Growing Cannabis indoors or outdoors both have their advantages and disadvantages over one another. Ranging from expenses, skill level, stealth, pest control, and many others. Below is better explained the pros and cons of each.
By Stoney Tark
An Overview Of Growing Indoors
Deciding what lighting regime you wish to run when growing cannabis inside a grow tent or a converted loft, spare room or basement is one of the advantages of an indoor garden. Every grower is different and, depending on their end goal, amount of plant-training intended, style of growing and turnaround time, the vegetative and flowering period can be longer or shorter. Additionally, if there is a specific strain that is being grown or a target number of grows in a full year, then the flowering time can also be customized to fit a short flowering strain or a long blooming sativa.
Using a timer connected to your grow lights to choose long days and short nights and decide the flowering period is one advantage of replicating the great outdoors inside. Another exciting prospect about indoor growing is the choice of grow light, ranging from high-pressure sodium, metal halide, LED, and fluorescent.
As lighting technology advances, the efficiency and integrity of grow lights are at an all-time pinnacle, meaning there are some brilliant manufacturers out there that provide excellent grow lights. Having the option to have mother rooms, cloning rooms, and multiple flowering rooms is certainly one advantage of growing Cannabis indoors. Sometimes achieving a perpetual harvest is a case of buying two grow tents and rotating your plants from clone to veg and to flower.
For plants to fully function to the best of their ability, adding carbon dioxide to aid the process of photosynthesis is necessary. Many growers do not adopt this practice and rely on the available amount of CO2 from an outside source. If you are using CO2 inside your grow room, then the temperature in the grow room must be above 30 degrees Celsius. This is not the typical comfort zone that growers like, however, it is the temperature plants require to absorb CO2.
Temperatures and humidity in the grow room will differ, as the plants enter the different stages of their life cycle. Sometimes using an intake fan to pull fresh air from outside may work well during certain times of the year, so being able to control the temperature and humidity is essential. There are some high-end fan temperature controllers that will automatically adjust the environment of the garden.
Otherwise, adding a humidifier into the tent or in the same room as where the intake fan is will allow you to manually control the temperatures and humidity during the vegetative stage and up to the transition stage after 12/12. During the flowering stage, high humidity can cause several problems ranging from powdery mildew to mold infecting the garden.
If you have spent seasons growing outdoors and doing all you can to avoid pest problems, then setting up an indoor garden with a controlled intake and exhaust fan is a huge weight off your shoulders. The only way that pests can enter an indoor garden is by passing through an air vent, or being transferred by clones, or found inside organic growing medium.
Controlling pests biologically is not only the best way to grow, but it will allow you to avoid chemicals and to maintain the predator to prey population organically. Sourcing predators to deal with any unwanted infestation is not expensive and is highly beneficial for the end product and the Earth.
The overall expenses to start an indoor grow and purchase grow tents, grow lights, ballasts, reflectors, organic growing medium, pots, hydroponic systems, intake/exhaust fans, nutrients to last a full cycle, oscillating fans, wall fans, pH and EC pens can be quite staggering. In comparison to outdoor farming, the initial start-up costs will usually be accumulated back after the first harvest, in one form or another.
Regarding skill level required, a basic understanding of lighting cycles, temperature and humidity balance, potential pests and pathogens and odor control is a must. Once there is basic knowledge, then having a discreet and secret garden is what growing is all about.
An Overview Of Growing Outdoors
The main advantage of growing outdoors is there is no cost of electricity and a complete lighting spectrum is available to the plants. Sunlight contains UVA, UVB, and UVC, which all do a unique job. They're all known for killing pathogens, as well as toughening the plants up. Indoor grow lights do not use UV lighting and, although there are some lighting manufacturers working on this application, there is nothing better than the sunlight. Light intensity can also increase trichome production, as long as other criteria are met.
Outdoor plants can grow extremely vigorous and yield around a kilo of dry flowers per plant. There is no comparison when it comes to a 10-foot tall outdoor beast that has been growing since spring. The debate of quality vs quantity can always come into the pros and cons of huge yielding plants, however, considering the overall costs to advance to that stage is almost minimal. Growers in California have perfected an organic method of growing enormous-sized plants whose quality wise is easily on par with indoor production.
One disadvantage to growing outdoors is pest control and, depending on where you live, perhaps even animal control. The threat of an infestation of whiteflies, spider mites, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and many others is not always in your hands. The biggest risk can come from wet conditions as the plants reach their harvest date.
Powdery mildew will travel airborne and can come from a nearby infected garden. You do need to be much more vigilant to keep on top of any future threats, so having a good grasp of plant diagnostics is well advised when growing large sized plants outdoors.
Light deprivation is a technique that tricks plants into thinking they are facing longer days or depriving them of light, to induce longer dark periods for flowering. The advantage of light deprivation is perpetual harvests all year round, without being dependant on the traditional growing season from spring to winter.
The initial expenses of setting up an outdoor garden can be almost nothing. If you are using organics and large felt pots, then the cost of seeds, clones, nutrients, bamboo canes for support is quite inexpensive. If you prefer to dig a large hole directly into the ground then this is also an option and saves the need for a large sized pot.
As far as skill is concerned, the plants will grow themselves and the hands-on maintenance of them will be quite minimal. Growing a plant over a 6-8 month time frame is a serious learning curve and an excellent way to train your plant and become more hands on. The final conclusion is that, based on your logistics and what is practical for you cost wise, time wise and geographical location is down to your personal preference!