Are you wondering how to grow bigger buds outdoors? Every cannabis grower knows that there’s a huge difference between indoor and outdoor growing. Most agree that it’s a bit difficult to cultivate good yields outdoors because of so many unpredictable factors.
Take the weather, for instance. You might be aiming for cannabis plants with huge buds when a storm starts to brew head on! And there’s the presence of pests. You could be looking forward to dense and fat buds when some caterpillars decide to eat your plants for lunch!
But you don’t need to worry. There are ways to boost yields and grow bigger and denser buds even if you are growing your cannabis plants outdoors. Check out these techniques:
Sow your seeds in spring
Every plant has a life cycle, and with marijuana plants, these will grow taller in spring and during the first half of the summer months. Right after the summer solstice, the female cannabis plants will grow less as it will use up all its energy in making flowers.
Take note that springtime happens at different times in different places around the world. In South Africa and Australia, springtime is in October while in the USA and Germany; this season is during the late weeks of March.
Prune your cannabis plants
Pruning can help cannabis plants create larger buds. Although it seems counterproductive, this actually works. You see, more buds that are found downwards in your plant the further these buds are from the canopy. Also, these buds get less light and hence, will grow very small, underdeveloped buds. Most of the lights provided by the lamp, no matter how strong the lamp may be, are blocked by the plant’s canopy.
So how to start pruning? Here are some tips.
Prepare your materials.
Use sharp scissors, blade, or knife to prune your plants. Never use old, worn out or dirty scissors or knives. As much as possible, use sterile/clean equipment as your plants’ health is at stake.
Locate the parts to be removed
Remove the large fan leaves first. These are leaves located at the bottom part of the canopy. If the plant is too big, cut higher to free up space.
Remove the parts
With the part on your other hand and the tool on the other, make a fast and quick cut. If you want to reuse the part, make a diagonal cut.
Keep the parts
If you wish to use the parts as clones, place these in water. If you need to use the clones ASAP, use cloning powder or gel. Dip the cut tips in cloning gel or powder and then place these in a peat pellet. One clone stem is to one peat pellet.
When to prune? Pruning should start once the plant is too bushy or too compact. It depends on the strain you are growing. Some strains tend to grow more compact as time goes by, while some remain lanky and sparse. Take note that pruning is done not just to improve the appearance of plants but to reduce the possibility of mold growth and development. Molds can be very devastating to your plants, especially during the flowering phase.
The right nutrients to make bigger buds
Cannabis plants require three major nutrients: N or nitrogen, K or potassium, and P for phosphorous. N is needed during the vegetative stage, while the P and K are during the flowering stage.
P will help buds develop and turn to denser and tighter structures. If you are growing your plants in soil, add worm castings or guano, which will enhance P levels. You may also use a special concoction called compost tea during flowering. Compost tea can enhance mycelium numbers in the soil. This will ensure that your plants will get a higher amount of nutrients.
Consider the following tips when providing correct nutrients to your plants
Use only commercially-prepared nutrients.
These are tested, safe, and are ready to give you’re your cannabis plants. Using homemade concoctions may not be safe, with quantities of nutrients are not measured. With commercially-prepared products, all the nutrients are considered, measured, and at the right amounts, ready for your plants to consume.
Choose a fertilizer that’s right for your plant’s growing phase.
There are two growing phases of cannabis plants: the vegetative phase and the flowering phase. During the vegetative phase, your plants are actively growing and thus will need more nitrogen than other nutrients.
Nitrogen is important in growing stronger and healthier stems, branches, and leaves. It is also a nutrient essential to plants to make food. Therefore, fertilizer products during the vegetative stage have more nitrogen, so your plants will grow better during this crucial stage. But during the flowering phase, it’s a different thing. Plants don’t need nitrogen but instead need more phosphorous and potassium instead. These nutrients will help grow larger and denser buds, and thus, a fertilizer that has more P and K and less N is needed.
Read the instructions carefully.
Most fertilizer products are simply mixed in water and then applied to plants like when you’re watering them. But there are some new fertilizer products that are used differently. Therefore, read product labels and understand how much to use, when to use, and how often to use the fertilizer or supplement. Only when you understand this will you be able to grow larger buds outdoors.
There’s more to it than just feeding or applying your fertilizer product to your marijuana plants. You must continue monitoring your plants accordingly. This is especially true when you’re using a new fertilizer product.
First, take note of the amount of feeding and the time. Consider the frequency of the application and your plants’ response. Check out any of these signs:
- Good response, plants appear livelier, taller, with good color and overall appearance.
- Check for any problems, including nutrient deficiencies or nutrient overload. Usually, nutrient problem signs are changes in the color of the leaf and leaf textures and changes in the stem and branch colors, etc.
