All You Need To Know About Guerrilla Growing Cannabis
Guerrilla growing is when you grow cannabis outdoors, somewhere in a hidden location that won’t easily be discovered. Learn all about how to successfully guerrilla grow cannabis in our guide below!
Not everyone can grow cannabis in their own home or garden. For some cannabis enthusiasts, the only way to go about growing weed is to do it outdoors in a secret spot in nature. When you stealthily grow weed somewhere (where you hope that your precious crop isn’t discovered), this is known as guerrilla growing. Here is all you need to know on how you can successfully guerrilla grow cannabis!
THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF GUERRILLA GROWING CANNABIS
The most obvious advantage to guerrilla growingis that your plants will be located suitably far away from your place of residence. While this can be a pain in terms of checking up on your plants, it removes the risk of you getting busted should growing cannabis still be illegal in your region. In those places where cannabis laws are still not as relaxed as we’d wish, a guerrilla grow can remove the threat of cops, landlords, and neighbours complaining about the smell or sight of your “devil’s lettuce”.
Then again, growing weed somewhere out in nature can have its own risks. The biggest, of course, is that your grow might be discovered—by humans or otherwise. Animals out in the wild, from deer to birds to nasty bugs, can all take a toll on the health and vitality of your precious plants. And of course, any human passersby who enjoy cannabis themselves may take their own toll by chopping down your plant or stealing your container. Moreover, adverse weather conditions mean that your guerrilla-grown crop largely has to fend for itself.
Still, if you plan your guerrilla grow ahead of time and go about it with some basic know-how, it is certainly possible for the experience to be both fun and rewarding.
HOW TO FIND A GOOD SPOT TO GROW
The very first thing you need to do when planning a guerrilla grow is to find a suitable location. Obviously, you want to choose somewhere discreet where there is little chance of your plants being spotted. For this, you should explore the surroundings of a potential location to see whether you come across nearby paths, footprints, garbage, and other signs that people may come here on occasion.
So make sure to select your secret growing location a good distance away from streets, paths, and buildings. Consider also that the odour of your plants may be noticeable as much as 10–15m away or more, so take this into account when choosing a spot. Parks, public places, and areas that seem to be kept-up well are usually not very good locations. The more difficult it is to get to your secret growing spot, the better!
When you’re choosing a guerrilla growing spot, you must also make sure there are no street lights in the vicinity. The lights could otherwise mess up your plant’s natural dark cycle, causing it to turn intersex or resulting in other adverse reactions.
LOOK FOR WATER
Experienced guerrilla growers often say that a hidden spot near water is optimal. So, if you have a lake or stream nearby, this can be a nice advantage. It can make it easier when it comes to watering your wild plants, and you won’t look suspicious carrying buckets of water over quite some distance. In an ideal location near a lake or river, your plants can just absorb the water that’s already in the soil, and you may not even have to water them. Likewise, locations near water are naturally also warmer in the winter, so there is less risk that your plants would suffer from frost. On the other hand, if you grow very close to a stream, there can be a risk for flooding should it rain heavily late in summer. Keep this in mind.
If you grow outdoors, you will want to frequently check on your plants. You may need to water them often, and you want to keep a close eye on things such as pests or other possible problems. Because of that, a growing spot that’s miles and miles away isn’t optimal. If you can, choose a guerrilla grow spot that is accessible by foot or bike.
STARTING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
Now it’s time to get to the exciting bits: how to start your guerrilla grow. The “pros” normally don’t start a guerrilla grow from seed. It can be best to start the seeds or clones indoors first, then replant them in your secret spot outdoors once your seedlings have grown a bit. You can still plant seeds outdoors, just don’t expect the same results as you would when transplanting a robust young plant.
The best time to replant your cannabis seedlings outside is after the last frost has occurred in spring. Make sure to accustom your seedlings to the conditions outside. Before you set them out, you should place them in the sun for a few hours every day so they can get used to the natural sunlight. As you’re doing this, it can be a good time to prepare your guerrilla grow spot for your plants!
PREPARING YOUR OUTDOOR GUERRILLA GROW SPOT
There are some things that you should do to prepare your grow spot before you start planting. You may want to put up extra protection against animals, or camouflage your location. Likewise, most growers bring in outside soil to grow their plants, as natural soil is not always ideal for raising healthy and productive specimens.
