How to Grow Bigger Cannabis Buds Outdoors (Beginner’s Guide)

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Ah the sweet smell of weed. Growing marijuana is something that has been done for thousands of years. Central Asian cultures have been growing weed since time immemorial and have been using it as a medicine as well as for recreational purposes. Growing weed is quite easy and has evolved a lot with time. A plant which grew naturally out in the open is now something that is grown carefully inside a dedicated chamber and is given just the right type and amount of light, air, humidity and heat resulting in the perfect growth.

However, while indoor growing is the hottest trend of late, it hasn’t stopped people from growing their weed outdoors and many people continue to grow their weed out in the open. Over the course of this article, we shall be taking a detailed look at growing weed outdoors and how to grow bigger cannabis buds outdoors. The focus here will be on enhancing the size of the cannabis bud and we shall give you every detail about how to do that. The bigger the bud the more weed you have to smoke or sell! We shall also be looking at some of the top nutrients in the markets, followed by answers to some frequently asked questions before we conclude the article. Let us however begin with the simple distinction between the two kinds of ways in which you can grow weed.

Indoor Growth vs Outdoor Growth

There are two major ways of growing marijuana – you can either grow it indoors, or you can grow it outdoors. The latter has been the traditional way in which it has been grown for several thousands of years – and will be the focus of this article as well. However, growing weed indoors is something that has evolved over the past few decades and is quickly becoming the preferred way of growing weed for many people. The reason as to why this shift is taking place is because growing weed indoors gives you a better control.

By control, we mean that when you grow indoors, you can simulate climatic factors and provide the optimal amount of these factors to the plant. For instance, sunlight can be recreated by using LED grow lights and you can provide your plants with a calculated number of hours and from a predetermined distance which would ensure that the plants get the maximum possible benefit out of it. You can also provide the right kind of ventilation, the proper amount of humidity and temperatures during the different stages of growth to make sure your plant gives you higher yields. Growing indoors also keeps a plant safe from insects and pests.

Coming to growing cannabis outdoors, what makes it a preferred option is two things – first of all, growing weed indoors is a costly process and it requires too much of technical know-how and you need to set up a lot of equipment in order to do that. Next, when it comes to large-scale growing of cannabis, it is not practical to do it indoors because then real-estate would become a problem. When you grow your weed outdoors, you have a much larger area and free access to natural resources, making it cheaper too.

Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Buds

We like big buds and we can’t lie! While botanically, a ‘bud’ is considered to be different from a regular flower, but when you refer to a marijuana plant, the words bud and flower are interchangable. So much so that ‘I’m smoking some bud’ basically means ‘I’m smoking weed’. The female bud of the marijuana plant is the part which contains maximum possible THC concentration, which is what you smoke at the end of the process. 

The marijuana plant begins to develop ‘buds’ once it begins to mature and moves from the vegetative phase of growth to what we call the ‘pre-flowering’ stage of growth. It is here that the male and the female plants become distinguishable. You will know that buds are about to grow when you begin to notice small white hair developing on the tips of your plant’s branches. This will happen about 6 to 8 weeks into the process of growing your plant and the process of the buds to fully grow will take another 4 to 5 weeks on an average. 

Growers must also know the difference there is between male and female buds of the marijuana plant. The one thing that is essential to know is that it is the female bud of the plant which produces cannabinoids and THC and it is this bud that you end up smoking at the end of the day. The male plants have buds which contain only pollen, which is useful to fertilize female plants but doesn’t carry much THC or CBD. 

How to Grow Bigger Cannabis Buds Outdoors?

Let us now take a closer look at what you need to do in order to grow bigger cannabis buds outdoors. These are some great techniques that every grower must follow to get the maximum possible yield out of their marijuana plant being grown outdoors.

1. Prune Your Plants

Pruning is a very simple process which gives your plants a lot of benefit. When you monitor your plants regularly, you will realize that there are some portions which tend to grow faster and might even cover the portions below them. The problem that this causes is that the bigger leaves and branches on the top will block the supply of light that the lower portions of the plants are getting. Furthermore, there might be some plants which are getting dried out or are infected and they need to be removed else the overall resources of the plant will work towards the nurture of these parts, which are not going to give you any results anyway. Hence, these portions need to be pruned off so that the other, healthier portions can get more energy and faster growth. 

Another thing to note here is that pruning only has to be done in the vegetative stage. A pro tip for those who are starting out or might not be too familiar with growing weed is that the best way to prune your plant is to prune it from the bottom and remove the shoots and leaves which are not getting proper access to sunlight so that those on top can grow better. 

