Why should you consider growing marijuana plants indoors and outdoors, instead of just one or the other?
What happened with me is I was tired of electricity outages while growing marijuana in a hydroponics deep water culture system, and decided to switch to container cannabis gardening and hand watering.
Then one day I was looking at the bright sunshine hitting my back deck, and thought: I need to be growing marijuana plants out there, at least part of the time.
I have a private back yard and followed the very useful security and logistical advice in this great article on backyard marijuana growing.
Even though my indoor grow op was lit by thousands of HID watts, when I started putting my blooming marijuana plants outside from 11 am to 3 pm any day the sun was shining in a cloudless sky, I was impressed by the impact of real sunshine.
For one thing, as soon as my flowering marijuana plants hit the sun, they started to send up a lot more scent than they’d been sending up indoors under the bright lights.
The sun, wind, oxygen, and C02 are free outdoors. I saved four hours per day of indoor grow room costs whenever I had my marijuana plants outside.
Sometimes the wind was a lot stronger than indoor fans, so my plants got thicker and stockier. Especially if you start growing marijuana plants in an indoor-outdoor grow during veg phase, wind makes thicker, stockier plants means that have more strength and structure to support larger buds.
Outdoors under bright sunlight, intake of nutrients and water increased. Overall yield and potency increased. Growth rate increased.
The sun is a powerful metabolic engine for growing marijuana plants.
Outdoors, I was able to feed the plants, flush the root zones, and foliar spray more often and more easily because I didn’t have to worry about overspray going onto my HID bulbs, Mylar, or systems. I didn’t have to worry about drainage either.
I was able to more easily foliar spray with pure reverse osmosis water, and with water that had Rhino Skin, B-52, and a small amount of organic horticultural soap. Again, no worries about overspray.
Horticultual soap functions as a disease and pest deterrent and also as a surfactant that delivers nutrients into leaves faster.
Because the sunlight was so bright, I was able to see the growing marijuana plants better, making it easier to trim, stabilize, examine, and stake them.
If you want to use the outdoors for growing marijuana plants, and have an indoor grow room on site, you get many benefits.
You have an indoor place to put your marijuana plants when weather goes bad. No sun? It’s raining? Insect or disease problems have floated into your outdoor space? No problem. Just bring ‘em in and fire up your grow lights.
Another benefit: instead of waiting for natural day lengths to trigger your marijuana plants into bloom phase, you can bring them indoors every day after 12 hours of light, put them in protected indoors darkness, and force them to flower.
I never put my cannabis plants out on days when humidity was higher than 60%, especially when they were in bloom phase.
Nor did I put them out when there was stagnant, smoggy, or smoky air, or when temperatures were above 78F.
What else did I have to guard against when growing marijuana plants outdoors, other than security problems?
For one thing, all the pests and diseases that are outdoors that I’d been completely filtering out indoors.
Also, trees were dropping leaves and seed pods, and some of that got in my buds.
Ants got into my root zone from the bottom, but caused no serious problems for my growing marijuana plants.
A couple of leaf miners tunneled into my leaves and ate them, but I discovered them within a couple of days of their infestation and ripped them off my plants.
None of these problems were serious. I controlled them all with little effort. But they could have been serious if I wasn’t paying close attention to my marijuana plants.
And there could have been gray mold, powdery mildew, spider mites, or other attackers that ruin marijuana crops. I was lucky that none of that was happening in my outdoor grow area.
Preventing plant contact with outdoor problems is a guiding factor in how you use outdoor marijuana growing safely.
That’s why I put the plants out on my deck, not on dirt, lawn, or among non-marijuana plants.
I made sure to keep the deck clean. I sprayed it with Azamax and horticultural soap on a regular basis.
I stayed home with the plants at all times when I had them outside, and was often outdoors with them.
If I heard a helicopter or sensed that people were nearby in adjacent yards or otherwise entering my space, I moved the plants back indoors.
Growing marijuana plants indoors and outdoors doesn’t work for everyone.
Unless you have a greenhouse with rock solid electrical supply, you can’t safely put deep water culture, aeroponics, NFT, or pump-driven ebb and flow systems outdoors.
I mean, who would want to be carrying hydroponics marijuana grow systems back and forth every day.
If you’re growing Sea of Green, Screen of Green, or in linked bucket systems, it’s too much of a hassle to be growing marijuana plants with an indoor-outdoor approach.
In some climates and locations, there are too many pests, molds, diseases and mildews outdoors to make it safe for your marijuana plants to be outside.
Bringing the marijuana plants outdoors every day the weather was nice created about 30 extra minutes of work per day for me.
It wasn’t just carrying the plants that created the extra work. It was also that I had to examine them from the bottom of their pots all the way to the top of each plant to make sure no pests were coming in with my marijuana plants, and that no powdery mildew or other problems were starting.
The time I spent carrying and examining my marijuana plants was canceled out by the time I’d have spent if I had stayed exclusively with deep water culture indoor growing, which is a very time consuming system for growing marijuana plants.
Maybe you’ll use that outdoor grow security article to evaluate your potential outdoor marijuana growing situation, and decide you can’t safely be growing marijuana plants outdoors part of the day and indoors another part of the day.
But if this indoor-outdoor growing marijuana plants technique is appropriate for your specific marijuana grow op situation, I predict you’ll like it as much as I do.