Growing Cannabis 101: How to Grow Weed Outside

Growing Cannabis 101: How to Grow Weed Outside

Published on 7/1/22

The legal cannabis industry has come a long way over the past two decades. Growing from an illicit, illegal black market drug trade fueled by sketchy dudes growing a few pesticide-ridden cannabis plants and selling sticks and stem dime bags on street corners to a legitimate multi-billion dollar legal cash cow that's massively popular and widely accessible for Americans, the whole industry has basically done a full 180-degree shift. Today 19 states and U.S. territories have legalized recreational cannabis use, with another 39 providing medical patients within their borders some type of medical cannabis program. On top of that, 26 of those states allow some kind of home growing of cannabis plants! For those who aren't cannabis aficionados and experienced growers, however, figuring out how to grow weed outside can be a whole lot of expensive trial and error. 

Unfortunately, growing weed outside isn't as simple as just getting some plants and sticking them in the Earth. There's an art to learning how to grow a weed plant outside, with advanced outdoor growing techniques that have been refined and developed over nearly 50 years by master growers scattered across the West Coast. Thankfully we here at Where's Weed have done all of that research so that you don't have to! 

This article will serve as your go-to guide for anything and everything related to the basics of growing weed outdoors. We're going to give you an intro-level look at how to grow outdoor weed using specific outdoor growing techniques, give you the pros of choosing to grow outside instead of under artificial indoor grow lights, provide tricks and tips for growing weed outdoors, and give you some much-needed insight on the outdoor weed growing cycle so you can get the best yield from your plants. So, with all that in mind, let's get right into it!  

Can You Grow Weed Outside?

As long as you're willing to make some investment into getting the right supplies, live in an area that gets a lot of sun for somewhere between eight to ten weeks, and temperatures maintain somewhere between 60 to 90 degrees during that same timeframe, you can successfully grow your plants outside. These conditions are why the West Coast is widely considered the perfect environment for growing top-notch cannabis. But with a little bit of elbow grease and human ingenuity, those conditions are easily reputable pretty much anywhere in the lower 48 for at least some portion of the year. 

It's worth considering that your ideal growing season will be shorter if you live somewhere with a cold season, like most Northeastern states above the Mason-Dixon line. A good tip to still get the best out of your plants to avoid frost and get the highest yield is to start them indoors in a controlled environment, then plant them outside to flourish once the conditions are right. If you live in a Southern state or out West, the risk of frost is not as ever-present. 

Benefits of Growing Weed Outside

While there's no doubt that growing outside outdoor weed does present some challenges, the benefits of doing so are worth the hassle. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the benefits of growing your own cannabis plants outside: 


Growing your cannabis might take a bit of a financial investment to get off the ground, but it will save you a lot of money in the long term, especially when compared to the price tag attached to growing inside. Growing your plants inside requires indoor grow lights that use a lot of electricity that will jack up your light bill, ventilation systems that can be cumbersome and expensive, and ultimately produce lesser quality cannabis. Growing outside under the sun and letting Mother Nature do most of the heavy lifting is the way to go!

Larger Yields

Cannabis is a plant, after all. Like pretty much any other plant, they thrive best under the sun's light. That means your outdoor cannabis plants will get bigger and produce better quality buds. It's not uncommon for a single well-cared-for outdoor-grown cannabis plant to produce as much as 500 grams of dried cannabis flower. That's a whole bunch of cannabis flower and a whole lot of money saved at the dispensary check-out counter! 

More Eco-Friendly

Like it or not, we live in an age where minimizing our carbon footprint should be a priority in people's lives. A great way to do so is to use less electricity by unplugging those indoor grow lights and moving your plants outside. On top of that, by growing plants yourself and not supporting the indoor massive corporate grows that are slowly taking over the legal cannabis industry, you're lowering their carbon footprint as well. 

How to Grow Weed Outside

So now that we've gotten the basics of how and why outdoor-grown cannabis can save you money, get you better quality and larger quantities of weed, and is better for both your budget and the environment. Now how about we get into exactly how to grow it? 

Choosing the Right Grow Site

Just like real estate, gardening is all about location, location, location! The same rules apply to your cannabis plants. Whether you're opting to set up a makeshift greenhouse to control conditions more, growing in the soil or a planter, or just needing convenient access to water, choosing the right spot to plant your cannabis is a big deal. Like most other plants, the most significant factors are sunlight and water. Cannabis plants need at least five hours of direct sunlight per day and need to be watered regularly, so consider that when choosing where to grow your plants. 

Another factor to consider is security. While many states allow some form of home growing of cannabis, you'll still need to take security measures. Some good rules of thumb are to keep it out of sight from the general public and to be able to secure the plants with some type of lock. 

Choosing the Right Soil

The get the best possible plants, you'll want to choose the right soil. It's unlikely that just the earth in your backyard will be the perfect environment for growing cannabis plants, so we put together some tips to ensure your soil is up to the task of growing cannabis. 

Firstly, you should opt for soils that are fertile and alive. A good rule of thumb for figuring out if your soil is fertile and alive is to check for worms, bugs, and other critters living in it. If you dig a hole and see the dirt with nothing moving around in there, you'll likely need to get some fertilizer to liven things up. 

You can also set up planters, removing the need to improve the soil in your yard itself. To boost the nutrient value of your soil or the fertilizer you purchased, consider composting stuff like apple cores, banana peels, and eggshells and buying cannabis-specific additional nutrients.

Supporting and Protecting Your Plants

Just like most other crops, you can't just stick some seeds in the ground, water them on occasion, and expect the best outcomes for your plants. You'll need to put some work into caring for and protecting your cannabis plants as they grow if you're looking to get the best out of them. 

Since cannabis plants get tall under the light of the sun, you should consider staking them once they get big enough. If you've ever seen tomatoes, green beans, or peas in a garden before, you'll know exactly what that is. For those unfamiliar, staking is just putting a metal or wooden post into the ground around the plant that provides some support to it while growing. You should be able to go and get some in the gardening department of pretty much any home improvement store in the country. 

On top of that, you should consider some form of natural pesticide and weed removal to get the best out of your plants. Spraying some form of natural insecticide will ensure your plants don't get eaten alive by bugs and other pests while pulling weeds by hand will remove any other plants competing for the nutrients in the soil. Both are worth doing if you want to get the best out of your cannabis plants. 

The Bottom Line

When you get down to it, growing cannabis plants of your own outside isn't as hard as it looks. As long as you're willing to purchase the right equipment and tools you'll need to get started, are eager to commit the time to care for your plants, and have the patience to wait until the prime season to harvest, then you'll have a massive amount of cannabis flower as your reward! If you ask us, this is certainly one of the best ways to reap exactly what you've sown! 

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