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Though cannabis plants can withstand extreme weather, they often develop growth issues and other abnormalities. It is impossible to avoid bad weather completely, but it is still wise to do what you can to prevent crop damage. Here, you will learn how to protect your precious weed plants from the risks associated with hot, humid, windy, or cold weather.
Dealing with High Winds
Windy weather causes a substantial amount of stress to cannabis plants, inhibiting growth and causing additional issues. Coastal states like California and Florida can be exposed to temporary spikes in wind related to storms developing offshore. Although some growers intentionally stress their plants with wind to accelerate bud growth, it is easy to get too much of a good thing. Instead of using the wind to ensure healthy growth, focus on soil nutrition, location, and seed quality.
If you are growing in a windy location, like South Dakota or Oklahoma, it is best to plant other crops on the perimeter of the cannabis cultivation area; this serves as a windbreak and protects your crop. There is one big drawback to consider: these other crops will compete with your cannabis plants for water, sunlight, and nutrients. Keeping your plants clipped may help, albeit at the expense of crop yield.
Growing Marijuana When It is Cold
An unexpected cold snap can devastate a cannabis crop. The only real benefit to cold weather is its natural pest control tendencies. Outdoor crops need daytime temperatures in the mid- to high 60s; otherwise, their growth will be severely stunted. Evening temps should be in the 40s to prevent tissue damage. If the temperature drops below that point, you are more likely to encounter problems.
Here are a few ways to protect your crop until the weather gets warmer:
- Bring plants inside and put them on a mild lighting cycle
- Leverage the power of passive heat by filling containers, allowing them to heat up, and leaving them in the grow room at night
- Build a temporary greenhouse to trap heat
- Use a propane patio heater to prevent frost damage and produce CO2 and moisture
These methods, among others, can serve as long- or short-term solutions to cold-weather issues. No matter which strategy you use, be sure to check on your plants often so they remain warm.
Cannabis Cultivation in High Humidity
Cannabis plants like humidity, but excessive moisture often causes problems. When the weather is rainy, it seeps into the buds, creating the perfect breeding ground for harmful molds. Densely packed buds typically hide and hold onto moisture, and it is sometimes tough to get them completely dry.
Keeping your crop dry is the easiest way to prevent humidity problems. If it is possible to build an enclosure or bring the plants indoors, that is the safest bet. Circulating warm air and maintaining a grow room temperature in the 70s will protect your plants and dehydrate buds, inhibiting mold growth.
If the forecast calls for brief periods of rain followed by dry, warm weather, protect your crop by applying an anti-fungal before the rain hits. However, if it is going to be rainy for a while, consider harvesting your buds beforehand. In areas with constant high humidity, growers often see success with strains that provide drier, looser buds.
Growing a Successful Crop in the Heat
For some 710 seed growers, a dry and hot climate is the best environment in which to raise an outdoor cannabis crop. In temperate zones, it is possible to grow crops all year without worrying about mold and other issues.
Without sufficient preparation, high heat may destroy a crop completely. Temperature extremes are deadly to cannabis plants’ roots, and the accelerated evaporation rate dries and cracks the soil. Though a hot climate and intense sunlight accelerate bud production, they may also cause drought damage and other issues such as those listed below.
- Heat stress: This is a prevalent issue for growers in hot climates. Mild heat stress causes the plants’ leaves to curl up, droop, and wilt. If left unchecked, this problem will stunt or stop the plants’ growth.
- Areas with arid, hot climates may have as few as five hours of darkness. This causes cannabis growth issues, as these plants need a minimum of 12 dark hours to flower.
Heat stress, unsuitable light/dark cycles, and root burn make it difficult to cultivate cannabis in arid climates. Thankfully, good watering practices and other methods provide effective remedies.
If you are in a hot climate, it is crucial to keep your growth medium moist. Cannabis plants consume a substantial amount of water when they are hot, and if there’s not enough moisture, they will dry out quickly. Water the plants early in the morning and throughout the day as required. Do not get the leaves wet, as water droplets may concentrate the sun’s heat and cause burns.
The Best Hot-Weather Cannabis Seeds
The seeds you choose play a significant role in the success of your crop. Because of their points of origin, certain strains are resistant to the sun’s intense heat. However, they will grow much better with ample shade and plentiful water. Here, you will learn which seeds do best in hot weather.
- Haze, Hawaiian, African, and sativa: Such strains come from dry and hot climates with little water. Most of the above strains can survive prolonged exposure to temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite the heat and lack of moisture, these strains often provide high yields and significant THC content. Try strains like THC Bomb, Jack Herer, Afghan, Kaya Gold, and others.
- Auto-flowering seeds: If you are searching for a quick, ample harvest, auto-flowering seeds are the way to go. Though they are not specifically intended for hot weather, some strains developed a heat tolerance due to selective breeding. In most cases, they will start to flower after eight to ten weeks without the need for extended periods of darkness.
These are just some of the strains that are proven to stand up to the rigors of a harsh climate. Count on the experts at weed-seeds.ca to help you find the perfect seed strains for your climate.
