Buds will begin to form in late summer and should be ready for harvest during the month of October. You’ll know they are ready when the flower pistils – those wispy hairs that emanate from the buds – turn from white to reddish-brown.
If your beds are sufficiently rich, fertilizer is not required, though it will lead to better results (it’s a must for potted plants). Apply a high-nitrogen fertilizer every three weeks until mid-summer, as this will stimulate abundant vegetative growth. Then switch to one higher in phosphorus to stimulate dense and abundant flowers (buds).
Most importantly, purchase seeds for varieties suited to outdoor conditions, rather than those bred for indoor grow operations. Any reputable supplier will specify that information in their varietal listings. Most will also note mold-resistant varieties, which are a wise choice in humid regions, as well as those with a “short flowering period,” an important consideration in northerly latitudes (this is akin to the “days to maturity” listed on packets of vegetable seed).
Another option is to purchase “clones,” which are rooted cuttings of female plants. This is essentially like buying vegetable seedlings, rather than seeds, which saves you the time and effort required for germination, along with the trouble of weeding out the males.
Cannabis plants love their nutrients, so plan to enrich the beds with composted manure, ideally at least one month prior to planting, if not the previous fall. Spread a minimum of 2 inches of compost over the planting area and work it into the soil. If planting in pots, you can rely on fertilizer, rather than compost.
The old-fashioned way – outdoors – is easiest. The trend towards indoor cultivation is more a product of, one, a desire to hide what you’re doing (no longer necessary in many locales); and two, to exert total control over growing conditions for the sake of producing enormous buds with maximum market value. But if your sole goal is just to have a bit of decent weed around to occasionally enjoy, you may as well plant it alongside your zucchini and basil.
When you plant cannabis seeds, you typically end up with about half male plants and half female plants. It is imperative to get rid of the males before the plants begin to flower, as the male pollen will result in female buds that are full of seeds, which is no good. It’s not that hard to determine the sex of cannabis seedlings – you can find instructions here – and cull the males.
You can plant directly into the ground, using the preexisting soil, but you’ll need to understand your soil’s composition and amend it accordingly. If you go this route, we recommend getting your soil tested, which will minimize headaches, and it’s easy and relatively inexpensive. A soil test will tell you the makeup and pH of your soil, any contaminants present, and will recommend materials and fertilizers to amend your soil.
While some plants thrive in their native soils, which are usually one of the compositions listed above, cannabis plants are best grown in soil that includes a combination of the three consistencies above—this mixture is known as loam.
Don’t underestimate the therapeutic value of gardening. It’s relaxing to spend some time outside, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty for a while. And there’s nothing better than smoking something you grew yourself.
Soil and other media for outdoor cannabis growing
Silty soil is the ideal growing medium. It’s easy to work, warms quickly, holds moisture, has good drainage, and contains a lot of nutrients. The best silty soil is dark, crumbly loam—it’s fertile and probably won’t need any amending.
We also advise against using nutrients designed for indoor weed growing—they are generally composed of synthetic mineral salts and can damage soil bacteria.
Heavy rains and high winds can cause physical damage to plants and reduce yields, and excessive moisture can lead to mold and powdery mildew, especially during the flowering stage.
Soil, at a basic level, is defined as the topmost layer of earth in which plants grow—it’s a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles. Cannabis plants thrive in soil rich with organic matter, and they need good drainage.
If you live in a place that has a constant good weather then the season isn’t very important to take into consideration for you to plant marijuana seeds outdoors. In places with less abundant sunshine, the season would last roughly from March to August or September depending if it’s an Indica or a Sativa marijuana plant. In other regions such as equatorial or coastal regions, the issue of when to plant marijuana seeds outdoors is non-existent since the constant warmth and humidity will germinate the marijuana seeds outdoors without any worries of the conditions being too harsh for the seedlings, or not enough humidity and warmth for the marijuana seed.
You’re not the only one wondering when to plant Marijuana seeds outdoors. Although it is a question that doesn’t have only one answer. Depending on what part of the world you live, the ideal conditions to plant marijuana seeds outdoors would be in the spring, between March and May (in the northern hemisphere). Ideally, during this time, your marijuana seeds should already be germinated and you can even plant marijuana seedlings that are a few weeks old outdoors. As we have mentioned in our other guides, to plant marijuana seeds outdoors is a numbers game. The more marijuana seeds you plant outdoors (if you don’t have the experience) the better your germination rates and eventual harvest will be. For Northern hemisphere climate conditions we don’t recommend to plant marijuana seeds outdoors, rather germinate and start growing the marijuana plant indoors until the weather conditions are ideal to take the marijuana plant outdoors.
You could also find our FAQ Submission How Germinate Cannabis Seeds? useful.