Best Time To Plant Marijuana Seeds

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Understanding weed seasons is key to unlocking your plants' potential. There’s only so much Netflix you can watch. Grow a pound to save money and stay sane during long bought of self-isolation from covid19. Buy Cannabis Seeds – Trying to find out the best time to plant Marijuana seeds outdoors? Here's more information – Amsterdam Seed Supply

Weed seasons: understanding the best time to grow cannabis in America

Are you thinking about growing your own cannabis? New to being a plant parent? Wondering when you should plant your cannabis seedlings outdoors?

Let’s talk about what “weed season” means in the US, and how you can time your outdoor grow to get the best results.

Photo by: Damien Robertson/Weedmaps

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What is weed season?

Weed season is an affectionate term for the eagerly awaited outdoor cannabis growing season, a period that touches our spring, summer and fall seasons.

In the Northern Hemisphere weed growing season can kick off as early as April, when gardeners and farmers might start seedlings indoors. Cannabis plants typically flower in late summer through fall, and the season can run as late as mid-November in warmer climates where some cultivars take a long and luxurious time maturing their buds.

Why do growers plant and harvest cannabis at specific times of the year?

Like any farmer or gardener, cannabis farmers and gardeners typically get their plants in the ground as soon as the weather is warm enough and the days are long enough.

This, of course, varies by region. Farmers in California enjoy generally warmer growing seasons and can plant outside earlier while also harvesting later than, say, New York, whose growing season is shorter on both ends. Regardless of where you’re growing, the main goal is to time planting for maximum light during the summer and maximum growth before fall sets in.

For photoperiod plants, timing is everything. Photoperiod cannabis plants take their cue from Mother Nature (or more specifically the number of uninterrupted hours of darkness) to start flowering. As fall sets in and hours of darkness hit twelve per night, the plant will be triggered into its flowering stage.

There are also cannabis plants that aren’t light-sensitive, called autoflower varieties, that will automatically flower on their own at a particular point of their maturity independent of how much light they’re getting. These plants tend to have much shorter life cycles, which is appealing to some gardeners.

Harvesting happens when the plant’s flowers have fattened up but before the very cold weather comes on, typically by mid to late fall.

Phases of growth and timing for outdoor growers

Speaking of life cycles, let’s talk about the plant’s stages of growth and development. This is where we see the importance of timing once more, since outdoor cannabis growers try to map out the growing season and find the sweet spot for optimal plant development.

Early spring: germination stage Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Early spring: germination stage

If you’re growing from seed, the first step in the life of your cannabis plant is germination. Once the seed has sprouted, it will immediately grow two little round leaves, called cotyledon leaves, that will be responsible for delivering energy to the seedling until it starts to grow the more familiar fan leaves we all know and love.

As far as timing when to sprout your seeds, a general rule of thumb is on or around the Spring Equinox. If you’re not growing from seed but instead buying clones, they’ll already be in the seedling stage when you get them so you don’t have to worry about germination.

Spring to early summer: seedling stage Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Spring to early summer: seedling stage

Seedlings are baby plants. Whether you’ve sprouted your own seed or bought a clone, during this first stage of life the plants are delicate and sensitive.

Folks in cooler climates often elect to start plants indoors to keep them safe and warm, waiting to plant outdoors until they’re somewhere between 6 inches and a foot tall and strong enough to handle the environment outside. Even in warm climates, many growers like to start their plants indoors to give them a leg up since seedlings are susceptible to pests, disease, and mold.

In cooler climates, growers should wait on putting plants in the ground until there is no danger of overnight frost, and plenty of sunshine. As Bill Cook, master grower at Kanna-Wise eloquently put it, “a heavy freeze is killin’ your trees.” An old gardener’s rule of thumb is to move plants outside after Mother’s Day, and they should definitely be outside and/or in the ground by the Summer Solstice.

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Of course, you could always grow your plants in pots or containers. Lots of outdoor growers elect to use pots and other containers, and they offer the added benefit of being able to bring the plants out during the day and inside if nights tend to be cold.

Summer to early fall: vegetative stage Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Summer to early fall: vegetative stage

The vegetative stage is when the plant’s growth will really take off. For several weeks, it will grow more foliage, reaching ever upwards to that glorious summer sun.

During this phase, growers might consider topping and training their plants to encourage outward growth. This provides more even distribution of light to the leaves while also managing overall plant height. More water will be needed as the plant develops large root systems and additional nutrients like nitrogen are beneficial as the plant matures.

If you aren’t working with exclusively female plants, you’ll need to get rid of the males before they have a chance to pollinate the females (and wreck your harvest). “Even feminized seeds can have up to 10% males in the mix so it’s important to inspect your plants every day as they start to show their sex. Also important to note is that a stressed female plant can produce male branches or ‘hermaphrodites’, so even if you know she’s a girl, you have to check daily,” advised Sara Rotman, a veteran grower and founder of Wellfounded Botanicals.

