Choosing the best spot to put an outdoor garden for cannabis plants

Published Jun 3, 2020 09:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Zbynek Pospisil

Now that it’s entirely legal to experiment outdoors while you learn how to grow weed in Canada, more people are trying their hand at the idea, and that is an incredible thing, but a lot of them have no idea what they’re doing. This is due to a sheer lack of experience, and a jumble of misinformation that flies around the internet about the cannabis plants hardiness.

Sure, a pot plant is relatively easy to grow in the great outdoors, but if you don’t pay attention to a few minor details, you could run into some big problems along the way, and that could cost you both financially and mentally. So instead of learning through a painful experience of trial and error by blindly placing your garden just anywhere, here are some pro tips and tricks to follow that will help to guarantee you a better harvest at the end of the year.

1. Light exposure

It might be tempting to place a pot plant or two in a garden that lines the side of your home, after all, these types of flower beds are common, which means less digging or guesswork, but if you do, chances are pretty good that your garden won’t get enough light to thrive, as the structure will block out much of the sun for far too long.

Cannabis plants can do quite well with a tiny bit of shade, which is why gloomy days have very little effect of their well-being, but they prefer large doses of all-natural sunlight for the entire day, so it’s always a good idea to choose a spot that is in the open, and not overshadowed by trees or surrounding trees for your outdoor garden.

2. Ground fertility

Nature is pretty amazing because it is self-feeding, as each year's worth of plant byproducts break down and become compost for the next one. However, this isn’t always the case, especially if you’re looking at using a pre-existing garden bed that hasn’t been cared for or filled in some time, or a spot that was dug up from someplace in the lawn, as these areas are not fed consistently, usually because we tend to keep them clean of debris.

Wherever you put your garden bed, you’ll want to ensure that the ground is rich with essential nutrients that your pot plant will need to flourish, and if it doesn’t, then you’ll need to add some the old fashioned way. Using natural fertilizers such as compost or manure can work if you want to plant soon, and if you’re preparing for next year, clean food waste and lawn trimmings will make for an excellent base for the next growing season.

3. Accessibility

Take a look around at the potential spots that you’re considering for a garden and think about how easily accessible it is for you to get to. If you have to go too far out of your way to get to your growing pot plant, then you are a lot less likely to give it the attention and care that it needs, and if it’s out of sight, you risk pest infestations and major deficiencies getting out of hand before you notice what’s happening.

You'll want as much room as possible around the garden to freely walk around your glorious crop and closely inspect its progress, and it should be somewhere you spend a lot of time or at least visit often so that you aren’t tempted to skip out on essential watering and weeding throughout the growing season.

4. Discretion

The ideal cannabis garden is elusive because it would need all of the best qualities, including a little bit of secrecy, while somehow remaining accessible and providing full light. It might sound a little bit difficult, but it’s a necessary thought for one reason alone, and that is theft. Unfortunately, if the wrong person sees your sweet growing pot plant, they may be tempted to take it home, and that would be a major loss for you that could ruin the whole season.

To avoid this, some people use large raised garden beds that have walls to shield the reaching cannabis leaves from view, but other visual obstacles such as a small shed, fence, or bush lining can work great too. If you live in a high traffic area and none of these ideas is possible, then you may also want to invest in a pot plant lockbox that will provide an additional layer of protection when you need it the most.

5. Size

Last but not least is the size because, in this case, it really does matter. Think about the size that you’d like your cannabis cultivation operation to be, as in the number of plants. If you only want to grow one or two plants, then a small 4x4 or equivalent garden might be enough to do the trick, but if you want more than that, then you’ll have to make an estimate that includes space for rows and roots to flourish.

For every single pot plant that you want to grow, you will need a minimum of 2 feet squares, which can add up quite a bit, and you’ll want to have a nice gap between each row that you can comfortably walk down, and for your plants leaves to stretch out in. Though a seedling might not look like it needs a lot of room, it will eventually blossom into a mature stage that will require plenty more space, so plan ahead.

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