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Growing outdoors - A guide on what to wear and how to prepare

Published Apr 24, 2022 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Kristin Mitchell

With gardening season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to put together a list of things you’ll need to get the job done as efficiently and comfortably as possible. The earlier you start, the more prepared you’ll be because if you want to do this thing with luxuries, it might take a few shopping trips to get completely ready.

Here, we’re not just talking about seeds and soil. Instead, we’ll help you dress, equip and protect yourself from nature's sometimes uncomfortable elements.

What to wear

Growing outdoors doesn’t require a fancy outfit, but with these 5 tools, you’ll stay comfortable, clean, and safe from the sun and bugs.

1. UV resistant sunglasses

When you spend a lot of time in the garden, it’s easy to forget that the sun can have damaging effects on the eyes, plus it can make it more difficult to get a good visual assessment if your lot sits at the wrong angle, so why not tackle both problems with one tool? A good pair of sunglasses can protect your eyesight, reduce headaches, and the right ones can even make things look more vibrant without the eye-watering effects that come from direct sunlight.

2. A wide-brimmed sunhat

Protecting your eyes is important, but so is shielding your face and neck from harsh UV rays that can leave you burnt to a crisp after an afternoon in nature, and that’s where a high-quality, wide-brimmed hat comes in. The best ones come equipped with a small flap at the back that will closely cover your neck, preventing your body temperature from spiking and reducing your risk of getting heatstroke. They might not be in style, but they are still a more than worthwhile investment.

3. Knee pads

Most days, you’ll get off easy with a quick stroll through your cannabis garden, tending to basic needs like water while standing, but most gardeners spend more time than they’d like, down on their knees, working the soil, pulling weeds, and inspecting for problems or anything else out of the ordinary. That can get hard on the knees, even for those who normally have no issue at all, resulting in aches, pains and even bruising that can be avoided completely with a good pair of knee pads.

4. Suntan lotion with bug spray

This is a 2-in-1 solution that every avid gardener should keep on hand because there are two main annoyances when growing outdoors, including radiating sunshine and pests like mosquitoes. With a bottle of sunscreen and a kick of repellant, you’ll spend far less time itching and running inside as the sun retreats or when it comes out in full force on a hot summer scorcher. A dose of prevention is worth its weight in gold.

5. Gloves

Outdoor gardening can be a lot of fun, but there are some things about it that aren’t all that great, like mounds of dirt underneath the nails or touching slimy, wriggly, and creepy crawly bugs. In new gardens, it’s impossible to say what you could discover, including glass, metal, and other things that can be hazardous or at the very least anxiety-inducing to handle, and that’s where a good pair of gloves come in handy. You’ll want good quality, something that will offer protection against sharp, jagged, or biting additions so that you can dive right in with the fullest confidence.

How to prepare

Establishing your cannabis garden for the year is no easy task, but with the right tools and products on hand, the process will be a whole lot simpler.

High-quality seeds

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Cheap seeds are often fraught with issues, or they create more work for the grower, and no one really wants that. Instead, go the extra mile to obtain the best feminized or automatic seeds for this season. They’ll take less time to grow, yield better results come harvest, and they’ll be far more resistant to pests and diseases.

Pots

You might not need pots for this endeavor, and if not, you’re more than welcome to skip this recommendation, but for those that are, it’s imperative to get the right ones, boasting enough room for the plant's root systems to flourish without being choked out before transplanting. Drainage holes are also 100% necessary, so make sure you’re getting the right ones to act as temporary or permanent homes for your cannabis plants.

Shovels

Shovels aren’t required often, but when you need one, you’ll be glad to have one or two different choices on hand, and they must be strong, especially if you plan on using them to work the soil in your garden at the beginning of the season. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with a shovel that’s too big, or one with a broken handle halfway through, so be sure to get a wide range of options for any potential scenarios that might arise.

Nutritious soil/natural fertilizer

Even if you’ve had great success with cultivation with this particular plot in the past without any “extras”, it’s a great idea to start this garden off with a healthy base. To do this, simply mix high-quality soil and organic manure into the plot. It’s easy, and this step will ensure that your cannabis plants stay well-fed all year long. 1-2 large bags of each addition should be ideal for a garden that holds anywhere from 1-3 plants.

Labels

These are often one of the last things growers think of, but if you’re cultivating more than one cultivar, then labels offer an easy way to keep track of what is what. Hard plastic, or metal, reusable name tags and a sharpie or two should do the trick, and then you’ll never have to take a wild guess as to what you’re harvesting again.

Watering device

There’s nothing that’s worse or harder on the back than lugging buckets of water out to your precious garden throughout the year. Though it might help to tone some muscles, it’s rough on the body and an absolutely unnecessary struggle. Instead, buy a regular full-sized watering can or a full-length hose complete with sprinkling attachment to keep control of the pressure. They’re handy for more than just this grow and affordable.

Soil testing kit

Growing outdoors is great, but it does have the disadvantage of having less control over the pH of the soil bed, which means that you’re going to want a testing kit to be sure it’s safe for this sensitive crop. Of course, some gardeners go without one, but if you’re ever having trouble, you’ll be glad to be ahead of the game because these things can tell you exactly what you need to change to improve the environment for your plants.

Compost

This isn’t something you have to buy, but it’s a great idea to get things started in the compost long before you’ll be taking some nutrient-dense offerings from it to feed your garden. Agitate the mix, add some fresh additions, and get that baby ready to produce only the best for your cannabis plants.

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Kinloch

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