A photoperiod plant will continue to live its best vegetative life until the light-to-dark ratio starts to tip in favor of darkness. When photoperiod plants start getting 12 hours of darkness, they will move into their final phase — and perhaps the most exciting for growers — the flowering stage.

Fall: flowering stage Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Fall: flowering stage

For the final stage of a female cannabis plant’s life, most of its energy will be put into producing flowers. The flowering stage happens in three phases:

  • Flower initiation: You’ll start to see white, hairy pistils developing, hinting at the buds to come. The plant will continue to grow, but growth will start to slow down.
  • Mid-flowering: You will start to see the buds take shape, and the plant will stop growing.
  • Late-flowering/ripening: The flowers will really fatten up, becoming sticky and very covered in trichomes. When the pistils turn from white to brown, you can start to think about a harvest.

As the flowers fatten up, they might become too heavy for the branches to handle, and growers often give their plants some help with a trellis, bamboo canes, or another form of support. Extra nutrients like phosphorus are often given during the flowering stage.

Mid-to-late fall: harvest season Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Mid-to-late fall: harvest season

Timing the harvest is an art form in and of itself, though the general rule of thumb is on or around the Fall Equinox. Aside from brown pistils, a close inspection of the trichomes is helpful. Generally, growers look for trichomes that have an amber hue to them. When the plant is ready to harvest you’ll probably also see the fan leaves starting to yellow, curl, and dry out.

Tips for your outdoor grow

Use a grow journal. Tracking the details of your grow efforts, from germination to final cure, will help you become a better cannabis-plant parent. When it’s time for a new season, reviewing the successes and failures from the last crop will make your thumb greener — not to mention improve the quality and quantity of your final harvest. There are lots of ready-made cannabis grow journals out there, but really all you need is a pad of paper and an eye for detail.

Choose a strain for your region or microclimate. Some strains do better in some climates than others, and strain genetics will have a big impact on the growing season. In the northern half of the US where the season is cooler and shorter, growers might want to grow indica-dominant strains, whereas sativas will do well in the more hot and humid southern states that have longer growing seasons. Type of soil, volume of rain, and abundance of sun versus shade are other microclimate variables in your microclimate to consider when choosing a strain.

Plant companions. “Plant beneficial companion plants like marigolds, basil, lemon balm, or lavender. Not only do they invite pollinator insects into your garden, but they also invite beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings, which will prey on cannabis pests like aphids,” recommended Natalie Cox, a horticulturist and cannabis educator in Canada.

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Keep learning. There is a lot to learn from your budding relationship with cannabis. There are also generations of growers who have shared their experiences, both online and in books. When it comes to cannabis, knowledge plus experience equals wisdom. We have a whole library dedicated to the plant for you to peruse. Luke Fletcher of Fletcher Farms Hemp Company added, “Talk to other growers and farmers in your region. You aren’t going to find all the answers on the internet. Good ‘ole fashion learning from others is a super valuable asset.”

5 reasons why it’s the perfect time to start growing cannabis

Right now, all across the US, the President, state governors, and local officials are ordering everyone to go home and stay there. They’re trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which threatens to overwhelm the US healthcare system in the coming weeks.

Millions of Americans are taking mental inventory of their preferred indoor hobbies.

Trust me, Leafly’s California editor: Cannabis gardening should really be at the top of the list.

Starting a March garden benefits from perfect timing, low costs, and easy logistics. You can keep it simple, or go PhD-level deep into the hobby. And it can provide real mental health benefits.

Here’s five reasons why gardening is the way to go right now.

Self-isolating? Order cannabis online with Leafly Pickup or Delivery

The timing is perfect

Let’s face it: chances are, the government has already ordered, or will order you to stay at home for the coming weeks.

You can’t spend all day fearfully checking Twitter and spinning out.

Now is literally the best time of the year to start that special houseplant you always meant to. That’s because cannabis is a fast-growing annual weed that naturally germinates in the spring and flowers in the fall in North America.

For outdoor crops, February and March are the best months to acquire and germinate cannabis seeds in order to maximize a harvest. You can nurture the plants indoors, then transplant them outside in May when the ground is warm enough and the nights are short enough. They’ll grow big and tall through the fall.

For indoor growers, starting in March means finishing as soon as June or July. That’s awesome, because you’ll have herb for the summer!

Seed season is here. (Elysse Feigenblatt/Leafly)

Save money growing exactly what you want

Everyone loves to complain about the cost of cannabis. Well, grow your own pound and save a few thousand dollars this year.

The sun is a free source of power. One fully grown outdoor cannabis plant can potentially yield a pound of dried, cured buds. That’s enough flower to keep a one-gram-per-day gardener baked for more than a year.

Your crop will be as cheap as seeds, soil, water, and patience. If and when you do need equipment, the costs will pay for themselves over future harvests.

