Hot Tips For Growing Marijuana In Cold Weather
Growing marijuana in cold weather doesn’t have to be a misery. Allow us to demystify and share with you the secrets of cropping cannabis in the cold. Ganja farming in cooler conditions actually has one or two huge advantages.
We all know cannabis is an adaptable and incredibly versatile plant, that’s why it’s cropped all over the world. The optimal conditions for cannabis to thrive in the wild is planted in fertile soil with good sunlight, a mild breeze, and with consistent temperatures of 20-28°C.
Unless you happen to live in Australia, California, Colombia, Jamaica or someplace safe around the Mediterranean, the growing season is short and the weather is less than predictable.
Indoor cannabis cultivation is booming globally and in freezing northern latitudes it really is the only viable option. That being said, tremendous outdoor cannabis crops are also harvested in the cooler climates of Canada and Eastern Europe annually.
Amazing marijuana really can be cropped all year round, the trick is to tailor a grow plan that factors in the likelihood of inclement weather, that is particular to your area and if cropping outdoors thorough knowledge of the local climate, environment and sun cycles is crucial.
A little luck doesn’t hurt any either.
COLD WEATHER CANNABIS STRAINS FOR OUTDOORS
Every cannabis grow is dictated by the genetics the grower chooses to crop, whether you choose to cultivate with a batch of clones or start from scratch with seeds, the genes determine the crop’s ultimate potential.
Choose your cannabis strain especially carefully if you intend to grow outdoors in cooler regions. Indoor growers, that have their grow show perfectly dialled in from nutrients to environmental controls, can theoretically grow any strain any time of the year.
But that’s in theory, the reality is heavy snowfall and subzero temps, that can strike in the death of winter, will upset even an indoor grandmaster tuned grow show.
Should temperatures fall below 15°C, cannabis plants are effectively in the danger zone. The risk posed by pathogens and pests increases exponentially. Growth will cease and then leaves will discolour if the cold does not abate.
Outdoors only the hardiest most resistant cannabis strains have a chance of surviving a cold winter. And it’s a slim chance really not worth taking, if sleet and/or snow are likely. It’s better to be a flexible ganja farmer, than stubborn with no stash.
Even hardcore outdoor weed warriors will keep a mother plant or two indoors in vegetative growth to ride out the roughest weather. At the very least covering with plastic sheeting or housing inside a greenhouse is recommended.
Autoflowering strains are hands down the best varieties for the cold weather marijuana cultivator. Outdoor growers need to crop fast if conditions are less than perfect and to avoid the worst winter weather. Autos can be cropped from seed to stash in as little as 8 weeks from germination.
Ruderalis genetics make autoflowering strains extra tough and fast flowering. In fact, they will usually enter the bloom cycle in 30 days or less as they are not photoperiod dependent. This ability facilitates both out of season cropping and those restricted by a short summer.
Mold is the greatest threat to flowering cannabis in cold weather. High RH and low temperatures make a perfect breeding ground for fungus. Stay ahead of the worst weather and stick with fast flowering hybrids and autoflowering strains, that can be harvested before rains ruin the buds.
Use pots, that can be picked up and moved easily rather than getting stuck in the mud by sowing in the miserable patch that was sunny for two weeks in spring.
WHY THE OLD SCHOOL INDOOR GROWER WELCOMES COLD WEATHER
Old school HID systems emit a great deal of heat, as well as light. Keeping cannabis plants in vegetative growth with an MH bulb under an 18+ hour light cycle is actually easier in cold weather and a simple method to preserve mother plants and/or cuttings during the winter months.
Flowering with HPS lighting and vegging with MH bulbs usually requires serious air cooling. The old school grower can turn cold weather to his/her advantage and save some cash on the air conditioning bill at the same time. Some even add extra lights to boost yields when the weather gets cooler.
