Growing Cannabis in the Winter
In warmer places like here in Spain, growing cannabis during the winter time is quite common thanks to our favorable climate in many areas. It’s quite a different way of growing, as your plants will need some special taking care of if you want to get a decent yield. In this article we’re going to talk about the different systems you can use to get the most yield out of those cold winter months.
The first thing you’re going to need to think about is how plants grow and flower according to the amount of light they receive, and when the days begin to get shorter your plants should begin flowering. This works the other way around too; if your plants are flowering when the days start getting longer they’ll begin revegetating and they’ll go back into the growth period.
Here in Spain, the days begin getting longer on the 21 st of December, so you’ll need to sort something out if you don’t want a bunch of revegged plants. You can do a few things to prevent this:
- Grow them indoors during September and half-way through October place them in a greenhouse.
- Plant them later, meaning you’ll need to trick your plants with the light period.
- Germinate them in a greenhouse.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the temperature of the roots can’t go under 16º or they’ll stop absorbing nutrients, causing your plant to stop growing as much. Planting in flowerpots is not the same as planting straight into the ground; flowerpots are much more likely to get cold, whereas underneath the ground tends to be much warmer than above. Plants can but up with cold on their leaves as long as there’s no frost, but if the roots get cold you can kiss your harvest good bye.
The most common winter grows are done in greenhouses. You can grow in flowerpots or straight into the ground because they won’t be as cold in the greenhouse as they would be outdoors. You’ll need to let them grow for around a month or month and a half indoors and then transplant your plants into the greenhouse where they can get a bit more heat at night time. You can also germinate them in the greenhouse from the get go around September, but your plants will definitely be smaller.
If you want, you can make them flower whenever you want but you’ll need to trick them with lights and timers. You can plant whenever you want but keep in mind that after 20 days of growing you’ll need to block out the light somehow with a box, a cover or by sticking them in a dark room. They’ll need 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness, so every day at 7am for example you’ll need to take them out into the light and then at 7pm, stick them back into the dark. You’ll need to keep this up for the entire rest of the process until harvest day. Make sure you don’t mess up and forget once it’s flowering or it will begin to revegetate and stop flowering completely, ruining the quality of the half formed buds that you’ll end up with.
If you’re not growing outdoors all you can do is grow under sodium lights, where your plants will develop ferociously and will give you an amazing yield in record times.
When plants are under lights they behave quite differently, because although it may be winter your plants are getting the summer sun every day. They have the perfect climate and you can adjust the parameters as needed. It’s extremely hard to grow indoors during the summer without air conditioning, but it’s perfect for growing in the winter.
If you’re planning on growing this winter you just need to follow these techniques and pay close attention to your plants, harvesting by the end of the year. Remember, tricking your plants with the light periods is something you can do all year round if you want to, not just during the winter.
Author: Fabio Inga
Translation: Ciara Murphy
Growing cannabis in thw winter can be challenging, but we're here with some advice so you can bring your grow to life and get a decent yield.
Growing marijuana in cold climates? Yes, it is possible!
Growing cannabis in cold climates
It’s true that the ideal season to crop the vast majority of cannabis seeds is when it is not particularly cold and the hours of sunshine are abundant (long photoperiod), helping its growth and proper development. However, cold temperatures should not prevent you from growing cannabis all year round. In this post we’ll give you some techniques to achieve it.
The most common period for growing marijuana is usually between the months of April-May (seeds germination), for the September-October harvest (this can vary depending on what planet hemisphere we live; the latitude and the season), since they are the months in which the weather is less hostile, and in the rest of the months, many are the self-growers who devote them, simply, to consume everything they harvested.
The cold should not be an impediment to growing marijuana. In times when it is colder or in countries where the cold is present almost all year round, there is what is commonly known as the winter harvest.
And when we speak of cold, we are not referring to temperatures below zero throughout the day and for long periods of time, since in those places it is difficult for this plant to grow; we are referring to climates where temperatures are maintained at an average of between 5 and 10 degrees, as is usually the case in the north of most countries in Europe or North America, as well as countries such as China, Pakistan or northern India, where the cold is present along the year in some of its most mountainous regions.
Latitude and altitude is one of the most important aspects to carry out a good outdoor crop
It is precisely from these places from where provide some of the most suitable seeds to grow in cold climates or in cold seasons, understanding the cold, as we have said, climate conditions with temperatures below 10 degrees, does not mean continuous frosts.
Therefore, if some of the best seeds are provided from these countries to the current cannabis market, is because is really possible to grow cannabis during the cold season, taking into account that many of the genetics which can be found in the seed market, have been progressively adapted to European latitudes.
Before we get fully into the advice on how to grow cannabis in cold climates, it is important to know that the seeds we grow during this period will not result in large plants, and as a result the production will be smaller, although we know it will be worthwhile.
If you are fed up of having to wait for warmer seasons to grow marijuana, we invite you to continue reading this post, as it will be very useful to improve your winter harvest.
How cold affects marijuana
For a long time and specifically in countries where it is not particularly cold all year round, as is the case in most European countries, a large number of marijuana growers devote to this task in the less hostile months of the year, i. e. those that range from April-May (germination and transplantation of seedlings and cuttings) to September-October (harvest), approximately, which is the time of outdoor harvest. The rest of the year, they devote to enjoying the production and prepare the next harvests.
Actually, the problem is not the cold. It is true that the cold slows everything down, but the important thing is that it is cold, among other things, because the solar radiation is not so intense, and because of the scarce number of sunlight hours (photoperiod).
We at PEV Grow would like to encourage anyone who wishes, but does not dare, to try out winter crops, because it is possible, especially if we take certain aspects into account:
-The photoperiod is ideal for flowering: This means that our plant will start to bloom almost immediately. The best thing you can do is to grow the plants indoor until they reach a suitable vegetable mass, and then take them out to the garden (outdoor). The change to the natural photoperiod will do the rest. Do not forget to place the plants outdoors so that they have direct sunlight all day long.