In this case, start out by digging a hole for your plant, and filling it with a rich growing medium of soil, coco, and perlite, if possible. The hole should be big enough to accommodate the spread of roots into nutritious soil.
Although the above process requires only one visit, watering becomes a little more complicated. Frequently watering your plant out in the wild can be challenging. A good way to go about this is to mix water-absorbing polymers into your substrate. These polymers are like water-filled gels that can absorb and store water, which they slowly release so your plants can drink during dry spells. When you add mulch and cover your growing spot with straw, this can also help keep water from evaporating so that the soil in your grow spot will stay moist for longer.
You can also consider adding slow-release nutrients to your substrate. You should be able to source the substrate, polymers, and the slow-release nutrients from any good garden centre or grow shop.
After digging the hole and filling it with a suitable substrate, you can finally plant your seedling or seed. Water your plant well until all the soil in its surroundings is moist.
CAMOUFLAGING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
The possibility that your secret grow spot could be discovered is arguably the biggest risk with guerrilla growing. Because of that, you want to camouflage your growing area.
Ideally, your grow spot should already be hidden enough that you don’t need to go through much effort to conceal it. If necessary, you can use the surrounding vegetation to hide your plants by constructing a sort of natural fence, making it necessary to move these plants out of the way to access your hidden crop.
Then again, there will always be a small risk that your plants could be discovered, no matter how well you hide them. This is the reason that guerrilla growers often spread their plants around in multiple locations, rather than relying on one single spot. In other words: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you plant your weed in more locations, any unexpected happenings will not result in the failure of your entire crop.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PLANTS
Outdoors, a lot can happen to your plants since they will be susceptible to all nature has to offer. You can increase protection of your cannabis plants by making simple cages out of chicken wire. These should at least keep larger animals like birds and deer away from your plants. When you visit your guerrilla grow, you should also make a habit of checking for common signs of pest infestation. Some natural pesticides such as neem oil can work in a preventative way so you can decrease the chances for common pests, such as aphids, to appear. Online, as well as in grow stores, you can find a number of products to repel deer, rabbits, and other animals.
EXTRA TIPS TO KEEP YOUR GUERRILLA GROW UNDER THE RADAR
As you will likely go to your secret cannabis plantation fairly often, avoid always taking the same route. A fresh path out in the wild could draw suspicion, so take a different way as often as you can. If you notice that you leave footprints, cover them up with dirt.
It can also be helpful to prepare a credible story for the eventuality of someone seeing you near your spot and asking what you’re doing. You could, for example, carry a camera or binoculars on you and say you’re bird-watching. And if there’s a lake or a river nearby, you could carry fishing equipment to conceal what you’re doing. Needless to say, when you have gotten away with your story, it would be smart to look for another growing location.
FEEDING AND WATERING YOUR OUTDOOR PLANTS
Unless you added polymers to your substrate as mentioned earlier, you will need to water your plants regularly. For this, you can simply observe your local weather. If it didn’t rain for a week or longer, chances are your plants will be thirsty.
If you’re using slow-release nutrients mixed with your substrate, your plants may do well throughout their entire life without you needing to feed them. Otherwise, make sure that you give them sufficient nutrients so they can grow and stay healthy. When you’re purchasing cannabis nutrients, make sure that they are suitable to use in soil outdoors.
KEEP YOUR PLANTS DRY IN FALL
Watering your plants frequently is important, but so is keeping them dry as the weather gets rainy at the beginning of fall. Especially in our European climate, extended days of rainfall can increase the risk for mould to grow, which could spoil your entire harvest. When you visit your plants, shake the excessive moisture from rain off the buds to decrease the risk for mould. If the weather doesn’t look as if it will get better at the end of summer, or it is expected to stay cold and rainy for weeks on end, you may want to harvest early so you can save your buds from rot.
TIPS FOR HARVESTING YOUR GUERRILLA-GROWN CANNABIS PLANTS
When it’s finally harvest time, it can help if you don’t get too excited that you rush things. Know that harvesting your outdoor guerrilla crops can be the most sensitive part of the entire grow. After all, you will likely be carrying back a whole bunch of juicy and aromatic buds, and you want to do this without drawing unwanted attention.
