Outdoor Cannabis Gardening For Beginners
San Diego home gardeners are blessed by living in a Mediterranean style climate because it allows them to grow many plants year-round. Read on to learn more about how to get started in growing cannabis outdoors and factors to consider as you plan your grow. Written by Randy Villarba
San Diego home gardeners are blessed by living in a Mediterranean style climate because it allows them to grow many plants year-round. Home gardening teaches folks about the valuable skill of providing their own sustenance, which is one of the many benefits of gardening vegetables or fruits. Some people even find gardening to be therapeutic.
If you are already spending the energy, resources and time to grow your own garden at home, you might also take interest in learning how to grow cannabis outdoors. Although some people may think it looks easy, we’re here to provide tips for even the most seasoned gardener.
Read on to learn more about how to get started in growing cannabis outdoors and factors to consider as you plan your grow. Stay tuned for future articles that will cover more details on the intricacies of growing your own weed.
Gathering the right gardening tips and advice before starting can save you time and frustration. There are a massive amount of resources new cultivators can use in order to start cultivating cannabis. You can find a lot of information from a simple Google search or from books and notes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
There are a few study guides that take it well past gardening for beginners that growers have been using as their guides to the world of growing. Here are a couple of must have books for your gardening library:
Ed Rosenthal’s Canna Library, these are the longtime official course books for Oaksterdam University.
Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower’s Bible by Jorge Cervantes
Selecting Strains to Grow Outdoors
Selecting the right cultivar to grow is important not only for providing the right effects you desire, but in order to utilize the environment you have in your yard. You may want to try a few different genetics to cultivate simultaneously in order to find out which type of genetics thrive best in your garden.
It is a solid practice to stagger your planting times so you have your plants finishing one after another, not at the same time. You don’t want to overload yourself with too much harvest work by having overlapping harvests.
At March and Ash we source all of our clones and seeds from the master breeders at Purple City Genetics (PCG). The Oakland-based cultivators have been collectively breeding and cultivating cannabis phenotypes for the industry since 2008. PCG’s genetics program is shaped by a deep connection to the plant and a knowledge base informed by California’s best growers and producers. They have selected their phenotypes for optimal health, potency, yield and terpene production since 2008.
- Type: Hybrid
- Finish: 8-9 weeks
- Genetics: Gush Mints x FruitCake CBD
- 16% THC to 16% CBD
- Amazing bag appeal
- Huge yield
- True Medicine
- Bred by PCG
- Type: Indica Hybrid
- Finish: 9 weeks
- Genetics: SR-71 Purple Kush x Gush Mints
- Straight purps terps circa 2005
- Increased vigor in veg
- Super potent Indica effect
- Purple flower with amazing trichomes
- Bred by PCG
- Type: Sativa Hybrid
- Finish: 9–10 weeks
- Genetics: Mango Haze x Gush Mints
- Unique exotic modern sativa
- Lime green covered in trichomes
- Tests over 27% THC
- Huge yield
- Bred by PCG
Cultivating cannabis indoors allows total control of your environment. The temperature, the humidity and even the lighting schedule are all controlled by the different devices and techniques. Growing outdoors, however, is a whole different world where you are either helped or hindered by your surrounding environment.
San Diego County is blessed with six distinct climatic zones. You’ll find contrast from the dry, hot conditions in the eastern desert zones to the coastal prairie zone protected by the cool ocean air and marine layer. A firm comprehension of which of these climatic zones you reside in and knowing when to put your plants out will help you understand what your plants will need in order to thrive.
Don’t forget to check the frost date, as exposure to frost after all your hard work is a rough way to end your growing season. Harness the elements available to all of us outdoors and vigilantly mitigate the forces of nature against you. Do this and you can cultivate and yield a decent amount of high quality cannabis.
When growing cannabis outdoors, you are susceptible to all of the elements of nature. If you decide to plant your garden without the protection of a greenhouse, you are at the mercy of every tiny critter that may find your crops as food. Keeping all bases covered on your pest control will save frustrations and sadness down the road.
Grasshoppers, aphids, butterflies, moths and snails are some of the insects that you need to keep a vigilant eye out for. There is nothing worse than inspecting your nugs only to see they've been infested with bugs or what’s more, beautiful colas destroyed, rotting from the inside out and threaded with a trail of caterpillar feces.
Utilizing organic sprays such as neem oil is a great way to battle potential infestations. Establishing a copper mesh perimeter around your pots will help keep snails from finding their way up to your canopy. Using Praying Mantises and Ladybugs to prey on cannabis damaging pests are an extremely organic way to let nature find its way. Planting other plants to attract insects in other parts of your property can also minimize them from migrating to your cannabis plants.
Before you run out to your closest hardware store to grab your soil and nutrients, learn how to create a proper substrate and soil mixtures. Make sure you have your nutrient feeding and flush schedules mapped out in order to maximize your yield. Some of the most trusted nutrients and soils come from companies like Fox Farm or the Mad Farmer.
Both of these nutrients are found at your local hydro shop or online. When supplying a small garden, getting it shipped to your door is simple and convenient. When you have a larger garden, you can save a lot in shipping by shopping locally.
Hydroponics Grow Shops
If you have any deep questions that friends or the internet can’t answer for you, talk to the pros. The experts at the hydro shops have the passion and accumulated expertise you seek. The ladies and lads at your neighborhood shops have been helping growers since the medical Prop 215 days.
San Diego has two main gardening shops that locals have grown to trust. Grow Generation (Formerly SD Hydro) has two locations, one location in coastal San Diego with the other in Lakeside. More centrally located, you will want to say ‘hey’ to the crew at Mighty Hydro. The staff at these stores have long been supplying cultivators with the necessary equipment, nutrients and acquired knowledge and wisdom.
As we continue to celebrate our freedoms of legalized cannabis, there are regulations that you still need to adhere to legally.
Since the passing of Prop. 64 in 2016, anyone in California aged 21 or over is permitted to grow 6 plants on the property of a private residence.
Are your plants out in the open among your other homesteading fruits and vegetables or are you following the legal regulations that stipulate all your cannabis plants should be secured in a freestanding structure like a framed greenhouse or shed? In almost every personal outdoor cannabis garden, one extremely important regulation gets overlooked:
“No person shall plant, cultivate, harvest, dry, or process cannabis plants outdoors in anything other than a secured structure upon the grounds of a private residence. For more information on San Diego Cannabis Regulations, please refer to §42.1304 Cannabis Cultivation
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