There’s never a common consensus among marijuana growers about any aspect of growing weed. Be it about growing indoors vs growing outdoors, which fertilizers are the best for your cannabis plant’s growth, which kind of lighting setup should you be using, which is the best strain of marijuana – etc. On our website, we have covered multiple aspects of growing marijuana and in different ways and using different kinds of equipment. In this article, we will specifically be focusing on growing weed outdoors – and in detail, how to grow bigger buds outdoors!
The end result that every grower wants is to ensure that all their plants provide him with buds to the maximum possible ability. This ensures that the time and the money spent on the plants is paid off well. There are a number of factors that growers need to be taking care of when they want to maximize the growth of their buds. We shall be covering all of them in detail, with the most important of those being the nutrients that you are providing to the plants.
You don’t only have to get bigger buds, but you also need to make sure that your plant is able to sustain the heavy growth and is able to provide all its parts with the needed energy. The buds need to be more in number and they also need to be potent when smoked. However, before we address all of that let us try and understand what the debate between indoor vs outdoor growers of marijuana is all about.
The Eternal Debate: Growing Weed Indoors vs Outdoors
Before we proceed with growing bigger buds outdoors, it is also very important to understand what the whole debate between indoor and the outdoor growers is about. When you are planning on growing your weed outdoors – you are basically going to be growing it in an all-natural way. This is how weed has grown for tens of thousands of years in nature. This is also the cheaper way of doing so – and also beneficial for those growing in a really large (commercial) scale. Proper weed farmers would never choose to grow indoors as that would require much more real estate and accessories which would be costly as well as difficult to maintain.
When you are growing your cannabis plants outdoors, you are basically growing them with natural resources. Groundwater and rainwater provide water, the soil providing nutrients and the sun providing the light which is the primary source of energy and growth for the plants. There’s also the natural air which helps cool temperatures and ensure the plants are growing strong. When you choose to grow them indoors, you will need to replicate all these factors of growth inside your room.
Growing indoors has one big drawback but many advantages too. The drawback is that it is expensive. The sunlight is substituted with grow lights, the air is artificially created with the help of ventilation kits, the temperature and humidity are artificially adjusted to provide optimum growth. However, the keyword here is ‘optimum growth’. Growing indoors gives you this power of creating an artificial environment where your plants will be able to grow bigger and better and will provide a large number of buds. However, those growing plants outdoors can also match these huge levels of growth. This is what we shall be looking at in this article.
The Secret to Growing Bigger Buds Outdoors
The true secret to growing bigger buds outdoors lies in the fact that expert growers always make sure that their plants are getting the best care. Even the littlest of things are taken extreme care of – be it something as simple and mundane as trimming or be it about providing the best possible nutrients for their growth. Every grower who is growing marijuana wants to ensure that their plant provides them with the maximum possible buds so that they can smoke it for a longer time.
Those growing commercially would also like to ensure that their plants are providing the maximum possible output because that would help the make bigger profits per plant. Everyone wants to have big buds but not everyone gets them. However, if you follow the following pointers your output is bound to increase!
1. Trimming Your Plants the Right Way
Now this sounds rather simple and rather stupid. How can trimming – which is the act of reducing the size of your plants – help you with getting a higher output? The thing is that plants do not grow evenly. Some portions will get to grow faster while others will lag behind. The portions with a better access to sunlight will be greener and more dense as compared to the portions that are hidden beneath their foliage. This is how it grows naturally and you are not doing anything wrong if you see this happening. However, you need to ensure that you are then pruning off some portions of the plant which are constantly the laggards.
Portions hidden below dense foliage which are not able to grow despite the rest of the plant having grown properly then need to be trimmed off. This is because removing that portion would make sure the plant does not send any resources over there and all the available resources would then be focused upon the parts that are performing better. As cutthroat as it sounds, even in the plant world there’s no space for laggards. Just one more thing before we proceed to the next point – when you are pruning off, don’t yank stuff – and be gentle. More so, we strongly recommend you don’t do any major cutting or snipping after the plant has moved from the vegetative to the pre-flowering or flowering stages because it won’t really be able to heal fast enough in those late stages. However, if done on time and on the right parts, it will help the plant and its buds grow bigger and faster.
