Preparing Medical Marijuana Plants For Outdoor Season
Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 20039 views
By Lee G. Leissett
Get ready for an outdoor marijuana adventure.
(Click to enlarge)
Spring is right around the corner which means the serious outdoor medical marijuana growers have already started to prepare for their outdoor crop. Some growers will plant seeds directly into the ground, but most growers will start seeds indoors in order to remove weak plants or unwanted male plants. Other growers will take cuttings from mother plants to get stock for their outdoor crop. I prefer cuttings because there is no question of how the particular plant will perform (given good weather), especially if it is a variety that has been grown outdoors previously.
When To Start Your Seeds and Cuttings
Timing is very important when preparing plants for later transplant outdoors. The first thing any grower needs to do is to find out the average last frost date for their given region. This information can be found in a farmer’s almanac or online. Plants started from seed indoors should be planted two months before the average last frost date. This will give the grower enough time to determine the plant’s sex and vigor.
Growers using cuttings or clones should start the process one month prior to the average last frost date. This will give enough time for the clones to take root and start a preliminary vegetative stage. Growers that want very large plants right from the get-go can start the vegetative process indoors even earlier in relation to the last frost date. Just remember that most plants require a hardening off period; this could be difficult to perform if moving the plant is problematic due to its size.
Preparing Your Outdoor Soil
I highly recommend using a pre-made potting soil for your outdoor container or hole in the ground. These potting mixes will already contain a variety of ingredients and materials for aeration. If you want to mix your own soil more power to you, just make sure there is a wide variety of ingredients and proper aeration.
Medical marijuana is a heavy feeding, fast growing annual which means even the best soil mixture is going to need a little boost throughout the outdoor season. Although it is possible and very beneficial to use premium liquid fertilizers outdoors, most growers choose a dry form fertilizer to amend their soil due to cost and convenience. Heavy Harvest by Advanced Nutrients comes in Spring, Summer, and Fall compositions which are formulated specifically for that given stage of growth.
Hardening Off Your Medical Marijuana Plants
After the average last frost date has passed, it is time to start hardening off your medical marijuana plants. Hardening off is essentially acclimating plants that were started indoors to the outdoor environment. The sun is much more powerful than any indoor lighting apparatus and therefore can cause serious stress on plants that aren’t slowly introduced to its rays.
Some larger plants and certain varieties of medical marijuana can handle the change of environment better than sensitive genetics or young, fragile seedlings/cuttings. Start by placing your plants in a shaded area where they receive no more than a few hours of direct sunlight per day. The amount of direct sunlight can be incrementally increased everyday until the plants become acclimated. If stress is observed at any time, reduce the amount of direct sun hours and start the process again once the stress has subsided.
Transplanting Your Medical Marijuana Plants Outdoors
After the plants have been hardened off, it’s time to transplant them into the prepared soil. I like to use beneficial organisms throughout the vegetative growth outdoors but especially at transplant time. Piranha and Tarantula by Advanced Nutrients are easy to use and extremely effective beneficial organism formulas. The use of beneficials will ensure almost instantaneous root establishment and less stress in the transplanting process.
Now, with a little love from you and a whole lot of help from mother nature you can sit back and watch your medical marijuana plants grow as they were meant to grow, under the sun.
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Monday, 26 March 2012
Article by Lee G. Leissett, on Mar. 27th 2012