One of the more enjoyable rites of spring for any gardener is the preparation for the growing season. In more temperate climates, April finds growers nurturing new seedlings and cuttings in anticipation of transplanting outdoors. Growers in more northern climes that have not seen the end of 40 deg. F and below at night still have time to start seeds or pamper young plants to be hearty and healthy fortransplant in a few weeks. While new plants are getting big and strong, safe indoors under lights with stable temperatures, there are a lot of things to do outside to get the plants new home ready and hospitable.
Location, location, location. A little planning goes a long way in selecting a site for a garden. While cannabis will grow almost anywhere, it is a sun loving plant so planting them in an area with the most possible sun exposure is of course ideal. If possible, plant in an area with little or no obstruction of the sky as you face south. The more open sky and sun available in the 180 degree arc from east -south- west the better. In smaller yards, growers are sometimes forced to plant close to a home or building. This is not usually advisable unless the structure has a full, or mostly full southern exposure. Many growers have had great success with cannabis planted on the south side of houses with flat white siding, providing good reflection and even vigorous growth in the full sun.
Depending on the strain of cannabis, plants gown outdoors to full maturity can get up to 12 feet tall. Having an idea as to how big the particular plants you’re growing will get is important in determining how deep to dig the holes needed to transplant into. In general, cannabis grows best when its main tap root can dig deep into the soil. While lateral roots are very important, especially outdoors to provide stability in wind and heavy rain, the hole should be approximately 2-3 times deeper than it is wide. Once the appropriately sized hole has been dug, the removed soil must be replaced with enriched soil that will provide basic nutrients, proper pH and drainage for prolific root system growth. There are numerous ready-made soils available that will work, but many of the best growers mix their own organic soil using a variety and differing combinations of amendments and additives such as worm castings, bat guano, manure for basic fertilization, perlite or vermiculite for drainage and aeration, garden lime to adjust pH and others. The possibilities are endless and learning which components and combinations work best for your garden and plants can be very rewarding at harvest time.
Pests are the bane of any outdoor grower. The best defense is prevention in most cases which means keeping a close eye on your plants , especially in the first month or 2 after transplanting. Insect pests can usually be dealt with if found early enough. There are a few effective food grade insecticides available and they are advisable over the more toxic , chemical based insecticides for obvious reasons.I wouldn't want medicine sprayed with toxins would you? Using just a small bit of one of these plant based, biodegradable insecticides before any signs of trouble can sometime stave off a future infestation. Rabbits and deer are notorious predators of marijuana plants. Rabbits can devastate young plants and deer have been known to eat kolas from 6 foot plants just days before harvest. Obviously, fencing or other obstructions are needed if animals are a problem. Commercial fence products if high enough can deter deer and many growers have devised ingenious systems of wire and fence slanted outwards to inhibit deer from jumping into fenced garden areas. Other growers use tall cold frames to not only secure at night against deer but control rain and wind variables.
There are more involved but very clever methods many growers use to protect their plants and frustrate pests. Raising the plant off the ground by using a large container or building a box from wood to use as a planter is a great way to not only keep the plant above the hungry mouths of rabbits and rodents but most terrestrial insects as well. If the box is 3-4 feet tall it may allow the plant to be high enough to discourage deer browsing, or require just a few feet of fencing around it for protection. Using 30 – 50 gallon garbage cans ( always poke several drainage hole in the bottom) as planters is a great way to grow outdoors and enable your plants to be semi mobile should you need to shelter them in high winds or heavy rain. Large planters or raised bed grow boxes offer some protection from pests as well as allowing the grower full control over soil mix and nutrients like an indoor gardener but with the advantage of intense, natural sunlight.
As spring gets into full swing, experienced cannabis gardeners are planning and preparing for the growing season. Seeds and cuttings started indoors are being pampered in anticipation of warmer nights and longer days when the young plants will flourish outside. Placing frail young plants outdoors too early in the season when nights are still cold can kill or at least stunt their growth, so to be on the safe side always wait until you are fairly sure temps at night are consistently above 55 degrees F. If you have not started any plants yet it's not too late. Depending on which region you live, planting as late as mid-June will still provide your plants enough time to grow strong and healthy before flowering begins in August and September. Whether you plant directly in the ground, in containers or raised grow boxes, outdoor cannabis cultivation can be a challenge. But with some simple planning of site selection, soil preparation and a pest management plan, growing outdoors can reward you with huge, healthy plants, with dozens of massive tops and many proud smiles. May the Sun smile on your crop this season.
Preparing for Transplanting Cannabis Outdoors5.00/5 (100.00%) 3 votes