2. Providing Proper Lighting
Lighting is very important for the plants. When growing indoors, you can actually control the lighting of the plants. However, while most people do not invest in add-on lighting while growing outdoors, this is a mistake that they make. If you are growing outdoors (especially in a greenhouse) there’s two kinds of lighting that you must get. First off, make sure you’re getting some grow lights and fitting them on top of the plants. These don’t need to be high-power or costly lights. Even basic and cheap ones would do as a bulk of the lighting is anyway going to be provided by the sun throughout the day. When you need some extra hours of power, these grow lights would help you do wonders as the plant will treat them as extended sunlit hours.
The second kind of lighting that you need to use in these outdoor setups is that of LED light strips. These lights are very important for the lower portions of your plants which do not get proper access to sunlight because they are located on the lower portions. With the help of these LED light strips, the lower portions of the plant would develop faster – which are otherwise almost always ignored in the process of growth as they are too far down and restricted from the lights. If placed properly these LED light strips are of a great help to growers.
3. Understanding Training
The next step in understanding as to how you can grow better and bigger buds outdoors is by training your plants the right way. ‘Training’ might sound like a complex process but in reality it is just altering the pattern of growth of your plants which can be done with the help of making precise cuts at the right time and at the right place. While this is not something that every grower (at least the beginners) can do perfectly, but with practice and experience, this is a technique which helps you multiply your buds with great ease. Here, you can snip one portion and four more would pop out of it! There are multiple ways in which this process of training can be performed on your plants – these are the two most popular ways:
- Fimming: This is the simplest of all three. All you need to do here is to remove one portion (one shoot) and when you do so, you will notice that in place of the shoot that has been cut off there will be four colas produced over there which would then give rise to four branches from there, which would mean that there will be more buds compared to the past. However, don’t get too carried away with this and do it slowly – after one portion has been healed and new kolas have properly emerged only then should you cut some other portion. Make sure you do this only in the vegetative stage.
- Topping: While fimming helps increase the height vertically, topping is more about increasing the height horizontally. Here you have to cut off the main shoot from the top during the vegetative phase. This will help spur the growth on other portions and will help the plant expand horizontally. It will also ensure it takes a more uniform path of growing and does not grow the natural inverted christmas-tree way where the lower portions do not get access to light.
4. Keep Your Plants Pest Free
This is extremely important. Make sure that you are growing your plants in an environment which is pest-free as well as insect free. Pests, insects and even pet animals at time tend to cause a lot of damage to your plants which could otherwise be easily avoided. This is dangerous because pests and insects can eat away months worth of growth in a matter of days! Make sure you are using the right kind of repellents to keep the insects away. If needed set up a small transparent tent around the plants to protect them from any unwanted intruders which might damage the growth.
5. Wait Before You Harvest
Two very common mistakes that growers make is that they either harvest too early when the buds haven’t bloomed to their largest extent yet or they harvest too late – when the potency of the buds begins to decline! Hence, you need to make sure you’re doing it just at the right time. Also make sure that you are flushing your plant before you harvest it – the process of flushing involves pumping plain water instead of nutrient-rich water in your plant so that any extra nutrients are either washed off or get consumed by the plant. Harvesting on the right time could give you at least a 25% advantage in terms of the size of the plants.
6. Proper Nutrition
A very important thing to consider is the nutrients that you will be providing your plants with. No matter how you grow your weed – indoor, outdoors, or a mix of both of them under a greenhouse, you will need to use nutrients to grow your marijuana plants. These nutrients help give your plant the extra push that is needed by them for a proper and stable growth through various stages. Plants need different types of nutrients but primarily the three main elements needed by them are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium – these are collectively known as the NPK nutrients which are critical for the growth of the marijuana plant.
