Is it too late to start an outdoor grow?
Spring is typically the best time to start growing but If you find yourself in the Northern Hemisphere between May and June, you might wonder if it's too late to plant cannabis outdoors. In the following information, we will explore the behavior of different cannabis varieties towards the end of the season, demonstrating that there is indeed enough time to grow cannabis outdoors.
When it comes to growing cannabis, it's important to consider that most cannabis plants require a specific photoperiod (light period) to grow and produce the desired flowers. Therefore, if you choose to grow outdoors, it is crucial to do so during the appropriate season to achieve optimal results.
When does cannabis flower outdoors? As a general guideline, the flowering period of photoperiodic cannabis plants begins when they receive less light and more hours of darkness. Indoors, you can manipulate the light schedule by switching to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness at any time. However, outdoors, this transition occurs naturally during the summer, at different times depending on the latitude where you are growing your plants.
To determine if you still have time to germinate and plant cannabis this year, you need to differentiate between the types of cannabis plants: photoperiodic cannabis plants (feminized or regular), automatic or autoflowering cannabis plants, luckily we only offer feminized autoflower and photoperiod seeds to keep it simple.
Photoperiodic strains are those that rely on the amount of light they receive to initiate flowering. After germination and during the first few weeks, these plants primarily focus on vegetative growth. Once they reach maturity, they will continue growing until the daylight duration decreases enough to trigger the flowering stage. Photoperiodic cannabis plants can be feminized or regular.
Autoflowering strains, on the other hand, result from crossing a photoperiodic strain with cannabis plants containing Ruderalis genes. Ruderalis is a variety from the Caucasus region that naturally flowers under 18 hours of light during the short Siberian summers. Thanks to these Ruderalis genes, autoflowering plants initiate flowering regardless of the light they receive. The flowering period for autoflowering strains typically starts between the third and fifth week of growth, depending on the specific strain. It's worth noting that autoflowering plants that flower earlier tend to be smaller and yield less.
The latest time to plant cannabis outdoors is typically in June. In the Northern Hemisphere, the days start getting shorter after June 21-24, and this change in daylight duration will affect your plants approximately a month later. By the first few days of August, most cannabis strains will begin flowering, though this timeline may vary based on your location.
When growing photoperiodic plants towards the end of the season, it's important to allow them enough time to grow before flowering. The longer they have to grow, the larger they will be during the flowering stage, resulting in a better overall yield. If you germinate your seeds at the beginning of the season, you can harvest substantial yields from large plants. However, if you choose to germinate towards the end of the season, keep in mind that you will harvest a smaller quantity per plant.
If you choose to germinate photoperiodic plants in June, you have two months (June to August) for them to grow before flowering. To ensure decent-sized plants, use large flowerpots or grow them in the soil while taking care to prevent stress factors like drought, excess water, or root burn. Following this method, you can harvest the same amount from two 2-meter tall plants as you would from one 4-meter tall plant. This is an excellent time to germinate sativas and tall hybrids on balconies, terraces, or gardens where you don't want the plants to exceed 2.5 meters
Ultimately, the best time to plant cannabis outdoors depends on factors such as your location, strain selection, and local climate conditions. Researching and understanding the specific requirements of the strains you plan to grow, as well as considering your local climate, will help you determine the optimal time for outdoor cultivation.
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