Only a daring marijuana grower would attempt to grow marijuana outdoors in winter. You will be fighting against many odds (pathogens, mold, and pests, you name it) and risk losing your entire crop should the temps fall below 15°C. On the flip side, apart from it being a daring adventure you will also be having weed when everyone else around you is waiting it out for the weather to get a bit warm. This 5 minute read explains to you how to grow marijuana outdoors during winter.
This is How to Grow Weed Outdoors in Winter
If you are growing weed in winter you are better off doing it indoors where you can at least mimic ideal growing conditions. Alternatively, if you are keen on growing weed outdoors you should not be doing it during winter. Winter and outdoors don’t make an oxymoron of sorts when it comes to growing marijuana. However, that’s not what this article is about. This is about going against the grain to grow marijuana outdoors in winter and harvesting bountifully. This is how to do it.
1. Find the Ideal Space For Your Outdoor Grow
This is one of the most important steps if at all you will have a chance of harvesting some resinous nugs. There are two options here, you can either choose to grow your marijuana directly in the soil or opt to grow it in pots. If you are using pots then you can always move the pots around should conditions dictate. However, potted marijuana is more likely to lose heat as compared to planting directly in the soil. When the temperature gets below 15°C, the roots stop absorbing nutrients and the plants begin to die. So here we must be talking about fair winter conditions and not extreme winter when temperatures go below zero degrees.
If you are growing directly in the ground then do your research well. You should be looking for a spot where the plants will get the most sunlight as possible. You also want to choose a spot that is shielded from direct wind; though a slight breeze is always welcome. High walls and shrubs act as good windbreakers. Lastly, you want to choose a spot with privacy and security. Don’t let the whole neighborhood snoop on your winter canopy; that’s a sure fire way to attract unwelcome visitors aka thieves to reap the rewards of your hard labor.
2. Find the Right Marijuana Strain
Some marijuana strains are adapted to the harsh conditions of winter. If the conditions get extreme in winter the plants will be battling against molds, pests, pathogens, and diseases. You need a strain that is highly resistant to these conditions. Plants with ruderalis genetics generally do better in cold weather. We will be looking at the 5 best strains that fit this description at the need of this article.
3. Go for auto flowering indica varieties
Indicas do better in cold weather as compared to sativa varieties. Auto flowering plants on the other hand will flower regardless of the light cycle. If you go for photoperiod varieties, they may remain in the vegetative stage towards the end of winter when they are supposed to be flowering. This is because they adapt their growth to the light cycle. So a combination of indicas that have auto flowering ability will guarantee you higher chances of success.
4. Grow the Seedlings Indoors
As much as you want to grow your marijuana outdoors in winter you should consider starting the seedlings off in an indoor grow. The seedlings need a warm and humid environment which may not be feasible to achieve in the outdoor winter conditions. After 2-3 weeks when the plants are in the vegetative stage you can move the seedlings outdoors. Also start your grow in early winter to so you can be harvesting before the conditions become extreme.
5. Monitor Temperature and Rainfall
The trick is to avoid soil temperatures below 15°C where the roots can no longer absorb nutrients from the soil. Do everything possible to avoid frost as this will destroy your entire harvest. Because you have no control over the elements of weather, should the temperatures get to sub zero levels you will have no choice but to move your plants indoors.
Overwatering is usually an issue when it comes to growing marijuana. If the rainfall exceeds 4 inches, your plants will be in the danger zone. Preventive fungicides containing Bacillus subtilis as the active ingredient can prevent molds that occur after prolonged heavy rain. Potassium bicarbonate also helps to kill fungal spores. However, the best way to remedy this is to provide shelter from the rainfall which could mean improving an outdoor greenhouse.
6. Plan B is a Homemade Greenhouse
If the winter conditions get extremely unfavorable you can opt for a greenhouse. Setting up a greenhouse can be a costly affair. However, you can DIY your own greenhouse at home and move your plants in whenever there is need to. A greenhouse will give you more control over temperature, humidity, and rainfall.
Marijuana Strains for Winter
1. Sticky Beast Automatic Strain
This auto flowering marijuana strain from Zamnesia can do well in winter-like conditions. It is a hybrid cross of three strains: Bubble Gum, OG Kush, and Critical Auto. It is easy to grow and requires minimal TLC. It is a hardy marijuana variety that is resistant to cold and pests. Best of all, it flowers in 8 weeks.
2. Gorilla Glue Auto Strain
Gorilla Glue is a household strain in the US that is loved for its flavor and potency. The auto flowering variety that is crossed with ruderalis aka Gorilla Glue Auto is suited for winter-like conditions.
3. CRITICAL Strain
Critical is a resilient marijuana strain that thrives in cold northern climates. It flowers within 7 weeks making it an ideal strain for winter growing. With Afghani and Hindu Kush genetics, this variety is able to survive the harsh conditions of winter.
These are three strains that you can try growing outdoors in winter. Always go for strains that are hardy and highly resistant to cold weather; choose auto flowering varieties over photoperiod varieties of marijuana. Also, remember that indicas do better in cold climates as compared to sativas.
This brings us to the end of how to grow marijuana outdoors in winter, it’s an adventure but one that is worth every effort.