ThePineapple - The magic of the sun

The magic of the sun

The sun's role in optimizing an outdoor grow
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In today’s edition of the choose your own adventure that has become my grow series, we will be basking in the rays of the sun. For those of you who have elected to grow outdoors, pay special attention as there will be information here that might just prove handy-dandy. And for those who prefer an indoor grow, sit back, relax and enjoy the read.

© Aleksandr - stock.adobe.com
In the Spring and Summer months, the sun is at its most powerful and impactful state. It is this timeframe that exposes your growing plant to the full spectrum of Ultraviolet rays

When embarking on an outdoor grow adventure, it is important to remember that you are at the whims of Mother Nature. In light of this (get it? In light? At least I make myself laugh), you need to take into account the geographical location of your home as that will have a strong impact on what seasons you choose to grow in. Ideally,(for the Northern Hemisphere) when starting from seed, you will want to germinate your seeds and then plant the baby seedlings in the spring after the final frost. That way, your plant will have the summer to thrive and be ready for harvest in the fall. This seasonal cycle is in reverse for the Southern Hemisphere of the planet.

The reason for this timeline is all due to the Sun. In the Spring and Summer months, the sun is at its most powerful and impactful state. It is this timeframe that exposes your growing plant to the full spectrum of Ultraviolet rays. This spectrum is rather difficult to replicate when it comes to indoor growing lighting. 

When placing your plant outdoors to grow, remember to take into consideration the path of the sun related to your location and whether or not there are large trees or bushes that will cast a shadow. The reason for this is that your plant's flowering cycle is dictated by the amount of sunlight it receives. The longer your plant receives light throughout the day, the bigger your plant will grow as it is in its vegetative stage meaning it's focusing on growing outwards and upwards and not on flowering. The less light your plant receives will trigger it to move into its flowering stage which is when it produces that oh-so-sticky icky we all love. The goal is to get your plant to grow nice and big to give it as much real estate to grow its flowers as possible. 

It is also handy to know that your plant will need shade as well. Cannabis plants typically don’t thrive in temperatures higher than 85F (neither do I). Like us, the cannabis plant has needs. To ensure that your plant receives 14 to 16 hours of light but not too much heat when it is in its vegetative phase, you can tie tree branches together or make a wee shade tent using shade cloth. If your plant is exposed to too much heat, the fan leaves will actually begin to burn, causing your plant to go into self-preservation mode which will impact the amount of yield you will get from your plant. 

© andreaobzerova - stock.adobe.com

After the spring has passed and the summer nights begin to get longer to welcome fall, your plant will be triggered to go into its flowering stage and begin growing nice and juicy buds for you to harvest in the fall. It is when the days start to get shorter and then heat from the sun becomes less intense that you can remove your shade tent.  One thing to note about buds from an outdoor grow, they are sometimes a little shaggier than indoor grow buds. This is perfectly okay and natural. Remember, looks aren’t the be-all and end-all here.

If you'd like to learn more about how to grow this wonderful plant, check out our other pieces in the grow series below!

Growing Foundations
Best soil for growing cannabis
Little Beings, Great Power
Back to Roots
Cannabis Stems
Fan of the fan leaf