The sun is shining and the days are finally getting longer, all signs that the outdoor growing season is fast approaching. It’s right around this time of year that outdoor growers become giddy with anticipation as summer creeps into view. In this month-by-month guide, we at Marijuana.com will walk through the preparations needed for a stellar outdoor season.
Pick a Plot – The first step on your outdoor growing adventure is to select a garden plot. Look for a flat piece of land with southern exposure. If your property doesn’t have any flat land, you can terrace a slope into a couple of flat levels. You want to make sure your plot gets as much sun exposure as possible, so try to keep it away from any big obstructions like trees or buildings. Also, watch out for oak trees! We learned the hard way last year that oak trees are home to the silkworm which will burrow into your buds and rot them from the inside out.
Secure your plot – Whether you live in the city or the country, you’re going to want to consider security for your plants. At a minimum, invest in a fence to keep animals, such as deer, away from your plot. In many states where you can grow marijuana legally, a privacy screen fence is required so that your plants aren’t visible to the road. If you’re building out an outdoor operation for recreational cannabis cultivation, security cameras are required. Even if this is just a personal grow, cameras are a very successful deterrent for scaring off potential thieves.
Purchase your Greenhouse(s) *optional – Putting your plants into greenhouses provides a wide variety of benefits. The most appealing reason to invest in a greenhouse is that it enables you to harvest twice during the summer season by covering the structure with a light deprivation tarp.
Select Your Stock & Germinate Your Seeds – Take the time to conduct thorough research on the strains you’re interested in growing. You have to take into consideration where you live and seek out strains that thrive in that particular climate. Once you’ve researched and chosen your cultivars, it’s time to take clones or germinate your seeds.
Source or build your soil – Quality soil is the foundation of a successful growing season. As Bob Marley serenaded, “When the root is strong, the fruit is sweet.” Building a healthy soil is the key to making your garden thrive, especially if you’re growing organically. One of the main focuses of organic gardening is feeding the soil, as opposed to feeding the plant. Many salt-heavy nutrients that ‘feed the plant’ actually destroy the healthy microbial life in your soil. You can source organic soil blends or purchase a base soil and add your own amendments.
There you have it! If you’re planning to grow outside this season, these 5 steps should be at the top of your to-do list. Stay tuned for the Outdoor Grow Guide preparations for May, coming soon!