Outdoor growing is one of the coolest things. I’m lucky to have a big backyard and my neighbors don’t complain, so I have a perfect place to grow. Despite this, I’m always looking for a guerrilla location to grow a couple of plants. I just love the tension.
During this course I’ll discuss many possible growing locations, each with its own pros and cons. I’ll also talk about different techniques, such as soil and hydro. Lastly, it’s always good to know what strains will work best on your location.
If you’re a beginning grower, I wouldn’t worry so much about different types, location and nutrients. Marijuana are true weeds and can grow practically anywhere. They can survive on rainwater and nutrients from the soil. Just experiment with germinating, pruning and watering them, and make sure your plants survive until September/October.
Advanced growers might want to try out my outdoor hydro system. It’s a very simple, inexpensive system (around $50) that can generate nice yields.
Have fun with this bit of theory on starting to grow outdoors!
One of the most important factors for a successful outdoor harvest is growing in the right location. There’s always a suitable location nearby, even if you don’t have a backyard or balcony. Think for instance of cornfields, the woods or on the roof of a building.
The most important thing is to make sure other people can’t easily discover your location. So if you’re growing on a roof of a building, don’t put your plants next to the AC that’s being checked annually. There are some other requirements your location must meet.
The more sunlight your plant gets a day, the higher the yield. Make sure your plants get a least a couple hours of sunlight a day.
Your plants will usually survive on the rain that falls from the sky, with the exception of some extremely dry locations. However, the more water, the better the plant will grow and the more nutrients it can absorb. Planting them near a ditch side or another water source nearby would be perfect. You can also bring your own water in bottles in your backpack.
A light breeze will ensure a firm root system, but too much wind could be harmful to your plants. Keep this in mind when choosing your location.
Marijuana plants need a lot of nutrients to grow properly. Check for spots where a lot of green plants grow. Your marijuana plants will thrive here as well.
It’s nice if you can access your plants at least once a month to see how they’re doing. Are they bothered by bugs, do they have nutritional deficiencies, a lack of water, etc.
Out of sight
Obviously, your location shouldn’t be easily accessible to others. Make sure people can’t see the location from their house or from the road.
It has to be completely dark at night, so don’t grow near any street lights or a busy road.
Unfortunately, there are only few of these perfect locations, and you’ll always have to compromise some aspects. An open spot with sunlight all day is usually clearly visible to anyone, and a location that’s easily accessible to you, will also be accessible to others. I’ll list some locations and discuss their pros and cons to help you pick.
If you have the luxury to grow in your own backyard, you definitely should. It allows you to take care of your plants on a daily basis, you have access to water and you decide who enters the backyard. Don’t forget that marijuana plants can give off a strong smell, so don’t put them next to the fence of your neighbor’s sundeck.
Another suitable and safe place to grow marijuana is on a balcony. Nobody can access your plants and you can take care of them every day. It’s best to have a south-facing balcony, but you’ll need at least a couple hours of sunlight a day.
Next to the smell, your neighbors and passers-by might be able to see your balcony. You could cover your balcony with frosted plastic foil, so nobody can see your plants and they still receive enough light. This also reduces the spreading of the odor.
Another great location to grow is a roof terrace, because your plants will have sunlight all day. Smell and wind can be a problem when growing on this location. A little wind is beneficial to a marijuana plant to create thick stems, but too much wind all the time, mostly as coastal locations, is harmful to a plant. This problem can be easily solved by placing windscreens.
If you don’t have the opportunity to grow in your backyard or on your balcony or roof terrace, you could always use somebody else’s roof. An empty building with a hard to reach roof can be a perfect location. And you can put the pots in the roof-gutter if the building doesn’t have a flat roof.
Some people grow on inaccessible roofs of companies or apartment complexes. Keep in mind that air conditioners or other machines on the roof might require maintenance.
This is my favorite place to grow guerrilla style, because I love nature. It’s great to walk in the woods through impenetrable bushes, looking for an open spot with lots of sunlight, where no people ever come, preferably close to a water source, such as a creek or small river. Sometimes you only need to dig 3 feet to expose groundwater. This type of information is freely available upon request at your town hall.
Keep in mind that the soil in most woods is quite acidic (low pH value). Mainly coniferous forests and meadows are acidic. If possible, dig a hole and fill it with nutrient rich soil or bring large 13 gallon pots with you.
Different types of high/green plants usually grow along the banks of a river or gully. Think for instance of reeds and nettles. The obvious advantage is that you have easy access to water and the soil is wet enough to never have to water your plants yourself.
You could give the plants some extra nutrients once a month, but the gully also provides this. Another major advantage could be that the location is difficult to access. I once swam across a river every month to get to my plants. Fuck it. just pick a nice day and go on your mission ?
An open field generally has sunlight all day and would be perfect if some more plants would serve as camouflage. Heath land is acidic, but if grass or other green plants can grow there, so can marijuana. Nettles require a lot of nitrogen, just like cannabis, so if you see nettles you know the soil is rich in nitrogen. It’s however always better to start your small plants in a pot/hole with prefertilized soil. Look for a place between brambles or nettles, so not many people get to it, and watch out for people walking their dog.
A cornfield is the perfect growing location. Sunlight all day, nobody can see or smell it (choose a spot in the center) and corn requires the same nutrients as a marijuana plant, so the farmer will properly fertilize his fields. You’re using a piece of land of a fellow grower, so respect his plants and only use a couple of square yards. And make sure to send him a bottle of good wine after a successful harvest ?
You have to pre-grow your plants for a while, since you have to wait until the farmer can’t drive his tractor on the field, which will be at the end of May/beginning of June. This is usually the case when the plants are about 20 inches tall. Pick a place in the center and measure about 11 square feet per plant. Make sure you mark the row your plants are in with a rock or another object from nature, because you can’t see anything from the edge of the field. Plus, the corn will grow many feet high in a matter of weeks.