2. Plant Training

Training your plants is modifying their shape in order for them to to get the maximum possible sunlight. You must remember that sunlight is the key aspect in outdoor growth. When you are growing indoors, you can use different kinds of grow lights to put the focus on the plants. However, when you grow them outdoors, you do not have this luxury of angling the light in different manners and you would largely depend upon the shape of your plant for the kind of light it gets. This process of training your marijuana plant to get bigger cannabis buds can be done in three ways:

  • Fimming – This is basically the process of removing one shoot in order to get four colas in its place. When you remove the newest shoot of the plant, it will then result in four more emerging from the same place, which will give you an increase in the yields. This is a great process especially for small-scale growers and must be done only during the vegetative phase of the plant’s growth cycle. However, one must not get carried away and cut off too many of the top shoots else it might result in a stunted growth.
  • Topping – This is quite an interesting technique of training your marijuana plant. Here, instead of the vertical growth, the focus is on the horizontal growth of the plant. Basically, the plant grows in width and thats how all the parts get equal access to light. Left naturally the plant might grow in an inverted cone or a christmas-tree like shape. This process of topping ensures that does not happen. In order to ‘top’ your plants, you will need to cut off the main shoot from the top. This  has to be done at the vegetative stage following which the plant takes some days to recover. Fimming and Topping are both considered ‘High Stress Training’ processes.
  • Low Stress Training (LST)As the name suggests, LST is in direct contrast with the other two high-stress techniques of training marijuana. All this means is that you do not have to cut your plant as mercilessly as you’d be required to do in the above processes. In this, you bend and tie down some portions of your plant which are blocking out light to the other parts. This needs to be done in a very early stage so that plants get ‘trained’ to grow in a certain way and shape. While high stress techniques provide bigger cannabis buds, even LST has proven quite effective compared to regular growth. 
  • Exposure to Light – Light is the single most important factor that has to be considered when you are growing a marijuana plant. Be it an indoor growth or an outdoor growth, the marijuana plant needs to grow in a specific manner with the right kind of lighting. The better the light the better it will grow. While growing your plant outdoors, make sure you’ve spaced your plants enough so that they do not block each other’s light. Also make sure that the plants are kept in an open space with maximum possible access to sunlight. For optimal results we suggest you use some grow lights even while growing your plants outdoors so that you can extend the lighting hours beyond the regular daylight hours but that’s strictly optional and only for large-scale growers.
  • Timing of the Harvest: Don’t harvest too early. In the final stages of the plant’s life cycle, the plant’s stop growing and all the resources are focused on the buds as the rest of the plant begins to wither away. Wait for the buds to reach their maximum potential before you harvest them. Sometimes, buds can even grow 25% bigger than their existing size right before harvest. So wait and watch – but don’t wait too much because that would mean your plant will have a very strong taste and smell to it due to excessive nutrient concentration. The effect that it may have might also get altered. 
  • Provide Proper Nutrients: Lastly, one thing that you must remember from the start to the end of your plant’s life cycle is that you need to provide nutrients all the time

Best Nutrients to Get Bigger Cannabis Buds Outdoors

While those were some good tips for you to take care of, providing your plants with the right kind of nutrients also plays a major role in ensuring that you are getting bigger cannabis buds outdoors. Here are some of the best nutrients that you can use to get these yields:

1. Fox Farm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula: Big Bloom, Grow Big, Tiger Bloom

No products found.

FoxFarm is the leading name when it comes to the world of plant nutrients. This is a pack of three nutrients from the company, which includes, Big Bloom, Grow Big and Tiger Bloom, all three of which help the cannabis buds outdoors grow bigger in size. However, they are useful for all cycles of growth. Grow Big is the first one that you should provide to your plants during the early phase of the growth cycle (vegetative phase). Then there’s Big Bloom, which should be provided across all the phases of growth for a consistent increase in the plant’s surge. Lastly, there’s Tiger Bloom – which is a key ingredient for your plants during their flowering stage which helps them get the bigger buds. These bottles also provide additional nutrition in the form of earthworm castings, bat guano, and Norwegian kelp which is essential for the good health and faster growth of your marijuana plants. Lastly, in this package, you get three bottles of 1 pint each, along with a pipette and a conversion chart which helps you easily translate all the measurements from standard to metric units.

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2. Advanced Nutrients Big Bud Liquid Fertilizer

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This is a one liter can of the ‘Big Bud’ liquid fertilizer from advanced nutrients, which is another popular and very big name when it comes to nutrients for growing marijuana plants. This is a specialized product meant for the flowering stage of your plants and helps you get – as the name suggests – big buds. Growers who are looking forward to buying a fertilizer for getting bigger cannabis buds outdoors must totally consider this. This is a 1 liter can but there are options in 4L, 10L and 25L sets also available. This will help increase the overall yield that your plants get, as well as help provide a better tasting product too! Lastly, it doesn’t cost too much either and is a good choice for those growing weed.

