What’s the Best Time to Plant Marijuana Seeds?
Growing cannabis at home is always a rewarding experience.
The taste, aroma and the quality are way better than anything sourced from a dispensary.
But, it holds true only if it’s done right.
Now that it’s legal to use cannabis in many locations, you can grow it outdoors.
Sure, it will take a little more time than growing indoors, but the yields will also be larger.
However, growing outdoors can be frustrating if you don’t time it well.
This means that timing is crucial right from the germination stage.
By the end of this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about planting cannabis seeds.
What if you’re growing cannabis indoors?
If you have a grow room and want to grow the herb indoors, then the timing doesn’t matter.
Cannabis plants depend on light to grow and flower.
Indoors growers supply artificial light, and the plant performs accordingly.
When outdoors, you can't control the lighting, and the plant will grow according to nature.
Don’t let this change your mind, though.
It’s a gift if you can grow outdoors.
That’s not only because of the yields but because you simply can’t beat sunlight!
The plants will grow naturally, and you'll realize that they aren't as fussy as plants grown indoors.
You will also save loads of money!
You won’t have to invest in lights, grow tents, or worry about electricity bills.
What you’ll have to be careful about, however, is time.
So, now that we got that out of the way, let's focus on one question – what's the best time to plant marijuana seeds outdoors?
The answer is quite vague because it depends on several factors, and they are:
The Climate of Your Area
Why does the climate matter, you ask?
It’s because the seasons differ in different locations.
To understand why the climate matters, you need to understand how the plant grows.
Cannabis is a hardy plant, but it cannot grow in extreme conditions.
The seeds won't even germinate if the climate isn’t right.
Generally, cannabis seeds germinate well in temperatures ranging from 22° and 28° Celsius.
If the climate is too hot, you can put the seeds in a damp paper towel in an air-conditioned room.
You can control the temperature when it’s just a seed.
However, since you're growing outside, you need to plan.
The Strain of the Plant
Cannabis, like other plants, grows well only when the season is right.
Temperatures ranging from 22° to 30° Celsius are perfect for the plants.
You can even stretch it up to 32° Celsius, but the plants can stop growing.
Or they may encounter too many problems.
Then how do they grow cannabis in scorching hot temperatures, you obviously question.
Cannabis grows in almost any climate, but the strain must suit the weather.
The plants are grown even in countries like Africa and India where it sometimes gets very hot.
But that’s only because the strains are meant for such a climate.
Therefore, the strain also plays an important role.
Also, make sure that you choose a strain that’s meant to grow outdoors.
Such strains are bred in such a way that they finish faster.
When indoors, you can manipulate the time, but you’re at the mercy of Mother Nature when outside.
You also have to choose strains that are more resistant to mold and other diseases.
You can spoon feed plants that are grown indoors.
But that’s not possible outdoors.
Yes, plants usually become hardy when they are grown outdoors.
And that’s because natural sunlight itself is the best food for the plant.
However, it’s best to be cautious.
Get to Know the Growing Season
The growing season differs from one location to another.
You have to do some research and understand the growing season.
Cannabis loves spring.
It’s the season when most plants grow.
But, you have to be careful.
If you plant too early, the plants will have a hard time in the cold weather.
If you plant too late, the plants won’t be able to finish their growing cycle.
So, determining the season is a critical factor.
Cannabis plants are annual plants.
They can be planted in the spring, but they begin flowering from late summer.
And it continues up to the fall.
Growers plant seeds in the spring and the plants grow sturdy and strong in a few months.
With every passing day, they become a little bigger.
They continue until the nights become longer.
And the flowering phase begins.
The buds are harvested in autumn when they are ripe.
For instance, if you’re around the northern hemisphere, plant the seeds early in March.
If you miss that, wait until May and harvest the flowers anytime from September to November.
For people in the southern hemisphere, planting seeds starts from September up to November.
And it’s harvested from March up to May.
Those that reside in tropical countries are lucky because they can grow throughout the year.
Basically, the plant flowers when the days are shorter and the nights are longer.
In some locations, the plants get 14 hours of sunlight.
In others, they can get only 12 hours or even 16 hours.
Also, refer to sites that give you exact information including the latitude.
If all this confuses you, consider how other plants grow.
Talk to local farmers to get some information about seasonal changes.
To give you some perspective, treat your cannabis plants like a tomato plant.
Cannabis is not completely similar to tomato plants, but they are close.
Usually, planting marijuana plants in early May will do you good.
Refer to the Farmer’s Almanac or any site that offers information about your growing zone.
Plan Ahead to Plant the Seeds
Okay, so cannabis loves spring.
It is okay to plant the seeds in spring, but you’ll lose precious time.
Time the plant can use to grow bigger and stronger thereby giving you more yields.
What if you plant the seeds earlier so that the seedlings can be planted in the spring?
For example, the seeds need some time to germinate and grow.
This process can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks.
Once they are a little bigger, they can be planted right away.
So, save time by planting at least two weeks before spring.
Plant the seeds in seed cells and keep them warm.
If it’s too hot where you live, keep the seeds in a cooler area.
Once they germinate, transfer them into small containers.
Place the containers on a window sill with indirect sunlight.
The first week will be a tad boring with very little growth.
But by the second week, the plant should start growing faster.
Within 1-2 weeks, the seedling will get adjusted to the wind.
It will also appreciate sunlight that’s not too harsh.
Just make sure that the seedlings don't grow very tall and lanky, though.
If it does, pour some soil around it to prevent it from falling.
Some growers sow the seeds 6-8 weeks before spring.
The seedlings grow indoors under artificial lighting until they are big enough to be put outside.
However, don’t sow seeds so early if you don’t have an indoor grow room.
Choose a good location to plant the seedlings.
Any spot that receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight initially is recommended.
As the plant grows bigger, it will need more than 12-14 hours of sunlight every day.
Choose the Seeds Carefully
Many people are fascinated by auto-flowering strains.
And that’s because these strains complete their cycle in just 90 days.
Some are even faster.
They flower regardless of the light they get.
Photoperiod strains, on the other hand, are a bit slower and depend on the sunlight.
They flower only when they get 12 hours of darkness.
Sure, autoflowers are tempting, but remember that they are difficult.
Especially if you’re a beginner.
Seasons can change dramatically with no notice.
Imagine that you’ve waited until spring and germinated the seeds.
You plant them, and the weather is looking good.
But, what if the weather decides to change its mind and it rains instead?
Photoperiod strains can recover quickly, and you won't lose a lot of time.
However, autoflowers stop growing if their growth is interrupted.
They simply sit there.
And you’ll end up with plants that are so small that they resemble your tiny succulents!
So, don’t depend on luck.
Better be safe than sorry and choose photoperiod strains.
Of course, it doesn't matter whether it's photoperiod or autoflower just to germinate the seeds.
But, it does matter when the seeds sprout and enter our bad, mad world.