growing cannabis outdoors in colorado

At homes with residents under 21, any marijuana grow area must be enclosed and locked in a separate space that minors can’t access.

The laws are different for medical marijuana consumers.

Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly. This means the plants can’t be outside.

Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use.

Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time.

Don’t forget that counties and municipalities can pass stricter laws. For example, Denver limits a home grow to 12 plants, even if there are three or more adults over age 21 in the residence. Be sure to check your local laws for specific details.

At homes without residents under 21, extra precautions must be taken to make sure any visiting youth don’t have access to marijuana plants.

Growing cannabis outdoors in colorado

There are many different intricacies of growing cannabis that you will learn as you go. This plant is a constant teacher and will tell you what it needs. As a grower, you need to learn how to understand what the plant is telling you and then how to correct the issues you are facing. One important thing to know is that the cannabis plant will express its needs through its leaves. Learning how to identify nutrient deficiencies or toxicity is of crucial importance. The link below is a guide that shows how possible nutrient issues express themselves in your plants. It’s a great guide to use when first learning how to read your plants.

What a great question, and a great place to start! When growing cannabis outside there are a few things to consider, the most important being how much sunlight your grow space receives. Cannabis plants love sunlight. These beauties stretch and bend with the shifting of the sun across the sky each day. When choosing your grow space, choose a spot with plenty of direct sunlight. If possible, all-day sunlight is best. With that in mind, choosing a secluded space away from other people is important too. The last thing you want is to have your crop disappear because someone saw it and decided to steal it. Since this is a summer guide for growing cannabis a fenced back yard, or a greenhouse are both solid options for keeping your crop out of sight of others. Another thing to consider is how close you are to your water source. This shouldn’t be an issue if you are growing in your back yard or by your house, but if you have elected to grow somewhere else please consider how heavy water is and how difficult it can be to move. When growing in Colorado it is best to put your plants outside in mid to late May. With our weather being so unpredictable, it’s best to wait until there is very little chance of snow before moving them to their outside home.

Regardless of the medium you choose, there is a soil additive that I suggest adding to the mix. When transplanting your rooted clones or mature sprouts into their larger pots, I suggest adding Mykos to the mix. Mykos is a mycorrhizal root inoculant which will greatly help with root growth and the uptake of nutrients by your root system into your plants. You will see increased growth and stronger plant structure when using this product. Just follow the application instructions of the back of the packaging for the best results!

Once you have your pots selected, it’s time to decide what grow medium to use. For outdoor growing, I have always enjoyed using 707 Blend soil from Roots Organic, but I have also gotten great results using Royal Gold Tupur Coco Coir and Perlite mix as well. As mediums, both soil and coco work pretty much the same, but there are a couple of subtle differences that you should take into consideration. First, coco is a completely inert medium. This means it has no nutrients or additives in it that can aid in plant growth. If you use coco for growing, you will need to add your own nutrients to the coco, or when you water so that your plant will have what it needs to grow big and strong. Many soils are sold as inert mediums, but there are many soils that have a pre-mixed blend of plant nutrients in them. If you decide to go the pre-blended route, make sure you know the concentrations of the nutrients that are in your soil. It is important to know what you are giving your plants so that you do not overfeed them. Soil will also hold water much better than coco. Coco has a tendency to dry quicker than soil, so growing in coco will require you to water and feed your plants more often.

How do I Know When My Ladies are Ready for Harvest?

Photo courtesy of ForwardGro

The cannabis plant has two stages of its life. The first stage is the vegetative stage where the plant grows big and strong in preparation for flowering. The second stage is the flowering stage where the cannabis plant begins to grow its large buds. When growing outside in Colorado, your plants will begin to flower somewhere in between the middle of August to the beginning of September. Most cannabis plants will fully mature in their flower cycle in 8 to 9 weeks. When the plant begins to flower, it will shoot little pre-flower hairs out of the nodes, or growth sights of the plant. You can identify nodes as the spots of the plant where new growth happens. You can see this where the new leaf and branch growth start and branch out from the main stalks. As the plant matures you will begin to see little flowers form. When you see these, begin counting the weeks until maturity and when you reach week 8 or 9, your plants will be ready for harvest. If you are unaware of how long your plants have been flowering you can also look at the buds to determine ripeness. The trichomes that cover the flowers of the cannabis plant hold the key to ripeness. Throughout the flowering cycle of the cannabis plant, the trichomes will change in color from clear, to cloudy to amber. When 75% – 80% of your trichomes are cloudy and about 20% – 25% of them are amber, your plant is at peak ripeness and is ready to harvest.

