The Main Differences between Indoor and Outdoor Cannabis Growing
May 7, 2019 | By Luis Rivera
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Growing cannabis can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to cultivation conditions. Any cannabis farmer is aware of how important it is to provide the best environment for the well-being of their plants. Keep on reading to find the answer to the question:
Is growing cannabis indoors or outdoors the best option?
Outdoor Cannabis Growing
Outdoor growing is the traditional way of cultivating cannabis compared to indoor growing. In the past there were laws and restrictions, forcing farmers to move the process indoors. Outdoor growing has a promising future ahead though, with some of the restrictions being revoked.
Just like most horticultural plants, a proper location of the plant is essential to producing optimal results. Depending on soil type, water availability and climate and weather conditions, outdoor cannabis is more exposed to external threats such as natural disasters and pests. However, it is cost effective to grow cannabis outdoors and often grants larger yields.
Indoor Cannabis Growing
Indoor cultivation is the perfect solution for growers to stay out of sight or when you do not have the means (e.g. land, resources, conditions) to grow your plants outdoors.
Even with the lack of natural sunlight, there are many alternatives on how to grow indoors. For example, adding indoor LED grow lights for cannabis. Installing LEDs into your grow room ensures a perfectly controlled environment to cultivate high quality produce for a shorter time frame, with no seasonal or weather dependence. The downside of indoor growing is the higher price and energy consumption, as well as the usual pest control.
5 Key Differences in Indoor and Outdoor Cannabis Growing
1. Controlled Environment
Outdoor cultivation comes with many constraints when it comes to natural environment. The lack of ability to control the external environment surely comes with risks for the cannabis grow. Indoor cannabis growing surely has its perks when it comes to control over the growth conditions.
You can adjust proper levels of humidity and light exposure in your cannabis grow room. By using a source of artificial lighting like indoor LED grow lights, you will be able to manage the light intensity, color spectrum, temperature and other important growth factors. Unfortunate weather and seasonal changes are no longer a threat for your plants and they can reach their optimum quality and growth capacity.
2. Quality of Cannabis is Better
Due to the controlled cultivation environment, indoor grown cannabis has many benefits. By introducing perfect growing conditions, plants are able to reach their full potential, vastly improving their quality and producing more THC. When it’s done properly, outdoor cannabis growing could also improve product quality and opt for similar results.
3. Cannabis Can Grow Faster
Marijuana plants grow for a shorter period of time indoors. Due to the fully customized habitat of the plantation, cannabis growth is optimized and the greens grow a lot faster than they would if planted outdoors.
4. Cannabis Takes Less Effort to Grow
Planting outside means you do not need to worry as much about factors such as lighting and temperature. All you need to do is water and trim the plants occasionally. Indoor cultivations, on the contrary, require a lot more care and monitoring in order to produce a quality product.
5. Difference in Costs
Outdoor cultivation is way cheaper than indoors, especially for a long period, since it depends mainly on natural sources and less on human intervention. Indoor cultivation, on the other hand, could be quite expensive initially and in the long run. It requires a full manual set up of growing conditions (e.g. water, pots and soil, etc.), as well as artificial lighting and humidity installations.
Key Differences in the Cannabis Growth
1. Natural vs Supplemental Lighting
Natural lighting is the key to the outdoor plant growth, as the sun provides the full spectrum required for photosynthesis. However, its inconsistency due to day-night cycle and bad weather, tilts the scales towards artificial sources. While you cannot affect the natural sunlight, indoor supplemental lighting can be manually accustomed according to the plant’s growth stage, needs and requirements.
2. Control over Pests
Pest invasion is the horticultural nightmare of farmers. But if it happens, it is way easier to fight in an open space, because treatments like companion plants and pesticides can be applied. Infestations in your cannabis grow room would be extremely hard to deal with without insecticide usage. Most common indoor treatment is organic pest control, using predatory insects.
3. Growth Patterns
Outdoor cannabis growing has variable growth patterns, as cannabinoid levels in buds depend on the season. On the contrary, indoor growth patterns are optimal, since buds can reach maximum cannabinoid levels due to the regulated cultivation environment.
Due to the access of natural lighting, outdoor growing benefits from the sun and the natural soil, which leads to producing bigger plants, ensuring larger yields. Indoor growing is associated with smaller yield since the light spectrum of the sun cannot be fully replicated from a supplemental source.
5. Control over the Weather
While outdoor cannabis cultivation rely on soil quality and environmental conditions, this is not the case with indoor plants. Inside grown cannabis is protected from harsh weather and distressing climate changes. Indoor growing allows temperature, c02 production, and humidity control.
6. Plant Turnover
Inside your growing facility, you can retrieve your product all year round, despite any seasonal weather patterns which may affect the outdoor crops’ harvest time. And while indoor growing is not seasonal, outdoor plantations cannot continue with a harvest rotation when they’re out of season.
Conclusion: Should You Grow Cannabis Outdoor or Indoor?
Cultivating outdoors means more exposure to pests and outside influence, but sunlight guarantees bigger plants and higher yield. In case you decide to proceed with indoor cultivation, you need to make sure you find the best led grow light for cannabis. Because if grown under the right artificial conditions, the inside production will have a flavorful high quality produce all year long.
The best way to grow cannabis is hard to define. The answer between indoor and outdoor cultivation solely depends on the specific results a grower has. Set your goals straight and find the best solution for your requirements.