Not all marijuana is grown the same. Many different growing styles have developed to accommodate the climate, environment, and financial resources for every grower. Outdoor growing is the original and most natural method — it’s how weed first grew in the wild before humans cultivated it for consumption. After outdoor farming came the innovation of new methods, such as indoor farming, light-dep hoop houses, and greenhouses. Below is a guide to all of the different growing styles to help you decide which method is best for your garden. Whether you’re completely new or an advanced gardening veteran, there are plenty of options for you.
If you’re starting a marijuana garden, the first decision you’ll make is whether to use seeds or clones. Because regular seeds from the same strain of cannabis are genetically a little different from each other, the resulting flower will also vary between seeds. In some cases, buds from two different seeds of the same strain will have differences in flavor. Seeds are extremely useful for breeders because they provide many different variations of a strain that allow the grower to select a favorite and make clones of that seed. Unlike regular seeds, cloned seeds are all genetically identical, and will therefore produce plants that are consistently the same in all aspects, including flavor.
Growing marijuana outdoors is the oldest and easiest method of cultivating weed. Ideally, you should select this method if you live in a “Mediterranean climate,” which has warm to hot summers, mild fall seasons, and not a lot of rainfall. Places like California, Oregon, and some regions of Washington exhibit similar climates to the Mediterranean environment.
Indoor growing is the most controlled, yet most expensive option. With indoor growing, environmental and seasonal factors are no longer a concern, and the growing space can be anything from a small cabinet to a giant warehouse. However, it costs a lot more to mimic and maintain “ideal” growing conditions artificially.
Light-Dep Hoop Houses
Light-dep (short for light-deprivation) hoop houses are a method of growing that involves covering the plants with large tarps in a large tent-like structure outdoors. They work well in ideal climate regions and allow growers to influence the amount of sunlight and rainfall the plants receive. The tarps also offer greater protection from unpredictable weather. This option offers a nice balance, as it is essentially outdoor growing with greater environmental control.
Greenhouses are another convenient option for your garden. They allow for a more controlled growing environment while exposing the plants to sunlight and limiting pest infestations. In addition, the walls of the greenhouse shelter your harvest from rough weather conditions.
Every growing style is a little bit different. They all have significant pros and cons and work for different budgets and climates. Outdoor growing is the easiest and least expensive method, while indoor growing is the most complex and most expensive method. Partial-outdoor methods like light-dep hoop houses and greenhouses fall somewhere in the middle in terms of sustainability, cost, and labor. Ultimately, choosing a growing style comes down to how much environmental control you want for your harvest, and how much effort you are willing to put into your crop.