Outdoor Cultivation Edit
For many cultivators,outdoor growing is by far the best. It will produce the most potency and unlike indoors,you can grow 12 foot monsters if conditions are correct.
Being a naturally robust and fast growing plant marijuana thrives in full sun-but will produce satisfactorily with only 5 hours of direct sunlight.
Growing outdoors has many benifits especially in comparison to indoor cultivation. No elecricity bills, no huge monetary layout, and also no dark times to keep you away from your plants. Sunlight tends to reach more of the plant and often the bottom of the plant is as developed as the top, especially when grown in full sunlight. From seed to harvest outdoors can be a long, and though very enjoyable time, one can be faced with a number of problems. In the 6 months or so it takes to grow out your plants, rain and wind can rip little buds apart, deer may eat your crop, rodents, snails and a number of insects/bugs can and will destroy an entire crop. These things need to be considered, vigilance and care can keep problems to a minimum.
The most important factors to be considered before planting, however, are Security, the need for maximum light, quality of the soil in the area and water availability. A compromise of these basic factors will assist you in choosing the most appropriate site for your crop. Light exposure is all important when first locating a site. Try to find an innocuos spot where the sun shines for the longest period of time. If you must choose between the morning sun and afternoon sun, it has been shown that the morning sun is more penetrative. Optimum exposure would be 8-5, however, 10-4 will suffice. Large open areas have the best exposure although if electing to grow on a slope usually the south side of a hill receives the most sunlight (in the northern hemisphere, north side of the hill for you in the southern hemisphere). Keeping in mind that sunlight at higher altitudes is more intense due to the thinner atmosphere. East/West exposures can be very benificial when getting the morning and midday sun.
There are many precautions one can take to protect their bounty from poachers and the law, which include pruning to obscure that distinctive cone-shape of a cannabis plant. Another is intercropping/companion planting-plant amongst soybeans, tomatoe plants, bamboo, sugar cane, etc.
When growing away from the house-in the wild-access to water can be a huge challenge. Once you have chosen a site, well away from prying eyes and in direct sunlight, water must be your next consideration. It must be available nearby or close to the soil surface otherwise you will have to carry it in. Water is heavy and watering is very hard work let alone the risks taken walking back and forth to your crop every 4 or 5 days in mid-summer. Try to find an area as close to a source of water as possible, a novel idea in this regard is to find water in the mountains-at altitude-and route it down to a lower spot close by. It is possible to create water pressure in a hose this way, and route it to a drip system that feeds the plants at continuous intervals. You can take a 5 gallon (20 litre) drum and punch holes in it, run a hose from the main oriface and secure it somehow. Bury the drum in a river or stream under rocks,so it is hidden and submerged. Bury the hose coming out of it and run it down hill to your garden area. A little engineering can save a lot of hard work-and this rig can be used year after year.
You will also need to decide whether you are going to plant in the ground, which is by far the best option, or into large pots. Planting directly into the ground gives you freedom from rootbound worries and the need for transplanting. Some growers prefer growing in large pots, however, so the plants can be easily transported should the need arise. Entire crops have been saved due to being transportable in pots. Also, by digging a big hole and placing the pot inside it, you can reduce the height of your plants if fence level is an issue.
Once deciding upon your plot, begin by digging a big hole with at least 2.5 feet dimensions. The bigger the better and if tree roots are present,be sure to dig as wide as possible. The soil quality will now be more easily analysed, however there is no one perfect soil to grow cannabis in. Different varieties grow within a wide range of soil conditions. Your objective is a soil comprising of good drainage and aeration, high in available nutrients and with an average pH. Though thesedays,outdoor growers aim for a pH. reading of 6.3 to 6.8. Cannabis grows very poorly in extremely compacted soils with poor drainage and extreme pH. When the soil in the plot is not adequate, options are open to you in the way of improving the soil medium. Soil conditioners are available or you can carry topsoil in.
Plants grown in the ground should grow much bigger and will need more space than smaller, indoor plants. How far apart you space them will greatly depend on variety, plus whether or not the plant has been topped. Pruned plants have a much wider base than unpruned plants. Plants which are topped more than once can grow twice the size as they normally would. The more space afforded to each plant the more sunlight they will receive, therefore growing bigger thus increasing yeild.
When choosing to grow in a greenhouse it is a good idea to disguise it as a tool shed, or some similar structure which can partially be achieved by using only one wall and the roof of white opaqued plastic, PVC, Filon or glass, and using a similar colour material for the rest of the shed-or painting it white or silver to look like metal. Try to make it appear as if it has always been there, with plants and trees that grow around to mask it while still allowing in sunlight. Clear plastic sheets of Filon (corrugated fibreglass) are available and you can opaque them with white wash (made from lime) or Epoxy resin tinted with white or gray painted on in a thin layer-this will pass more sun than white PVC or Filon. The coats of Epoxy resin will also protect the Filon for many, many seasons. Be sure not to tint the resin too much. You need to also keep the sun blockage to a minimum.
Filon can also be used as a roof/cover for any plants in the garden requiring camaflage and protection.