on the bracts. To check trichomes,carefully cut of a small leaf close to the buds. Turn the leaf over so the underside is facing up. Put your microscope on there and you will see plenty of trichomes. The capitate-stalked trichome,the one we are looking of,consists of a clear stalk leading up to a round head,kind of like a mushroom that hasn’t opened.
There are 3 stages.
The first stage is when the head,the ball at the top,is clear. A clear head means the trichome has not yet reached it’s full potential,it is not ripe yet.
The second stage is when the head of the trichome is a milky white. This means that the trichome has the maximum amount of THC in it.
The third stage is when the head of the trichome is amber or light brown. This means that the trichome has gone past its peak and the THC is starting to degrade and turn into CBN (cannabinol) not to be confused with CBD (cannabidiol). CBN is only mildly psychoactive so most people want to harvest before the THC breaks down. If you have multiple plants,different plants may ripen at different times,and even on the same plants,different buds will ripen at different times. Harvest 1 plant at a time as they ripen when the trichomes on that plant are 70% milky white. Bracts are the small leaves covered with trichomes at the base of the buds. Remove 4 bracts from different parts of the plant. Look at the bottom of one bract leaf with the microscope. Count 10 capitate-stalked trichomes. At the very least,6 of the trichomes should have heads that are milky white. Check the the other 3 bracts you removed from the plant. If 3 of the 4 bracts have at least 6 out of 10 trichomes that are milky white,harvest that plant. It is important to look at bracts from different parts of the plant because the flowers at the top of the plant will usually ripen first. You want the majority of the buds to be at their peak state. You can also harvest individual branches as they ripen. Harvesting the individual branches will ensure that all of the buds are at their peak state,as opposed to harvesting the whole plants where you will always have a few buds on the plant that aren’t fully ripe or are over ripe. Once you have determined that the trichomes are just about ready and you are almost ready to harvest the plant,give your plant one more week and move to the next stage,“the last week of flowering”
9. Last Week Of Flowering
Once you have determined that your plants are just about ready to harvest,it is time to flush your plant. When you give your plant fertilizer,organic or in-organic,there is salts that accumulate. Granted,in-organic fertilizer has more salt due to the high ratio of nutrients in them. Either way flushing your plant the last week of flowering will help to lower the salt content in your plant making the smoke a much smoother better tasting smoke.
Stop fertilizing your plants. Give them water with mixed with molasses to the rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon. I have noticed that using filtered water helps the flush stage even more. After flushing for a week your ready to harvest,move to harvest,dry,cure section of monsterbuds.com
Growing Outdoors Simple And Cheap (less than $50)
Seed starting tray $8
Amendment or Compost $5
Seed starting mix $5
Spray bottle $3
Veg fertilizer $5
Flower fertilizer $5
1. Prepare your site
Call your local hardware store and ask when it is safe to plant tomatoes outside in your area. On the date they say it will bee OK,start preparing your site. Try and find a spot that gets as much sun as possible. Determine how much space you have for plants. You will plant a plant every 2 feet. Do not try to pack the plants too close together. Dig a hole for each plant about 2 feet deep by 2 feet wide. Put all of the soil you are removing from the hole into a pile next to the hole. One the hole is deep enough put a couple shovel loads of amendment in the bottom of the hole. Mix the amendment around the bottom of the hole with the shovel. Mix amendment with the pile off soil next to the hole so the pile ends up being about 1/3 compost 2/3 soil. Full hole back up with the pile of soil mixed with amendment. Place a rock or stake directly in the middle of the hole so you have no problem identifying it later.
2. Start your seeds
Open your back of seed starting mix. Most likely the mix will be dry. Add a few cups of water to the bag and let the mix absorb the water. Pack the moist mix into the seed starting tray. Once the mix is packed into the tray,water to help the mix settle. If the mix compacts and leaves more than 1/2 an inch between the mix and the top of the tray,add a little more mix so it almost goes to the top. Poke a hole in the mix about 1/2 inch deep with a stick or something the size of a pencil. Place a seed in the hole. Cover the seed with the surrounding moist seed starting mix and pack down gently with your fingers. Water with a spray bottle so the soil is not disturbed. Cover the tray with clear dome or saran wrap. Keep the tray in a warm dark space.
3. Seedling Stage
As soon as the seeds pop out of the soil,remove the cover and place in direct sun. Watch out for birds,they will freshly germinated seedling out of the soil and leave them to die.
