Indoor, Outdoor and Hydroponic cultivation of cannabis

What are the differences between the above cultivation methods and which is best suited for me?

Firstly, let’s define them:

Indoor

Indoor cultivation generally refers to the technique whereby cannabis is grown inside undercover. There are various options for this method such as specialized grow tents, full room set ups and cupboards or boxes for micro grows.

Outdoor

Outdoor cultivation entails planting and growing under the fine sun Mother Earth provides. This can be done in a greenhouse or without any cover.

Hydroponic

This is more a method of cultivation and does not fit in the indoor or outdoor methods simply because it can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments. More on this method later .

Indoor

Grow tents are covered inside with mylar or similar reflective material. In most instances grow tents have all the venting to add your own inline fans for bringing fresh air to your plants as well as extraction vents through which old air is extracted. This can be done through normal extraction or through a carbon filter is odor is an issue.

In order to grow plants indoors you will need a light with the correct frequency to supply your plants with enough light to photosynthesize.

Let’s look at some options below:

CFL

These are your everyday long life spiral bulbs which come in either cool or warm white.

These are generally regarded as the weakest of lamps to grow cannabis although they can be very efficient for vegging or rooting clones. Use cool white for veg stage and warm white for flower.

LED

These lamps are quickly taking over from the old kings of growing (CMH and HID)

There is constant upgrading on these lights and they give a fantastic result for the price as well as a significant saving on power consumption.

CMH and HID

Ceramic Metal Halide and High-Intensity Discharge lamps are the old kings of growing bulbs but have been surpassed by Quantum Boards and LED fixtures as they produce a lot of heat in your tents as well as consuming a lot of power.

Clones and seedlings do well under Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)

Outdoor

As explained above, outdoor cultivation is done outdoors using the absolute very best light source, the sun.

When growing outdoors you could use a variety of methods for example, Hi-Brix, Organic, Ebb and Flow hydroponics , Drain to waste hydroponics , Passive hydroponics, Hempi or chemical based nutrients.

Planting outdoors requires a basic understanding of cannabis light and dark cycles as well as an understanding of how these affect the growth and phase of a cannabis plant.

Plants are usually germinated in Spring time and harvested in Autumn although there are methods you could use to harvest year round depending on your location. In Cape Town I harvest 4 times a year.

Above is a very rare landrace Sativa from the Kosi Bay area in KZN.

Hydroponics

As explained above this is more a method for cultivation which is usually done indoor but is done very successfully outdoors or in green houses .

The method at its most basic entails feeding your plant nutrient rich water a few times a day directly to the plant’s roots. This food water is drained in some hydroponic methods and in others it is not. Hydroponics requires a sound knowledge of cannabis nutrient requirements and the ability to diagnose and treat deficiencies.

You would need to learn how PH affects the plants ability to absorb different nutrients at different PH levels.

All photographs are property of Blazed and Infused

Information supplied courtesy The Table Mountain Sativa Company

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