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Nico’s Nuggets: Tips for the New Outdoor Grower

Nico Escondido

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Hola Señor Escondido, y muchas gracias por tu trabajo! We live down in Mexico and was hoping you could give us some tips on outdoor growing, perhaps? Any information is appreciated. Thanks again. – Paz y amor, Chewy.

Hola, Chewy, mucho gusto! Thanks for reading HighTimes.com from south of the border. I sincerely hope the situation down in Mexico is improving for everyone. You are smart to decide to try your hand at growing your own, staying out of the black market fray that is all too dangerous in Mexico these days.

Luckily for you, living in Mexico, closer to the equator, gives you a big advantage in outdoor growing – lots of sunshine! Probably the single biggest factor in determining whether or not an outdoor crop is successful or not is the amount of sunlight the plants can receive. As such, the first step in creating any outdoor cannabis garden is finding an acceptable space that receives plenty of sunshine. This space should receive a total of 16-18 hours of sunlight during the peak summer days, with at least 10 of those hours being in direct sunlight. Once these hours of sunlight begin to decrease and eventually fall below 12 hours of total sunlight, the plants will begin to flower. This means if you want bigger plants and nice yields, plants should be placed outside at the every onset of summer, possibly even by mid-spring if your climate allows for it (which will should in Mexico).

The next big considerations for outdoor growers are grow medium and watering. It is generally recommended to grow cannabis plants in containers, with amended soils, rather than place them into the Earth soil directly. Outdoor topsoil does not usually make for a great grow medium as they tend to be sandy, or have high clay content and poor moisture retention. For these reasons, use containers with a nice potting or organic soil. Soilless mixes that are peat or sphagnum-based are excellent choices as well. And remember, the larger the container, the larger the plants will grow because a plant’s size is directly proportional to that of its root structure. Be sure to select containers that offer good drainage (holes at the bottom) and, if possible, air flow throughout the root zone (holes around the perimeter or fabric material pots).

As far as watering goes, this will depend mostly on the size and location of your garden. Most home growers have just a few plants that are usually close to their home. In these situations, daily hand watering is most recommended. Water the plants daily, at the beginning of the day. Water until the medium is saturated. If it rains heavily or the plants get over-watered somehow, feel free to take a day off and let the medium dry out completely. Plants can go a day or so without water. Adding nutrients to your water once a week or every three days is also a good idea, especially if you want to increase yield and quality.

Other than those tips, just be sure to visit your plants daily and take a look for molds or insects, removing those leaves immediately. The daily upkeep of your plants is a very rewarding and peaceful process, so be sure to enjoy your time in the garden as you will surely enjoy the fruits of your labor after harvest!

Thanks for reading everyone and remember: Grow… And help the world grow, too!

Got questions? Email 'em over to Nico at NicosNuggets@hightimes.com and be sure to put “Nico’s Nuggets” in the subject line!

Follow Nico on Social Media: @Nico_Escondido (Twitter) & @Nico_Escondido_HT (Instagram)

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