WHY THE NEXT-GENERATION GROWER NEEDS TO TURN UP THE HEAT IN WINTER
LED lighting systems are rapidly overtaking HID bulbs as the cultivation lamps of choice for Millennial weed growers, but the technology is still to be perfected. LED lights run cooler, because they emit almost 75% of their energy as light. This is fantastic most of the time and usually makes for easy environmental control in the grow tent.
However, LEDs can run too cold during the winter months. The simple solution is to turn up the heat. Unfortunately, this might negate the electric bill savings made by running the low wattage drawing LEDs.
High RH may also be an issue with LED systems in cold weather, a dehumidifier may also need to be added to the grow show and definitely during the bloom phase.
CFLs are more or less redundant during prolonged periods of cold weather, even the highest wattage bulbs available, with 300W, cannot generate sufficient heat to curb a frosty winter.
Bud rot is a real threat for growers cropping in cold weather with next generation lighting like LEDs and CFLs. Hydroponics and LEDs can be a recipe for disaster in cold weather, as both root rot and bud mold can be real threats if feed water is below room temp and RH exceeds 60% during flowering.
Maintaining environmental control year round is the only long-term solution; keep an eye on those thermometers and make adjustments when necessary. It’s a whole lot easier to heat a grow room in winter, than it is to cool a sweltering HID grow show in high summer.
Old school HID growers may be able to avoid turning on the heating during the dark cycle if they run their lights during the cold winter nights. Daytime temperatures are usually a little higher, so it might be possible.
LED aficionados face the prospect of running the heating virtually nonstop. Perhaps a combo of HID and LED is the smartest compromise in freezing conditions for the modern indoor cannabis grower.
We almost forgot to mention cropping cannabis in cold weather has the huge advantage of increasing the chances of certain strains displaying beautiful lilac and deep purple shades every weed grower covets most.
FIVE BEST STRAINS TO GROW IN COLD WEATHER
With the best grow system in place for your needs, you will hopefully achieve superior results. Since you are taking such care for your set-up, you may also want to choose the magic ingredient carefully. As curators of the finest seeds, Royal Queen Seeds knows the strength of seed you choose is crucial to the whole process. We also happen to know which strains are likely to thrive best in colder climates. We have put together a list of 5 strains that have the resilience, adaptability, and other qualities needed to deliver healthy yields in colder temperatures. All of these seeds are available to order from us now.
You will find few cannabis plants as resilient as our Critical strain. It will even grow well in cold climates of the north. The flowering time of around 7 weeks ensures speedy results. The sho rt height is also easily manageable in restricted growing conditions. An indoor Critical plant will only grow to 80–140cm. The buds have a sweet, earthy smell, and will amount to yields of about 550–600g/m².
This hybrid owes its sativa properties to Skunk and its dominant indica side to Afghan landraces. Afghan plants get their lineage from highly potent and resilient plants of the Hindu Kush mountains. Therefore, you are going to enjoy pure tingling sensations that relax both body and mind, thanks in part to a THC content of around 18%. You won’t know what your grow is missing until you give our Critical seeds a try.
Cold weather cannabis cultivation can be perilous but it's by no means impossible. We've got the red hot tips to help you crop dank weed in the dead of winter.
Growing marijuana in cold climates? Yes, it is possible!
Growing cannabis in cold climates
It’s true that the ideal season to crop the vast majority of cannabis seeds is when it is not particularly cold and the hours of sunshine are abundant (long photoperiod), helping its growth and proper development. However, cold temperatures should not prevent you from growing cannabis all year round. In this post we’ll give you some techniques to achieve it.
The most common period for growing marijuana is usually between the months of April-May (seeds germination), for the September-October harvest (this can vary depending on what planet hemisphere we live; the latitude and the season), since they are the months in which the weather is less hostile, and in the rest of the months, many are the self-growers who devote them, simply, to consume everything they harvested.
The cold should not be an impediment to growing marijuana. In times when it is colder or in countries where the cold is present almost all year round, there is what is commonly known as the winter harvest.
