How to Grow Outdoors: A Complete Guide to Cannabis

In this course, I will teach you everything there is to know about growing cannabis outdoors. By reading this course, you will know what to do and how to do it. I will start by giving you an overview of some important factors and what strains grow best outdoors. Outdoor growing has some significant advantages…

How to Grow Outdoors: A Complete Guide to Cannabis
Kodinov Ivan

Author: Kodinov Ivan

Publish Date: July 17, 2023
Last Update Date: September 13, 2023

How To Start Growing Weed Outdoors: Basics

It’s time to grow! But how do you start? This course will give you insight into how to grow outdoor cannabis.

First, I will explain what plants need, so you can decide which plant soil and fertilizers to use.

Then I will teach you about climate and location you need to consider before starting. And last but not least, I will share some growing tips for first timers.

Choose Cannabis Strain: Clones Or Seeds

Choose Cannabis Strain: Clones Or Seeds

There are two ways to start growing: with seeds or with clones.

Choosing between cloning or growing from seed is fun part.

Buying cannabis seeds online from trusted seed bank is only matter of few clicks. Ordering seeds also gives you an opportunity to choose precisely what you want.

You can produce different kinds of cannabis strains simultaneously to see which ones you like best.

But make sure you have enough space and that it’s allowed in your state.

Climate And Location

In climate, plants experience three seasons: spring, summer, and fall.

During this process, they’ll develop and flower. It’s important to know what climate you can expect during certain times of year so you can plan your harvest well in advance.

It’s important to find proper location for your plants. That can mean different things based on type of plant you grow.

In general, we want location that provides maximum light and minimum wind. It’s also nice if it’s nice and cozy when fall rain commences and temperatures start to drop.

If you live in city, chances are you don’t have access to backyard or large garden area where you can cultivate cannabis but you can always grow on balconies.



Greenhouse is an ideal location for marijuana grown outdoors. It protects against too much wind, rain, and cold.

It will also give your plants pleasant warm climate with sufficient water, so you won’t have to irrigate them as often.

Greenhouse cannabis growing temperature never rises higher than outdoor temperature.

If you have access to greenhouse or know someone who has one at their disposal, I would definitely advise using it for your first few harvests.



If you’re growing on your own property and have access to nice sunny garden, you can just plant some seeds in ground.

Make sure to use good soil and give your plants lot of water.

Backyard grower usually has more space to play around with. If you have garden and space to start production in garden, this is very nice way to go.

If you place them in right spot, they will grow as large as plants grown in greenhouse or under tent.



You can start cultivation wherever you want as long as it’s not prohibited by law. If you don’t have backyard garden or greenhouse you can cultivate in wild.

You could, for instance, choose hidden location for your plants in the forest or behind bushes.

It’s really hard to spot cannabis growing wild in nature because plant is usually covered in leaves and other plants.

And if someone happens to see your plants, they won’t know they are weed plants until they get close enough to see buds.


Outdoor growth will be very visible to passersby. Make sure your plants won’t be noticed by anyone who shouldn’t see it.

Put up some fence or wall around your garden and make sure there are no gaps in between any foliage you already have.

If you grow cannabis near road, make sure that passersby can’t see your plants from a distance. Cover them with netting or something else to ensure no one can spot them from a distance.

Also, continue to check this as often as possible because otherwise, it could be an unpleasant surprise in fall when your plants are ripe and ready for harvest.

Choosing Soil And Fertilization For Marijuana

It’s best to start seeds in soil because it gives plant most nutrients it needs. It also protects roots from cold and heat.

You can make your own soil by mixing peat moss, clay, rock powder, and compost. Use 1/3 of each ingredient.

Mix it well, put some water on it and let it sit for couple of days to let all ingredients blend.

You can also use pre-made soil that doesn’t have any fertilizers in it. You can then start with this if you are new to growing weed outdoors. But always use fertilizers later on if you want big harvest.

Grow Tips For First Time Growers

Here are some grow cannabis tips for first time grower dummies:

  • Use good soil as medium and good soil fertilizers
  • Use soil pots or planters
  • Check on plants daily
  • Take some photos to see progress of your plants
  • Water outdoors plants regularly
  • Provide your plants with some shade in summer so they can avoid getting too hot
  • Find suitable location where nobody can see your plants

When To Start Growing Cannabis Outdoors

When To Start Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Most growers start their plants in spring so that they can flower around September.

