Cannabis plants naturally grow outdoors from April to October. Learn more about the best time to grow cannabis plants outdoors.
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Why late spring/early summer is the best time to plant cannabis outdoors
While cannabis can technically be planted outdoors any time of year, there are certain months that are better than others for germination and growth. For most of the United States the best time to plant cannabis outdoors is late spring or early summer.
This is because the weather is warm but not too hot, and there is enough sunlight for the plants to grow well. cannabis plants need at least six hours of sunlight per day to thrive, so late spring and early summer are ideal in terms of both temperature and light exposure.
Of course, if you live in a more southern climate where it stays warm all year round, you can technically plant cannabis outdoors any time of year. However, it is important to keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure that there is not a heat wave or cold snap expected in the near future, as either of these could damage or even kill your young plants.
The ideal outdoor climate for cannabis
The ideal climate for growing cannabis outdoors is one with long sunny days and cool nights. For most of the United States, this means that the best time to grow cannabis outdoors is from late May to early October. However, if you live in a state with a short growing season, you may need to start your plants indoors and then transplant them outdoors when the weather is warm enough.
You can find more information about choosing the right strain for your climate in our article about growing cannabis outdoors.
How to prepare your outdoor grow space for cannabis
cannabis plants are annuals, meaning they complete their life cycle—from germination to flower—within a single growing season. In the Northern Hemisphere, the days become shorter in September, signaling to the plant that winter is on its way. The plant responds by ripening its flowers so it can produce seeds before dying.
What type of cannabis strains are best suited for outdoor growing
There are many different types of cannabis strains, each with its own unique set of characteristics. Some strains are better suited for indoor growing, while others thrive outdoors. When choosing a strain for outdoor growing, it is important to consider the plant’s natural growing cycle.
Cannabis strains can be divided into two broad categories: indica and sativa. Indica strains tend to be shorter and bushier, with broad leaves and a compact flowering structure. Sativa strains are typically taller and thinner, with narrow leaves and a more open flowering structure.
Most cannabis strains are hybrids of indica and sativa, and will exhibit characteristics of both parent strains. However, some breeders have developed purebred indica or sativa strains. These “pure” strains are often prized by growers for their unique properties.
Cannabis plants typically flower between late September and early October in the Northern Hemisphere (or between late March and early April in the Southern Hemisphere). However, the exact timing depends on the strain being grown. Some indica-dominant strains may begin flowering as early as August, while sativa-dominant strains may not begin flowering until October or November.
When choosing a cannabis strain for outdoor growing, it is important to select a variety that will finish flowering before the first frost of winter. In most parts of the United States, this means selecting a strain with an Indica-dominant growth pattern. However, in warmer climates (such as southern California), growers may be able to successfully grow Sativa-dominant strains outdoors.
How to care for your outdoor cannabis plants
Outdoor cannabis cultivation has many advantages over indoor cultivation, including lower costs, a more natural environment, and a longer growing season. However, outdoor growers must be prepared to deal with some challenges, such as extreme weather conditions, pests, and mold.
Cannabis plants naturally grow from late spring to early fall. However, in some regions with longer growing seasons, such as the Mediterranean or California, outdoor growers can harvest two or even three crops per year.
To ensure a successful outdoor grow, choose a strain that is well-suited to your climate and start planting in early spring. Be sure to select a sunny spot with well-drained soil and protect your plants from strong winds. Water regularly and fertilize when necessary. With proper care, your plants should be ready for harvest by early fall.
The importance of water and nutrients for outdoor cannabis plants
Cannabis plants need a lot of water and nutrients to grow properly. However, too much water can lead to problems such as mold and root rot. Too little water will cause the leaves to dry out and the plant will eventually die. The best way to water your outdoor cannabis plants is to give them a deep watering once a week.
The ideal time to water your plants is in the morning before the sun gets too hot. This will allow the water to soak into the roots before evaporating. If you water in the evening, the leaves will stay wet overnight and this can lead to mold or mildew growth.
Cannabis plants need a lot of nutrients to grow properly. The three main nutrients that cannabis plants need are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are often referred to as NPK for short. Nitrogen is needed for healthy growth of leaves, phosphorus is needed for strong roots and flowering, and potassium is needed for overall plant health.
Most soil contains some amount of NPK, but it is often not enough for Cannabis plants. This is why many growers choose to fertilize their plants with extra NPK. There are many different types of fertilizer available, so it is important to choose one that is specifically designed for Cannabis plants.
Outdoor cannabis plants typically start growing in late April or early May. They will continue growing until October or November when they begin to flower. Depending on the variety of cannabis, they may be ready to harvest in as little as 8 weeks or as long as 16 weeks.
Tips for preventing common pests and diseases in outdoor cannabis plants
Cannabis pests and diseases can hit your plants at any time during their life cycle. To prevent problems, it’s important to understand the most common culprits and how to identify them. Here are some tips for preventing common pests and diseases in outdoor cannabis plants.
Aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies are all tiny insects that can cause big problems for cannabis plants. These pests feed on plant sap, which can weaken the plant and make it more susceptible to disease. To prevent infestations, keep an eye out for early signs of trouble, such as webbing or small whiteflies near the tips of leaves. If you see any pests, remove them by hand or use an insecticide designed for cannabis plants.
Fungal diseases like powdery mildew and botrytis can be a problem in outdoor gardens, especially in humid or wet conditions. These diseases cause spotting or discoloration on leaves and can eventually lead to leaf drop. To prevent fungal diseases, water plants early in the day so leaves have time to dry before nightfall. Avoid overhead watering, which can promote fungal growth. If you see signs of disease, remove infected leaves and treat with a fungicide designed for cannabis plants.
Preventing pests and diseases is key to keeping your outdoor cannabis garden healthy and productive. By knowing the most common culprits and taking steps to avoid them, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
When to harvest your outdoor cannabis plants
The time of year when you harvest your outdoor cannabis plants is important. You want to make sure the plants have had enough time to mature, but you don’t want to wait too long. If you wait too long, the THC levels in the plant will start to degrade.
The general rule of thumb is to harvest your plants in the fall, after the summer solstice and before the autumn equinox. This will give the plant enough time to mature, but it won’t be so late in the season that the THC will start to degrade.
How to dry and cure your outdoor cannabis harvest
Outdoor cannabis plants are ready for harvest when the leaves begin to turn yellow and brown. This typically happens in September or October in most regions. Once your plants are ready, it’s time to dry and cure them so they’re perfect for smoking.
Enjoying your outdoor cannabis harvest
Cannabis plants naturally grow outdoors from late spring to early fall. In the United States, that means from April/May to September/October. So if you want to enjoy your outdoor cannabis harvest, you need to start planting in late spring.