And when we speak of cold, we are not referring to temperatures below zero throughout the day and for long periods of time, since in those places it is difficult for this plant to grow; we are referring to climates where temperatures are maintained at an average of between 5 and 10 degrees, as is usually the case in the north of most countries in Europe or North America, as well as countries such as China, Pakistan or northern India, where the cold is present along the year in some of its most mountainous regions.
Latitude and altitude is one of the most important aspects to carry out a good outdoor crop
It is precisely from these places from where provide some of the most suitable seeds to grow in cold climates or in cold seasons, understanding the cold, as we have said, climate conditions with temperatures below 10 degrees, does not mean continuous frosts.
Therefore, if some of the best seeds are provided from these countries to the current cannabis market, is because is really possible to grow cannabis during the cold season, taking into account that many of the genetics which can be found in the seed market, have been progressively adapted to European latitudes.
Before we get fully into the advice on how to grow cannabis in cold climates, it is important to know that the seeds we grow during this period will not result in large plants, and as a result the production will be smaller, although we know it will be worthwhile.
If you are fed up of having to wait for warmer seasons to grow marijuana, we invite you to continue reading this post, as it will be very useful to improve your winter harvest.
How cold affects marijuana
For a long time and specifically in countries where it is not particularly cold all year round, as is the case in most European countries, a large number of marijuana growers devote to this task in the less hostile months of the year, i. e. those that range from April-May (germination and transplantation of seedlings and cuttings) to September-October (harvest), approximately, which is the time of outdoor harvest. The rest of the year, they devote to enjoying the production and prepare the next harvests.
Actually, the problem is not the cold. It is true that the cold slows everything down, but the important thing is that it is cold, among other things, because the solar radiation is not so intense, and because of the scarce number of sunlight hours (photoperiod).
We at PEV Grow would like to encourage anyone who wishes, but does not dare, to try out winter crops, because it is possible, especially if we take certain aspects into account:
-The photoperiod is ideal for flowering: This means that our plant will start to bloom almost immediately. The best thing you can do is to grow the plants indoor until they reach a suitable vegetable mass, and then take them out to the garden (outdoor). The change to the natural photoperiod will do the rest. Do not forget to place the plants outdoors so that they have direct sunlight all day long.
-Smaller plants: Considering the previous point, it is logical that the plant we grow in winter does not reach a large size. In fact, it is estimated that they do not usually exceed 100 centimetres in height, but they can give us between 20 and 60 grams per plant. Although it’s not a good idea to do this with autoflowering plants, as these genetics will not have the photoperiod or the proper light intensity to provide an acceptable amount of vegetal mass.
-Try a greenhouse in the garden: Better an outdoor crop in glass greenhouse. This is the main recommendation to be taken into account when you decide to grow marijuana in winter, as this increases the size of the vegetal mass and is less likely to be invaded by pests. Humidity is also well controlled in this way, as plants are not exposed to the rainfall regime.
Greenhouse crops, better if glazed
-Grow Indica or hybrid strains: They are the ones that, in general, best adapt to this type of climatology. Later on we’ll give you some tips about choosing the best seeds for this kind of weather, but you can take a look at a longer article already published in PEV Grow previously which is about this topic. Sativa strains are better adapted to tropical climates, and therefore need a lot of light intensity.
Tips to combat the cold weather
As in everytime we grow cannabis,” Every grower have their own way to crop marijuana”, but we want to give you some general tip with guaranteed results in order to be able to carry out your marijuana crop during the winter or in cold seasons of the year.
-If we start from seeds: It is recommended to germinate them inside your home in any winter month. The germination is carried out with natural water, between 18-22ºC.
It is advisable to keep the seedlings indoor until the plant mass is adequate. In case they are cuttings, it is not necessary to take them out immediately, we can make them grow about 30 days. Watch out! As soon as we take our plants outdoor, the most normal thing for them is to start blooming, because they will notice a photoperiod shock.
