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When to germinate cannabis seeds for outdoors

When is the best time to plant cannabis outdoors?

A number of states now allow cannabis cultivation for adult use, and even more states allow cannabis cultivation for medical purposes.

The increase in cultivation reform has resulted in a rise in interest in growing cannabis among cannabis consumers.

Cultivating cannabis can be one of the most rewarding activities that a person can do, and with a pleasant reward at the end of all the hard work (assuming the cannabis is grown right).

If you are thinking about cultivating cannabis, one of the first things you will need to determine is whether to cultivate cannabis inside or outdoors.

Why cultivating cannabis outdoors can be better than growing indoors

Cultivating cannabis outside has the following advantages over cultivating cannabis indoors:

  • Reduced equipment costs
  • No increased electricity bill
  • Larger harvest
  • Lower carbon footprint
  • Often easier to incorporate organic cultivation methods
  • Cheaper nutrient/input costs

Growing cannabis indoors has its benefits too, but for people that want a lower maintenance garden, cultivating cannabis outside is the way to go.

An obvious question – when is the best time to plant cannabis outdoors?

One of the first things that a grower needs to determine when planning a sun-grown garden is when to put plants into the ground.

A one-size-fits-all approach does not work. A number of factors are involved:

  • What is the latitude of where the garden will be located
  • What is the altitude of where the garden will be located
  • What is the precipitation level where the garden will be located
  • What will the temperature be like while the plant is in the ground

Ultimately what a grower needs to try to avoid is planting the plant(s) too early in the year, which could result in the plants dying due to the soil/air being too cold.

Also, the grower needs to avoid planting the plants too late in the season so to ensure that the plant(s) has enough time to go through a full growth cycle.

Generally speaking, you want to plant your plants in the ground outside in early to mid-May, similar to when it’s recommended to plant tomatoes.

Tomatoes do not grow exactly like cannabis, but for planting purposes, they are almost identical. With that being said, each part of the country is different.

A great resource to look up the recommended planting date for where you live is the Farmer’s Almanac.

Simply enter your location and it will tell you when is the best time to plant tomatoes outside, which can double as the date for when to plant your cannabis too.

Getting started ahead of time is key

If you are growing from seed, you will want to germinate the seeds at least 6-8 weeks before planting.

A way to cut down on the prep time is to use a clone if you are able to. Clones are often harder to find than seeds. Each route provides its own advantages.

Growers can get a head start by letting their plant grow indoors for a few weeks prior to putting them inside. This obviously requires a greenhouse or indoor garden.

By allowing your plant to grow in a controlled environment while the air and soil outside is warming up, you give your plant some additional growth time, resulting in a larger plant.

Other tips that can help

If you live in an area where the warm season is shorter than in other parts of the world, there are two tricks that can really help.

The first is growing your cannabis plant in a container rather than planting it into the ground.

This allows you to move your plant to the most favorable parts of your yard to get the most sunlight as the season goes along.

Putting your plant in a container also allows you to bring the plant in at night when the temperature drops below a desirable threshold.

The second tip is using a concept known as light deprivation, or ‘light dep.’ This method involves cutting back on the sunlight time that a plant receives by cover the plant up after 12 hours of sun.

It’s a tricky method that requires using a tarp over a greenhouse or building a box that can go over your plant.

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When you first plant your cannabis plant outside, the amount of daylight at that time is usually around 14 hours.

As the season goes along, and your plant is big enough, you can cap the amount of light it is exposed to at 12 hours and your plant will start to bloom faster than it normally would, thereby helping your harvest come sooner.

The Best Start For Your Cannabis Outdoor Grow Season

Each year, when February tips over into March, we see the first signs of spring emerging. That’s a breath of relief for us all after the grim realities of a harsh winter, but spring is especially heart-warming for cannabis growers! Now is the time to start planning new grow adventures, starting with picking the best cannabis seeds to work with. Of course, we are here to help you make the most of every last ray of sunlight once this year’s outdoor grow season kicks off!

The Outdoor Grow Season: Cannabis Gardening

No matter how fancy and high tech grow rooms or tents may be, most growers agree that nothing beats weed raised on the pure, raw power of nature itself. On top of that, cannabis as a species has evolved out in the open for millions of years. Obviously, every last shred of cannabis genetics is meant to thrive in its original habitat, which makes the case for growing weed outdoors perfectly clear. Less sun in the season? Choose an Autoflowering strain. Perfect climate? Feminized is the right choice. With prime genetics like Amsterdam Genetics cannabis seeds, anyone can prepare for a great kickoff to the outdoor grow season!