A home garden is also the best way to ensure your cannabis is organic. You can explicitly control what you spray or don’t spray on your plants.

And only you know your favorite strain of weed. Grow a pound of that! Even better, grow two personal favorites and cross-pollinate them in early fall. Boom—a personal designer cultivar for 2021.

You don’t really have to leave your house or yard

You don’t really need to leave your house to grow a dank pound. Many folks have gardening gear lying around.

You can order seeds online and from local licensed cannabis stores. Some of those stores deliver, or offer online ordering and pickup. Gardening equipment can also generally be ordered online, including soil, cups, dirt, lights, containers, pots, nutrients, and the like.

I’m currently firing up Black Dog LED’s all-in-one, professional-grade indoor grow kit, which starts at $2,194.53 with free shipping. The kit contains everything but the seeds, down to the duct tape—so you never have to live-action role-play the film Contagion at Home Depot.

We need hobbies today

There’s only so much Netflix you can watch.

There’s only so much Netflix you can watch.

We’re all going to need a bunch of hobbies while we’re dealing with self-isolation. You can’t spend all day fearfully checking Twitter and spinning out.

A bit of gardening every day is a great way to focus on the now. Focusing on the needs of others, including your plants, is a healthy, productive way to lose yourself for a bit each day.

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Read gardening books like Leafly freelancer Johanna Silver’s new book Growing Weed in the Garden, and Marijuana Harvest by Ed Rosenthal and David Downs. (That’s me.)

Stocking up on legal cannabis? Leafly has all your local menus

You’ll have to find a space, source supplies, and make a plan.

Make and keep a grow diary to set goals and track progress.

Join a new online community. Share your project online in forums, and get help with questions. Ed Rosenthal likes to say that cannabis isn’t addictive, but growing it can be.

The plants are different every day, and their needs change. You can name each one and give them the kind of personal attention a factory farmer never could.

Some days, the plants drink more. Other days you can almost watch them grow in real time. Pore over every detail of each seedling, making sure there’s no bugs, and they have enough light.

Now more than ever, you have the time. Plant a garden, and you will live in better rhythm with night and day, the seasons, the weather, and the soil.

Mental healthcare for the months to come

On the secret of life, French Enlightenment writer Voltaire once wrote, “Happiness lies in the cultivation of a garden.”

As I type this, over in the corner, underneath a windowsill, sit six Supreme Diesel seedlings (a mix of Jet Fuel Gelato and Sour Diesel, from Compound Genetics of Portland).

They bask in the weak winter light. Two compact fluorescent bulbs augment the sun. The seedlings’ stalks stretch to the light. Their first serrated leaves grow larger by the hour. One little girl needs help ditching her seed shell. A tiny gnat needs killing—bastard! One seed cup could use a little more soil. An hour just flies by.

Growing plants gives you something to look forward to. And, come on—we need something to look forward to right now.

When you pop new cannabis seeds, you can’t help but say a hopeful little prayer. Every gardener has a version of it, probably ever since man began agriculture.

To plant is to hope and keep faith with the cosmos. Hope for a fruitful future. Faith that it’ll happen. So many things remain beyond our control. Every gardener, no matter how agnostic, prays for sun, curses pests, and gives thanks at harvest.

Sowing seeds today is a physical, intentional way of saying: “There will be a tomorrow. The seasons will turn. The problems of now will not be forever. We will work through this. This too shall pass.”

When To Plant Marijuana Seeds Outdoors?

You’re not the only one wondering when to plant Marijuana seeds outdoors. Although it is a question that doesn’t have only one answer. Depending on what part of the world you live, the ideal conditions to plant marijuana seeds outdoors would be in the spring, between March and May (in the northern hemisphere). Ideally, during this time, your marijuana seeds should already be germinated and you can even plant marijuana seedlings that are a few weeks old outdoors. As we have mentioned in our other guides, to plant marijuana seeds outdoors is a numbers game. The more marijuana seeds you plant outdoors (if you don’t have the experience) the better your germination rates and eventual harvest will be. For Northern hemisphere climate conditions we don’t recommend to plant marijuana seeds outdoors, rather germinate and start growing the marijuana plant indoors until the weather conditions are ideal to take the marijuana plant outdoors.

When to plant marijuana seeds outdoors depends on the weather where you live

If you live in a place that has a constant good weather then the season isn’t very important to take into consideration for you to plant marijuana seeds outdoors. In places with less abundant sunshine, the season would last roughly from March to August or September depending if it’s an Indica or a Sativa marijuana plant. In other regions such as equatorial or coastal regions, the issue of when to plant marijuana seeds outdoors is non-existent since the constant warmth and humidity will germinate the marijuana seeds outdoors without any worries of the conditions being too harsh for the seedlings, or not enough humidity and warmth for the marijuana seed.

You could also find our FAQ Submission How Germinate Cannabis Seeds? useful.

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