Indoor Vs Outdoor
From housing cannabis roots to housing a cannabis plant, this section we will go over the options available to create a suitable grow environment for your plants.
Recreating the Perfect Grow Environment (Below Ground)
Before you can create an environment for a cannabis plant to thrive in above ground, you will need to ensure the plant can germinate and thrive below ground first by providing all the things plant roots need. While water, air, and fertilizer are the obvious primary needs for a plant to survive, secondary factors, such as temperature and stability, are often just an afterthought but play a large role in the overall health of a plant. That is why choosing the right soil and pot is so important, as both of these choices can drastically alter your size and health.
When it comes to choosing a pot, there is a direct correlation between the root size and final plant size, so for most typical grows, we recommend at least a 5-gallon container or larger. As for what type of pot to get, it all depends on what your primary concern is with the root environment. All things equal, breathable pots, such as fabric pots, are superior for cannabis growing as they not only air prune the roots to prevent root-bound plants, but they also provide more aeration to the roots. Thick-walled pots, such as ones made from clay, are also useful in outdoor environments to protect the roots from temperature spikes. Thin plastic and metal pots should be avoided as they don’t provide any protection for the roots.
Soil is even important, and depending on the type you choose, it will affect everything else, from water frequency to fertilizer needs. So after choosing a soil type the final step is figuring out a water and fertilizer regime that will compliment your soil.
Recreating the Perfect Grow Environment (Above Ground)
Whether you choose to grow indoors or outdoors, the goal is always the same: to create a favorable environment for your plant to thrive.
Outdoors, the biggest benefit is the simplicity of it. When growing in-season, the only thing you will need is a seed and a patch of soil. If you plan on growing year-round, automatic seeds can be used to easily grow off-season, and you can also use grow lights to supplement the amount of daylight your plants get a day. Maintenance of the plant is also much simpler since outdoor grows do not typically require any training techniques, and with the only recurring utility cost being water, the typical expenses for maintaining an outdoor grow are very low.
The cons, though, are that you lose a lot of control over the plant's environment. Both abiotic and biotic issues increase significantly with outdoor grows because you are at the mercy of the weather, humidity, bugs and pathogens. While bugs can be controlled, temperature and humidity are much harder to adjust. So, it is important to determine early on if your outdoor environment is cannabis-friendly, and if not, how much effort would be needed to change it. Finally, outdoor grows are less secure than indoor grows, and because each plant is worth a decent amount, theft might be an issue with outdoor grows.
Indoors, the biggest benefit is control. With full control of the environment, abiotic and biotic issues become rare occurrences and are typically caused by user error. Indoor plants can also be easily grown anytime of the year, as there is no reliance on the light cycle of the sun, and when indoor, it is much easier to setup more advanced grow systems like hydroponics, which typically require a clean environment to run optimally.
The most obvious con with an indoor setup, though, is the cost. Just about everything costs more with an indoor setup: the initial supplies needed, the utility costs, and the maintenance/replacement costs of things such as grow lights, carbon filters, and anything else that might break down with long-term use. Other than that, space is typically the other limiting factor with an indoor setup, as a plant can only grow as big as the grow space allows.
Did this guide help? This article was taken directly from The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Growing Cannabis book, so if you like the advice above you'll love the rest of the book, which includes a lot of exclusive content not found anywhere else. You can find both the e-book and paperback copy on Amazon, and it's free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription!