Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

Outdoor cannabis cultivation can be difficult depending on your geographic location and state and local regulations. Even if you live in a state where cannabis cultivation is legal, like Colorado, Washington, or Oregon, there are both hazards and advantages to growing outdoors.

  • It’s crucial to be near a water source and also to make sure your plants are watered appropriately – not drowning and not too little

  • Plants typically take 20 to 40 gallons of water each during the grow season, depending on soil type, amount of sun, and strain

  • Outdoor cannabis cultivation needs to be fenced in order to prevent unwanted pests and wildlife from infiltrating the space

  • Outdoor marijuana cultivation depends on the amount of sunlight plants will receive throughout the grow cycle, which changes depending on the season

  • Cannabis growing outdoors is traditionally done in soil as opposed to a grow tray system

Growing Conditions

Much like other plants, cannabis grows with more success in specific climates. However, cannabis is a hearty plant and has spread with a great deal of success all over the world from its origins in Central Asia. 

If you’re considering growing commercial cannabis outdoors, be sure to research the specific hardiness zone of your location, in addition to:

  • The length of the grow season

  • Average precipitation

  • Day length

  • Average temperatures

  • Altitude

  • Soil quality

Determining Hardiness Zone

The hardiness zone will define the number of outdoor harvests and yield potential you can expect per year, although, by manipulating the environment to increase your potential harvests and yields, it is possible to grow cannabis outdoors in various grow zones. This can be done through additional watering or soil drainage, adding lighting or creating light deprivation, choosing shaded or full-sun locations, and adding nutrients to the soil.

Specific strains tend to do better in various outdoor climates, so choosing zone-specific strains will also help your success. Here are some suggested strains for specific climates:

  • Tropical – Super Silver Haze or Bob Marley Sativa

  • Mediterranean – Jack Herer or Blueberry

  • Subtropical – Candy Kush or White Widow

  • Arid – Durban Poison or Yoruba Nigeria

  • Temperate – Holland’s Hope or Light of Jah

  • Continental – Northern Lights or Amnesia Haze

  • Subarctic – Lemon Haze Auto or Purple Power

Greenhouse Cannabis Cultivation

Growing cannabis in a greenhouse environment offers many of the benefits of both indoor and outdoor cultivation. Greenhouses use the power of the sun, while also maintaining a controlled and precise gardening environment.

  • Greenhouses bring the powerful spectrum of natural light into an indoor environment

  • All conditions are established and maintained by the grower

  • Greenhouses control temperature, humidity, and air quality

  • Ventilation tools like low-velocity intake fans and exhaust vents are needed to maintain the controlled environment needed for cannabis cultivation

  • Supplemental lighting may need to be used in the winter months or to provide longer light cycles

  • Light deprivation techniques have become widespread to ensure plants stay in the flowering stage

Cultivating cannabis in a greenhouse environment has many advantages. While growing in soil may be common, it’s possible to use zero-waste grow trays in greenhouses to yield high quantities of quality cannabis.


Indoor Cannabis Cultivation

Growing cannabis indoors under the right conditions can give you high quality and high quantity yields. Indoor cannabis cultivation relies on the use of powerful artificial lights to replicate the effects of the sun.

  • Cannabis cultivation indoors avoids the array of outdoor pests that can harm plants

  • Indoor growing allows for a variety of different grow methods from soil to hydroponics to aeroponics with grow tray systems

  • Controlling the light indoors allows you to dictate the growing cycle and when the flowering phase begins

  • Growing indoors doesn’t depend on the weather

  • Indoor grow rooms, whether in your home or in a commercial warehouse for legal, recreational, or medical purposes, must be vented

Indoor cannabis cultivation allows for a controlled environment, which eliminates or reduces some of the variables associated with outdoor growing.

When choosing strains for greenhouse and indoor commercial cannabis cultivation, the biggest issues to account for are the height and girth of each plant. Depending on the available space at your facility, the size a plant grows to can influence your strain choice. Growing techniques, such as supercropping and no-veg aeroponic growing, can open the possibilities of growing notoriously tall plants more easily indoors.

New greenhouse and indoor technologies can easily maintain room-specific climate controlled settings. The degree to which your greenhouse or indoor facility is controlled will also influence the strains you can grow. For example, if you cannot keep your rooms cool enough, you may want to consider strains that grow better in hotter climates.

If you are using grow techniques in facilities that afford you more range of strains, the last set of attributes you might consider is each strain’s resistance to disease and pests, yield potential, and potency test results. As the commercial sale of seeds and plants increases and genetics stabilize, informative label information is more readily available to help you when choosing strains.

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