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Start Indoors for Outdoor Growing Success

January 3, 2017

More states are allowing professional cannabis growers to cultivate outdoors instead of only in enclosed areas. However, if you’re in the planning stages of a outdoor grow, it’s still a good practice to start growing your plants indoors.

Starting your grow early indoors and then planting outdoors in as much soil as possible can ensure your plants are massive. Plants reaching 10 to 15 feet can produce many pounds of cannabis and are worth the planning and work.

Starting indoors

There are several ways to start your indoor growing, depending on your setup. For example:

  • For a greenhouse with supplemental lighting, start at least 45 days before you move your plants outdoors. Use the sun as the primary source of light for positive growth, and add artificial light to extend the day cycle to 16-18 hours.
  • For an indoor vegetative area, plants should be started up to 60 days before moving them outdoors. Using organic rooting stimulators (such as Rhizotonic) will strengthen the root system and prepare it for outdoors.

During this time of early indoor growth, apply any techniques—such as low-stress training—to build thick stalks and healthy roots. Pruning and training the branches to reach out for more light will make space for bud development later in the season.

Also, use the largest pots you can fit indoors. A 20-gallon starter pot will transfer outdoors with ease and provide plenty of room for branches to spread out.

Getting ready outdoors

While your plants start to grow inside, prepare the outdoor area for the long season ahead. This includes mapping out your grow space and conditioning the soil to make sure you have enough to use. When preparing to grow in the ground, dig deep holes (the deeper, the better) and remove the topsoil. Calculate how much soil to make, then fill the holes with nutrient-rich amended soil.

For an above-ground large container plant, your concerns will be in making the soil and building the plant support system. You’ll need between 100 to 500 gallons of soil per plant; several suppliers offer pots that are 100 gallons or more.

The ground soil may be healthy enough to mix with your soil amendments, and this can save you money. But if you aren’t sure, get the soil tested. There are online testing resources available, or you can take the soil to a local nursery.

After your soil is mixed and ready, cover it and move on to the next chore. If you’re planting directly into the ground, prepare your holes to receive the plants when they’re bigger. Then wait for spring; it will be during this time you will construct frames or nets.

Moving day

Focus on growing the biggest, healthiest plants possible indoors for as long as you can. When it’s time to move outdoors, take your plants outside and let them acclimate for a few days to the weather, sun’s intensity and length of day. Then it will be time to transplant.

Finally, before you begin growing in the ground, be sure to loosen the soil in any hole that’s been exposed to the elements for a few weeks. This extra work at the bottom of the hole will help any deep roots to continue growing.

By Eric Stone
Cannabis Cultivation Today articles are for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal guidance or advice on grow practices. You should contact an attorney or a qualified cultivation consultant for specific compliance and cultivation advice.
© 2017 CAN Performance Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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