Caring for outdoor plants
by Greg Green
The best way to weed is buy hand. Do not attempt to add any weed killer to your grow area unless you know more about the weed killer you are using and how it reacts with cannabis. Some weed killers say that they will protect your plant and only kill the weeds around but this is not very agreeable with marijuana plants. If you want to test weed killers then it is suggested that you may create a small patch with one clone to see how the weed killer reacts with it. For now, do your weeding by hand.
When you have weeded a grow area your plant will grow much better without having to worry about competition for light. Generally throughout the plants grow cycle you will have to weed the patch every week for the first 2 – 3 weeks and then once every month until as such time as the competition has been left truly and well behind. Some grow areas may be weed free in March, but come June the area may not seem like it has been weeded at all because of the speed of weed growth. Whenever you visit your plants make sure you pull up a few weeds as it does help.
If you feel that your area is very dense with weeds then you may consider a ground cover. A ground cover is basically a cover that is placed on the ground with holes in it that the marijuana plant grows up through. Covers can be anything from plastic bin liners to sheets of paper. Of course this does not look good if you want to create a stealth grow area, but it does keep the weeds down.
This is Mother Nature’s job most of the time. All your water should come from the heavens. If you find that you have a drought or a long warm spell during summer then you may wish to carry some water to your grow area. If you have to trek over long distances then it is suggested that you fill a sack with plastic bottles of water.
Some garden growers use sprinkler systems during dry spells. This is great but again, may attract unwanted attention that you do not need.
How much water your plant needs depends on how big your plant is. Some larger plants will require a minimum of a gallon of water per day. Natural loam soil will be able to hold water for anywhere between 4 – 6 weeks before becoming extremely dry under the sun.
Deep pockets of water may be held below the surface that would not be noticed by the grower on the surface. The best way to judge whether your plants need water or not is by the way they look. If they are wilting badly, then they need water. If not, then they may be okay. In general outdoor plants tend to wilt a small bit anyway during the summer months. If you want to really make sure that your plant has a water source underneath it, simply dig a small hole about a foot deep to the side of your plant but keep an eye out that you do not hit any major roots. Put your hand down inside the hole, does it feel dry? Or does it feel cool and moist? If it is cold and moist then the soil has stored some water below the surface. Your plants can drink this without problems.
Nutrients can be added to the soil during the grow. Switching to a P feed during the flowering weeks will also help. Outdoor soil treatment is much like indoor soil treatment bar the weeding. For further information on feeding check the indoor grow chapters.
If you have good sunlight and enough water then your plants will grow throughout the full cycle quite well. During the end of the flowering season you will be ready to harvest your plant and reap your bounty.