When people say that marijuana can be grown just about anywhere in the world, they’re right. And this is even true when talking about growing outdoors, even if your corner of the world happens to be a bit cooler and experience shorter days. While growing cannabis in a cold climate does present its own challenges, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And contrary to what many people believe, growers can even take their crops outdoors and still reap big, beautiful yields. You just have to know how to deal with that cold climate effectively.
Characteristics of northern regions
The main characteristic people think of when they think of the north is that sharp, bitter cold that winter can bring. This is true and for those living in the northern hemisphere (especially those that are very far north,) there’s really no getting around it. But of course there are growers in the northern climate, they just have to have a bit of specialized knowledge about growing in these particular conditions.
Because northern climates can experience winters that see temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius or colder, outdoor cultivation in the winter might not be possible. However, that’s not to say that marijuana can’t be grown indoors and in this situation, the cold weather outdoors may actually help the grower along.
This is because with the many fans, lights, and other pieces of equipment that are constantly running in a grow room, the room can quickly become overheated. This can actually harm the plants, causing them to wilt and in the most extreme cases, even die. When the temperature outside is significantly colder however, it can help bring down the temperature inside that room, which will benefit the plants overall and help them thrive.
When growers have no choice but to take their crop outdoors however, they will have to do this in the summer months if they live in a colder climate. The summer months in northern climates can range anywhere from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius, and this is an ideal temperature for growing cannabis. Even at night, this temperature isn’t likely to drop below 15 degrees Celsius, which is still a temperature that cannabis can thrive in.
However, it’s important to remember that unlike tropical and subtropical climates, the summer months in the northern climate can be very short, sometimes just as long as 8 or 9 weeks. Because of this, growers should start their plants indoors about two months before they’re suitable to be placed outdoors. This will ensure that the plants have lots of time to go through both the vegetative and flowering stage before the much colder weather hits.
Northern growers are also advised to grow their plants in pots rather than directly in the ground. This is because frost can always be a risk in colder climates and if it comes at unexpected times (which it often does in the north,) growers can easily move their plants inside for a night or two until the risk of frost has passed.
Of course, those that live in the north will be familiar with these optimum growing conditions already; but one they often don’t consider is the actual growing location. In northern climates, it’s even more important that plants are placed in an area that receives the most amount of sunlight during the day as possible.
This is not only so that the plants can absorb all of that hot, hot sun (which is important for any growing climate), but also because the more sunlight a plant gets, the more sunlight and warmth the ground gets. This is important because, when plants are planted directly into the ground, that warmth from the earth will help keep the plant warm, even if the night temperatures drop lower than cannabis plants typically like.
In addition to the cold climate, northern regions also experience shorter days than warmer climates. That is, the sun doesn’t shine as many hours as it does in other places around the world. While this may sound like a big drawback at first, it’s actually not.
Other areas of the world, such as tropical and subtropical regions, actually have very short nights, which is not ideal for plants that are in their vegetative stage and when they need plenty of dark periods. With this naturally built into cold weather, it can actually be a boost for growers. And when the summer season rolls around, those days become longer, giving cannabis plants the proper light and dark cycles that they need to thrive. Part of how to grow weed outdoors in colder climates is knowing what strains to use.
Best strains for cold climates
While some areas of the world are better suited to sativa strains and other areas will help indica strains thrive, cold climates are actually perfectly suited for auto-flowering seeds. This is because auto-flowering seeds will begin to flower once they reach a certain age, not when the light cycle switches to a certain time. With shorter seasons, that light cycle may change to darker cycles while the plant is still in its flowering stage and needs lots of light. An auto-flowering strain will ensure this isn’t an issue and that any type of seed does well at any time the grower chooses.
The best strains for cold climates are:
- Any auto-flowering strain. Auto-flowering strains will always do well for growers in northern climates. No matter which one is chosen, it’s going to be a good one for the grower.
- Northern Lights. It’s right there in the name, isn’t it? Northern Lights seeds originated in the northern hemisphere that experiences colder climates and shorter seasons. Growers in these cold climates can’t go wrong with Northern Lights seeds.
- Nitro Lemon Haze. A sativa may not be the first thing one thinks of when growing in cold climates, but Nitro Lemon Haze is one of the best strains for those that want that energetic and uplifting high. With its short flowering time, this is one of the best sativas for northern climates.
Sun, sun, sun! It’s true that cannabis plants love the sun and the light and warmth that come from it. But that doesn’t mean that growers in the northern hemispheres can’t ever grow their own marijuana. They can once they know how to deal with the sometimes bitterly cold temperatures and the shorter seasons these regions experience. And once they become a little more experienced, they can even use this colder climate to their advantage!