We’re all aching to catch a bit of a tan and soak up some much-needed vitamin D under the prevailing lockdown conditions. Gardening is a great way to do just that – including cannabis gardening, obviously. As the spring equinox approaches, it’s time to pick that perfect strain and start preparing to germinate and grow some plants!

When Does The Outdoor Cannabis Grow Season Start?

Several factors determine the perfect timing for the start of the outdoor grow season. Geographic location matters, as spring doesn’t bring warmth and sunlight to all regions simultaneously, or in equal measure. Still, from a global perspective, the spring equinox is an important point on any grower’s calendar. The spring equinox officially marks the first day of spring; in the Northern Hemisphere at least. Every year, around March 20, the Sun crosses the equator parallel, promising more hours of daylight and warmer weather to come. For the southern half of the planet, the March equinox hails the start of autumn, as the annual seasonal cycle proceeds in the exact opposite direction.

The Outdoor Grow Season, Step By Step

Let’s see how you can best prepare for the oncoming grow season. If you know what to do and when to do it for perfect timing, you can spend all spring and summer dreaming of that glorious harvest time as you watch your grass grow. Here’s our month-by-month guide to the ultimate outdoor grow season!

Late February Through March: Planning For Planting

Picking An Outdoor Grow Location

By late February, as the first brave snowdrops and crocuses burst from the soil, it’s time to stock up on seeds and pick the cannabis genetics that best match your taste and grow goals. This is the time for planning ahead – don’t forget that the time for planting is drawing closer every day now…

It all starts with great seeds…

Try to decide on the best spot to plant or pot cannabis plants after germination. Our outdoor grow locations blog helps weigh all the relevant factors and pick the prime weed growing spot in any garden. Aim for the optimal combination of sunlight, shelter from bad weather, and a stealthy spot to avoid unwanted detection. Growers who have found found that sweet weed spot are good to go. Start by loosening up the soil and add some organic fertilizer to optimize your natural open-air grow medium. Read up on the best soil for growing weed here.

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Find The Perfect Match In Outdoor Cannabis Seeds

Picking the right cannabis seeds is possibly the most important step on the road to the harvest of your dreams. There are many things to consider here. Are you looking for specific genetics, such as sativa seeds or indica-dominant strains? Are you growing for specific effects, or a favourite flavour? Perhaps you want to grow medicinal cannabis for stress relief, to combat depression, or to treat (chronic) pain issues? You’ll find all of this and more among the thirty-plus world-class strains in our online seeds catalogue.

Growing Weed In Warmer And Cooler Areas

In the northern parts of the Northern Hemisphere, including Canada, US states up north and Northern Europe, summers tend to be rainier, cooler, and shorter than those in more southern regions. That is why southern growers can start germinating and pregrowing their seeds in March, planting them once the April sunshine comes. In northern areas, May is the best month to plant germinated seedlings outside. Growers could can decide to pregrow seedlings indoors as early as late February to give their weed a head start for when spring arrives.

The start of the outdoor season varies between regions.

Feminized, Autoflower, Or Regular Seeds?

Then there’s the choice between photoperiod seeds or autoflower strains that start flowering automatically. Regular seeds can grow into male or female plants, giving you extra options and flexibility, but feminized seeds maximize your grow efficiency by yielding 99% feminine plants with harvestable flower buds. That’s a lot of choices to make – better start picking the best feminized, regular, or autoflower seeds to order. Give the delivery guy or girl enough time to ship them over, because once you see the first signs of spring, April is just around the corner!

April: Germination And Pregrow Time

Come April, even northern outdoor growers can start growing seeds. As the days lengthen and the sun gains strength, this is a good moment to germinate your seeds. If you still haven’t decided, order your cannabis seeds now to make sure they arrive in time. Germination, as this blog explains, is the moment when a tiny weed seedling emerges from its protective seed shell. The first root and leaves peep out, ready for their first drink of water and touch of sunshine.

Germination: a special moment both indoors and outdoors.

Growers working in Mediterranean climates can start planting seedlings and pregrown cannabis plants outside in April. For the northern parts of the US, Canada, and Northern Europe, this is the time to start germinating the seeds you bought. Once they pop, put them in small flower pots in the window sill where they get lots of early sun. Another option is to set seedlings off in a (pregrow) tent under artificial lighting. That way, your young plants are stronger once you take them outside in May. Having a little greenhouse available makes it safer to plant outdoors in late April, but even then, the option to bring fragile sprouts back inside if a late frost spell hits is a safe bet.