4. Transplant to ground
Once roots start popping out of the bottom of the seedling tray,it is time to transplant them . carefully push on the bottom of the seedlings cell,forcing the soil and roots out. Keep the soil . together as much as you can. You should have marked the center of the hole in step 1 with a rock or stake. Move the marker and make a small hole a tiny bit bigger than the size of the cell you just pulled the seedling out of. Carefully place the seedlings roots in the hole. Fill any gaps back up with soil and gently pat down the soil around the freshly planted seedling. Water the freshly planted seedling. Cover the seedling with a round cylinder off hardware cloth. Keep the soil moist but don’t overwater. Wait until the top 1/2 inch of soil gets dry before watering.
5. Vegetative stage
Remove the hardware cloth cylinder once the plants outgrow them. Once the plants are above 1 foot wait until the top 1 1/2 inches of soil is dry before watering. Also start fertilizing. Give your plants a well balanced fertilizer. This means that the 3 numbers on the front will be close to each other. Like 5-5-5,20-20-20,5-3-7,3-5-4,etc. Follow fertilizer instructions.
6. Flowering stage
The exact time your plant starts to flower depends on the strain you are growing and your location. Most likely somewhere between August and September. If you did not use feminized seeds,watch closely for males. As soon as you notice a male plant,dispose of it immediately before the pollen sacs open. Start fertilizing with a flowering fertilizer. A flowering fertilizer will have a higher phosphorous content or middle number on the front of the package. Like 10-30-10 or 3-6-5 even 4-7-9. As long as the middle number is almost twice as much as the first number. Follow fertilizer directions on packaging.
Once the plants have been flowering for 5 weeks,start checking the trichomes,crystals on the buds,with a small microscope. Trim a small leaf covered in trichomes off of the middle of a cola. Look at the underside of it through a microscope. Once the majority of trichomes are a milky white,you are ready to harvest.
Go To Harvest,Dry,Cure for further instructions.
Short And Stalkey Method
The short and stalkey method is great for people who don’t have enough time,space or energy for regular sized plants. You follow all of the directions above,simply start your plants in early june. This will give your plants about a month or 2 before they start flowering. This will result in plants that are,well,short and stalkey.
Big Bush Method
The big bush method is great for someone who only has a few plants or simply wants to harvest a lot from each plant. I have harvested as much as 7 pounds from a single plant,just know that this method will produce big big plants,so be prepared. Follow “the 8 steps to growing outdoors”above with 2 exceptions.
1. Start your plants indoors,in pots,under artificial light in late February. Give them 16 to 24 hours of light a day. Once danger of last frost has passed move the plants outdoors,slowly adapting them to the bright sun. The first 2 days outdoors put them in full shade. The next 2 days let them have 1 hour of direct sun and shade for the rest of the day. The next 2 days give them 2 hours of direct sunlight and shade for the rest of the day. Keep giving them 1 extra hour of direct sunlight until they are fully adapted being outside. Starting your plant so early will give you a developing plant when you would normally be starting your seeds.
2. Once your plant have developed 3 sets of true leaves,serrated leaves,pinch the top. This will force the plant to create 2 main stems instead of 1. Once those 2 main stems develop 3 sets of leaves,pinch their tops. Once every branch develops 3 sets of leaves,pinch the tops. This will force the plant to be be bushy with lots and lots of branches. Stop pinching the tops July 1st.
The end result of this process will be a big bushy plant. If you did not pinch the tops there would be a single main stem with a single main cola. The cola produced from a plant with a single main stem will obviously be bigger than any one of the colas produced by the “big bush method”,but the vast amount of colas this method produces make the overall yield much higher.
Growing Outdoors In Pots
There are many benefits to growing outdoors in pots. The main advantage is the fact that you can move your plants when necessary. The main disadvantage would be lack of root space. When growing indoors you have control over the environment,so you can force the plant to flower when it is very small. However,when growing outdoors you cannot force a plant to flower,it will flower in the fall when the days are shorter. So to grow outdoors in pots you either need to 1. grow in big pots 2. Hydroponics 3. start your plants late in the year so they wont get to big before flowering.
1. Growing Marijuana Outdoors in Big Pots
When growing in pots something to think about is the size of a plant is usually similar to the size of the root system. So if you have a bush that is 10 feet tall,maybe the roots dont go down 10 feet,but they should at least go 6. If you plan on starting your plants in spring plant your girls in half-barrels or minimum of 15 gallon growers pots. Giving you plants all of the fertilizer they need and proper watering will encourage the roots to be smaller,as they wont have to search for water and nutrients. A hydroponic fertilizer diluted to 1/3 the normal dose will help the roots stay smaller.