This gives your plants about three months of vegetative and about three months of flowering period.

You can also start later and harvest your first outdoor crops by the end of October. Make sure your plants will be ready for harvest before winter.

Also, grow cannabis time depends on type of cannabis strain you are growing.

Ideal Conditions For Growing Cannabis Outdoors

Outdoor growing has many advantages. You don’t have to pay electricity bills and can fully use sunlight.

But this also has it’s cons. It’s not as controllable as indoor grow cannabis because you’re exposed to external circumstances.

It’s important to have basic understanding of climate in order to care for your plants properly.

Growing in field or in the woods also has its cons. You can’t control climate or light as well as you would inside.

Plants will be exposed to many more diseases because they’re all closely packed together.

And if conditions are too dry, you can’t water them from bottom, because root are too deep in ground.

When growing outdoors, you need to meet certain conditions in order for your plant proper grow:

  • Warm, sunny climate with long growing season
  • Access to water and fertile soil
  • Adequate sunlight exposure
  • Temperatures between 70-85°F
  • Low soil humidity and good air circulation
  • Protection from strong winds and extreme weather conditions
  • Pest and disease control measures

Different Type Of Climates And What Climate is Most Suitable For Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

Different Type Of Climates And What Climate is Most Suitable For Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation

In the northeast hemisphere, if you live in Virginia or New York, spring starts on March 21, and summer officially begins on June 21.

Growing season lasts from March to October. You can start outdoor growing in spring.

But if you want to cultivate good cannabis, first week of March is perfect time for sowing seeds in soil or in seedling mix.

If you live in Midwest, California, Arizona, Colorado or Mexico, or any other southern hemisphere country, you’ll be growing cannabis during fall. Your plants will be developing well because of warm climate and long days.

Outdoor Cannabis Grow Setup

Outdoor cultivation has many advantages. It’s usually cheaper, and you don’t need any electrical energy or gas to operate your additional lamps and heaters.

Outside cultivation also gives you access to sun, which provides you with free light source.

When it comes to outdoor setup, I always start by making list of things you need for growing cannabis outdoors. If you’re growing in your backyard, you could go to garden center and buy everything you need, or you can make your own setup.

Step By Step

How to prepare setup for growing marijuana outdoors:

  1. Site selection: choose location with sunlight exposure, protection from wind, and access to water
  2. Soil preparation: amend soil with organic matter for good drainage and fertility
  3. Irrigation system: install drip irrigation system or rain catchment system
  4. Trellis or stake support: provide support for tall plants
  5. Lighting: use natural sunlight
  6. Pest and disease control: use organic methods such as companion planting, beneficial insects, and crop rotation
  7. Harvesting: handpick buds at peak maturity
  8. Security: protect your plants from theft and wildlife

Growing Kit and Equipment

It would be best if you bought some equipment for growing cannabis outdoors.

I’ll talk about basic equipment you need. First of all, you need seeds or cuttings.

You can buy these from local shop or online at DSS. When purchasing seeds, ensure they’re suitable for outside cultivation and won’t easily be damaged by heavy rain or cold temperatures.

Next, you need soil that contains many nutrients for your weed plants to feed on during their entire lifespan. You can buy this at garden center or make your own with compost and peat moss.

It would be best if you also bought pots; 5-gallon pots or container gardens usually work best. Pot size can depend on strain you are cultivating or on plant’s stage of growth.

Outdoor Cannabis Growth Timeline

Cannabis plants have four stages:

  1. Seedling Stage
  2. Vegetative Stage
  3. Flowering Stage
  4. Harvest Stage

Depending on climate, location, and type of strain, cannabis will take different amounts of time to go through these four stages.

Seedling Stage

Cannabis plants that grow outdoors will germinate in spring after which they’ll go into seedling phase.

This is first phase of development and lasts about two weeks. During this time, plant will become little bit taller, and first leaves will appear.

It’s important to provide young plants with sufficient amount of light and water so that they can produce quickly.

