Growing marijuana is a fun and engaging activity that needs less effort, especially if you're cultivating the plants outdoors compared to indoors. You must satisfy many factors and conditions beforehand to ensure your efforts are fruitful and yield is abundant.
Nevertheless, before you venture into such an investment, it would be wise to consider the laws and regulations on marijuana farming in your area to ensure you're within the accepted limits. Therefore, the following article will take you through the ins and outs of how to germinate cannabis seeds for outdoor cannabis farming.
How To Germinate Marijuana Seeds for Outdoor Plants in Easy Steps
Germinating cannabis seeds is an easy task, provided you meet all the necessary conditions. Usually, there are a few steps involved in this process, and once you follow them to the latter, you can guarantee your seeds' successful germination.
What Are the 5 Steps of Germination?
The following are proper steps that marijuana farmers use to germinate seeds under appropriate conditions to achieve the best results.
Step 1: Determine the Climate in Which You'll Grow Your Cannabis
If you're aiming at outdoor marijuana cultivation, you must determine the general climate the plants will grow in before purchasing the cannabis seeds. Various seed strains grow best in different climatic conditions. Even though germinating marijuana seeds happens indoors, you will ultimately have to transfer the plants outside.
Step 2: Select the Right Seeds
Once you determine the climate in your area, you can purchase the right quality seeds that are under such conditions. There are different kinds of seeds, including:
Photoperiod Marijuana Seeds
These seeds produce male or female cannabis plants and need 18/6 hours of light regime in outdoor conditions.
Autoflowering Marijuana Seeds
Auto-flowering seeds produce female plants. They also don't rely on photoperiod conditions to change from their vegetative state to flowering stages. The process is automatic, and the seeds are suitable for first-time growers.
These cannabis seeds only produce female plants and need photoperiod conditions of 12/12 hours of the light regime.
Regular Cannabis Seeds
These seed strains produce male or female plants and sometimes hermaphrodite plants. The cannabis seeds are cheaper than feminized marijuana seeds and easier to produce marijuana plants.
Step 3: Store Your Seeds the Right Way
Once you purchase the right seeds, you must store them appropriately before choosing a suitable germination method. The best way to store cannabis seeds is in the fridge, sealed inside a plastic/ziplock bag to mimic the seasonal change from winter to spring when the cannabis seeds start sprouting.
Step 4: Choose a Germination Method
There are various methods growers use to germinate seeds, including:
Using a wet paper towel
Soaking in water
Planting directly in the soil
Using stone wool blocks
Using peat pellets
Wet Paper Towel Method
Wet a paper towel and securely tuck your cannabis seeds into it. Place the towel on a plate and cover it with another plate. Leave the setup for up to a week while checking periodically for signs of germinated seeds.
Soaking In Water
Soak your seeds in lukewarm and chlorine-free water for up to three days. Gently remove the cannabis seeds and dry them on a kitchen towel once the roots start sprouting.
Planting Directly In Soil
Fill a pot with salt-rich soil and make a small hole in the middle. Gently place your cannabis seed in the hole and use chlorine-free water to make it moist. Place the parts in a warm location and wait for a week for germination.
Using Stone Wool Blocks
Stone wool blocks are nicely organized and packaged blocks suitable for root cuttings and germinating any seed.
Dip the blocks in water and gently squeeze them to remove excess moisture. Gently place the cannabis seeds in the pre-made hole and cover the hole loosely using an extra piece of wool to pave the way for the germinating cannabis seeds. Place the setup in a warm location and water the blocks every two days. Germination should occur after about 3 to 5 days.
Using Peat Pellets
Peat pellets are made of partially decomposed organic matter compressed into peat. These items protect the plant's fragile roots and are a good source of nutrients for the germinating seeds.
Place the pellets in the tray and add enough water to cover the height of the peat pellets. Wait about 10 minutes for the pellets to expand and drain any excess water. Slightly tear the top of each pallet and plant your marijuana seeds. Lightly cover with some soil and wait up to 3 days for signs of sprouting.
Step 5: Regulating Conditions
You must meet certain conditions to ensure your seeds germinate successfully:
Ensure you water your setup as instructed using chlorine-free water with a suitable pH.
It's advisable to germinate cannabis seeds under warm temperatures because cold conditions in the soil can damage the plant roots.
The soil used must be loose enough to allow sufficient air circulation but not too loose to hold nutrients and water for the germinated seed.
