Growing marijuana outdoors is, according to many growers, the most eco-friendly thing to do because the plant is grown in its natural environment. Whether you decide to do so in your garden, balcony or in the wild, everyone loves a bit of fresh air and so do they. However, when the time to select the container for our cannabis plants comes, doubts start to crop up: are traditional pots the best choice or is it better to use the increasingly popular Grow Bags? Should we just forget about the containers and grow our plants directly in the soil? For all of you who are a bit hesitant, we have prepared this post with the pros and cons of each method.
Pots vs Grow Bags: advantages and disadvantages
If you've already decided to grow your cannabis plants outdoors using a container, you might be wondering whether you should opt for a pot or maybe join the growing trend of Grow Bags. The truth is that each type of container has its pros and cons and, depending on your crop's characteristics, you may have to choose one or another.
If you're a cost-conscious grower
One of the greatest assets of Grow Bags is that they're slightly cheaper than pots, which may not be such an interesting cost-saving decision if you're to grow very few plants. However, large-scale growers are sure to notice the difference. It's nevertheless very important to remember that eventually the economic factor will become equal because, despite being cheaper, Grow Bags have a shorter lifespan, and pots can be used on and on and on. Therefore, if you're thinking of cultivating occasionally, Grow Bags can be a great money-saving choice but, if growing on a regular basis is what you're interested in, maybe you should go for the pots.
The most eco-friendly option
We believe that, in this regard, Grow Bags are the real winners. Yes, pots last longer and can be reused a bunch of times but most pots are made of plastic and we do know how big the ecological footprint of this material is. Many Grow Bags on the market are made with biodegradable materials instead, which makes them the perfect choice for reducing our impact on the environment.
Aeration: a significant factor
Fabric Grow Bags present another major advantage: greater oxygenation. Many growers forget about how important it is for plants to receive the O2 intake they need. A properly developed and well aerated rooting system will substantially improve our plants' health and, of course, their yield. Let's remember that the size of the rooting systems will be proportional to the amount of product we're to harvest at the end of the season. Drawbacks: not all Grow Bags are of the same quality. Sometimes they lack proper drainage and it's necessary to make holes in the bottom.
Here's where pots win the game, above all, when we decide to grow our cannabis plants in pots of at least 10 liters. Under these circumstances, Grow Bags can be rather difficult to move because the fabric is not rigid enough and the risk of tearing is very high. That's why we do not recommend using this kind of containers when you'll have to move your plants from side to side. For those cases, pots are the best choice. If you're thinking about cultivating on your balcony or maybe in your garden, pots allow you to move the plant as you please. This option is especially suitable for city balconies where making the most of the available sunlight is a priority, although we shouldn't do this very often for the plant not to get stressed. Another reason why we may have to move our plants would be for protecting them from inclement weather conditions (heavy rainfall, hail…).
However, for open-air or greenhouse large-scale crops where plants don't have to be moved at all, Grow Bags are still an excellent option, in fact, maybe more suitable than pots.
Soil vs Containers
Growing directly in the soil is the most natural and ecological way to obtain delicious nuggets. But this method also has its pros and cons. If you're a bit unsure whether to use a container or grow your cannabis seeds directly in the soil, keep on reading and find out what's best for you.
In this area, soil loses out. Remember that if you grow your plants directly in the soil, in no case will you be able to move them. This doesn't mean your little plants will have to deal with the elements (rain, cold, hail…), and that you won't be able to protect them. Please, keep in mind the environmental conditions of your region before choosing this method.
Control over the plant's size
This could be a major advantage or disadvantage for those who wish to grow in loamy soils. Using pots allows you to control the development of the rooting system and, therefore, the plant's size. The bigger the pot, the bigger our cannabis plants will be. If we grow them directly in the soil, our plants have no boundaries and so they'll be able to grow freely, which means that, depending on the strain, they could end up turning into real trees. That's why this could be positive if you're looking for heavy yields but negative if you've got nosy neighbors and wish to grow discreetly.
Care and expenses
Undoubtedly, growing in soil is the least expensive method because we avoid the cost, albeit small, of having to buy pots of Grow Bags. And, of course, it's also the most environmentally-friendly way. Another big advantage is that plants have access to as many nutrients as they need as well as to groundwater, so they don't have to be watered so frequently. Cultivating directly in the soil is the ideal choice for a guerrilla grow because you won't have to visit your plants on a daily basis. Important notice: if you're going to cultivate directly in the soil, you'd better properly prepare it before doing so. Dig a deep hole and fill it with a well-aerated and fertilized substrate. Making sure the soil we're about to grow our plants in contains plenty of nutrients to thrive is very important.