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Outdoor Grow FAQ

Is it worth growing outdoors in the UK?

Yes. Sun grown marijuana is more potent and tastes better, however your results will depend on the weather, latitude and strain.

What's a strain?

A strain is a genetic variant of a plant. Strains will have been specially bred for strengths in potency, yield, colour, flowering times, mold resistance and Outdoor/indoor cultivation.

Types of cannabis Here

What's latitude?

Latitude gives the location of a place on Earth north or south of the equator. The further south you are to the equator the better the climate for growing marijuana. The UK's latitude ranges from 49 in England to 59 in Scotland.

What's the best strain for Outdoors UK?

Best is a very loose term but Passion no.1 has had the most consistent results in our climate. There are hundreds to choose from though and many outdoor growers will try multiple strains every year looking for one that performs to their liking.

See Outdoor strain thread for more info...Here

When can i grow?

You can only grow once a year (excluding auto-flowering).

April is widely considered the best month to start as winter is over and the sun begins to rise creating enough heat and light for the plants to thrive. The growing season lasts from April till November. October is when your plants (buds) should be ready to harvest.

There are four stages. Germination, Seedling, Vegetative and Flowering.


What's auto-flowering?

Auto flowering plants do not need a light cycle. They flower from the seedling stage under any light hours. They will flower from April through to November taking about 2-3 months. This means you can harvest in the summer and the autumn. However yield and potency are generally considered to be lower.

When Can I Sow Seeds For Outdoors?

Any time from late March through to early June.

Early April is a good time to start germinating seeds, you can start them off indoors/greenhouse/garden/windowsill etc gradually acclimatising plants to outdoors and finally plant out in mid-to-late May or early June. This normally gives a clear 6 months from start to finish.

The longer your plants are outside the bigger they will get, the more nutrients they will need and the possibility of them being found will be greater.

What Location Makes For A Good Site Outdoors?

Within reason, you can grow almost anywhere outdoors in U.K, the further south the better.

A good site should be southerly facing, be exposed to direct sunlight for at least 5 or 6 hrs (preferably through the early to middle part of the day when the suns strongest) and most importantly be secure. A flat open field is the best location you can get, however they will also be the least secure unless you own it.

Watch the suns position, it should light the area all day for best results. The more sun the better developed flowers.

Woodland, scrubland, wasteland, heaths can all provide the above and your site does not have to be large, a 6'x6' clearing can readily accommodate 10 big plants.

Time should be spent in determining who/what frequents the general area over the period that your plants would be there, ie. from May to October, this is best achieved the year prior to planting. Get to know the area, its wildlife and most importantly its human activity.

Remember sites can differ radically with new growth in the summer and dying leaves/plants in the autumn. This can block light and reveal your plants.

How Do I Prepare The Soil For An Outdoor Grow?

Starting from the autumn to the spring prior to planting, having found your secluded site, firstly check to ensure no major root systems will obstruct your plot (minor roots can be severed or removed). Establish the sites pH with a readily-available kit from garden centres and adjust as required, (garden lime to raise, ground sulphur to lower). Perfection is not required, simply pH within reasonable parameters. pH should be between 6-7.

Mix native soil with multi purpose compost for best results.

Prepping your patch

Outdoor soil mix

UK Soil Types

What Nutrients/feeds should i use?

None during germination/seedling stage. Multi purpose compost is all they need.

Plants will let you know when they're hungry by showing deficiency's. Problem Solver

There are two main types. Grow and Bloom and dozens of different makes. They all do the same thing. Grow for improved growth and bloom for improved Bud/resin/yield in general.

Its optional to feed during the vegetative stage as long as the plants green and healthy its fine. A Grow feed with a high nitrogen content can be used at this stage or slow release ferts like bat guano or blood fish and bone mix to add extra vigour.

These are all easy available, read their instructions.

When the plants start flowering feed once every 2 weeks at least with a Bloom fert. Its completely grower discretion, how and when, let the plant tell you.

Or leave it to nature, but by feeding it you will improve yield and potency.

Its best to under feed than over...

More info

When should i water?

In the UK you shouldn't have to unless we have a 2-3 week drought.

How Often Should I Visit My Plants?