Vegetative Stage

Plant needs lot of light, water, and nutrients to grow.

Plant also has to stay warm, especially when it gets dark.

During vegetative phase plant are developing towards light source so that it can get as much light as possible. It will be growing upwards and start to branch out.

Flowering Stage

When days get shorter and nights longer, plants will start to produce buds. 

Buds will then be developing for about two months, and then you can harvest.

During this time, plants won’t produce anymore branches; instead, buds are developing and will be ready to be harvested by fall.

Flowering Stage

Harvest Stage

Outdoor harvest takes place from end of September to beginning of October, depending on how warm it is.

That is because plants start to produce buds when days get shorter.

You want to pick bud in fall because this is when trichomes are fully developed, and you’ll get maximum yield.

How Big Bud Cannabis Produce When Growing Outdoors

You already know that marijuana plants produce buds when they get enough light and nutrients. Outdoors, this process is completely dependent on season.

Quality of your plants and buds depends on how well you manage your growth operation over an entire season.

This is why it’s important to know what happens to your plants during different seasons and what you can expect from your buds.

You can’t change climate, but you can prepare your plants well for it.

More sunlight they get, bigger they’ll grow. So make sure they get maximum light possible by placing them in sunny spot.

Plant still needs some shadow to keep temperature cool, so place it under tree or on north side of your garden shed.

You can get huge buds or even 10-pound plants if you take proper care of your plants.

Bud production also depends on marijuana strain you are cultivating.

How Tall Can Be Full Grown Weed

How Tall Can Be Full Grown Weed

There are many different types of cannabis, and these have different heights.

Most outside Sativa strains thrive about 2.5 to 3 meters tall, but this can differ depending on climate and amount of light they receive.

You can determine how tall plant will be by looking at its vegetative time.

Amount of light your plants receive during their vegetative stage determines how big they’ll grow.

More light, more giant plant; less light, smaller plant.

Cannabis Outdoor Plant Care

Plants can use sunlight, rain, and soil to create their own food.

Soil contains all nutrients they need, making growing cannabis outdoors cheaper.

But if you want to grow cannabis outdoors, you should take some precautions.

Outdoor plants are more exposed to fungi and bugs than indoor plants.

This blog will help you understand how best to handle outdoor marijuana plants and what to do when something goes wrong.

Best Nutrients and Soil

You already have natural soil and are curious to know what nutrients it contains and how good it is?

It’s best to make your own soil, so you know exactly what goes into it. Make sure to use not too acidic soil because marijuana doesn’t like acidic soil.

If needed, adjust pH value of your soil by adding lime or wood ash. Don’t forget to mix these properly with your soil before planting your seeds.

Cannabis grows well in soil, preferably with high content of organic matter and nutrients.

In flower stage, marijuana needs more phosphor and potassium. These two elements are very important for production of buds.

Cannabis have no storage capacity for these minerals, so they must be provided with them through their root.

Best way to provide your plants with all necessary nutrients is by making your own soil.

Common problems

Pests are biggest risk outdoor marijuana growers face. Luckily, there are many solutions available to you.

Spider mites, for instance, can quickly ruin your entire crop. Use neem oil to keep them at bay.

Another common pest is fungus gnats. They breed in wet soil and can damage roots of your plants. You can use nematodes as biological control agents against them.

Mice and deer are also big problems; they like to eat your marijuana plants! You could put up scarecrows or sprinkle warfarin on your plot to stop them coming near.

Harvesting Time And Yield

Best moment to harvest your marijuana is when majority of trichomes have turned mostly cloudy, and almost all pistils have turned brown.

This is moment when most of THC has been converted into resin, and if you leave buds to developing longer, this percentage will only go up. But beware; if you let your buds get too ripe, they’ll start to lose their flavor, become hard to smoke, and produce lot of tar.

On average, outside plants produce around 0.5-2 oz per plant. Most significant difference is how much yield is made by strain and by climate.

If you harvest at the right time, your cannabis will have nice strong flavor and high THC content.

It’s best to harvest when buds are ripe. To determine this, you can take number of different parameters into account.

