Upon deliberation of where to start a high performance outdoor cannabis garden, the old familiar, worn-out adage still rings eternally clear: location, location, location. However, location in regards to selecting the perfect grow sight will encompass much more than whether the area has plentiful sun and water. There are several aspects that need to be taken into consideration ranging from environmental conditions to local regulations. The ultimate grow sight location should hinge on many factors including, but not limited to, the following.
When selecting the location of a high performance, outdoor cannabis garden it is of utmost importance to understand the rules and regulations in your area from the state level down to the county and city/township level. Furthermore, it is of equal importance to obtain the required licensing and permits to get the operation up and running, especially if you wish to do things in a sustainable and legal way. Laws and regulations can vary from town to town, and even from the county level to the towns within that county, so it is imperative to have a clear understanding of the local guidelines. For example, more densely populated places like suburban areas and towns might have certain regulations that can lead to stricter implementation with regard to neighborhoods, school zones, and other public places.
Outdoor cannabis gardens are typically required to be out of the public sight, and following the rules will dramatically lower the grower’s risk of getting into trouble. Generally, the proper way to go about selecting a high-performance cannabis gardening sight is to find an area with plenty of available space in which outdoor production has been a common part of the culture for many years, and where a larger number of grow sights are operational. Call it the “strength in numbers” approach. These kind of local environments, where seasonal cannabis production is both a part of the culture as well as the economy, are most often found in rural areas where populations and law enforcement presence alike are at lower levels.
Keep in mind that we humans are a social creature and any place chosen for a growing sight, regardless of how remote it is, will still be part of a larger community and one will almost undoubtedly have neighbors to deal with at some point in time. So remember, respect given is often respect repaid. The more inviting and accepting an area is to outdoor cannabis cultivation the better, but there are still many people that draw a hard line of opposition to the practice regardless of the laws and regulations of their particular community. Keeping in complete legal compliance is the best way to traverse the situation.
A high-performance outdoor cannabis garden is best left as far out of sight as possible and, in turn, out of the minds and concerns of any neighbors. By not allowing any sort of criminal element into the grow and by upholding the utmost respect and consideration for any and all neighbors, a grower will be free to go about daily business with very few troubles. A disgruntled or unhappy neighbor can result in complaints to local law enforcement, and as the complaints multiply the law enforcement body may be forced to take some sort of action.
A certain level of security protocol is a must when it comes to a high-performance outdoor cannabis garden. This type of endeavor is often the target of vandalism, destruction, or even outright theft. Cannabis is a highly lucrative crop and some people will try to illegally profit off the hard work of others. Tie this together with the fact that some people are against the practice in general and may try to physically damage or destroy the operation, therefore one can easily see the need for some preventative security measures. Locating the grow sight so that it is out of sight and not visible from places like roads, other people’s properties, and streams/rivers is the best first step to take.
Erecting a strong reliable fence is next. A proper fence will be made from wood or metal and should be tall enough to obstruct viewing of the garden from the outside. A tall fence also makes it harder for potential thieves and vandals to scale and create havoc inside. Equip the fence with a sturdy gate and a trusty lock and the external perimeter will be much more secure. The addition of dogs to a grow sight can also be helpful as dogs, especially in groups, will usually bark loudly and alert their owner of any potential intrusions. Guns, however, are not such a good idea and many county and local laws have provisions that make the addition of firearms to an outdoor cannabis garden sight cause enough to change a legal/permitted grow into a punishable felony.
Perhaps the most important thing someone can do when operating a functioning high-performance outdoor cannabis garden is to be humble and to not gloat or brag all over town. The more attention a grower draws to themselves the higher the potential of having serious security threats directed towards their gardens. By staying as far off, or under, the radar as possible, the likelihood of experiencing adverse problems can be drastically reduced.
When it comes to a high-performance outdoor cannabis garden a consistent, reliable water source is a must. As the size of the plants increase, so will their ability to consume large amounts of water at a given time. Having a good source of clean water that is free of hard minerals and chemicals on location at the grow sight is the most ideal situation. Obtaining water from an off-sight source and having it trucked or transported in is an expensive endeavor that consumes both time and money. If the onsite water has undesirable attributes or contaminants, a water filtration system for purification can be installed at a sizeable expense. The days of pumping water from a river or damming a stream are over and doing so can result in quite severe consequences. This is becoming especially true in places like Northern California where prolonged draughts have lead to unprecedented water restriction reforms. Be sure to stay up to date on local water consumption regulations to keep your grow in compliance.
Equally important to a grow sight is an abundant amount of sunlight. Long days of full sun are the fuel to a successful performance garden. This means full sun to the max. The general rule for annual flowering plants is eight hours of sunlight at the very minimum. Try and choose a south-facing spot that has as little to no shade as possible. If the area has trees that border closely to the sides of the garden, a grower may want to take into consideration a bit of tree removal.
The goal is to have a grow sight setup in such a manner that as much sun as possible can reach the majority of the plant for a majority of the time. Trees not only create unwanted shade that can lead to underperforming plants, but they also create a habitat for a range of creatures like insects/pests, birds, and other small critters that can negatively affect a grow by attacking the plant itself or digging into the soil and damaging the roots. Depending on the amount of plants being grown, one will want to have enough area to space them so that they will not become crowded and shade each other out: a concept that will be explained in further detail at a later point.
The key to a high-performance outdoor cannabis garden is to never cut any corners. Just like Hunter S. Thompson once wrote, “If anything’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right” and in this context that means getting the highest quality supplies and input ingredients that are available. That includes soils, fertilizers and soil conditioners, containers, pumps, and all other materials that will be needed throughout the entire grow and harvest. So to be rather frank, starting and maintaining a high performance garden will be a cost intensive operation. The bulk of the expenses will come at the beginning through acquiring and preparing a garden sight.
Traditional lenders like banks rely heavily on the Federal Reserve and will usually be unwilling to lend money or set up bank accounts for anything related to cannabis production because the cultivation of cannabis is currently still illegal under federal law. The best ways to finance a performance garden is to finance it yourself, have reliable private investors/partners, or locate a private lender that is willing to take the risk of the investment.
The growing season for a high performance outdoor cannabis garden can easily extend from late May all the way through mid- to late October. This can vary from location to location, but it is ideal to find an environment with a climate that is not too hot in the deep summer months and not too cold at night in the spring and fall. These types of climates exist in large numbers throughout Northern California and up through the collective northwestern states. Some seasons will be longer than others and selecting strains of cannabis that are suitable for a particular climate is an important step to overall success. When a plant is forced to grow in conditions that are unfavorable, such as extreme heat or cold nights, the growth patterns will be effected which can result in lower performing yields.
By taking these topics into consideration when choosing a sight for a high-performance outdoor cannabis garden, a grower will be starting off on the right path. Staying within the law and having a solid financial backing will provide a firm base for building a successful performance garden.
This article is an excerpt from Outdoor Performance Cannabis written by Dustin Fraser and published by High County Publishing. For more information visit HighCountyPublishing.com.