04 Apr Growing Cannabis Outdoors in Extreme Conditions
Do you ever wish the weather would just make up its mind?
One day it is sunny and hot, and the next, it’s windy and wet!
How does a cannabis plant survive these types of conditions? It’s simple; it’s a weed, it can survive most environmental attacks.
However, you probably don’t want ordinary, ‘it survived’ marijuana, and these days, you just don’t need to settle for it. With just not much more than a little effort, you can have awesome high-quality grass even in the harshest conditions.
In order to get the best buds you need to start with the best seeds.
So, if you were considering growing outdoors, but are concerned about the weather, we have lots of tips on growing in extreme climates. The marijuana plant can withstand extreme weather, but if it does, it may develop abnormalities and growth problems. Although you can’t always avoid bad weather, it is still a good idea to do whatever you can to prevent your plants from getting damaged.
Growing plants outside in a cold climate is possible. However, if you know it is going to be cold, you need to be extra careful to keep an eye on your plants. Check on them often and make sure they stay warm. Unexpected cold temperature can be devastating to marijuana plants. In fact, the only benefit to cold temperatures is its tendency to discourage pests. Plants grown outdoors need daylight temperatures that are at least in the mid-60s (18*C); otherwise, their growth will start to slow dramatically until it basically stops. In the evenings, temperatures need to be at least in the 40’s (5*C), or there may be tissue damage. Anytime the weather drops below 45*F (7*C) you have a potential problem.
Protect your cannabis plants from cold weather
As a grower, your primary job is keeping your plants alive until the weather takes a turn for the better. If you can maintain a reasonable temperature, most plants stand a good chance of surviving unscathed. When better weather returns, the plants will effectively restart the growing process.
There are also many tricks to keep your plants warm. If you cannot bring your plants into a sheltered area, use “passive heaters.” To create these, fill up some dark-colored containers with water, let them heat up during the day, and then they will radiate heat at night. You can also construct a temporary greenhouse with a wood frame and plastic coverings that will trap the heat (creating a greenhouse effect).
Growing Marijuana in the Wind
Heavy winds can cause significant amounts of stress on a marijuana plant – inhibiting its growth. While growers sometimes intentionally stress marijuana plants to improve bud quality, wind damage can easily place too much stress on a developing plant. Instead of relying on the wind to encourage growth in a marijuana plant, focus on the choice of location, your soil’s nutrient content and that temporary shelter from when you plant up to the end of spring.
Burnt roots, heat stress and unsuitable light and dark cycles can make it challenging to grow marijuana in desert-like climates. The good news is, there are many remedies for these problems, in addition to proper watering.
Growing Your Cannabis in Humid Weather
Keeping plants dry is the best protection from humidity problems. If you can move the plants or construct an enclosure, then rain will not bother them, but moisture still might. Increasing temperatures in the enclosed area (up to the 70’s F or 24-26*C) could protect the plants and help dry out the buds thereby curbing mold growth. Circulating the hot air with a fan certainly helps as well.
If rain is forecasted as a brief, one-time occurrence followed by a continuation of warm, dry weather, then you can protect the plants by treating them with an anti-fungal like potassium bicarbonate or Serenade before the rain. If prolonged rain is expected, then you might just think about harvesting the plants right then instead of having them just turn into mush. If humid weather is commonplace while the plants are ripening, you might try different varieties with looser, drier buds.