  • Color of buds
  • Smell of buds
  • Color of pistils
  • Feel of bud when snapping off branch

Best Time Of Day To Harvest

Best time to harvest marijuana plants is in the early morning when trichome levels are at their highest.

This typically occurs when pistils (hairs) on buds have changed color and are starting to curl inward. 

Ideal time to harvest will vary depending on strain and environmental conditions, so it’s important to monitor plants closely and make decisions based on trichome appearance.

Drying Buds

Drying Buds

Buds have to dry before they can be stored. This is because chlorophyll and starch continue to be converted into sugars during drying process, but this only happens under certain circumstances.

If it isn’t windy outside you can dry your buds inside.

Buds mustn’t be dried too quickly, so it’s important to have good ventilation in your drying room.

You can use special drying nets or simple clothes hangers with twine. Make sure you hang something underneath twine so buds don’t rest on ground and aren’t exposed to possible fungi.

Advanced Techniques

Advanced Techniques

Here are advanced techniques growers use for better marijuana cultivation:

Fimming: Fimming is removing share of root of young plant. This increases number of main stems and side branches.

Topping: Top your plants when they’re around 4 inches high. You simply cut off top quarter above first pair of leaves.

Low-Stress Training technique helps to increase yield because cannabis becomes broader and taller. Plants will also become more resilient against storms and wind. 

Super cropping: You take young plants and bend stem down to start developing horizontally. Plants will eventually emerge from pot.

Plants can be trained this way in certain positions, for instance, against wall or fence.

Nutrient Schedule

Nutrient schedule for outdoor marijuana growing should look like this:

In vegetative stage (first 4 – 6 weeks): Use balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).

Pre-flowering stage (2 – 3 weeks before flowering): Increase ratio of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in fertilizer while reducing nitrogen (N).

Flowering stage (6 – 10 weeks): Use high-phosphorus (P) fertilizer to encourage bud development.

Late flowering stage (last 2 – 3 weeks of flowering stage): Reduce or stop fertilizer application and flush plants with plain water to remove any buildup of nutrients in soil.

Specific needs of your plants will vary based on factors such as soil type, climate conditions, and strain. It’s important to monitor your plants closely and adjust your nutrient schedule as needed.

Grow Best Strains Suitable For Outdoor Growing

In this blog, I will tell you about some of best outdoor strains.

Most important thing to know is that most reggie strains are developing well outdoors as long as they’re adapted to your climate.

Best strains for outdoors depend on your location and preference.

If you’re growing outdoors in colder climate, you can use Indica Autoflowering Strains. If you’re growing cannabis in warmer climate, use more energetic Sativa strain because it will perform better cause of its strong resistance against heat.

There is also Ruderalis, but most cannabis growers don’t recognize it because it lacks high levels of THC. Use of this type of marijuana specie is mostly for breeding cannabis autoflowers.

I will share you some good examples and information on best strains for growers at different locations.

Best Indica Strains

Best Indica Strains

Indica is most widely used strain in medical marijuana dispensaries, partly because of its ability to relax a patient’s body and mind.

It is also great for dealing with chronic pain, stress, depression, and lack of appetite. This is because it contains higher levels of CBD than Sativas.

Indica is small in stature, with dark green leaves that are thick and broad. Leaves also have light webbing between veins.

Indica marijuana strains are easy to grow and can withstand colder climates. They also flower within 12 weeks, making them very fast strain to grow outdoors.

Here are some of reggie Indica strains suitable for outdoor cultivation we have to offer at Dutch Seeds Shop:

Strawberry Banana Cannabis Seeds

Strawberry banana is another cannabis strain that was crossed to boost its rich taste.

It’s one of best Indica outdoor strains because it has high resistance to mold and pests.

Also, it grows relatively small and can be harvested in 12 weeks. 

This strain will produce beautiful leaves, wich are complemented by pale yellow buds that smell like strawberries and bananas.

This marijuana has potent high, making it great for relaxation or social activities. Strawberry Banana has high levels of both THC and CBD, which makes them suitable for medical use.

Grape Ape Cannabis Seeds

Grape Ape is strain that crosses Grapefruit and Original Skunk. It is an easy-to-grow strain that has both fruity and skunky aromas.

Dense buds have thick layers of crystals, which makes them excellent for making hash or smoking it using water pipe.

