The quantity of light that cannabis is exposed to—also known as the photoperiod—will determine whether the plant enters its flowering phase. And because it’s an annual, you’re only going to get those flowers once. That’s why many growers try to save the flowering phase for when the plant is bigger and will produce more buds.
Still, it’s not quite so easy as plopping a pot of basil on the windowsill. Yes, it’s called “weed” because it grows like one, but cannabis is a complicated plant, and its cultivation has many steps where things can go wrong.
Less than 12 hours of light a day will trigger the plant’s flowering phase. So, if you wanted to force a plant to flower, you should time its exposure accordingly. Or, just wait a few months until the days grow shorter, and let nature run its course.
More than 16 hours a day of light will keep plants in their vegetative state, when they’re growing stronger and bushier without producing flowers. So if you wanted your outdoor plant to get a little bigger before it flowers, you might prolong its vegetative state by bringing it into a warm closet with the lights on every night.
The minimalist’s setup
All these resources can be overwhelming to the casual gardener, as they’re often geared toward those who are willing to invest lots of time, space, and money to harvest the highest yield possible: High Intensity Discharge lighting! Grow tents! Exhaust fans!
“A good window to the soul of your plant is to look at the leaves and know what’s going on,” she says. “It can be really difficult for people to trust what they see with their eyes when cannabis farming. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a plant that people who are growing it are so nervous to grow it… People don’t necessarily trust their instincts with cannabis, but they should.”
Just like those of us planting tomatoes in the spring, weed gardeners are faced with a choice between starting with seeds or small plants. In the cannabis world, many start with the sprouted cuttings commonly known as “clones.” While sprouting a seedling in a wet paper towel has its charm, clones leave far less margin for error.
Clones vs. seeds
“It’s like a recipe,” says Hicks. “There are certain parts that have to be done correctly and at a certain time to get you from point A to point B to have product at the end.” (See: Willamette Week’s accidental “Pot Massacre of 2017” due to heat and over-fertilization.)
I’m a lazy gardener, not a farmer. This is the same approach I’m taking to growing my own weed.
Defoliation for maintaining a stealth outdoor grow isn’t the same as doing so to improve yields. While defoliation for regular grows involves removing entire fan leaves, stealthy outdoor growers need to be more creative. Instead of removing entire leaves, use a pair of scissors to remove the telltale traits of weed leaves. For example, you can cut all of the fingers off your plants except for one or remove serrated edges from leaves, making them appear dull and flat.
If you’re an outdoor grower, you face some unique challenges that indoor growers rarely need to deal with. Yes, bugs and weather are constant hazards, but one of the biggest threats outdoor gardens face doesn’t come from nature, but from other people. Stealth is crucial for any outdoor grow, and in this post, we’ll cover some out-of-the-box ideas to camouflage your grow.
Countless other plants are likewise adept at hiding plants in a camo garden. Thorns, prickers, and other sharp plants can keep unwanted animals out of your grow. Wildflowers that grow naturally in your geographical region are also a great choice, since they won’t arouse suspicion. Sunflowers, bamboo, sugarcane, and corn also make great garden guardians thanks to their tall height. Remember: you don’t always want plants that look like weed. Instead, you want an array of flowers that will hide your garden.
If you want to grow weed but don’t have the appropriate land hidden from the gaze of others, a camo garden can make all the difference. Anything is possible as long as you’re smart about concealing your garden. With the proper planning and strategy, you can cultivate a clandestine, guerilla grow hidden in plain sight, charged by the sun.
Benefits Of Camouflaging Outdoor Grows
To maximize your grow’s effectiveness, you can use more than one of these methods. For example, use brightly-colored flowers with five leaves to help your plants blend into your camo garden visually. Then, include sharp plants like stinging nettles to drive away any unwanted wildlife that gets too close. Hide parts of your garden with green mesh and use fabric flowerpots to keep your weed closer to the ground. You can also use other common items to hide your garden such as wood, compost, and lawnmowing equipment – your only limit is your imagination.