Understanding Plant Nutrition: Best Nutrients for Getting Bigger Buds Outdoors
Nutrients, as mentioned above, are crucial for the growth of weed and help you grow bigger buds outdoors. Here are three of the best options that you have when it comes to buying nutrients for growing marijuana plants the right way.
1. Advanced Nutrients Big Bud Liquid Fertilizer
This is one of the most well-known and popular set of nutrients for growers who want to ensure that their plants give them the best possible returns! There are three nutrients that you get in this package, the first one for vegetative phase, the second one for flowering stage and the third one can be provided during both the phases of the marijuana plant’s growth. Using them in the right way would give you not only dense foliage, but also bigger and better buds!
2. Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula: Big Bloom, Grow Big, Tiger Bloom
Perhaps the most well-known brand of plant nutrients ever, Fox Farm’s Grow Big, Big Bloom and Tiger Bloom are three different nutrients which come in one set. The first of the three, which is Grow Big, is useful during the younger phase of the plant’s development. This nutrient will make sure that the foliage is dense and that the plant gets as green as possible in the first half of its growth phase. The second half is the flowering phase where Tiger Bloom is to be provided to your plants which will help them punch way above their weight during the flowering phase. Essentially, the answer to how to grow bigger buds outdoors hides in using the right kind of nutrients and Tiger Bloom is a great option for blooming plants. Lastly, there’s also Big Bloom which can be provided along with Grow Big and Tiger Bloom during both phases of the plant’s growth.
3. General Hydroponics GH5100 General Organics Go Box
While you get three nutrients in the two packages mentioned above, this one gives you a set of eight bottles ! Most of them are sampler sized while two of them are the main ones. BioThrive Grow and BioThrive Bloom are the two main nutrients which come in 16oz bottles – you have to use the former during the vegetative growth stage and the latter is to be used during the blooming phase (the flowering phase), as the name suggests. Other than that there are six more nutrients present in the package which come in smaller 8oz bottles which you can buy more of if they suit your needs!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Growing Weed Outdoors
Here are the answer to some of the most commonly asked questions about growing weed outdoors and ensuring that you are getting bigger buds.
1. Why is growing weed outdoors cheaper than growing weed indoors?
The sunlight and the air are free of cost, while there’s no need of a grow tent or many other accessories while growing outdoors. When you grow inside, you need to recreate the outdoor conditions with the help of various equipment such as grow lights, inline fans and ventilation systems, etc. Hence growing indoors is always more expensive. Another reason that adds on to indoor costs is that you need a lot of electric appliances as well which add on to the electricity cost – such as humidifiers/dehumidifiers, air conditioners/heaters, lights, motors, pumps, etc.
2. Is it legal to grow weed outdoors?
Now the answer to this question depends from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and on what the laws governing marijuana in your country are. In some countries growing weed is completely illegal. In some regions it is legal to grow your own weed but there’s a limit to how many plants that you can grow while in some other areas there are just no restrictions! Hence, it is best suited to check with your local authorities on whether or not you are allowed to grow weed in your jurisdiction.
3. How to keep plants secure while growing outdoors?
When growing outdoors, the need to keep your plants secure is very high as opposed to indoor growth which is safer. Outdoor plants are at a risk as they are in a danger from environmental factors such as excess rain, hail, heat etc. They are also at a risk of insects and pests invasion. The best way to protect them is to use a netting around them or have them placed inside a protected area where they have transparent sheets on top of them which will allow for sunlight to pass through but will keep rain and snow away. Windows in these setups will help in a proper ventilation too.
To conclude, we hope that this article helped out outdoor growers understand things in a better manner and in a broader perspective. It is critical to understand that when you are growing weed outdoors, you can still get bigger buds even though you may not have as ‘optimum’ conditions as indoor growers. Please make sure that you are using the right kind of nutrients and following methods from the checklist above and you will be getting the best possible results for your plants! If you have any other questions or want to know more about the process of growing marijuana outdoors, drop us an email or let us know in the comments below and we shall get back to you as soon as we can! Till then….
…Happy Growing! 🙂