For many growers, outdoor planting is the best method. It produces more powerful “prawns” and unlike planting in greenhouses, you can grow 4 meters high “monsters” if conditions are favorable.
Since cannabis is a naturally robust and fast-growing plant, it will thrive in plenty of sunshine, but will also produce satisfactorily with just 5 hours of direct sunlight daily.
The sun’s rays, because they have great penetration, will reach both the top and the bottom of the plant, allowing a uniform growth when directly exposed to the sun.
From seed to harvest, outdoor planting can be long, and although very pleasurable, the grower may face several problems.
In the 6 months or more that the plant takes to develop, rain and wind can damage the flowers and wild animals and insects can eat and destroy your plant completely.
These issues must be considered and care must be taken to avoid problems.
Among the many benefits of outdoor planting are: No need to worry about the electricity bill, greenhouse budget, exhaust fans, lights, periodic regulation of the day / night cycle, etc.
However, the most important factors to be taken into account are: Safety, maximum need for direct light, soil quality in the chosen area and water availability.
The combination of these factors will help the grower to choose the best location for his planting area. Sun exposure is the first factor when locating a place, so try to find an inhospitable place where the sun shines directly for the longest period of time.
If it is necessary to choose between the morning and afternoon sun, it has been proven that the morning sun has greater penetration. The ideal exposure would be between 8 am until 3 pm, although between 10 am and 4 pm is sufficient.
Open areas have greater exposure to the sun, but if it is on a sloping terrain, the south side will have a higher incidence. Keep in mind that sunlight at high altitudes is more intense due to thin air.
The East / West exposure is beneficial for getting morning and afternoon sun.
There are many precautions that the grower should take to protect his crop from looters and the law, including pruning branches to disguise the characteristic shape of the cannabis plant, as well as planting other species around it, such as soy, tomatoes, bamboo, sugar cane , etc.
When cultivation is far from your home, in an inhospitable area, access to water can be problematic. After choosing the place, away from prying eyes and with plenty of sun, this should be the next factor in consideration.
There must be a water source close to or at least close to the surface, as otherwise you must carry it. Water is heavy and watering this way will be a lot of work, in addition to the risks of walking to the plants every 4-5 days in midsummer.
The ideal scenario would be to channel water from a source on a higher ground, and create a drip system to feed your plants at a fixed interval.
A little bit of engineering and creativity will save you a lot of work. You will also have to decide whether to plant directly in the soil, which is by far the best option, or to use large pots.
Planting directly in the soil excludes the possibility of entangled roots and the need for transplantation. Although planting in pots allows you to change places if the safety of your harvest is threatened, it will also make life easier for any looters.
One way to prevent this would be by burying the vessels.
Once you have decided on the appropriate place, you should start by digging a large hole at least ½ meter deep.
The bigger the better, and if you find tree roots, remember to dig the hole as wide as possible. Soil quality should be analyzed, although there is no perfect soil type for cannabis cultivation.
Different varieties of species grow in different types and conditions of soil. Its objective will be an aerated soil with good drainage, with high availability of nutrients and with medium Ph.
Some growers try to keep the Ph between 6.3 and 6.8. The cannabis plant grows poorly in very compacted soils, with little drainage and extreme Ph.
You can improve the terrain by mixing soil conditioners and organic compounds.
Plants grown in open air soil will grow much more and will need more space than greenhouse plants. The spacing between the plants will depend on the species, and also whether the plant will be pruned at its top or not.
Top pruned plants grow with a broader base, sometimes twice the size of an untrimmed plant.
The more space available between the plants, the greater the incidence of sunlight, therefore the increase in their production.
Deer, Rodents and Insects
Deer – They usually have a keen sense of smell, six times higher than dogs. Deer are sensitive to car smell
of predators, such as hair and urine. Place a bottle with small holes at the top, filled with urine and cotton balls, then hang with nylon thread on the perimeter where your plants are. Renew the bottle every 3-4 weeks.
Other ways to scare them away would be by using human hair strands tied to the stem, rotten eggs scattered around or strong-smelling soaps. These methods must be renewed after each rain. One of the simplest methods is to make a fence with only one line of nylon, approximately 1 meter above the ground, around the ground of your plants.
Deer fear what they feel but cannot see. Fences around plants can also work, but remember that deer can jump very high. Try combining 2 or 3 methods described above to make sure your plants are safe from deer …
Just like deer, rodents fear the same predators, so the methods of smelling fur and urine should also work against them. However, there are some specific tips:
Rabbits – Avoid the smell of vinegar, so use green corn cobs soaked with vinegar and spread around the ground. The cobs can be reused. Spread a mixture of black pepper, cayenne and paprika in the soil around the plants, this will scare the rabbits by picking their harvest, however this method must be renewed with each rain.
Opossums – Surround the area with a horizontal border of materials that opossums do not like to walk on, such as crumpled black plastic, newspaper, aluminum foil or chicken wire slightly above the ground. Secure them with bricks, stones or metal pins. Vinegar and mothballs will also work against them.
Squirrels – They won’t be a problem until the flowering stage. To repel squirrels, mix flakes of mothballs, plaster and chile pepper. Spread it around the growing area.
Rats – These creatures can totally ruin your harvest if they go into the container where you keep your final product and eat it. What the mice can’t eat, they defecate on top, ruining in the same way. Dried or fresh mint leaves are great repellent, in addition to flavoring your product.
Dogs and Cats – If you have a hard time keeping Rex or Félix away from your crop, here are some tips that won’t hurt your animals: Try to scare them with mousets upside down on the ground. This will work not only with them, but with other wild creatures as well. Mixing peppers can also keep them away.
Slugs – In general they are common and can even destroy your plants, there is no effective way to get rid of them. Frogs, frogs and beetles are natural enemies of slugs and will be welcome in the vicinity of your garden. Physical barriers are good options, keep around your garden, eggshells or sawdust. Keeping a dish with salt can be a way to exterminate them. Or wrap a spiral-shaped piece of wire at the base of your plant, this will prevent slugs from reaching the leaves.
Common Insects – Recipe for organic repellent that works well with most of them.
- 3 green peppers
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic
- 3/4 tablespoon of liquid detergent
- 3 glasses of water
Beat the peppers and garlic in a blender and place the puree in a spray container with the water and detergent. Leave for 24 hours and then strain the puree. Spray the infested plants, taking care not to reach the leaves.
Aphids – Beat an onion and 2 cloves of garlic in a blender with water, strain and spray the plant protecting the leaves.