-If we use indoor lighting: Continuing with the previous point, and if we want to enlarge the photoperiod of the plant with the purpose of promoting its growth, we will have to use indoor lighting, as for example, LEC. In PEV Grow you can find a wide range of lighting equipment to help you getting the best results.
-Use pots: Especially if we grow outdoor and even though we are in a greenhouse in this case.
Why? Because plants that are directly grown directly in the soil are more difficult to give them heat, if the soil is not hot. However, the pot will avoid this problem.
We also have the option of using a “blanket” for the floor, made of heat-absorbing materials such as a limestone blanket. It is a technique widely used in vineyards, to dampen the temperature differences between day and night. If there is frost, we will prevent the roots from freezing.
-Be careful with the humidity! Although the truth is that during the winter, plagues are less common, humidity can always cause pest problems. We must bear that in mind. We must always use preventive fungicides, especially during the rainy season.
-Harvest staggered in time: It’s an interesting option, because if there were any unforeseen frost, we would not lose the entire crop, and we will have for longer time marijuana ready to harvest, we will be also able to crop in less space than if we were growing all the seeds at the same time. You should use to do it well an indoor germination and maintenance seedlings under indoor contidions.
Protect from cold to our marijuana plant
-Heater and thermostat: This option is only viable in greenhouses. For this reason, and in order to maintain all the time the temperature according to the development period in which our marijuana plant is located, it is best to place a thermostat on the substrate (substrate temperature) and greenhouse (temperature of the growing environment), to know what temperature we have at all times, and based on this, start a heater. If the substrate is very cold, do not forget to prepare the irrigation solutions by heating the water with a resistance, to leave it between 18 and 22ºC.
The best varieties for cold climates
As we have already mentioned above, the best seeds for growing in cold climates or in winter periods are the indica strains, since most of them come from hostile climates such as India or Pakistan, and their genetics come from pure acclimated landraces developed naturally in high mountain climates, where growth in itself is already quite difficult and therefore those landraces have become more resistant to fungal pests and cold along the time.
In addition, these seeds need less time to develop and, although they will not give large plants, the results will be good if we take into account the advice given in the previous section.
In PEV Grow you can find a wide selection of indica seeds, highlighting for example cultivars such as PEV Bank Seeds Critical Feminized, PEV Bank Seeds Mazar Feminized or PEV Bank Seeds Bruce Banner Feminized.
Bruce Banner causes in general cerebral effects givind us euphoric and creative notes which spread in the body providing a state of well-being…
PEV Bank seeds offers you the best genetics in the market at incredible prices, with Indica and Hybrids strains, acclimated to European latitudes with Mediterranean and Continental climates.
Other ancestral genetics of Indica phenotype, highly valued by our best breeders are cultivars such as Sensi Seeds Afghani 1, Dinafem Blue Hash, Dutch Passion Mazar and Sweet Seeds S. A. D.
It is a great producer outdoors, due to its size, and a good choice for high altitude mountain areas, where cold nights give it attractive colours…
As you can see, it is also possible to grow high-yield cannabis under “unsuitable” conditions. Simply select the seeds carefully and take special care with the plant.
The Mediterranean is the most favourable climate for growing cannabis outdoor, especially in its flowering phase, although it carries an artificial irrigation calendar. But in cold climates it’s also possible to grow marijuana and, without going any further, here is the example of Dutch marijuana, where breeders have been grown during three decades the most powerful Indica marijuana genetics and hybrid phenotypes fundamentally.
And in case you don’t dare to do a winter crop, in other posts we will try to work entirely indoor, mentioning the best tips for your indoor crop.
And if you have dared, please share your experience, and tell us what strain you’ve grown explaining us what were conditions you used and if you applied any of our advices.
We never stop learning with you…
By Noelia Jimenez Team Piensa En Verde
It is true that the ideal for growing the vast majority of cannabis seeds is that in time it does not particularly cold and sunshine hours are abundant