Only as much as is absolutely required (however if your site is secure, it becomes your special place and a weekly visit is fun).

Once to plant out (give them a good watering), say mid-May. Second visit to feed, say end of June. Third visit to feed for last time before flowering, say mid-August and more if you feel it needs it.

This is on basis of 6wks between feeds, no watering and average 8wk flowering outdoor strain.

It may be tempting to 'just stop by and see how they're doing', but every visit you make will only draw attention to your site, hence, less is best.

How can I protect my plants?

Rabbits, slugs and deer are the biggest threats in this country (bar humans). Some kind of protection will be needed for most growers.

For slugs, pellets and copper work well, and rabbits a foot or two high barrier will stop them.. Deer will be deterred by unusual smells but a fence/barrier is the only true stopper.

See protection thread for detailed info. Here

How big will my plants grow and how can I control them outdoors?

If left unchecked cannabis plants can grow very tall, even Indica strains can grow happily to twice the size of you.

In many cases outdoors, height should be restricted to avoid plants becoming ridiculously obvious. This can be achieved in stages through topping, bending and tying down.

Topping is by far and away the easiest method and can be started during the plants early stages whilst still in the garden and repeated once per visit to your site. Simply pinch out the main growing tip at the top of the main stem at any time from a couple of inter nodes onwards. This will slow upward growth and encourage side growth, creating a bush rather than x mas tree.

Over a week or so, the stem immediately below the pinched part will produce two new shoots and after some time has passed, these in turn can have their growing tips removed. And so on, and so forth. One stem becomes two, two become four etc. Same can be done with side shoots if they are becoming too tall.

Planting later will reduce size and yield though...

When will my plants flower outdoors?

The large majority of outdoor strains are triggered into flowering around the end of July and the end of the first week in August.

This is also when they should be sexed, determining males from females Here

Those triggered at end of July should be ready late September and those triggered in early August should be ready early-mid October.

Most strains mid-October as average.

When or how is the best way To harvest my outdoor plants ?

Ideally, for THC content, first thing in the morning. However here in the UK, certainly come Autumn, I prefer to harvest later in the day. The buds are drier and considering this is the pinnacle of a seasons efforts, you want to enjoy the experience to it's full. Don't hang around though, efficiency and a planned approach should ensure a healthy harvest, and yourself, making it back home!

Do not harvest in the rain, wait till a dry sunny day. It increases mold chance considerably.

As a plant grows and develops it’s potency will increase, reaching a peak before degenerative processes begin. This is the time to harvest, and should be judged on the following signs and not by its chronological age.

As the bud matures the Pistils will start dying off and turning a golden/orange/brown colour.

As a general rule the plant is ready to harvest when 70% - 80% of the pistils have changed colour.

The resin glands ripen and change from being transparent to milky in colour.

The bracts swell up and the smaller bud leaves may change colour and wither.

After its peak a plant will continue to flower as it will not mature equally over the whole plant and the lower buds can be left to mature further.

I would simply, starting at the top of each stem, take off the top cola then cut with secateurs/snippers above and below each bud thereafter, ending up with a mix of full colas and a mix of buds with small sections of stem in the backpack. This can be done quite quickly per plant, a matter of minutes if need be. Chop plants at ground level, cut into short lengths and leave hidden under vegetation.

Pack up protection, nutrients etc and leave the site clean.

Walk slowly away, try not to smile too much and relax. Job done.


Remove all the big shade leaves. This can be done at the grow site.

Back home/safe place using a pair of small scissors (preferably long nosed type) trim off all the excess leaf from the bud.

Save these trimmings for hash.

See hash section...Here


75% of the bud is water, vapour and gases which need to evaporate correctly and evenly. The buds/branches should be hung upside down on lengths of string or laid onto a drying screen in a well ventilated area. This area also needs to be dry (50% humidity or less), warm (50°F— 60°F) and dark. The drying process takes around 1-2 weeks.

More Harvesting and Curing information Here

Check the buds everyday for mold and if found remove and add to the hash trimmings if using water extraction method.

Enjoy your harvest and more importantly the whole experience of cultivating such a beautiful life-form and contributing to this planets eco-system.


For more info The Knowledge Base

Edited by Archangel
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