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Outdoor marijuana growing has become a past-time of many people, and indeed there is no better way to explore the cultivation of marijuana than by studying the cannabis in its natural environment – the outdoors. Cannabis is a weed, and does excellent outdoors, provided the seeds are adjusted to the elements in the area. Before growing marijuana outdoors, we need to remember three basic concepts: the nature of soil, the seasons and climate of the area, and the different ways growers have done it.
Outdoor marijuana growing is not possible without the plant having a good, solid base – meaning that, like any plant, the bush needs to be planted in a sturdy and rich soil. The flora in the area of the planned farming site will give any grower a lot of information. Is there a good water source nearby? Does the soil feel spongy, as if it can absorb a lot of moisture and at the same time allow a lot of air to flow; or does it feel like it has too many hard particles (like sand, containing little nutrients and moisture) or is it too doughy (constricting air-flow and blocking water)? You don’t have to be an expert. Look at the surrounding plants – they’ll tell you. Remember, cannabis is a weed.
No outdoor marijuana growing farmer, however (no matter how experienced) can change the elements of nature, though, and perhaps the most important rule any novice will learn is that we (and the plant) must go with the seasons, and no one can fight it. Since cannabis is much like a farmers crop – such as corn, barley or rice – we have to know when to plant and when to harvest. Between the sowing and harvesting time, there is little the cultivator can do but check on the plant, feed and water the bush accordingly, and hope that the gods will be kind and not send any bad weather or pests on the way.
Outdoor farming is very rewarding, though, and cultivators have three methods in which they do it, depending on their means, their time and their budget. It requires only a little bit of planning. The first method is guerilla farming. Guerilla farmers place their plants at a safe distance away from their house, usually on government property. This way they cannot be directly linked to illegal activity (even if they are caught on the site, the DA would have a hard time proving the farmer didn’t just “stumble into” the make-shift garden). Sites as those include government parks or abandoned warehouses. The farmer is the only one who knows what grows there and checks up on the bushes in secret.
Others grow in their back yard. The advantages are obvious: the farmer is closer to the crop and can therefore provide more (and better attention) to the crop he is growing. However, cultivators who have cannabis plants in their back yards do report that nosy neighbors are a hassle, and this forces them to come up with ways to divert attention away from what they are growing (by planting other, luxurious plants that grab the eyes, such as exotic bamboo – or by camouflaging their crops with surrounding tomato plants or palm trees.) Having a cannabis plant is, sadly, in many countries still illegal.
Still other cultivators combine the convenience of having the plant close with the secrecy such undertaking sometimes requires, and they do this by building a greenhouse. The greenhouse is perfect because it still allows the grower constant access to the plant while hiding the bush quite well, but it requires some money. Though there are greenhouses that come very cheap, some models are truly expensive for the grower who has no experience with plants. The choice is usually made after having done the proper research.
Growing marijuana is great outdoors because the farmer can see the plant develop in a way that the plant is supposed to – in nature, with the elements. Cultivators are very careful in choosing the seeds because they want to make sure that the variety they grow is indeed compatible with the environment, but that is just the beginning. The journey of watching how plants grow outdoors is a treasured one. Guerilla farming presents extra adventure, backyard farming gives the grower a heightened sense of neighbor awareness, while greenhouse growing creates a secret world. It doesn’t really matter how the farmer manages it; it’s fun! That’s why they do it.
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