Outdoor growing is
the best. Outdoor pot by far is the strongest, since it gets
more light, it is naturally more robust. No light leak problems.
No dark periods that keep you out of your grow room. No
electricity bills. Sunlight tends to reach more of the plant, if
your growing in the direct sun. Unlike growing indoors, the
bottom of the plant will be almost as developed as the top.
of a greenhouse, there are many factors that can kill your crop.
Deer will try to eat them. Chipmonks and rodents too. Bugs will
inhabit them, and the wind and rain can whip your little buds to
pieces if they are exposed to strong storms. For this reason,
indoor pot can be better than outdoor, but the best smoke I ever
tasted was outdoor pot, so that tells you something; nothing
beats the sun.
Put up a fence and
make sure it stays up. Visit your plot at least once every two
weeks, and preferably more often if water needs demand.
It is a good idea
to use soil if you don not have a green house, since hydroponics
will be less reliable outside in the open air, due mostly to
Light exposure is
all important when locating a site for a greenhouse or outdoor
plot. A backyard grower will need to know where the sun shines
for the longest period; privacy and other factors will enter in
as well. Try to find an innocuous spot that gets full winter sun
from mid morning to mid afternoon, at least from 10-4,
preferably 8-5. This will be really asking for a lot if you live
north of 30 degrees latitude since days are short in winter.
Since most gardeners will not want to use the greenhouse in the
middle of the winter, you can still use winter sun as an
indicator of good spring and fall lighting exposures. Usually
the south side of a hill gets the most sun. Also, large areas
open to the sun on the north side of the property will get good
southern exposures. East and West exposures can be good if they
get the full morning/afternoon sun and mid-day sun as well. Some
books say the plants respond better to morning-only sun, verses
afternoon-only sun, so if you have to choose between the two,
morning sun may be better.
greenhouse as a tool shed, or similar structure, by using only
one wall and a roof of white opaqued plastic, PVC, Filon, or
glass, and using a similar colored material for the rest of the
shed, or painting it white or silvery, to look like metal. Try
to make it appear as if it has always been there, with plants
and trees that grow around it and mask it from view while
allowing sun to reach it.
fiberglass)or PVC plastic sheets can be used outside to cover
young plants grown together in a garden. Buy the clear
greenhouse sheets, and opaque them with white wash (made from
lime) or epoxy resin tinted white or grey and painted on in a
thin layer. This will pass more sun than white PVC or Filon, and
still hide the plants. Epoxy resin coats will preserve the Filon
for many more seasons than it would otherwise last. It will also
allow you to disguise the shed as metal, if you paint the clear
filon sheets with a thin layer of resin tinted light grey. Paint
will work as well, but may not protect as much. Be careful to
use only as much as needed, to reduce sun blockage to a minimum.
Dig a big hole,
don not depend on the plant to be able to penetrate the clay and
rubble unless your sure of the quality of topsoil in the area.
Grassy fields would have good top soil, but your back yard may
not. This alone can make the difference between an average 5
feet tall plant, and a 10 feet monster by harvest time. Growing
in the ground will always beat a pot, since the plant will never
become root bound in the ground. Plants grown in the ground
should grow much larger, but will need more space for each
plant, so plan accordingly, you can not move them once they are
You may want to
keep outdoor plants in pots so they can be easily moved. A big
hole will allow the pot to be place in it, thus reducing the
height of the plant, if fence level is an issue. Many growers
find pots have saved a crop that had to be moved for some
unexpected reason (repairman, appraiser, fire, etc.).
It is always best
to put a roof over your plants outdoors. When I was a lad, we
had plants growing over the fence line in the back yard. We
started to build a greenhouse roof for them, and a cop saw us
hauling wood, thought we were stealing it (which we were not)
and looked over the fence at us and our lovely plants. We were
busted, because he saw them. If he had seen a shed roof instead,
there would never have been a problem. Moral of the Story: build
the roof BEFORE the plants are sticking over the fence! Or train
them to stay well below it. Live and learn...
When growing away
from the house, in the wild, water is the biggest determining
factor, after security. Water must be close by, or close to the
soil surface, or you will have to pack water in. Water is heavy
and this is very hard work. Try to find an area close to a
source of water if possible, and keep a bucket nearby to carry
water to your plot.
A novel idea in
this regard is to find high water in the mountains, at altitude,
and then route it down to a lower spot close by. It is possible
to create water presure in a hose this way, and route it to a
drip system that feeds water to your plants continuously. Take a
5 gallon gas can, and punch small holes in it. Run a hose out of
the main orifice and secure it somehow. Bury the can in a river
or stream under rocks, so that it is hidden and submerged. Bury
the hose coming out of it, and run it down hill to your garden
area. A little engineering can save you a lot of work, and this
rig can be used year after year.