May: Time To Plant Your Outdoor Cannabis Grow!

Yay – you’ve made it to May! This is when spring peaks all over the northern half of the world, ready to tip over into summer warmth. June and July are the most prolific growing months of the year, so planting young plants in May lets them make the most of the summer throughout the vegetative stage of their life cycle. By now, your pregrow should be past its infancy, with the first real branches and characteristic weed plant leaves starting to shoot upwards to the heavens. If you haven’t germinated your seeds yet, you’ll want to do so now, preferably planting them outside as soon as they pop without further delay.

Useful Tips For Your Outdoor Grow Season

If you’re not sure which seeds to pick for this year’s outdoor grow season, we have a few suggestions to help you on your way.

Outdoor Indicas & Indica Dominant Strains

Our seeds catalogue indicates the average flowering times of every strain we have. As a rule of thumb, cannabis with more indica-dominant genetics tends to flower faster. They evolved in mountainous Asian regions where they had to flower quickly before the cold weather returned. That makes them great for northern climes and their shorter summers. Added benefit: indica strains tend to grow short and bushy, making them easier to hide and manage in gardens with limited space. Pineapple Kush is a good example of a heavily indica-leaning strain, as are Strawberry Glue and our sweet-tasting Chocolato. Broadly speaking, these same considerations also apply to hybrids with dominant indica genetics.

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Strawberry Glue is a nice indica-heavy outdoor strain.

Outdoor Sativas & Sativa Dominant Strains

Sativa genetics evolved in warmer equatorial regions, enabling them to enjoy long, hot summers and loads of sunshine. That is why sativa strains tend to have longer flowering times than indicas, making them more suited for sunny, southern areas closer to the Mediterranean, or the southern coastal areas of the US. If you are growing weed up north and you’re after typical sativa highs and their cerebral, energizing head buzz effect, try finding a strain with a nice balance of indica and sativa genetics. Cannabis seeds such as White Choco, Tangerine G13, or Choco Cheesecake are good examples. Sativa genetics tend towards tall plant growth, which can make stealthy growing tricky. On the other hand, sativa strains usually feature open, airy bud structure. That can help prevent mold damage from culprits like bud rot or mildew. Indicas tend to have more compact buds that can prove risky during the cool, damp conditions associated with harvest time up north.

White Choco: legendary hybrid outdoor genetics.

Autoflowers Make The Most Of The Cannabis Grow Season

Autoflower strains are a brand apart when it comes to outdoor growing. These plants carry cannabis ruderalis genetics in the mix, which enables them to start flowering at their own preferred time rather than waiting for the days to grow shorter around midsummer. If you play your cards right, planting autoflower strains early in the season (preferably pregrown indoors for a solid start outside), you could squeeze in two or even three grows into a single cannabis grow season. Depending on your location and the weather conditions, you could take autoflower plants outside in April (if there’s no chance of late frost).

Choco Kush Autoflower in full bloom.

Pick an autoflower with a very short flowering and grow phases and you should be able to harvest in late June or July. That gives you enough time to get another grow going before it gets too cold – even if you don’t have much space. Do keep in mind, though, that the speed at which the automated beauties develop limits your options to guide them or correct your mistakes. Try to pick a robust, rugged strain with high resistance to pests and fungi. Milkshake Kush Auto and the hugely popular White Choco Autoflower strain are our prime suggestions for your automated outdoor grows. Autoflowers are usually vulnerable to overfeeding, so go easy on the nutrients and keep them close for daily inspection.

Time To Start Picking Those Seeds!

As you can see, there’s plenty to consider before getting that fresh outdoor grow season started. Whichever approach fits your location, taste, and garden options best, now is the time to start shopping for seeds that will make the most out of your grow. The better you’re prepared, the more time you’ll have to soak up that spring and summer sunshine while your crops shoot up around you…

Better get that hammock ready – enjoy watching that grass grow!

You now know all you need to kickstart your outdoor grow season. Remember: summer is approaching fast… Grab those seeds and enjoy your outdoor grow season!

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The germination of cannabis seeds is illegal in most countries. Amsterdam Genetics cannabis seeds are exclusively sold as collectable souvenirs to customers living in countries where the cultivation of cannabis is illegal. All information on this website is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to incentivize people to engage in illegal activities.