What Are the Benefits of Growing Marijuana Outdoors?
Outdoor seed germination relies on natural conditions such as sunlight, rainwater, and atmospheric humidity. You cut down on various costs like electricity to power lights, dehumidifiers, and AC units when switching to outdoor weed farming.
Furthermore, you save on storage space and materials needed to build a conducive environment for these young plants. Similarly, they'll require less attention and maintenance once the seeds sprout than indoor marijuana plants. Lower costs also translate to higher profits when licensed to grow cannabis as a commercial supplier.
An outdoor cannabis plant can grow to nearly six feet tall and produce up to a full pound of dried weed, unlike indoor germination, where space is limited. Moreover, a few cannabis seeds growing outside are enough to produce a large harvest of top-grade marijuana compared to indoor marijuana farming, which requires a significant investment of pot seeds to reap similar yields.
Indoor farming uses about 360 kWh a month per 25 square feet to grow 25 plants. The electricity utilized for grow lights, ventilation systems, and other equipment is enough to power more than 25 refrigerators and is wasteful. On the other hand, outdoor cultivation depends on the sun, air, rainwater if available, and less equipment for your plants' survival.
Higher Bud Quality
In many cases, outdoor-grown marijuana plants produce higher bud quality than those farmed indoors. Nevertheless, the distinguishing factor depends on the console of the environment because sometimes it's easier to control indoor germination conditions than the environment outside. Since nature is unpredictable, the type of strain used can dictate the quality of the bud.
What Are Some of the Problems With Outdoor Cannabis Cultivation, and How Can I Counter Them?
Outdoor cannabis farming isn't easy and comes with various problems that require specific approaches to tackle. Some of these issues include:
Caterpillars, grasshoppers, aphids, spider mites, and fungus flies are some of the many pests that threaten the livelihood of your plants.
Pesticides can help repel these critters. Nevertheless, you must use the right chemicals for such plants lest you risk damaging them altogether.
Unstable Water Supply
Cannabis plants need water to grow, and an unstable supply can be devastating. Water shortages can cause the plants to dry up, while too much water can suffocate the fragile roots and kill the plants.
Farmers can incorporate watering systems that regulate the amount of water supplied to these plants.
Pesticides protect cannabis plants from various pests that cause significant damage. Still, overuse of these pesticides can have adverse effects on the environment and the health of living organisms in the area.
Search for environmentally friendly pesticides such as ladybugs on your marijuana plants. These insects are natural predators to many plant pests and are an excellent control measure for reducing the number of chemicals used.
Laws & Regulations
Cannabis is legal in specific states, and even so, certain regulations in these areas can be unclear. Furthermore, every state has limits on the production of marijuana.
Familiarize yourself with your state's cannabis regulations and update yourself on the ever-changing laws.
How Do You Plant Marijuana Seeds After Germination?
Investing in outdoor marijuana cultivation needs an initial indoor approach to germinate the seeds under controlled conditions. Once the seedlings sprout, you can transfer them outside to grow further. Nonetheless, this transition should be handled with extreme care because the outdoors come with unpredictable conditions that can damage the young plants.
They need time to adjust to boost the new environment; otherwise, the direct sunlight and temperature instability can decrease the plant's stamina. It's advisable to let the plants spend a short time outdoors every day but away from direct sunlight. These periods should gradually increase over two weeks while monitoring the plants' progress.
The plants should be moved back indoors and transitioned at a slower pace if they show any signs of sun damage like bleaching and burn spots.
When Is the Best Time to Plant Cannabis Outdoors?
The most suitable time to plant cannabis outdoors is at the start of spring. Plants grow throughout spring and summer and flower in autumn. You must determine the right time to transfer the sprouting seeds from potting soil to the ground because of unpredictable outdoor conditions, even during the good seasons.
Farmers must consider a few factors during the transfer since a one-size-fits-all approach can fail drastically. These factors include:
- The altitude of a garden's location
- The ground temperature
- The precipitation level of the garden's location
- The garden's latitude
Planting the cannabis seedlings too early in the year can kill the plants because the soil/air is too cold for their fragile roots. Similarly, planting too late in the season prevents them from undergoing a complete growth cycle.
How Long Does It Take To Germinate Cannabis Seeds
Germinating cannabis seeds take about two to five days to sprout, depending on the environmental conditions and the type of cannabis strain. A cannabis seed has an increased chance of success under the best conditions during germination.