Outdoors, mother nature is in control. However, by studying her habits, we have learned when and where to grow the best natural marijuana. After the spring equinox, the days will grow longer until the summer solstice, when the hours of daylight begin to decrease. Long nights are what triggers photoperiod cannabis to flower. Without the sudden switch to 12-12, this will be a more gradual transition outdoors. The hours of natural sunlight decrease by a few minutes per week.
As they say in the mafia, “Fuuget About It!” Halloween is more or less the unofficial final curtain for cannabis cultivation in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter chronic is a fugazi!
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light” —Dylan Thomas
This is why October came to be known as “Croptober” by US ganja farmers. September and October are the months when it’s time to harvest across most of the Northern Hemisphere. Daily hours of sunlight might be on the verge of sliding into single digits in the far north already. And don’t forget, “Winter is coming”. Rains will spoil fat colas with mould. Sometimes it’s safer to harvest a little early if you expect the weather to take a turn for the worse. Celebrate and harvest before you lose the light to long nights of winter.
These are not the same climatic conditions as most of Northern Europe in the springtime. At least not yet. Extreme weather like hail and snow is not uncommon even in March. Long, overcast days and freezing temperatures are not conducive to outdoor cannabis cultivation.
Photoperiod cannabis strains are conventional short-day marijuana that requires a 12-12 light cycle. This simply means 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours of darkness to bloom. Indoor growers use a timer to set the standard 18-6 light schedule for vegetative growth too. Of course, there are many variations, and some growers prefer a continuous 24 hours of light. Cannabis can survive with as few as 6 hours of daily sunlight. But we like to see weed thrive, so we get started outdoors when the days are longest.
Southern European growers will see their mature photoperiod plants burst into bloom during the summer months. By late-August, weed trees of Critical and Shining Silver Haze will be positively bud-laden. Alternatively, if you started with a hardy, skunky auto like Royal Dwarf or Quick One, you could be planning your second summer crop of gourmet autos like Royal Cookies Automatic or Royal Gorilla Automatic.
All autoflowering cannabis strains are not created equal, but they do have one thing in common; the clock is counting down to harvest day the moment an autoflower sprouts. These days, this means your plant will complete her lifecycle within 8–12 weeks. Essentially, autos begin to flower somewhere between day 25–35 post-germination.
OK, so we all understand the Earth is orbiting the sun. But it’s not the distance between the Earth and the sun that’s responsible for the change in the seasons. It’s an elliptical orbit, so the distance actually varies. The seasons change because the Earth’s spinning around sort of on a slant.
Growing cannabis outdoors is similar in theory to cultivation indoors. In practice, most ganja farmers discover it’s all about sunlight. Here’s why.