If you are new to growing Cannabis and this year will be your first ever attempt at an outdoor harvest, then there are many variables to consider before even purchasing a pack of seeds. Depending on which part of Europe you live in will play a massive role in the outcome of your crop and what you may be limited to as far as strain selection. In this article, we explain all you need to know when growing Cannabis outdoors in 2023!
Growing Cannabis outdoors in Northern Europe
If you are living in Northern Europe and experience the colder and wetter side of the weather, then you do not have much leverage when it comes to choosing strains. The truth is that the majority of the strains that require over 56 days may struggle to fully mature when growing Cannabis outdoors in Northern Europe. Combined with short seasons and cold nighttime temperatures, working with resilient plants that are able to adapt to the cold and dark Winter days is essential.
● Indica and indica hybrids will be best suited for growing Cannabis in Northern Europe.
● Avoid long flowering sativas as these will never get a chance to fully mature.
● The shorter the flowering time, the less chance the plants have of pathogens
● Green houses can help raise temperatures and keep plants warm at nighttimes.
● Growing plants with a high resilience to mold will give you an advantage.
Growing Cannabis outdoors in Southern Europe
Southern Europe is often associated with sunny holidays, exotic beaches and long seasons. In the South of Europe, in places like Spain, the weather is consistently hot, with temperatures soaring as high as 40 degrees in some parts of the year. In the same way you need to have tough and resilient plants for the climate in Northern Europe, the same rule applies when growing in the harsh and brutal heat of South Europe.
● Sativa plants perform very well outdoors in the hot heat of South Europe.
● The bud structure of these plants are airy, fluffy and light and do not mold easily.
● It is important to provide shade for the plants during the hottest parts of the day.
● Watering the plants in the morning and evening is the most efficient way.
● Avoid foliar spraying the plants with water during hot days as this can burn them.
How big should the plant pot be?
Considering you will be growing from May until around October time, it is best to start your Cannabis seeds inside a large pot when growing cannabis outdoors. If you are living in Northern Europe, then you will want to use a pot that is around 25 liters in size, and aim for a medium-sized but productive plant.
Those who live in Southern Europe, can afford to venture out into 50-150 liter sized fabric pots, as popularized by Californian growers. In pots as large as these, the plants can become huge, towering over 8–12 feet tall in most cases with the biggest yields possible.
Planting directly into the ground is only recommended if you are confident the earth in the ground is of good quality. This means the soil is rich in nutrients, compost, carbon and has excellent drainage and water drainage. Many growers will usually dig a large sized hole in their land and then proceed to fill the hole with a mix of complete soils that contain plenty of air, nutrients and minerals.
Build a poly tunnel or greenhouse
If you are battling the gray skies, rain and cold nighttime temperatures typically associated with the U.K. and Holland, or are working hard during a heat wave in the Mediterranean, poly tunnels and greenhouses are an excellent way to provide an extra bit of protection for your crop.
In Northern Europe, green houses are very popular, and almost every garden has one somewhere. Green houses are a brilliant way to keep the temperatures consistent and to protect the plants from the cold nighttime winds when growing cannabis outdoors. Another great point about green houses is that you can place a heater inside at night, allowing the roots and plants to stay above 18 degrees Celsius once the sun sets.
In Spain and Greece, where the temperatures can skyrocket well above 40 degrees, providing shade and cool fresh air for the plants can be a make-or-break challenge. Ideally, Cannabis plants indoors are grown at a maximum temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, allowing a set amount of pressure to be placed on the plants in terms of vapor pressure deficit (VPD). Greenhouses and poly tunnels can help take the edge off those roasting heat waves, and allow a grower to spray their plants whilst shaded to some degree.
Are male or female photoperiod seeds best for growing cannabis outdoors?
When growing cannabis outdoors, there are many options that a grower can work with from regular or female photoperiod seeds, feminized auto flowering seeds or clones. As a beginner, we recommend working with feminized Cannabis seeds as these will be the most practical and do not require sexing, meaning all the plants will be 100% female.
● All the plants will be 100% female, so you do not need to worry about males.
● You can grow multiple different female strains in the same area for more variety.
● There is no need to waste pots, nutrients, growing medium and time with fems.
At SSSC, we strongly suggest growing Pineapple Poison or Black Lebanon outdoors.
What about growing auto flowering Cannabis plants?
Autos have revolutionized the way that Cannabis can be grown thanks to how diverse they are. They do not depend on a set amount of darkness in order to flower and will usually grow as tall as 60-140 cm tall. Auto can be grown outdoors in the garden, a green house, poly tunnel and are not affected by streetlights.
Auto flowering Cannabis plants are an excellent tool to have when growing Cannabis outdoors. Fast flowering autos will be well adapted to the cold conditions associated with Northern Europe, whilst heat-resistant and long - flowering autos are best suited for the heat of the South.
At SSSC, we strongly suggest growing Sweet Bourbon Kush or Northern Dragon Fuel outdoors.
Growing cannabis outdoors is much harder than most people think, with many having to combat insects, neighbors, thieves and the authorities. Keeping a low profile is essential and one way to keep your outdoor crop a secret. Working with feminized photoperiod seeds and autos can ensure you get a great crop this year, and will put you on track to become a top outdoor grower!