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3. Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow, Pack of 3

Advanced Nutrients Bloom, Micro & Grow, Pack of 3, 1 L Each
  • Lush, sturdy growth from 3-part nutrients designed specifically for high value
  • 3 Part solution in 1 package: you get advanced nutrients bloom, micro and grow in 1 liter size each

Another product from the same company as above, but here you get three nutrients – one for the growth stage (vegetative stage), another for the blooming or the flowering stage, and a third which can be used across both the stages. These are the iconic gorilla packaging cans which Advanced Nutrients has been known for over the years. Using these nutrients will make sure that your plant is really green and leafy, and that the flowering stage produces a bulkload of flowers which are really big in size. Another great thing about these fertilizers is that you need not worry too much about balancing your pH as these can be absorbed by your plants with ease. 

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4. General Hydroponics GH5100 General Organics Go Box

General Hydroponics GH5100 General Organics Go Box GH
  • General Organics Provides Gardeners With A Complete Line Of Premium Biological Plant Foods And Supplements
  • We Combine The Time-Tested Ingredients Of Traditional Agriculture With Sustainable And Efficient Methods Of Modern Cultivation

Last but not the least, a set of 8 bottles of nutrients from General Hydroponics. These are great for hydroponic systems, as well as for regular soil-based growth. For those growers looking forward to getting bigger cannabis buds outdoors, you must add these nutrients to your plants. The primary fertilizers here are the BioThrive Grow and BioThrive Bloom which come in 16oz bottles while there are six other sample packs which include various other types of micronutrients and additional beneficial products that the plants might need during their growth cycle. The other six bottles are of 8oz each. There’s a feeding chart which comes along with the product which gives you complete instructions on how to use it. The basics, however, remain the same – BioThrive Grow for the vegetative phase and BioThrive Bloom for the blooming/flowering phase. 

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Frequently Asked Questions: FAQs About Growing Cannabis Outdoors

These are among some of the most commonly asked questions about growing marijuana outdoors so we have clubbed them together under our FAQ section. Do go through them as these might help you resolve some of your queries as well. 

1. What are some benefits of growing weed outdoors? 

Many growers consider growing weed indoors as an ‘artificial’ process and prefer to grow it outdoors because it is all-natural and eco-friendly as well. Growing weed indoors consumes a lot of electricity because of the grow lights and other equipment, which are not used while you grow it outdoors, thereby reducing the carbon footprint as well. This also means that when you grow weed outdoors it is significantly cheaper because you don’t need most of these elements such as artificial sources of light, air and ventilation. 

Growing outdoors also carries a distinct taste which comes from growing in the nature. The kind of soil and the naturally present minerals give it this distinction. Furthermore, it is common knowledge that when your weed is grown outdoors, it will grow into much larger plants – almost six feet tall, giving you higher return than indoor growth. 

 2. How to protect your outdoor plants from pests and pets?

So this one is something which we get a lot – when you grow your plants outdoors, pests, insects and pets are one of the biggest problems that you are going to face. If you are growing your weed in an open space where any animal can easily access, make sure you’re setting up a proper fence around it. We prefer wired fences so that animals know they have to stay away. For those growing it in balconies, windows, terrace or other similar space where animals are not a threat but birds are, you will need to place a net around your plant so that birds don’t accidentally damage your plants. 

Insects and pests are the next major threat – you will need to monitor your plants regularly to see if a pest infestation has taken place and immediately cut off those portions. Organic pesticides and insecticides are also suggested, for instance one of the best options that you have here is using Pyrethrum. Garlic can also keep a number of pests away. There are some sticky pads in which insects are attracted due to the sweet smell and then they get stuck on to it. These are some tips you must try out to keep your cannabis plants safe from insects, pets, and pests.

Conclusion 

Lastly, we would just like to say that it is always possible to improve what you are growing. Getting bigger cannabis buds outdoors is not difficult and is something that can be achieved easily if you follow the tips that we have provided above. These are simple little growth hacks for getting a better and bigger bud. Providing the right kind of nutrient at the right time is also something that plays a significant role. Finally, if you feel that there’s something we might have missed out on, or if there’s something more that you would like to know when it comes to growing bigger marijuana buds, drop us a mail or let us know in the comments section. Till then…

…Happy Growing! 🙂

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