Indoor Vs. Outdoor Growing
As growers across Canada are trying out their green thumbs, we are heading into the first legal outdoor growing season in Canada. With that in mind, I’d like to discuss the differences between indoor and outdoor growing. For either type, you will need to know the basics laid out in our Grow Guide, but there are some additional considerations for either type of growing that I will outline in this blog.
Why grow indoors?
Indoor growing can provide you with cannabis year-round. Without needing to pay attention to the seasons you can ensure that you have a consistent supply. When you grow indoors you are in full control of the micro-climate your plants are in, allowing you to tinker with everything from light cycles, to air flow, to humidity. In this curated environment you have created, you do not need to worry about common pests in cannabis crops and can avoid the use of pesticides.
What are some challenges of growing indoors?
There is an up front cost to creating a grow setup, as well as the ongoing costs of lights. This can be mitigated by using full spectrum LEDs – for example the Stealth Box only costs about $5 a month to run. A bigger setup will cost more.
What can you grow indoors?
Any type of strain can be grown indoors. For beginners using Stealth Box we would recommend an indica strain, but that’s not to say that any type of strain can’t be grown in Stealth Box with a bit of experience!
What do you need to grow indoors?
A grow box or a grow tent. If you use a Stealth Box it has everything you need for a full grow – just add seeds.
Why grow outdoors?
You will not need to pay for lights during your grow cycle – the sun will take care of this for you! The legal limit in Canada is 4 plants so most Canadians will not be able to scale up a grow even if it is outside.
What do you need to grow outdoors?
There are several considerations to take into account when growing outside in the Canadian climate. We have a much shorter growing season than places like California or Mexico, and this will place special restrictions on an outdoor grow.
The first consideration is that you may need an indoor growing set up anyway. Because of the short growing season, you may need to start your grow indoors and kick off your propagation and vegetation before the weather outside can sustain your plants.
When it is time to place your plants outdoors, you will need an authorized outdoor growing facility. In some provinces and territories, such as BC and the Yukon, you cannot just chuck your plants in the ground in your front yard – they must be kept hidden. This site will need to strike a balance between getting plenty of direct sunlight and having protection from wind and rain to prevent weathering and mould on your plants.
By law you must secure your outdoor grow, so you may need to install locked and gated fencing, or possibly even an alarm system. Critters like deer and raccoons enjoy nibbling on cannabis so it is in your best interest to keep it secured regardless.
Although there is soil outside, this will not be good enough to produce quality cannabis. You will need to source some quality soil, in addition to your nutrients. If your outdoor grow isn’t on your residence, you will need to source a water supply or be willing to carry in the water to your grow site.
What are some challenges of growing outdoors?
You can only do one grow a year in this fashion. You will need to either source the rest of your supply from a legal retailer or from a home grow. When you put your plants outside, they are susceptible to pests and disease, such as spider mites and aphids, so you may want to consider the use of pesticides.
What can you grow outdoors?
Once again, the Canadian climate will impose restrictions on what types of cannabis you can grow. You will not want to choose a strain like Blueberry, which will grow much better in Mexico than here. There are several strains better suited to a colder climate such as:
- White Widow
- Afghan Kush
- Lemon Haze
- Master Kush
Beyond choosing a hardy genetic for colder climates, there are some further things to consider: you will need to choose a strain with a short flowering time – a strain with a long flowering period is going to get destroyed by the frost before you get to harvest it. Some strains flower as quickly as 7 weeks, where others take up to 15 weeks.
For those living in rainy climates (hello from Vancouver!) you may want to choose a strain that grows less densely, so as to avoid mould from the high humidity and constant rain.
In conclusion, there are a variety of factors you need to take into consideration when choosing to grow your cannabis indoors or outdoors. You will need different equipment and different strains depending on which route you choose. The general rule is to just make sure you do your research before choosing a strain to grow outside in Canada, otherwise your grow might not finish, or might not grow how you expect it to.