For harvesting, most guerrilla growers begin early in the morning before the sun comes up. You will need at least one large container where you can place your buds. Get a sealable container with a lid so that your harvest won’t raise suspicion from the smell. Quickly cut the branches and place them with the stem down into your container. This helps keep the buds intact. It shouldn’t require long until you have cut all the branches so you can take them home.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS FOR YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
What makes growing cannabis outdoors exciting, yet also challenging, are the many factors that decide whether your grow may turn out awesome, or not so much. And not always can we keep these things under control. Mother Nature may bless your grow with optimal conditions to reward you with amazing yields, or she could be moody and spoil your plans with poor weather, rain, and pest infestations.
Although you cannot predict everything that will happen, you can greatly increase your chances for a successful outdoor guerrilla grow by selecting the right strains. This is because some cannabis cultivars are better suited to the outdoors than others. They may have increased resistance to mould and pests, or they may grow particularly short, making them ideal to grow under the radar. Here are 5 strains perfectly suited to a successful guerrilla grow.
TOP 5 CANNABIS STRAINS FOR GUERRILLA GROWING
Quick One by Royal Queen Seeds was one of the first and fastest autoflowering cannabis varieties on the market. This formidable indica-dominant auto is still great to grow today, and rewards with decent yields. She will not grow taller than 50–60cm, which makes her a particularly good guerrilla strain. Her entire life cycle is a short 8 weeks from seed to harvest, perfect for getting in and getting out fast!
When you’re growing weed outdoors in a secret location, this is known as guerrilla growing. In this post, we'll walk you through the guerrilla growing process.
Guerilla growing: Finding the right location
Growing in the wild can be a great solution for many people. Thats why guerilla growing is becoming more populair everyday. Sometimes it’s just not possible to grow at home because of the law, family or landlord. Next to that it’s possible to grow lots of plants because you are not restricted to space. However there are also some things to take in mind when doing a guerilla grow. Think about animals, climate, other people and the most important thing:
The location of your guerilla grow
Yes, the biggest factor of a succesfull guerilla grow is choosing the right location. To find the right location you need to think about lots of aspects when it comes to creating a safe environment for your plants. In this article we are going to talk about all kind of steps you could undertake to find the perfect spot.
Before you start to look for a guerilla grow location, you need to ask yourself a few things to be sure it’s actually possible. For example: The climate. The climate is different everywhere, so make sure that the temperature, humidity, hours of light and soil is perfectly suitable for a cannabis plant. Another thing to think about is at what time you want to grow. In most areas, the summer is of course the best time but in some places it’s too hot in the summer and it’s better to grow in the spring/autumn. Next to that, hours of light are also an aspect that could influence the growth and blooming phase of your plant. So think about this and find information about these circumstances in your area first.
Now after you have figured out these things, it’s time to find the perfect location for your grow. To help you, we are going to talk about different aspects that will lead you to the right growing spot:
First of all: Get away from the city/people!
The biggest enemy you have when growing in a public environment are people. They can snitch on you, destroy the plants or steal your crops. Finding a human-free location can be quite hard depending on where you live but there are always forrests and other locations that fit the guerilla needs (when living in a city, you might have to look a bit harder or go out of the centre). The more isolated, the better.
Start by simply looking up some nature reserves/bigger forrests in your area and pay them a visit. Walking there for a while makes you aware of problems, options and possibilities. After some practice you might be able to decide quickly if an area has something to offer or not. Once you find a quiet, appropriate area. It’s time to start searching for some potential growing spots.
A good idea is to Google earth the location and look for traces of humans like paths, buildings, roads and even railroads (railroads require heavy maintenance so stay away from them). Make sure your spot is not easy accessible and not in any direct sight of a road/path. Next to that: Street lightning can influence the grow/bloom cycle of a plant so stay away from them!
Remember: The smell of cannabis plants can be noticed up to 10 meters away, so you’ll need a big circle around your spot thats is free of human traces/paths.
But even if you think you have found an isolated and safe location, you might be wrong. You’d be surpised if you know how much people often visit places like this. Think about forrest guards, homeless people, hikers/bikers or maintenance workers that are trimming the bushes. These are the kind of people that will definitly interfere with your plants once they see them.
