Thankfully, there are ways to use water sustainably. While they are not as easy as diverting water from streams, they are far more beneficial in the long run. Growers can use rain barrels to store rain water. Growers can also use less water and reduce runoff by recycling water through reverse osmosis technology as this medical marijuana farm has done. Finally, growers can become familiar with their local wet and dry seasons, build a stockpile of water during the wet seasons, and limit their water usage to their stores rather than local streams during the dry seasons.
Water shortages in California have led to a near extermination of the state’s endangered salmon
She’s breathtaking, unpredictable, dangerous, and the greatest threat to cannabis grown outside. Outdoor cannabis is vulnerable to the damage that pests and weather can cause in an instant. Insects like caterpillars, aphids, spider mites, and grasshoppers can run rampant in cannabis gardens, destroying entire harvests. Gophers, ants, and fungus flies can devour cannabis root systems. Birds can consume cannabis seeds before they’ve had a chance to sprout. Deer can eat entire plants. Even smaller animals like mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, and cats can damage plants either be eating them or leaving behind parasite-attracting fecal matter and harmful urine. And while nature’s ambient light and atmosphere are theoretically exactly what cannabis needs, they can also be hostile.
Visibility and Security
Volatile winds can bring plants to a breaking point. Droughts or typhoons can dehydrate or drown plants. None of these things can be totally controlled when cannabis is grown outside.
I’ve already mentioned cannabis’ status as illegal because of its Schedule 1 classification. But even in states where cannabis is legal, cannabis regulations can be unclear or prohibitive. For example, cannabis’ powerful aroma can be considered by neighbors to be a nuisance, and some localities will hand out hefty fines if cannabis growers are in violation of odor rules. Additionally, states have different limits for how much cannabis a person can grow at once.
Pesticides can help to deter harmful critters. Of course, the type of pesticide used can pose a problem as well. More on that later. Despite her sometimes-inconvenient tendencies, mother nature loves balance. Many natural predators of cannabis pests will come to the rescue if attracted by the proper substances. Aphid midges, ladybugs, beetles, amphibians, and praying mantises are examples of predators that eat parasitic insects. Fences are great deterrents for deer and other large mammals. Birds of prey like hawks and owls will help remove pests like mice, moles, and rats. Scarecrows can temporarily turn away birds until seeds sprout. Once they do, take down the scarecrows and allow the birds to help remove cannabis hazards like caterpillars. When it comes to protecting cannabis from the elements, greenhouses can be a great compromise, but not necessarily the only way to shield your plant. Growing cannabis in an appropriate environment with the right weather and surrounding foliage can help the plant thrive. Finally, the cannabis plant itself hasn’t survived for centuries because it’s weak. Cannabis’ smell is a natural repellant for many pests, and growing outside actually encourages strains to develop naturally stronger potency in order to increase their chances of survival.
Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can kill or stunt cannabis plants
Many environmentally friendly pesticides exist and have existed for as long as humans have been cultivating crops. One of the best controls for harmful pests are the predators that already exist in the natural environment. Introducing these insects can keep your cannabis safe with little extra intervention. When extra intervention is needed, organic pesticides like neem oil, citrus oil, garlic, onion, organic soaps, and cornmeal are just a few substances that organic growers use to ward off unwanted insects without exposing themselves or the environment to unnecessary damage.
Becoming intimately familiar with your local climate and seasons is one of the most important steps in producing high-quality outdoor marijuana. Before you grow, you’ll need to know the ideal temperature your plants require in order to thrive, the best site, optimal timing of planting and harvesting, and the season’s photoperiod — the amount and intensity of light available through the duration of the growing season.
Using Mother Nature to cultivate cannabis
Plants grown from seeds are typically heartier and more vigorous than clones, as they produce a sturdier taproot that clones are not able to replicate. The vigor that comes from deep roots can be an advantage when dealing with harsh environmental conditions and pest pressures. The disadvantages of growing seeds are the additional attention required to germinate the seeds, the necessity to eliminate any males before they pollinate the females, and the high variability in growth characteristics that results from their genes.
Seeds vs. clones
Depending on your location, you may need to plan for rain. In most regions, the rainy season is typically aligned with the end of the flowering stage and the start of the harvesting period, but this may not always be the case. Rain can be detrimental to an outdoor flowering crop so being prepared to cover or move plants can help ensure a successful harvest. If it does rain on your plants, make sure to immediately shake off any excess water, as lingering moisture can lead to the formation of mold and nobody likes moldy weed.