April 2022 - Outdoor 4-Plant Grow Tips - Indoor Farmer

What to Grow

We recommend strains that will finish within 6-8 weeks of flowering, as we have a shorter growing season. Strains that require over 8 weeks to flower will not be finished until well into October, and early cold, wet weather risks mold and mildew. Auto-flower strains are a great choice as they are not limited by the change of seasons. We find breeders that breed plants outdoors provide the heartiest strains for outdoor growing. 


Where to Grow

Plants will perform best with 8 hours of direct sunlight. They should be kept out of sight from the street to reduce chance of theft. They should also be kept away from sources of artificial nighttime lighting which can disrupt the flowering cycle. A typical photoperiod plant in a 15-20 gallon pot will grow around 5' tall. Grow your plants where airflow is good, prune for airflow and remember the wind helps the plant develop strong stalks and ward off mildew. Supplementing silica is another way to get similar benefits of wind.


Pot Sizing

We recommend 7 gallon pots for Auto-flowers varieties outdoors and 15-30 gallon pots for photoperiod plants. Large pots typically results in larger plants, 15-30 gallon pots provide a good mix of plant size and manageability for the typical grower. Fabric pots work excellent for outdoors because they air prune the roots, they tend to be shorter and wider to prevent the plants from getting knocked down, and they are collapsible to take up minimal space for storage. Because the fabric is breathable, they dry out from all sides and may require more frequent watering during dry weather. Be careful not to transplant small plants directly into your large final pot, as your plants will be vulnerable to root issues.


Nutrients

A quality living soil with be the bread and butter of your outdoor grow. Both the Black Swallow / KIS Living Soil and Gaia Green Living Soil are popular, well-draining, premium living soils that produce excellent results for our customers. For outdoor grower's we typically recommend dry, slow release nutrients like Gaia Green All Purpose and Power Bloom or Nature’s Pride for feeding, and a source of beneficial bacteria like Pure Life worm castings for consistent, high quality results. Many customers still prefer to use liquid nutrients as well, which provide excellent results but often need to be mixed and fed multiple times a week. If you plan to use liquid nutrients, organic or partially organic nutrients typically interact better with the living soil food web, and will provide the best results. We have a short guide on outdoor nutrients available on our website articles page.


Watering

One of the reasons we like slow release nutrients is rainfall does not affect your watering schedule and nutrient feeding. Living soils should be kept moist, but not soaking wet. Over and under watering are the most common causes of issues when growing. On hot, dry weeks you may need to water every day to keep the soil moist. If a living soil dries out, the bacteria colonies that break down your soil minerals and amendments will be greatly reduced, try adding some compost like worm castings or a beneficial bacteria to bring them back up to top performance. Automated watering systems like Blumat, Rain Rings and Drippers provide a simple, easy way to water your plants when you are away or just speed up the watering process.


Growing

While the plants are growing, you have lots more to do then just water them! Regular pruning to make sure air can pass through the plant canopy helps prevents mold and mildew. Spot checking for bug damage and mildew let you treat the plant early before infestations take over. A good IPM schedule is your best friend and regular spraying will help keep pests from establishing a foothold. Trellis nets or Bamboo sticks will help support your plant when heavy flower's start to develop. There is always something to do when growing to maximise your yield and quality!


Harvest

Photoperiod plants with 6-8 weeks flowering periods should be ready to harvest at the end of September to early October. It's important to harvest before the wet and cold fall weather (especially frost) kicks in and mildew/mold become a major threat. If your plants are dried, cured, trimmed and stored properly, your herb should last for up to 1 year. Indoor Farmer has everything you need for harvest season and we will provide a more detailed guide on harvesting this summer!
Grow tips