However there are always some characteristics that show if there is any human activity going on:
- Footsteps/paths in forrest made by walking people
- nicely trimmed bushes
- wires/barbed wire
- cigarettes/gum on ground
- Electric wire towers/transmission stations (maintenance workers)
Avoid these areas and never leave any waste yourself, this will draw attention from un-wanted people and could lead to your grow.
If you can’t find any of these but you are still not sure, it’s a great idea to just chill at your spot and spent some time there. This will eventually tell you if the place is busy or not. Just stay on the low and make sure nobody sees you.
The most important thing for a cannabis plant (next to good water) is a big amount of sunlight. So this is something you need to take in mind when looking for a spot. I’ts not a great idea to choose a spot in the middle of a forrest overgrown with big trees as too much shadow could cause a high humidity, low temperatures and eventually mold. However, on the side of that forrest or an open spot in the trees might offer you a the lightning you need.
The more light your plants get, the better your yield will be. So if you are planning to grow on the side of a forrest. Make sure that you choose the “sunny side” of that forrest. To determine the “sunny side” of a forrest you’ll need to get a compass (most phones have one) and find out where the sun comes up/goes down. (up east-down west) Then make sure your plants are exposed to the most hours of sunlight you can get. Google earth is also a great tool to find out which spot is being exposed to most hours of light.
We wouldn’t recommend to cut down any bushes or trim any trees. This could draw attention from forrest guards or other people. You have to make sure your spot looks as natural as possible.
Using other plants as indicators
A very good way to find out if a spot is suitable for your cannabis plants is by looking at the other plants living there. Especially when you are planning to grow them in the open ground it’s important the ground type is ok to grow in. Seeing lots of healthy, hydrated plants is a good sign.
Some plants are very similair (biologically) as a cannabis plant. This often means that when these plants are around, you have hit the perfect soil ot grow your cannabis in. One example of a plant like this is the “Urtica dioica” or better known as common nettle/stinging nettle. These guys mostly grow in ground thats perfect for a cannabis plant. (Cannabis and the nettles are both part of the order Urticales which means they are related to each other)
Accessibility and carrying water/materials
Next to just finding a good incognito location, you need to think about a few other things. Like the accessibility of your location as you need to bring all kind of materials (like pots, soil, shovel and chicken wire). The trick is to find a spot thats not easy to find/enter for normal people like hikers or forrest guards. However it still needs to be accesable enough to get all your stuff there.
When climbing is required or you need to walk through verry narrow paths next to water, it’s not a good idea to set-up your grow on that spot. Just imagine that you have to enter your location with a 50L bag of soil. Once that’s possible, you’ll be good!
Watering your guerilla grow
Next to your materials, you need to think about the fact that you need to water your plants (In periods of drought). This would require you to take lots of cannisters/buckets/bottles of nutrient mixed water to your location. Water is pretty heavy to carry around, so especially with multiple plants it can be quite a task to water them all. It might take you multiple runs to water all your plants and this improves the chance of being seen when entering your spot. Think about this when choosing your location!
To avoid all these watering troubles, it’s a good idea to locate your grow near a water supply like a river or stream. This way you are able to just take some nutrients, go to your spot and mix it with water from that stream. However you can’t just use any water! If it’s contaminated it wouldn’t be smart to give it your plants as it could kill them or harm yourself when consuming your plant.
The best thing you can look for is clear, streaming water (avoid water that stands still). Once found you could take some and bring it to an aquarium store. They can test it on different metals and other harming minerals. If it’s okay, you just need to do one more thing before giving it to your plants: Measure it’s PH and PPM levels. This is very important when growing cannabis because too acidic or neutral water could really mess up your plants. A good PH level for the water is between 5.5 and 6.5. When the water hasn’t got the right PH it’s possible to neutralize by using a addition (PH+ or PH-, found in any grow shop)
Animals and insects
Yes, just like people, animals can be a real pain in the ass simply because lots of species love cannabis plants. From insects to rabbits and deers, yes they all love the smell and taste of a nice juicy cannabis plant. The problem is that these animals particularly live in areas that are perfect to start a guerilla grow which makes it almost impossible to avoid them. You can notice them by simply looking for (rabbit)holes or droppings but I can guarantee that everywhere you will go, there are certain animals looking to interfere with your plants.
