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Tres plantas de cannabis en maceta

How to grow up to three marijuana plants on a balcony, terrace or garden

By: Contributor Grow

If you use cannabis regularly and live in a marijuana-tolerant location like Germany (where self-cultivation of up to three plants is already legal), you’ve probably already thought about growing your own. And this is one of the most pleasurable activities you can ever experience; so, after you’ve done it once, you’ll probably want to do it time and time again. Not only is this practice rewarding but it’s also incredibly easy if you know how to do it properly.

If you’re interested in growing your own marijuana, you don’t need a great infrastructure or expensive equipment to do so. You can plant one, two or three cannabis plants in your own home in a cheap and simple way in order to get a successful harvest. So, if you’re ready to learn how to grow your own weed, here are some factors you’ll need to consider and some questions you’ll need to ask yourself to get there.

Indoors or outdoors? That is the question

The first thing you need to know is that outdoor cultivation varies considerably from indoor growing. Indoors, growers have the chance to cultivate throughout the year, whereas growing cannabis out in the open forces growers to think about the seasons, the environment, and the daylight periods to ensure that the conditions are suitable to obtain first-rate results. Fortunately, though, growing marijuana outdoors also has a number of benefits:

  • It is much cheaper: There is no need for electricity or specific automation of the light cycle, as plants receive energy from the sun and the wind.
  • It is much simpler: There is no need for manual climate controls with dehumidifiers, fans, air conditioning systems, etc.
  • It is much more profitable: There are neither space restrictions nor the need for odour control, which means that the plants can grow bigger than usual, giving you more for less.

However, you need to be aware that, when plants are grown outdoors, they are more susceptible to pests and temperature and humidity fluctuations. Therefore, the main goal is to find the perfect location to avoid all of these.

Where does growing cannabis with just a few plants work best?

Depending on your precise location or the type of home you live in, you’ll need to consider factors such as privacy, access to sunlight, accessibility for maintenance, or security.

For instance, if you live in an apartment without a balcony, you could even grow on a windowsill. Porches, balconies or terraces serve as ideal places because they naturally protect the plants from the wind (unless, of course, you live in a high-rise building where wind may be stronger). Back yards, allotments, gardens or open spaces can provide huge amounts of sunlight and energy.

Plantas de cannabis en el alféizar de una ventana
If you don’t have outdoor space, a windowsill can also be a good place to grow

You also need to consider the climate in your outdoor space, and whether you’ll be able to keep your plants warm in case of temperature drops; or to provide them with shade to prevent overheating on extremely hot days. The same goes for rainfall: you’ll need to provide cover for your plants during long periods of rain to prevent mould growth.

Once you’ve decided on the best location for your plants, the next decision you’ll need to make is to establish the right schedule for your grow. To be able to do this, though, you’ll need to make some more decisions.

When to start? Seasonal dates that you should know about

It’s important to start at the right time so that the plants have enough time to ripen and flower before the climate becomes too cold. Therefore, the exact ‘right time’ depends on where you live. Obviously, you’ll want to start planting in spring, but you should check the temperature averages in your area to know exactly when is best.

Cannabis tends to prefer the same kind of outdoor temperatures that people usually like: around 20 – 30°C. This plant is considered to be heat tolerant, but sustained highs (above 30ºC) and extreme lows (below 15ºC) will generally lead to complications that could eventually kill the plants.

In addition to temperature, you also need to know how long the days last throughout the year, which is something that varies in relation to latitude and season. Once your plants begin to receive less than 15 hours of sunlight per day, they’ll enter the flowering phase to produce buds. Therefore, there are some specific dates you need to keep in mind:

  • Spring equinox: It falls on 20th March, when the sun crosses the celestial equator, marking the first official day of the growing season. Many growers believe it’s the perfect time for seed germination, which should take between 2 and 7 days.
  • Summer solstice: It occurs on 21st June and marks the moment when the Earth’s inclination towards the Sun is at its maximum, so the plants should start to reach great heights as they are exposed to maximum sunlight. This time is also recommended for pruning, defoliating or training your plants.
  • Autumn equinox: Between the summer solstice and the autumn equinox, which falls on 22nd September, your plants will gain weight as the buds fatten up with resin. You must wait until at least this date to start harvesting, just before the first autumn frosts begin.

Where to place your cannabis plants

There are three main factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining the location of your plants:

  • Light. To ensure that your plants grow as much as possible during the vegetative period, you should maximise the amount of light that they receive during the day: If you live in the northern hemisphere, try to find a south-facing spot that gets at least 6 hours of direct sunshine. If you can’t find a suitable place, growing autoflowering strains might be a better option for you.
  • Exposure. While a little rain may be helpful to make irrigation easier, remember that excessive humidity for long periods of time can lead to mould and fungi. Also, you don’t want it to rain on your plants during the flowering. If you don’t fancy investing in a greenhouse but you know that bad weather is coming, you can always use plastic sheets to protect them from the wind and the rain.
  • Visibility. In many regions where growing cannabis is legal, it may still be illegal to grow it in places where the plants are visible from public spaces, such as from the street in front of your home. But, even if you don’t need to worry about this specific law, it is still best to keep a low profile: plant theft can be a big problem, especially in autumn when the plants are in bloom. You can also grow autoflowering strains to control the size of your plants or use low stress training techniques to encourage them to grow wide rather than tall.
Plantas de cannabis en el balcón
According to German law, plants should not disturb neighbors, both in terms of size and the odors they may cause.