This strain offers Indica effects, making it ideal for night use. Grape Ape will reach heights of around 80cm outdoors and will finish in just 11 weeks.

Granddaddy Purple Cannabis Seeds

Granddaddy Purple or GDP seeds are an indica dominant strain that originates from California.

Grandaddy Purple has long history of outdoor production, and it won’t disappoint you if you’re looking for an easy-to-grow strain for your outdoor setup. Granddaddy Purple can handle colder climates with ease.

Outdoors, Granddaddy Purple will be ready around mid-September, which means you should have some nice raincoats ready! 

Granddaddy Purple has strong purple buds that are known for their narcotic effect.

Granddaddy Purple is heavy hitting with high THC content and high CBD count, so this is one of best strains for pain relief, relaxation, and sleep aid.

Blackberry Kush Cannabis Seeds

If you’re looking for killer outdoor strain, look no further. Blackberry Kush is an indica dominant hybrid of Purple Kush and Afghani landrace.

This strain was created with outdoor cultivation in mind and has since become one of most popular strains in world.

Blackberry Kush features large buds that are dense in weight and covered in trichomes. It offers an incredibly pungent aroma that will leave your mouth watering when you take a deep breath.

Flavour of this strain is fruity with slight earthy undertone due to its Afghani genetics. This sweet and sour taste lingers on palate throughout smoking session. 

Best Sativa Strains

Best Sativa Strains

Sativa is tropical cannabis that originates from warm, sunny regions such as equator. Sativas generally develops taller and has thinner leaves.

They grow faster than indica and are more sensitive to light. They are great for outdoors and can be cultivated in warmer climates without difficulties.

Sativa will flower after 8 to 12 weeks and produce excellent, spicy buds with high THC levels. Sativa gives energy high without any narcotic side effects.

Here are some of best Sativa strains suitable for outdoor cannabis grow we have to offer at Dutch Seeds Shop:

Moby Dick Seeds

If you love to grow cannabis outdoor, you’ll love these super-fast Sativa dominant strains. They are initially from Amsterdam and are real workers in the field.

These fast finishers have decent yields and will mature in only 10 weeks. Outdoors, they will be ready for an autumn harvest.

Moby Dick seeds can grow plants of up to 2 meters tall but can be kept to manageable size by training them horizontally along trellis or netting.

Maui Wowie Seeds

Maui is an island in Hawaii where this strain originated, and wowie are words people say when they taste this enchanting bud.

This strain boasts high THC content and low CBD, making it perfect for relaxing or even partying with friends.

Maui Wowie feminized cannabis seeds give buds with soft, earthy flavor that will leave your mouth watering for more.

Colombian Gold Seeds

Colombian Gold is variety of landrace sativa originally from Colombia.

This strain was bred in 1970s to produce high yields indoors and outdoors. It has thick, dense buds that have orange hairs and an earthy, lemony aroma.

Colombian Gold’s effects are both potent and balanced; you will feel strong cerebral high that leads to a calm body buzz.

Mimosa Seeds

Mimosa is strain that’s been around for quite some time. It’s mainly used as mother cannabis plant for many different strains.

Mimosa has very large leaves, and buds look like small balls of resin. Taste of this strain is sharp and sour, with an initial uplifting high that will eventually give way to a relaxing body sensation.

Mimosa is considered Sativa dominant strain because of its heavy mind effects. Its flowering time is between 10 and 12 weeks, with yields being very good for outdoor cultivation.


Here are some commonly asked questions with answers concerning outdoor grows:

Is it hard to cultivate cannabis outdoors?

It’s not hard to cultivate cannabis outdoors, but you should take a few things into account.

Outdoor growers have to deal with humidity, rain, and colder temperatures. Indoor growers don’t have to worry about this at all.

If you know what your cannabis needs and you have suitable climate in your garden, it will be no problem for you to grow some outdoor marijuana.

Can I start my first growing cannabis outdoors?

Yes, you can. But it’s better if you have lot of experience with growing.

Are there any disadvantages to outside plant grows?

Plants that develops outside are exposed to wind and rain, which can damage them if they’re too small or if their stem isn’t yet sturdy enough.

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