Growing marijuana outdoors gives bigger yields when you trim and shape your plants during the first weeks of summer.
Your outdoor cannabis plants should be at least 3-4 feet tall by June 27.
Using clean, sharp pruning tools, remove all branches and sucker shoots within 1-2 feet of the ground.
Next…find branches deep in the middle of the plant shrouded by other branches.
You’re looking for shorter branches growing from the main stalk that aren’t likely to reach the outer perimeter of the canopy or get much light.
About 15-30% of these shorter, shaded branches should be removed up and down the stalk to create space in the plant structure for air movement and bud development.
Trim the outer perimeter of the plant to create an even profile so no branches extend beyond other branches except at the very bottom of the plant.
Finally, on top of the canopy, cut the very topmost set of leaves from each of the sturdiest stalks.
This creates a rounded, even, horizontally-oriented canopy that maximizes sun exposure and bud growth.
The way you shape your marijuana plants depends on several factors:
- Genetic tendencies of cannabis strains you grow.
- Whether you have plant cage, stakes, or other supports.
- Security concerns (tall plants are easier to detect).
- Sun exposure.
- How easy and safe it is for you to visit your grow site.
Here’s an example of a trimming strategy I used when I was growing marijuana outdoors in late June…
The strain was Kali Mist (a pure Sativa strain).
The plants were already 6-7 feet tall, and growing like vines, so they were hitting a tree above them.
There would likely be a doubling of vertical height by the time the plants were in bloom phase, and I sure didn’t want gangly 14-foot tall Sativas!
So I topped the main stalk and side branches to lower the height to four feet.
Over time, this made the plants go wider rather than taller, although they still ended up 8-10 feet high at harvest.
When you do your major start-of-summer cut, give your plants a nice drink of fresh water that contains a root feed of B-52 (a super Vitamin B booster that helps plants heal) and Cal-Mag (an Advanced Nutrients product that boosts plant growth and recovery).
If you also have the opportunity to foliar feed, use a 145-ppm, 5.7 pH foliar spray after you do your trimming and shaping, using B-52 and Cal-Mag along with Rhino Skin, a potassium silicate plant-protecting product that armors your crops.
Outdoor marijuana growing gives you the opportunity to get two or more pounds of dried bud from each plant, so trimming, shaping and other work is definitely worth it!