These are just some examples. There are many more suitable locations, but now you have a bit of an idea of what to look for. Be creative and always be careful. It’s not worth going to jail for a couple ounces of outdoor marijuana.
This is the most common method for growing outdoors. In the outdoor soil with everything nature has to offer. It’s the most organic way of growing and it gives your marijuana a delicious taste. You can basically grow a tasty marijuana without much effort as long as your plants get enough water and sunlight. The soil contains many nutrients from dead leaves, excrement’s and dead animals. These are released very slowly and are gradually absorbed by the roots.
If you invest some more time and give your plants some extra water and nutrients from time to time, you can achieve an even higher yield. Checking for bugs and diseases can prevent a lot of problems.
And if you really try hard and take care of your plants on a weekly basis, two plants can provide enough marijuana to be stoned for a year. You would have to dig them into prefertilized soil and actively measure and maintain the EC and pH of the nutrient water. This means pruning, thoroughly checking the plants every week and covering them during bad weather.
For this section I’m going to grow two plants on soil. I’ll put one plant directly in the soil and I’ll leave it to Mother Nature. I will check for bugs and diseases from time to time, because it would be a shame to have to prematurely end the grow journal. The other plant will get a VIP treatment with a complete nutrient package and everything it needs to get the highest possible yield.
It will be fun to compare the differences in size and yield.
Despite growing on soil being the most organic way of cultivating marijuana, I can’t keep myself from growing some samples on hydro as well. These plants can become huge because of the long growing period, the many hours of sunlight and constantly having the right amount of water.
For this outdoor part I will build a simple hydro system that will cost about $50. I will develop a grow journal over the summer and place some updates every so many days. Click here for the course on how to create a simple outdoor hydro system.
Growing marijuana guerrilla style is growing it on a location in the wild. This can be a forest, a ditch, a cornfield or another location few people get to. Growing guerrilla is usually done in full soil, so the roots can get really big and will always have access to water.
Find an isolated, remote location nobody ever goes to. Make sure there are no footprints in the surrounding or other signs that people come there sometimes, such as waste. Also make sure the spot is not close to roads or houses. Avoid locations that can easily be discovered by passers-by. The smell of your crops will be noticeable from dozens of yards away, depending on the wind.
Also, any type of streetlights can influence the flowering stage by disturbing the day/night cycle of your plants. It’s also important that the location isn’t maintained by a maintenance team that could come across your plants when trimming the hedges to maintain the forest.
For this outdoor part I’m going to look for a great location to grow guerrilla style. I unfortunately lost my two usual spots last year, so I’m going to have to look for new ones. One will definitely be a cornfield, and I also prefer one in the woods. I have a dog I go on walks with a lot, so I’m sure I can find a good spot. You’re also never suspicious when walking in the woods with a dog?
Marijuana plants come in many different types and sizes. There are currently thousands of crossings. But they’re all based on a couple of types, which are crossed for their specific features. So let’s talk about some types and then about gender.
Marijuana can be divided into three types; Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis
-originally from Asia, Morocco and Afghanistan
-small plant with wide, thick leaves
-flowering time between 7 and 9 weeks
-time of harvest: end of September
-originally from warm countries around the equator, such as Jamaica and Thailand
-large plant with long, thin leaves
-flowering time between 9 and 12 weeks
-time of harvest: end of October
-originally from cold areas, such as the Himalayas and Russia
-very small plant with thin leaves
-flowering time depending on the season
-is only used for crossing autoflowers
Nowadays, all types are a crossing between Indica, Sativa or Ruderalis. So we take the best features from two plants and make a new type. For instance: Sativas create a lot of buds, but they’re not as compact and contain little THC. Indicas don’t make as many buds, but they’re however very compact and rich in THC. We then try to make a plant that is able to product many compact buds with a high THC content. We can do the same for the growing characteristics, smoking effect, scent, taste and medicinal features.
I always advise beginners to start with a plant that’s easy to grow and has a high yield, such as Super Skunk, White Widow or Super Silver Haze. Types that are difficult to grow or have a lower yield usually have a different feature to distinguish themselves, such as a very high THC content or a unique taste.
A plant always starts from a seed. You can obviously also buy or create cuttings, but they also started from seeds. Besides determining what type of marijuana you want to grow, you also have to choose which type of seed you want to use. You have three options:
Regular seed:This seed produces both male and female marijuana plants. You therefore have to make sure you remove all males before they can fertilize your females, because this is harmful to your yield. I only use regular seed if I want to make cuttings or seeds.
Feminized seed:This seed only produces female marijuana plants. Special treatment methods allow ways to make sure a marijuana plant will only produce seeds female plants grow out of. This is the easiest option, because you don’t run the risk of fertilization.
Autoflower seed:This seed produces female marijuana plants that are not sensitive to the light cycle and will start to flower automatically. You can use these to grow outdoors all year long. This type doesn’t have many advantages for indoor growers, because you can determine your own light cycle indoors.
As you can see, there are many different opportunities to grow outdoors. If you just started growing marijuana, I wouldn’t worry about different types, locations and nutrients. Marijuana plants are true weeds and can basically grow anywhere. They can survive on rain water and the nutrients they take from the soil.
You should be pleased if the plants of your first harvest make it to the end of the season to harvest a nice bit of marijuana. I will make sure to help you as much as I can and I will keep a grow journal this summer with tons of tips. I will discuss all possible diseases, bugs and other problems that can negatively affect your plants.
And if you have any questions, you can always ask our fellow growers or our grow experts on the forum.