Choosing your cannabis varietals is one of the most fun parts of the process. There are so many great breeders in the game these days that there is no shortage of killer strains to grow. That being said, when choosing what to grow there are a few things you should take into consideration. First, you must decide whether you are going to grow from seed or clone. If you are going to grow from seed you must decide what type of seed you are going to start with. There are three types of cannabis seeds, auto-flowering, feminized and regular seeds. For those of you that are growing for a personal stash and want to change it up and have it be different every time, auto-flowering seeds may be the choice for you. Normally cannabis plants veg and flower in different light cycles that simulate the seasons. 18/6 for spring/early summer and 12/12 for late summer/early fall. Auto-flowering plants do not have this growth trait, but instead flower when they reach a certain size. Auto-flowering plants have a shorter growth cycle and require less maintenance than regular plants, but they cannot be cloned so the genetics cannot be propagated. If you’re looking to find your own unique phenotypes of strains, either feminized seeds or regular seeds are for you. Both have the same growth cycle and growth patterns, but feminized seeds have undergone a process that genetically modifies the seed to be a female plant around 90% of the time. Feminized seeds are a great choice for the grower that is looking to find their own solid genetics and not wanting to deal with potentially popping some male plants. Regular seeds will give you male plants so you will have to keep a close eye on them and remove them when they show their sex. If you are looking to breed your own strains, you will need to use regular seeds to find the males. Breeding with regular seeds is also more ideal as their genetics are more stable than both the auto-flowering and feminized plants.

Where Should I Grow?

Cannabis plants also require a certain level of pH in their root system to grow to their fullest potential. When watering and feeding your plants, your nutrient solution should have a pH range between 5.8 and 6.5 for optimal growth. You can buy an inexpensive pH reader or you can use a litmus test paper to measure pH. pH Up and pH Down are additives you can use to achieve the correct pH level for your feeding solution. Having an incorrect pH level in your plants can create nutrient lock where your plants are unable to effectively intake nutrients through their root system. This can create lots of problems with growth and bud development. If you feel like your plants aren’t growing well, or have reached a plateau, collect the runoff from your watering and test the pH level. If it’s outside of the desired range you will need to make adjustments to fix the issues.

Mixing a feed solution each time you water is another way to give your plants the nutrients that they need, but it is a much more labor-intensive process. If you’re willing to put in the work, mixing your own feed will give you greater control over what your plants are eating, and you can dial it in for each stage of your plant’s life. There are dozens of different fertilizer brands on the market that range from 2 part to 12 part lines. If you’re new to growing, I would suggest finding a two-part line (grow and bloom) and then supplementing in a micronutrient blend as well. The more parts you have in a line of fertilizers, the more complex your process is going to be, so keep that in mind when selecting your fertilizer line. Dialing in your nutrients is one of the harder parts of growing cannabis, and can take a lot of trial and error to figure out. My suggestion is to start simple and build from there. I grew cannabis with only Peak Harvest’s Grow and Bloom formulas for a long time before adding more additives and supplements to the mix. Once you are familiar with your plants and how they uptake their food, you can then begin to experiment with what you are giving them. Always keep in mind that it’s totally possible to overfeed your plants. If you are seeing burnt leaves or major discoloration of your leaves, pull back on the amount of nutrients you are giving your plants. When dealing with nutrients oftentimes, less is more. Start small and build your way up.

Growing cannabis outdoors in colorado

When you believe that you may be in violation of Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, the time to act is immediate.

Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana

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