Tips to get started – growing outside
Before you start your first outdoor grow, you need to make some choices. Each one of these will lead to certain advantages and drawbacks. In this topic we’ll give you tips and help you with a summary of the first questions that you need to answer for your growing plan.
You’ll get the most fun out of growing outdoors if you plan ahead a bit. You can start by buying the stuff you’ll need and preparing certain things before the big moment to start comes. Answer these questions for yourself:
- Which plants do I want to cultivate? You’ll need seeds or cuttings of that species, which you can buy or order at a lot of different stores and webshops.
- Do you want to cultivate in open ground or in pots? Both methods have their pros and cons and your shopping list will look different in both cases. If you start from seed, you’ll have to germinate the seeds in a germination box like a seedtray with a lid. When the seedlings grow, you’ll have to transplant to bigger pots until they can move outside.
- Where will you locate your plants outside? For growing in open ground, this is an important choice since you won’t be able to move your plants later. Pots don’t have this problem, but they do limit the maximum growth of your plant. Basically, you want to find a sunny spot where you can keep the soil moist. If you grow in pots you’ll have to keep them out of the wind for quite some time. At the end of the flowering phase, on the other hand, you will want to have the wind. It prevents mold building on your fruit.
Once you’ve made your choices and bought your first supplies, you’ll have to wait for the right moment to start. What does the rest of the cultivation look like, now? A plant’s life has several phases, each of which requires different care and nutrition.
- Germination. You plant seeds and germinate these in germination boxes or mini greenhouses. You can do this from the end of February to the middle of May. After germination you can transplant the little seedlings to small pots. You could also skip germination by starting with seedlings or cuttings.
- Growth phase. During this phase the plant will form most of the greens that are above ground. In outdoor growing the growth phase generally lasts longer than indoors. From April onwards there will be enough daylight in one day to move your plants outside. But it can still be too cold, which is a problem. Once the middle of May has passed, temperatures will no longer dip below freezing at night. You can now move your plants outside. Whether you want to do this right away or wait a little longer depends on the flowering period of your plant variety. Short flowering plants can stay inside a bit, while plants with longer flowering can now move out.
- Flowering phase. Depending on the species of plant and length of flowering of the variety, your plant will begin to flower around July to August. Once it’s flowering, it will also form blooms and fruit. Again depending on the length of flowering, you’ll have your harvest around the end of August or the start of October.