The best tips for growing cannabis simply

Now that you know the basics of when and where to grow, it’s time to learn how to do it simply. Remember that you’ll find more detailed information by clicking on each of the links that we provide here.

Plan ahead

If you think you can become a great grower by simply throwing some seeds on the ground, then think again: growing cannabis outdoors requires specific planning. This includes the following:

  • Choose the most suitable strain for your specific climate. Sativas like high temperatures and long summers, so they thrive in areas near the equator. If you live in regions with a northern climate (such as Germany), summers will be shorter, so plants that don’t ripen quickly can be ruined by the rain or frost before they can be harvested. For this reason, indica-dominant strains and autoflowerings work better in this type of climate. If you live in a region with a climate that has a shorter period of daylight, you’ll want to choose a variety with a shorter life cycle. And, if you’re trying to be discreet, you might want to choose a strain that doesn’t smell too strong or doesn’t grow as tall.

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  • Decide whether to grow in the ground or in pots. Planting in the ground lets the roots grow thicker and deeper, for even stronger support and greater absorption of nutrients and water. However, if you plant in the ground, you won’t be able to move the plants when necessary. If you grow in pots, keep in mind that cannabis plants need at least 10 litres to promote healthy growth and prevent their roots from getting tangled up. Avoid clay pots as they can be pricey, heavy, and retain too much heat, which can end up drying the soil. Fabric pots are the most effective solution as they help to drain the soil and keep the roots well oxygenated.
  • Choose your growing medium. Quality soil should be dark, rich in nutrients, and have a light and spongy texture. It should be able to retain water but also allow any excess to drain away. Organic potting soil mixes will work well, but more advanced growers prefer to mix their own organic ‘super soil’ from scratch. With this, the plants need less feeding, which reduces the amount of nutrients required throughout the growth cycle. The soil itself should be slightly acidic, with a pH of around 6.
  • Select the best nutrient regime. During the vegetative phase, plants need more nitrogen to be able to grow roots and leaves that serve as a base for the flowering. During the onset of the flowering cycle, the plants need more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. Towards the end of the flowering, once most of the nitrogen has been used up, the plants will focus on making the most of the remaining nutrients.

Time each stage of growth

If you’re growing from seeds, the seedling stage takes about two weeks before the plants enter the vegetative phase. They will remain in this state for at least 4 to 6 weeks, making the most of the light so they grow as large and healthy as possible before they begin flowering when the days get shorter. In general, it is best to start germination from March to early May to ensure that the plants are ready to flower before the summer equinox in June.

Varias plantas de cannabis en un patio privado
With three plants in a garden or patio, you can easily ensure the cannabis supply for a season.

Manage maintenance

As with indoor grows, outdoor plants need to be kept in good condition for optimal growth and overall health. This includes regular watering and feeding, or training by means of pruning or defoliation for optimal exposure and support.

The amount of water that a plant needs depends greatly on its size, on the pot capacity, soil type, and general environmental conditions. And this will change throughout the plant’s life cycle, although it’s always better to water frequently in small quantities, before waiting for the substrate to dry, rather than saturating the substrate by watering too much and running the risk of root rot.

Protection from the wind is also important: consider using structures such as walls, fences or screens to block the wind. Use stakes to provide physical support, or plant other more robust species around the plants to help reduce the speed of extreme winds. You can even consider pruning the plants to reduce their exposed surface and thereby prevent structural damage.

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Furthermore, it is vital to maintain pest control. Predatory insects, such as ladybirds, can be introduced to defend the plants against common pests like aphids and whiteflies. The addition of companion plants such as basil or dill is also another common way to prevent infestations.

Last but not least, adding mycorrhizal fungi to the soil can help protect the plants against harmful microorganisms; whereas fences and chicken wire can be effective barriers against larger animals like rabbits, squirrels, etc.

Get ready for harvest

In the final stage of cultivation, it is essential to carefully time the harvest to cut the plants, which will occur from mid-September to mid-November, depending on the regional climate. The plants will show some indicators of being ready for harvest, such as a change in the colour of the leaves, changes in the pistils, or in the transparency of the trichomes, which start off milky, then turn amber, and finally become brown. Many claim that the ideal time to harvest is when around half of the trichomes (50%) have turned amber. If they’re too clear, it may be too early (although this can lead to a more energetic effect). Too brown and the cannabinoids will have lost some of their potency (although some may prefer it this way if they’re into a little less psychoactivity).

Conclusion

With today’s technology, growing cannabis indoors has become easier than ever. But there’s nothing better than the simplicity of growing a few plants out in the open in natural sunlight, assuming that the season allows for it. Choose the right time to start, plant your Kannabia seeds, and enjoy having an excuse to spend a little more time with everything that nature has to offer!

Kannabia Seeds Company sells to its customers a product collection, a souvenir. We cannot and we shall not give growing advice since our product is not intended for this purpose.

Kannabia accept no responsibility for any illegal use made by third parties of information published. The cultivation of cannabis for personal consumption is an activity subject to legal restrictions that vary from state to state. We recommend consultation of the legislation in force in your country of residence to avoid participation in any illegal activity.

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