At the first sign of any problem, discontinue the fertilizer and flush the soil with clean and pH-neutral water.
Give compost teas
Compost teas are used to boost plant health and should be given at least once to plants to grow larger buds. Some growers use compost tea as a remedy to plants that recently had stress problems, nutrient deficiencies, overwatering, or under-watering problems.
To give compost teas, use the compost material, place in a cheesecloth, and then brewed in a small pail. Air is pumped in the pail using a small air pump with an air stone. This tea is left to brew at least a day and then given to your plants. Monitor your plants right after application.
How to grow bigger buds outdoors – the light plays a crucial role
Light is very important in any grow setting. If you want bigger buds when you grow outdoors, your plants must get the best growing conditions like correct temperature and humidity from the start. These should also receive correct lighting schedules in a day.
Outdoor growing is susceptible to weather. But when you’re growing buds indoors, you can do so much from the start to enhance bud growth. The light intensity of the grow lights is a huge part of your lighting factor. The more intense the lamp, the thicker or, the bushier your plants will grow. Plants that are skinny, lanky, and weak don’t receive much light.
To improve light intensity, move your grow lights closer so that the light is on top of your plants for the most growth. But what about outdoor plants? You can do the following:
- Plant your cannabis in pots so you can move them around the garden. Place the plants directly under the sun to get the most light. Move the plants back to a shaded area in your garden if it starts to rain, or it’s too hot for your plants to be exposed.
- Grow your plants in a greenhouse, so you don’t need to move them around. A greenhouse is still an outdoor growing area with a lightweight structure covering your plants.
- Follow correct lighting schedules
Photoperiod cannabis strains require a different growing schedule than other strains. This is because these should be exposed to a 12-hour light and 12-hour dark schedule to bloom. But right after this schedule, continue placing your plants in full 12-hour light by taking the pots directly under bright sunlight.
Grow in healthy soils
To guarantee bigger buds when growing weed outdoors, plant your weed in the best growing medium. If you want to grow in soil, start with healthy, organic soil.
Your garden soil may already be healthy if plants nearby are growing well, but of course, cannabis plants have different growing needs. To find out if your soil is healthy, test it out. Use a special soil testing home kit to check for the pH, nutrients, and any dangerous metals or toxins in the soil. The ideal pH is neutral at 6.6, while nutrients that should be present are the basic N, P, and K as well as other micronutrients like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and many more. There must be no dangerous metals present or anything that can hurt your plants.
If your soil is not healthy or there are dangerous materials present, you may use commercially-prepared soil preparations instead. You can use soil with perlite or vermiculite, which aerates better and can hold water and fertilizer and can drain the excess as well.
For best growth and good bud size and yields, grow your plants in a sandy loamy soil. This is soil that has the mentioned characteristics plus is available in most garden shops. Place this type of soil in large growing pots, preferably 5 to 10-gallon pots. You don’t need to add perlite or vermiculite for this soil because it is already well aerated.
The growing pots also play a huge role in growing healthy, high-yielding plants. Large pots should be used from germination till harvest time. Growing in small party cups and transferring to a larger pot or directly in the ground will stress your plants, and this may affect its ability to produce bigger buds.
Prevent pests and molds
Pests and molds can strike unexpectedly and are very common in plants grown outdoors. The best way to deal with pests and molds is to prevent them. Here are a few ways to do it
- Trim or prune your plants, remove the large fan leaves to improve airflow inside the plant canopy. This will prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Keep the outdoor area, the surrounding area clean and dirt free. Throw away the trash, cover trash cans, and keep tools away to avoid attracting pests.
- Use garden-friendly bugs like ladybugs to eat pesky pests like aphids and spider mites. You can buy ready to use ladybugs in packs, and all you need to do is to place these all over your outdoor growing area.
- If snails and slugs are present in your outdoor garden, stop these from eating your plants by placing dishes with beer. Apparently, snails and slugs are a sucker for beer, and they will drown themselves in it.
- Be diligent and check every leaf and underside of your plants for molds and pests. Act quickly when you spot one because surely there will be plenty more around.
Start with good genes
To increase your chances of growing large buds, start with seeds of cannabis strains that are known to grow large and dense buds. We recommend the following strains for your outdoor growing area:
- Critical Kush
- Critical Mass
- Industrial Plant
- Sweet Moby
- Big Bud
- Brian Berry Cough
- Big Foot
Consider the growing needs of the cannabis strain you want to grow. Get to know if the strain fits an outdoor growing area and if it needs direct sunlight. Some weed strains are perfect outdoors but require indirect sunlight. By understanding all these, you will now know how to grow bigger buds outdoors.