Soil and Extreme Weather
When cultivating cannabis outdoors, coconut coir (the fiber on the outside of the shell) or potting soil make great growth media. While each of these choices has unique benefits and disadvantages, coconut coir is better for hot-weather cultivation. Because it is so loosely structured, it is better able to help cannabis plants deal with the effects of under- or over-watering. Therefore, it is a good way to combat heat stress.
Coconut coir can be used alone, or it can be mixed with soil. Remember, though, that it is inert, which means that it has no nutrients, and you will have to add them yourself. Other than this notable property, coconut coir provides a growth experience that is very close to that of soil.
If you are planting in soil, monitor the crop for signs of excess moisture. When plants are over-watered, they will begin to wilt. Because hot water has a lower oxygen content, it will not do much to perk up your plants. While continuous hydration is essential, it is important to go about it properly.
To avoid depriving your plants of oxygen, ensure adequate soil drainage. Consider using a mix of 70% soil and 30% perlite to make the growth medium airy and loose. Keep the water cool so it stays oxygenated.
Watering in the Heat
When plants are frequently hydrated, their roots stay cool and they grow further down into the soil. On hot days, this helps plants survive even when upper roots are damaged. Some growers use watering globes to ensure proper hydration even after the soil has heated up and dried out.
Extreme Weather Supplementation
Healthy and strong cannabis plants are more resistant to heat stress. Therefore, proper supplementation is crucial. Consider using these supplements to ensure the health of your crop even in poor weather.
- Humic acid: This brown, waxy material is a peat byproduct. While plants extract it from the soil to a certain extent, adding more will give them a boost. Humic acid protects the roots from the stresses of under- and over-watering.
- Kelp extract: Often used in combination with humic acid, kelp extract is a powerful antidote to heat stress in cannabis plants. Apart from that, it increases growth, yield, and frostbite resistance. It is also thought to help with germination, nutrient absorption, and resistance to fungal infection.
- Silica: Though deficiencies are rare, silica supplementation will strengthen plants’ cell walls and make them more resistant to stress. With stronger stems, your plants will be able to support heavier buds.
Though these supplements are beneficial, they should be used with caution. Before using soil supplements, be sure to do your research and choose the right additives for your area’s climate.
Exposure to Sunlight
By putting the plants under shade, you will address heat and accelerated evaporation. Leaf burning is minimized while the plants get darkness that is not provided during natural light cycles. If you cannot move your plants into the shade, you will have to bring the shade to the plants. A simple mesh net or shade cloth will do the trick but be sure that it allows air to flow through, so the plants stay cool.
If it gets too hot, move your plants inside. Put them close to a bulb or a window so they remain in the day period. This preserves the plants’ circadian rhythm and minimizes stress.
In hot outdoor climates, stale air is one of the biggest stressors upon cannabis plants. With insufficient fresh air, your plants will not have enough carbon dioxide to create energy. When plants do not have enough energy, they become less stress tolerant. If this occurs during flowering, you will not get as many buds.
When planning your outdoor grow area, be sure to choose a part of the yard that gets enough of a breeze to shake the plants’ leaves without knocking them down. Ideally, your outdoor garden will end up on a hillside that is sunny and slightly windy. It may also help to choose a spot where other plants will serve as a windbreak. Not only will these other plants provide valuable shade, but they will also keep your crop from prying eyes.
If you are cultivating cannabis in containers, you can keep the plants’ roots cool by placing barriers between the plants and the sun’s rays. There are a few ways to do it, such as the methods listed below.
- Use larger containers. The additional soil serves as a root buffer. Because there’s extra soil, it takes longer to heat up. It may also help to put the container inside a bigger one, which will insulate the soil from the heat and minimize evaporation.
- Put the containers in holes. If you cannot find large containers, dig holes and place the containers inside. This strategy stops the sun from cooking the soil and harming the plants’ roots.
- Use heat-minimizing containers. It is important to choose materials that reflect heat without sacrificing airflow. Fabric pots make great cannabis containers because they let air in, allow for proper drainage, and increase root oxygenation. Remember to water the plants regularly because these containers lead to quicker soil drying.
With the tips given above, you can grow a successful container garden even when you are facing poor weather in sunny state like Maryland.
It is possible to cultivate a strong crop, even when the weather is not so cooperative. All that is needed is patience and knowledge, as well as a focus on keeping the plants’ environment healthy. To provide the best results from every harvest, choose the right strain. For instance, if you are living somewhere where it is always cold, select seeds that can stand up to frigid temperatures. If you are living in a windy area, choose a hardy, dense strain. Also be sure that the feminized seeds or CBD seeds you are ordering come with some level of a guarantee. No seed bank is going to guarantee your competency as a grower to get a good yield, but they may offer a guarantee on shipping or germination rates.
Though cannabis grows wild in many parts of the world, small- and large-scale cultivation efforts require diligence, research, and the right equipment, especially in harsh climates. If you have the right tools and know-how, you are more likely to be successful. With the tips, tricks, and suggestions in our guide, even a novice grower can enjoy a healthy, green, and aromatic crop. With wholesale seeds and sound advice from the team at weed-seeds.com, you can start your garden off right. We are dedicated to your (and your plants’) growth and prosperity!