2. Growing Marijuana Outdoors Hydroponically
When plants are grown hydroponically the roots are provided with all the water and nutrients they need so they don’t have to search for them. You will need to grow close to a house because you will need power for a pump. You can water by hand when growing hydroponically,but it does require a lot of attention. If watering by hand,you are going to want to use a medium that holds water well like coco fiber or peat. You will also want to water at least once a day,twice on hot days. If you are into outdoor hydro I plan to have a section jus
3. Starting Marijuana Late In The SeasonThis is my favorite way to grow outdoors in pots. It is really easy to do. From start to finish the plants are only around a few months and they stay small. Start your seeds about a month before they will start to flower. July 1st works for me. Start the seeds in starter trays or peat pellets. Once they outgrow the seedling containers,move them to 5 gallon containers. Fill the containers with a mix of good quality potting soil and perlite. About 1/4 perlite and 3/4 potting soil. Water when the top few inches of soil gets dry. Once you notice flowers start to form,give them a flowering fertilizer. The plants will get a couple of feet tall and flower. This makes it possible for people to grow in their small backyards,patios,even on rooftops. The plants stay small so you don’t have to worry about everyone seeing them and if there is a problem you can easily move them. On top of that,the season is only a few months long,when there is less time there is less things that can go wrong. The only downside is you wont harvest as much from a single plant.
Bent Stalk Method
When you bend the main stem of a marijuana plant,it will grow horizontal with the ground,this allows the side stems more room and light,making each side stem bigger than if the plant was grown normally.
Simply follow the 8 steps to growing outdoors. Once the plant is 1 foot,carefully bend the main stem so that the tip is pointing sideways. Don’t break the stem though. Tie the tip of the stem down so that it will stay this way. You can use the green stretch tape tied to something heavy like a rock. Once the tip grows,the part you tied will stay horizontal,but the new growth will start to go up. Don’t allow this to happen. The top few inches of a marijuana plant are softer and easier to bend than the bottom of the stalk. So tie the new growth down just like you did the first time. The plant will continue to make new growth that will try to go up and you will continue to tie down the new growth so the plant keeps growing horizontal with the ground. You will see the side stems start to grow up and get bigger,this is exactly what you want. After a few months you will have a plant that has many side stems growing up and getting bigger. When the plant flowers,instead of one big main cola,you will have a bunch of smaller side stem colas. No one cola will be as big as the main stem cola would have been,but the overall harvest will be bigger.
Making A Raised Bed
Raised beds are a great way to grow medical marijuana. The soil higher than it would normally be allowing better drainage and more oxygen to the roots. The soil tends to be a bit warmer than the ground soil. It is easier to work in amendment and compost to the soil. They are also easier to work with creating a more compact,efficient garden.
You can create a raised garden bed with just about anything. Bricks,stone,railroad ties,retaining walls all can be used to create a barrier for your raised garden,however,wood is the most popular because it is easy to find,easy to work with and cheap.
1. Start by finding a spot you can put your raised garden bed. A spot that gets good sun and is at least 10′by 5.’This will allow you to have 6 good sized plants.
2. Build the frame. Use rot-resistant lumber that is 10″inches wide by 2″deep. You will need two pieces of 10″x 2″lumber that is 10 feet tall and 2 pieces of 10″x 2″lumber that are 5′. Nail or screw the pieces together so they create a frame that is about 10′x 5′.
3. Lay the frame down on the ground,where you want it to be permanently. Make sure it is level.
4. Work the ground inside the frame a little. If there is grass or plants,remove them. Use a shovel to work in some amendment.
5. Fill the bed with either potting soil or a mixture of ground soil from another location and amendment,as directed on the amendment packaging.
6. Water the soil deeply to help it fill in
Note:If you have golphers in the area,lay down hardware cloth along the ground before filling the bed with dirt.
Making Seeds Outdoors
It seems that many people have misconceptions about the reproductive system of marijuana. So before you make seeds it is best to know how the the marijuana plant reproduces. For all intents and purposes,the marijuana grown for medicinal purposes are dioecious,meaning that individual plants produce reproductive parts that are of only one sex. So a single plant is either male or female not both,although cannabis reproductive parts may change sex due to certain environmental factors. So as far as we are concerned,too much stress or certain chemicals can force a female plant to produce male parts. The finished product you may know as the marijuana “buds”is a collaboration of many individual flowers (calyxes and pistils) that come solely from the female plant. The male marijuana plant produces pollen sacs,or technically known as staminate primordiam,which look nothing like buds and have considerably less THC than female buds. A female flower,and individual calyx,will produce a seed when the pollen from a male plant comes in contact with the pistils (hairs) of a female plant. Bottom line,male pollen sacs open,release pollen,the pollen floats to a female flower and that flower produces a seed. So if a female plant never comes into contact with the pollen from a male,the female will not produce seeds.
