The time has come for the decision that will shape the entire plan for your grow. Ready to find out what is best for your marihuana growing setting? Here, we will help you choose the most suitable option for you – indoor or outdoor.
If you follow us or follow our posts, you should already know that we are posting an entire series on the basics of cannabis cultivation. Today, we’re here to talk about the choice that will guide your entire process – after all, are you going to plant indoor or outdoor?
Of course, we will not let you make this very important choice unprepared. There are many factors that you need to take into account before making the decision and starting to build your grow.
So, read our post carefully and find out which type of space is best for you to become a grower and what you will need for each one of them. Let’s go!
Main differences between indoor and outdoor
We already have a post here on the blog explaining the main differences and challenges that you will encounter in each type of cultivation. But let’s resume here the main ideas for you to start to understand the reasons why this decision is so important.
In Brazil, at the moment, one of the main factors that you must take into account is your safety (and that of your plants too). If you live in a prohibitionist country, indoor cultivation can be safer. That way, you keep your cannabis safe from prying eyes, possible complaints, police, animals, and people who can steal your buds and spoil your harvest.
If we leave this context aside, the main differences are that, indoors, we have a completely controllable environment – but that depends on you for everything from light to nutrition. In addition to demanding attention, it will also give you higher costs to prepare all of this.
Meanwhile, outdoors, nature itself will take care of several things: the rich soil, the sunlight, the humidity of the land … However, this way, you will have less control in the plants, especially in their vulnerability to pests and bad weather. But it is definitely the most sustainable choice, after all, there is no lamp that shines as bright as the sun!
Indoor growing: what you need to know
Worldwide, indoor grows have been preferred to keep plants and growers safer, as well as for being a controllable environment. With the technology, several discoveries were possible – including new strains that appeared in these spaces. All of the control that indoor growing requires also will allow you to make various adjustments – both in light, in water, in temperature and in the feeding of your herbs. Thus, it’s the search for how to reach maximum potential of the plants that are in your grow box, resulting in more beautiful and more preserved buds, when compared to those grown in outdoor environments in non-ideal climatic conditions. The THC concentration can also be higher!
But everything has it bad side: those who grow indoor plants, although they manage to leave the plants less exposed to pests, no one is 100% free of them. And if you get pests, it can be even worse to get rid of them. That’s because, outdoors, you have several natural predators to help control: wasps, ladybugs and other insects, for example.
And what do you need to plant indoors?
You will need a few things to start planting in an indoor space. Here, let’s make a basic list!
When doing indoor grow, you need good space. It doesn’t have to be very big at first, but it’s nice if you have the ability to expand whenever you want. The smaller it is, the less you will spend initially. So it can be a closet, a small room, etc. This room must always be clean and tidy, and also be sealed against external lights.
This decision here is very important. That’s because the quantity and quality of light directly influence the quality and yield of your cultivation!
One option is HDI (high intensity discharge) light. These are industrial lights, a little more expensive, but more powerful. In addition to the lamps, you will need other equipment, such as reflectors, and the type of light changes in the vega and the flora – you need to be aware. The most sought after of HDI lamps is HPS, which produces a more orange light and is cheaper. But be careful: it gets very hot and can contribute to your electricity bill being much more expensive in the long run!
Fluorescent fixtures are also quite popular with growers, mainly small-scale by the following. They tend to be cheaper to install, as reflector, ballast and lamps are included in a single package. The main disadvantage is that fluorescent lamps are less efficient, generating about 20 to 30% less light per watt of electricity used. Space is another concern, as it would require approximately 19 four-foot HO T5 lamps to match the output of a single 600-watt HDI lamp.
The LED has been around for a long time, but it has only recently been adapted to create super efficient lighting for indoor cultivation. The main disadvantage of LED cultivation lights is their cost: well-designed products can cost 10 times what a comparable HID installation. The benefits are that LEDs last much longer, use much less electricity, generate less heat and the best designs generate a broader spectrum of light, which can lead to higher yields and better quality. Great option for those who are thinking about saving in the long run and being more sustainable.
Your plants need fresh air to thrive, and carbon dioxide is essential for the process of photosynthesis. Therefore, you will need a constant flow of air in your growing room, an exhaust fan to remove the warmer air and a filtered air intake.
You need to ensure that temperatures remain within a comfortable range for your plants, between 21 ° C (70 F) and 29 ° C (85 F) when the lights are on and between 14 ° C (58 F) and 21 ° C (70 F) when they are off. Some varieties of cannabis (usually indica) prefer the cooler side of the range, while others are more tolerant of higher temperatures.
Humidity control is also very important to prevent mold in your cannabis (as we know, mold is bad for plants and can end up with whole crops!). For this, it is worth investing in dehumidifiers for the environment. The ideal humidity is:
For seeds and clones: ~ 70% relative humidity
In vegetative state: ~ 40-60% relative humidity
In flowering state: ~ 40-50% relative humidity
After all this
After assembling your grow, it will be ready to receive the desired seeds and clones!
Outdoor cultivation: what to know
Do you see all that up there that you just read? Well, in outdoor cultivation, you can forget about this equipment. You won’t be able to control practically anything – the weather, the rain, the humidity, the ventilation … All of these factors must be delivered into the (more than capable) hands of Mother Nature.
Nature is very used to receiving seeds in its soil and starting the production cycle of a plant. In addition, the environment regulates itself in several aspects. An example is pest control, carried out by natural predators that we have already mentioned. In addition, one of the factors that most calls the attention of outdoor cultivation is the strength of sunlight. There will be no artificial light that matches the spectrum of the sun and its power to grow cannabis plants.
However, in outdoor cultivation, one of the biggest influencing factors is the amount and time of available sunlight. In most places, we are limited to just one cultivation cycle per year. That’s because the cannabis plant has two cycles: the vega and the flora. In vega, your plant will need to receive 12 to 18 hours of sunlight per day, while in flora you will not be able to spend 12 hours of light without intervening in the flowering of the plant. Basically, it will be necessary to follow the seasons – in summer and spring we have more time and more sunshine, ideal for the vega, while in winter and autumn the days are shorter and perfect for the flora.
And what do you need to plant outdoors?
You just need to have space, soil and sprouted seeds. This combination is already amazing to start! Make sure that the space you choose is adequate, with plenty of sunlight during the day, and that the soil is good enough to receive your plants. After that, it’s just daily care and lots of love.
In both cases, the end result can be incredible if you invest your time and affection in cannabis. The choice is always very personal, but take these points into consideration and we guarantee that you will get along very well. After all, in this endeavor, willpower is one of the greatest helpers, and we know that you cannabis has a lot of that within you.
Until next time, with more tips on safe cultivation!