As the stigma wears off and marijuana use becomes more culturally accepted, we imagine there will be a good deal of people growing weed for the first time this year. Because of this, we thought it best to post some tips and general guidelines that will allow you to get off to a good start and grow some quality flower and buds with a minimum amount of effort.
Outdoor growing is the preferred method for lots of people. Outdoor enthusiasts swear that weed grown in the sun is not only healthier and more natural but that it tastes better too. Certainly the potential for growth is enormous especially out west in the warm sunny climates.
Select a prime grow spot.
If you are able to grow domestically in a garden on your own property, you basically just need a sunny position for your plants to lounge in. Most growers prefer a private spot that cannot be seen by the street or by others. Many home growers will go out of their way to construct a non-invasive garden surrounding their cannabis plants. To achieve success with this stealth tactic you must be careful to avoid choosing plants that will outgrow our friends flowers and buds. Sun and plenty of it is key to your success. Be sure to surround your cannabis plant with small to medium sized offerings such as peppers. These do not pose a risk to overtake your plant and will not battle cannabis for it's spot in the sun. An ideal set-up will allow your plant(s) to blend in while still being able to breathe.
Which seeds to grow?
First time growers should be looking for strains with a proven reputation for hardiness. You want to find seeds hardy enough to grow outdoors even in northern climates with colder averages. Highly recommended in this regard are Frisian Dew and Passion #1 each of which have stood the test of time and are solid, robust varieties which will yield well even in the hands of first time growers when only a few basic preparations are made. Even in northerly latitudes tough strains such as the above are capable of yielding well. Auto-feminized seeds are also a good idea as they need just 10 weeks from seed to finish.
Preparing the spot
Your spot maybe in your garden/greenhouse, woodland, by a field, in a forest clearing, near a river bank or on a mountain. But wherever you are you growing you should really accept that preparing the soil you plan to grow in is a minimum requirement. Many growers will prepare the plot as few months before and dig in manure, compost, or fertilizers such as worm castings, bat guano etc. First-time growers may simply prefer to get the ground dug over and put in as much good quality bagged compost as they can carry. That approach alone will be a good start. More experienced growers will test soil pH, adding lime if it is too acidic and digging in well rotted manure a few months before the grow starts.
Preparing the plants
Often the grower will have sprouted the seeds and grown them into small healthy plants before taking them to the final outdoor grow spot. As a general rule you will get better results in the long run if the plants are established and healthy before planting out. Often they are started indoors under lights or in a greenhouse. When to plant your young plants or seedlings will depend on where you live.
Protecting the spot
Rabbits and deer are constant threats to cannabis plants, so are other large mammals. Many growers will surround the plant with a ring of chicken wire (or similar) 50cm high. They may put a few slug pellets down on visits to the plants. Often growers will take the chance to get a few gallons of water put into the ground near the plant on visits. Google Earth is useful to many outdoor growers for selecting good grow spots. Nearby rivers are useful for water especially if it is hot and dry.
Without too much trouble you will find that even a first time grower can get an ample harvest of absolutely top quality marijuana. Just as good as anything you will have bought, if not better. And with even our best outdoor strains available for less than a few dollars per seed you can see that a seed is a great value investment, so get some good ones. The cannabis seeds you buy for your grow is the one area of your life where you really should not compromise!
Outdoor growers in warm climates with longer seasons will be able to grow more exotic strains than more northerly growers.
To harvest the weed it is simply chopped off and dried by hanging on a wire in a dark dry place. Once it has been dried it is cured, often for a couple of months or more in glass jars or sealable plastic containers. Most growers will tell you that a well cured weed smokes smoother and strange though it sounds it may seem stronger when it is well cured. Really good weed is often still a great smoke for many moths after it is harvested, if it is properly cured. Storing weed longer term is possible by putting marijuana in a sealed container in the fridge or in a freezer where it will remain highly potent and tasty for years to come.
If you find yourself planning on growing cannabis outdoors, now is the time to decide where and now is the time to get going.