Watering Outdoor Marijuana Plants
One of the most obvious factors of growing healthy outdoor plants that you will need to figure out is how to water your marijuana plants. Unless you live in a place that allows you to grow cannabis freely, an essential part of determining your best watering method is secrecy and liability. You need to make sure that your watering system does not attract attention to your growing site.
So how much water will your plants need, and how will you deliver it to them? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this article:
How much water
It’s impossible to determine the exact amount of water your marijuana plants will need without first knowing more about some other factors such as soil, weather, the intensity of the sun, and exactly what time of year it is. You will even need to take into account what exactly the strain type is like, and what stage of the growth cycle your plants are in.
If your cannabis plants are extremely tall, for instance, you will need to provide them with a large amount of water (multiple gallons per day). On the other hand, a smaller marijuana plant will need far less.
Marijuana plants can absorb only a certain amount of water after a certain point, so whether you water them 30 gallons or an infinite amount of water, they will still grow at the same rate. This makes it especially important for you to pay close attention to what your plants’ exact watering needs are. You will be able to tell if your cannabis plants are not receiving enough water because their leaves will become dry and they will begin to wilt. If worse comes to worse, they could easily die.
Try not to overwater the plants either, since it can make the plant have the same symptoms. You can tell the difference by checking the soil: if it’s damp, your plants have been receiving too much water. It is also a good idea to dig underground and see if you can locate any water reserves. This can be particularly tricky since the sun can easily dry only the topmost layer of soil. One way of finding out whether or not you need to be watering your plants extra is by simply checking the soil four days after you’ve watered. If it’s still damp, you do not need to add any more water.
When to water
Watering is especially important when your plants are seedlings. You need to make sure that the soil consistently remains moist so you will need to water frequently. After one or two months, you can cut back on the watering to a certain extent, as the soil should dry in between watering. That allows your plant’s new roots to be exposed to some air. The more your marijuana plants grow, the better their roots will develop.
The roots will become deeper and can access points of moisture and nutrients that are located further underground. Once the roots start to find these points of moisture, they will begin to follow the moisture as they grow. This can lead to some difficulties, however, as it could make it difficult to identify when the older, more mature plants require water. As a basic rule of thumb, you can count on watering one time per week to ensure that your plants are getting enough water. Do it more frequently if you live in a particularly dry and sunny area.
You might also want to consider watering your plants more often if your plants are growing in an environment that has porous soil. Be especially aware of this type of soil if you live in the western United States, such as California, Arizona, or New Mexico. You won’t need to worry if your plants are near a source of water (such as a river), but otherwise your soil will most likely have quite a low level of groundwater. This, coupled with the porosity of the soil, mean your plants will require an extra amount of water to survive.
The best water sources
If you can choose a site that is near to a water source, such as a river or stream, your life will be much easier. These locations keep the soil from drying up during the summertime. You won’t have to bring in buckets of water during the dry seasons, which would almost certainly arouse suspicion since it would be nearly impossible to conceal what you are doing.
Don’t be too laid back when choosing a river bed location for your marijuana plants. They come with their own security risks. Rivers tend to attract more than just animals and insects: they attract humans, too. Animals and insects might damage your cannabis plants by nibbling on their leaves, but humans could damage your entire crop if they discover it and report it.
One way to avoid these risks is by planting your cannabis plants downhill from a river, rather than directly next to it. You can simply take a garden hose and run it from the river to your plants, using gravity as your only source of power. Be cautious, however: the pH level of the river should always be tested before you do this because water with an unsuitable pH level will not help you in the long run. You should also continue testing it throughout the summer, as the pH level can actually change. You can buy a pH meter or pH test strips at this link
Another painless way of watering your marijuana plants is capturing rainwater in a large barrel or tank. You can also create more elaborate irrigation systems using rainwater, timers, drip systems, and pumps. Sometimes this is the best way to use nature’s resources to keep your plants happy and healthy while still keeping your growing site safe from discovery. Do not use this method if you are in an industrial area, however, as the rainwater could be too acidic to use for watering.
How to water
There is no single correct way of watering all marijuana plants since a lot depends on where they are growing and what their genes are. If your crop is not terribly huge, then you should easily be able to hand water without too much trouble. Lots of growers will carry water to their site themselves, then use hoses or watering cans to transport the water from larger containers to their plants. You can even carry water back and forth between a nearby natural water source and your own plants. This is often the best option, because not only is it convenient, but it also will lessen your liability since you won’t risk people seeing you and asking you why you are carrying gallons and gallons of water into the forest.
A larger crop of marijuana will make things a bit more difficult, however, as you will have to establish a more elaborate system of watering. This can include pumps that are powered by batteries or gas, which, of course, carries an entirely new set of risks with them. The motors on these devices are usually quite loud, which can be heard from miles away.
It isn’t exactly the best way of keeping your gow site a secret. They are also more difficult because they need a consistent power source and water supply. Sometimes they can be very complex and need to be designed intricately with lots of different tubes and platforms. They are useful for large operations, however since they have the ability to pump out huge amounts of water at whatever specific times you need.
An alternative irrigation technique is called slow-drip irrigation. This does not require any expensive equipment and can be made at home. First, poke a few tiny holes into the bottom of a one-gallon milk jug. These holes will allow a bit of water out at a time, and will be a steady drip for your plants to constantly be receiving small amounts of water.
The only maintenance required is refilling the jugs. This method will be especially useful for growers who only visit their site once in a while since your cannabis plants will receive enough water over a long period of time without ever being over watered. If it doesn’t provide your plants with enough water, all you have to do is add another water-filled jug. If the drip is too slow for your plants, simply make the holes bigger so it comes out faster.
Watering marijuana plants in your garden
Finally, in some cases you can get by with only a regular, everyday garden hose. This will work best for growers who have just a few cannabis plants that are planted on their own property. Rainwater can also be harnessed for a cheaper source of water for your crop – assuming the rainwater is clean.
Many water systems clean the water with chemicals to make it healthy for watering plants and drinking. Because this could result in there being a chemical taste in the water, further chemicals are often added to take away this taste. Tap water can have a pH value of either above or below 7, which is perfectly fine for humans but not so much for our cannabis crop.
Also be aware of the sodium (salt) content as well, which could reduce your plants’ sizes by half if there is too much present in the water. Other things often found in tap water are chlorides, sulfates, as well as other solid substances. Distilling your tap water is always a good idea, especially when watering very young, delicate seedlings.
If you are concerned about these factors, simply purchase a test kit at your local hardware store or gardening center. They can assist you in figuring out what the quality of your water is like, as well as which chemicals are most present in your water.
Rainwater is one easy way of avoiding the chemical problem altogether. To catch rainwater on your property, just put some sort of large container beneath one of your drain spouts. Do this during the rainiest part of the year, which is generally the springtime. Plan well in advance. Assuming this water won’t have water-soluble chemicals in it, it will function very well for your plants. If you are not planting on your own property, the final step is figuring out how exactly you will transport it to your growing site.
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