Luckily there are some easy precautions you can take to deal with their activity. For bigger animals like deers, wild hogs or wild cattle it could be enough to get some iron wire and use a few trees to create a fence and mark out your area. Make sure to leave 1,5 meters between the wire-fence and your plants.
Smaller animals like rabbits (which is a true enemy of the cannabis plant) won’t be stopped by a simple wire-fence. They see your growing area as an all-you-can eat buffet and will do everything to enter it. To keep them out we recommend to use chicken wire and build a smaller fence circling your plants. Make sure you dig the fence up to 10-20 cm underground when installing it. This is because rabbit cans dig underneath the chicken wire when it’s not deep enough. to be 100% sure you could also use a piece of the chicken wire as bottom of your growing spot. This makes it impossible for rabbits to dig to your plants.
Another effective thing you can do is buying some fox urine extract and spray it all around your growing spot. The smell of fox urine is very frightning for many animals like rabbits as they are their natural enemy. You can buy these extracts on multiple websites.
Remember to always take your materials like iron wire and nets with you when you are done growing. As a cannabis enthousiast you should love and respect nature. These things do not belong there!
Insects are very small and almost impossible to keep away from your plants. However there are nets you can use to hang around your plants to keep them out. The problem is that these nets will block quite some sunlight and could draw attention from people. If you should use one highly depends on your personal location and the species of insects.
Anti insect sprays or pesticides that are ment for plants should never be used on cannabis plants. These sprays are pure poison and could really harm your health when consuming the plant. What could help is putting a very small drop of dish-soap in 1 liter of water and spray it over the plants branches. Most insects hate the acidic smell the soapy water and will leave your plants alone.
Check out our “Ultimate pest guide” to find out how to treat the most commong cannabis pests!
Growing in a corn field
You might have heard about people growing in a corn field and it could actually work pretty well. However there are multiple things to think about if you want this to succeed. To begin with: The farmers! That field of corn is their job/income so they will be protecting and watching it. These days they even use drones to check on their crops to see them from above.
By planting one plant every here and there, you decrease the chance of being caught by someone seeing the field from above. More plants at the same spot draws the attention as it doens’t look natural. Thats also what helicopters/drones are lookin for. Next to that, try to find a nice place deeper in the corn field (not by the side as tractors/farmes often pas them) and make sure that there aren’t any higher grounds around the corn field. This may makes your plants visible from above.
One great tip to always find your plants in a big corn field is by using a small,long rope or fishing line and connect your plants. Then, connect the last plant with a corn stalk standing on the side. Mark this corn stalk discreetly with a ribbon, marker or some tape. This way you will always find your plants easily!
A very important aspect of growing in a corn field is knowing when the growing season begins and ends. It would be a shame if you are in the middle of a grow, and you see that the field is being cut down. Corn season is different depending on where you live but you can find it easily by looking it up on google or simply ask some local farmers (just act interested in their work to avoid any suspicion).
Keep in mind that corn is a consumer product and many farmers will spray chemicals on them. These can be deadly for a cannabis plant and also harmfull for you when they end up in your buds. These pesticedes will be sprayed once the corn is up to 30-40CM. Make sure you plant your ladies afterwards!
So, When looking for the guerilla spot:
- Make sure nobody watches you wandering around areas your normally wouldn’t
- Never leave trash or other materials around your spot (draws attention and isn’t respectfull to nature)
- Go of the paths. You don’t want your spot close to people. The further the better so make sure it’s at least 50 meters in the “wilderness”. (away from paths,roads or other human activity)
- Make sure there is enough sunlight and air flow to avoid a too high humidity
- Look for something hard to find, but still easy to get to with multiple materials
- Think about animals when choosing your guerilla spot. What animals are active there and do they have acces to your plants? If so make you spot animal proof
- Think about the watering, a good idea is to choose a spot that is close to a water source
- Think about the fact that your plants are mostly always visible for helicopters and drones. So don’t put too much plants close to each other and create big bushes/fields. Rather divide them over different spots in smaller groups so it looks
Got more tips and tricks to add to our list? Feel free to leave them in the comment section below!
Finding the right location for your guerilla grow can be pretty hard. To help you we have set up u list of tips to find the right spot!