Dear Dan, Is it possible to grow in a wooded area? We have many of these near where I live but I’m not sure how to get started. – Big Pooch
Dear Big Pooch,
Yes, it is possible to grow in a wooded area but there are a few things you need to consider and a few factors that must be in place. First, you need to find the right spot in your wooded area. This means scouting out several locations and finding the ones that are right for you.
The first thing to consider is safety and stealth. You don’t want to plant on someone’s private land. Look for areas in the woods that don’t look like places where people go hiking or hunting. Planting along trails will do you no good. One good tip I heard is to pin a few dollar bills to the trees near the area you want to plant. If they’re still there when you go back, it might work. If they’re gone, move on.
The next consideration is light penetration. You want at least 6 or more hours of full sun in order to get decent growth from your plants. Find an area , preferably on a southern facing slope, where trees have fallen and new growth isn’t too tall. A clearing surrounded by thorns makes a perfect spot where hikers, hunters and deer are unlikely to tread.
Bring a shovel and dig up some holes in your chosen spot. Supplementing and aerating the local soil is a must so bring some light soilless mix to add to your hole and mix it up with some of the local soil you’ve dug out. This is a great time to add polymer crystals that soak up water and release it over time to your plants. Then, do your best to camouflage your holes but replacing displaced leaves and twigs to cover up the upturned dirt.
When springtime comes and the threat of frost is nil, bring your rooted clones or seedling that you started indoors out to your spot and gently transplant them into your holes. Water them in and take care not to make a trail in and out of your clandestine grow spot. There are also so great surveillance products such as motion detector cameras you can mount to a nearby tree in order to keep a watchful eye on your pot plot. Good luck!