Be aware that the pollen from a male plant is very light and floats in the wind. This can carry the pollen from a male plant for miles. So if you have a male plant and you dont want your females to produce seeds,put the male in a place where the wind cannot carry pollen from the male to female. If you want to produce seeds you will need a female marijuana plant and a male marijuana plant. The easiest way to get the female to produce seeds would be to simply put the male next to the female(s). Keep in mind that one male can pollinate many,many female plants. Although,simply putting a male next to a female would most likely cause every bud on the female plant to produce many seeds. Most growers who want seeds,don’t want all of their buds to have seeds,just a few so they can keep the strain around for later. To produce a seeds on certain branches of a plant while leaving the other branches seedless is simply a matter of keeping a single male away from the females,collecting the pollen from the male,and using the pollen to fertilize a select few flowers on the female plant. Here are 2 ways to help do that.
1. Making Seeds
If your plants are still in pots,keep the male in a pot. If the male is in the ground,carefully remove it by digging it out,trying to keep as much of the root ball intact. Place in a container with potting soil. If you have multiple male plants,unless you need a lot of plants to be fertilized,you only need one male. So pick the best male out of the bunch. If you know the strains and you have different strains,use the male from the most desired strain. If all the males are from the same strain or you dont know what strains they are from then pick based on growth behavior. One more note on picking the best strain of male. if you have different strains but don’t know which is which,you can get a general idea by the leaves. If you like the more energetic,cerebral feeling marijuana gives you,you will want sativa. If you prefer that knock you on your ass and vegetate all day feeling then you would want an indica. Most all strains are a mix,but most indica/sativa mixes have traits that are either more indica or more sativa. If you want a more sativa plant then pick the male with the thinnest leaves. If you want a more indica plant,then you want a male that has fatter leaves and is shorter and stalkier. This is a very general tip to go by.
Once you have picked the single male plant you want and put it in a pot,water with a starter fertilizer or simply B1,to avoid root shock. Keep this male far away from the females,preferably inside by a big,south facing window.
If you must keep your male outside,keeping him within 1/2 a mile of your females is not recommended. The pollen from a male plant can travel very far. It can even get inside your house by hitching a ride on your clothes. If you simply have no choice,you can cut off all of the stems but 3,keeping as many sun leaves on as possible. Take a plastic bag,poke a few small needle sized holes in the plastic and tie the plastic bag over one of the male branches,making sure to have all of the pollen sacs in the bag so no pollen can escape. Repeat 2 more times until all of the branches with pollen sacs are covered with a bag.
Making feminized seeds outdoors
You can spray your female plants with gibberellic acid to force them to turn male. use this male to pollinate female plants and they will produced feminized seeds. Forcing female plants to produce male flowers by stressing them is another way to produce pollen that will in turn create feminized seeds.
Take a piece of hardware cloth 3 feet long and 1 foot wide. Bend it into a circle so that it creates a cylinder 1 foot tall. Cover one of the holes with a circle of hardware cloth. Before planting your plants,dig a hole for the hardware cloth cylinder about 1 foot deep. Place hardware cloth cylinder in the ground with the opening facing up. Fill in with dirt so that 1 inch of cylinder is above ground and the rest is buried. Plant seedling in middle of hardware cloth cylinder.
Take a piece of hardware cloth 3 feet long and 1 foot wide. Bend it into a circle so that it creates a cylinder 1 foot tall. Cover one of the holes with a circle of hardware cloth. Place over seedling with the open side of the cylinder down. If necessary,use small stakes to make sure it doesnt fall over.
Fencing around your plants at least a foot away from base will keep away rabbits. Use fencing with 1 inch or smaller holes. Bloodmeal sprinkled around the base of plants will also deter rabbits and also provide nitrogen for your plants. Make sure not to put too much as bloodmeal can burn your plants.
There are many insecticides on the market. I only use Pyrethrins or concentrated neem oil. Chemical insecticides may be used during vegetative stage. Make sure all residue is gone before flowering. Lady bugs are a great natural way to get rid of other bugs,although do not use with insecticides as most will kill them.