Marijuana can be grown indoors as well as outdoors. Both of these ways have their own advantages and challenges. Some growers prefer to grow indoors till the vegetative state and move the plants outside during the flowering stage.
Most of the professional growers who sell marijuana for medical and recreational purposes tend to grow indoors as they can better control all aspects of the crop.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of growing cannabis indoors and outdoors.
Pros of Growing Weed Indoors
Control over All Variables
One of the biggest advantages of growing marijuana indoors is that you control all the variables. You control the light, room temperature, humidity, ventilation and various other factors to ensure that the plant turns out exactly as expected. You control all the stages from vegetative stage to the flowering stage.
Since you control all the variables, it means that you can grow plants all year round and never be in short supply. You can simultaneously grow plants at different growth stages. On the other hand, you are dependent on availability of sunlight, temperature and various other environmental factors when growing outdoors. Growers can harvest only a single crop in a year when they grow outdoors.
Shorter Grow Time
When you are growing indoors, you determine the length of vegetative stage. You can start flowering the plants whenever you want which means that you can harvest crops in around three months depending on the required yield and the strain you have chosen.
Denser and More Compact Plants
Grow lights allow you to provide direct light to the plants for a longer period of time. This is not possible when growing outdoors. More light for the plants means the plant is more compact and has more resinous buds.
When you are growing indoors, there is no danger from the pests or insects that can damage these plants. No insect or animal is going to eat the plants inside if proper care is taken.
Cons of Growing Weed Indoors
High Start-Up Costs
One of the biggest disadvantages of growing indoors is that you need to invest a lot of money initially. You will need to invest in grow lights, temperature control, exhaust fans with carbon scrubber for controlling smell and various other things needed to grow indoors. You will also spend a lot of money on electricity. A typical 600W grow light costs equivalent to a typical refrigerator in terms of energy costs.
When you grow indoors, you need to maintain the place regularly. It means that you need to make sure that the ventilation fans are working properly, lights are working properly and nutrients are given at regular intervals. You also need to maintain a proper schedule to flower the plants at the right time. Maintenance can be overwhelming at first but once growers get the hang of growing, the maintenance needs drop down dramatically.
Pros of Growing Weed Outdoors
The biggest advantage of going cannabis outdoors is that you do not need too much equipment or expertise to grow outdoors. Sunlight is totally free which means that you do not need to spend any money to buy grow lights. Also, you do not spend anything in terms of electricity costs or nutrients.
You do not need to pay too much attention to these plants when you are growing outdoors. You just need to find the right spot that has good sunlight throughout the day and the plants take care of themselves. You may need to water them occasionally but other than that you don’t need to do anything in terms of maintenance.
Another advantage of growing outdoors is that you will usually get more yield per plant. This is because plants have a lot of room to grow. Most of the indoors set-ups available today can accommodate plants only up to 180 cm but this is not a problem outdoors and plants can grow up to 3 meters outdoors.
Cons of Growing Weed Outdoors
One of the biggest disadvantages of growing outdoors is that one does not have any control over Mother Nature. Early winter, torrential downpour or a drought can destroy the whole crop which means that you will need to wait another year for the crop.
Impractical for Urban Dwellers
Most of the people who live in city won’t find it easy to grow outdoors as usually they do not have enough space. Even if they have enough space, there are many laws that make growing outdoors difficult.
Plants Are Not Safe
Probability of interference from animals and bugs is high when you grow outdoors and you need to pay special attention to these factors.
Longer Grow Time
Another disadvantage of growing outdoors is that you can only get one harvest in a year. Crop also takes a long time to grow as you do not have any control over the initiation of flowering stage.
Growing Marijuana Indoors Vs Growing Marijuana Outdoors
Here is a comparison of some of the factors to help you decide the right way for you to grow Marijuana.
When it comes to cost, you may need to spend approximately more than $500 for growing 4 to 6 plants indoors. You will need to invest in containers, nutrients and grow lights along with a grow tent.
On the other hand, when you grow outdoors you will need to spend only on fencing and other supplies needed for planting the crop. You may fertilize the soil with mulch to keep it nutrient rich.
Needless to say, when you are growing indoors you are safer in terms of bug infestation as well as animal attacks. However, you will quickly lose your entire crop if there is a bug infestation indoors as there is no natural predator for bugs indoors.
On the other hand, your plants are more exposed to environmental factors as well as attacks from insects and other animals outdoors.
As far as the quality of buds is concerned, it depends mostly on the strain chosen as well as the maintenance. Some people mistakenly believe that marijuana grown outdoors tastes better or is better in quality.
The truth is that if you take proper care indoors and choose the right strains, the quality will be similar or better than the marijuana grown outdoors.
The field is limited indoors due to the limits on height of the plant as well as electricity and other maintenance costs. On the other hand, there are no such restrictions outdoors and you can allow the plants to grow as big as they can grow.
With the right strains and right conditions, it is possible to get several pounds of buds from a single plant when grown outdoors. However, conditions are not ideal always and the actual yield is typically less.
Overall, the choice for growing indoors or outdoors depends on your marijuana needs as well as availability of growing area and capital.
You need to take care of temperature, lights, smell, nutrients, strain as well as growing medium when you are growing indoors. On the other hand, you need to consider availability of growing area with 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight, easy access to water, security issues and environmental factors when you are growing outdoors.
There is no best way to grow marijuana. It depends only on your personal situation and your goals. If you are just starting and have access to growing area outdoors, you may start with growing outdoors. You may start growing indoors when you have a bit of experience under your belt and understand various processes involved in the growing of marijuana plants.