-Smaller plants: Considering the previous point, it is logical that the plant we grow in winter does not reach a large size. In fact, it is estimated that they do not usually exceed 100 centimetres in height, but they can give us between 20 and 60 grams per plant. Although it’s not a good idea to do this with autoflowering plants, as these genetics will not have the photoperiod or the proper light intensity to provide an acceptable amount of vegetal mass.
-Try a greenhouse in the garden: Better an outdoor crop in glass greenhouse. This is the main recommendation to be taken into account when you decide to grow marijuana in winter, as this increases the size of the vegetal mass and is less likely to be invaded by pests. Humidity is also well controlled in this way, as plants are not exposed to the rainfall regime.
Greenhouse crops, better if glazed
-Grow Indica or hybrid strains: They are the ones that, in general, best adapt to this type of climatology. Later on we’ll give you some tips about choosing the best seeds for this kind of weather, but you can take a look at a longer article already published in PEV Grow previously which is about this topic. Sativa strains are better adapted to tropical climates, and therefore need a lot of light intensity.
Tips to combat the cold weather
As in everytime we grow cannabis,” Every grower have their own way to crop marijuana”, but we want to give you some general tip with guaranteed results in order to be able to carry out your marijuana crop during the winter or in cold seasons of the year.
-If we start from seeds: It is recommended to germinate them inside your home in any winter month. The germination is carried out with natural water, between 18-22ºC.
It is advisable to keep the seedlings indoor until the plant mass is adequate. In case they are cuttings, it is not necessary to take them out immediately, we can make them grow about 30 days. Watch out! As soon as we take our plants outdoor, the most normal thing for them is to start blooming, because they will notice a photoperiod shock.
-If we use indoor lighting: Continuing with the previous point, and if we want to enlarge the photoperiod of the plant with the purpose of promoting its growth, we will have to use indoor lighting, as for example, LEC. In PEV Grow you can find a wide range of lighting equipment to help you getting the best results.
-Use pots: Especially if we grow outdoor and even though we are in a greenhouse in this case.
Why? Because plants that are directly grown directly in the soil are more difficult to give them heat, if the soil is not hot. However, the pot will avoid this problem.
We also have the option of using a “blanket” for the floor, made of heat-absorbing materials such as a limestone blanket. It is a technique widely used in vineyards, to dampen the temperature differences between day and night. If there is frost, we will prevent the roots from freezing.
-Be careful with the humidity! Although the truth is that during the winter, plagues are less common, humidity can always cause pest problems. We must bear that in mind. We must always use preventive fungicides, especially during the rainy season.
-Harvest staggered in time: It’s an interesting option, because if there were any unforeseen frost, we would not lose the entire crop, and we will have for longer time marijuana ready to harvest, we will be also able to crop in less space than if we were growing all the seeds at the same time. You should use to do it well an indoor germination and maintenance seedlings under indoor contidions.
Protect from cold to our marijuana plant
-Heater and thermostat: This option is only viable in greenhouses. For this reason, and in order to maintain all the time the temperature according to the development period in which our marijuana plant is located, it is best to place a thermostat on the substrate (substrate temperature) and greenhouse (temperature of the growing environment), to know what temperature we have at all times, and based on this, start a heater. If the substrate is very cold, do not forget to prepare the irrigation solutions by heating the water with a resistance, to leave it between 18 and 22ºC.
The best varieties for cold climates
As we have already mentioned above, the best seeds for growing in cold climates or in winter periods are the indica strains, since most of them come from hostile climates such as India or Pakistan, and their genetics come from pure acclimated landraces developed naturally in high mountain climates, where growth in itself is already quite difficult and therefore those landraces have become more resistant to fungal pests and cold along the time.
In addition, these seeds need less time to develop and, although they will not give large plants, the results will be good if we take into account the advice given in the previous section.
In PEV Grow you can find a wide selection of indica seeds, highlighting for example cultivars such as PEV Bank Seeds Critical Feminized, PEV Bank Seeds Mazar Feminized or PEV Bank Seeds Bruce Banner Feminized.
Bruce Banner causes in general cerebral effects givind us euphoric and creative notes which spread in the body providing a state of well-being…
PEV Bank seeds offers you the best genetics in the market at incredible prices, with Indica and Hybrids strains, acclimated to European latitudes with Mediterranean and Continental climates.
Other ancestral genetics of Indica phenotype, highly valued by our best breeders are cultivars such as Sensi Seeds Afghani 1, Dinafem Blue Hash, Dutch Passion Mazar and Sweet Seeds S. A. D.
It is a great producer outdoors, due to its size, and a good choice for high altitude mountain areas, where cold nights give it attractive colours…
As you can see, it is also possible to grow high-yield cannabis under “unsuitable” conditions. Simply select the seeds carefully and take special care with the plant.
The Mediterranean is the most favourable climate for growing cannabis outdoor, especially in its flowering phase, although it carries an artificial irrigation calendar. But in cold climates it’s also possible to grow marijuana and, without going any further, here is the example of Dutch marijuana, where breeders have been grown during three decades the most powerful Indica marijuana genetics and hybrid phenotypes fundamentally.
And in case you don’t dare to do a winter crop, in other posts we will try to work entirely indoor, mentioning the best tips for your indoor crop.
And if you have dared, please share your experience, and tell us what strain you’ve grown explaining us what were conditions you used and if you applied any of our advices.
We never stop learning with you…
By Noelia Jimenez Team Piensa En Verde
It is true that the ideal for growing the vast majority of cannabis seeds is that in time it does not particularly cold and sunshine hours are abundant