Best Cannabis Strains To Grow Outdoors In France
Cannabis is a hardy plant that can grow almost anywhere. Considered species selection for the varying French climate will give you a hassle-free grow and jars full of resinous buds.
Cannabis is a singularly diverse plant. It grows in a wide range of climates and is extremely hardy. Human beings have cultivated cannabis for at least twelve thousand years. The diaspora of pre-historic humans saw the global distribution of the infinitely useful cannabis plant into every climatic region on the globe.
Thousands of years of mutations have given us an exceptional selection of cannabis types. Of the three main subspecies, sativa, indica and ruderalis there are many variations in form. A Mexican and Thai sativa side by side are remarkably different. As are a Pakistani Kush and a Moroccan indica.
Nature and time have already done a substantial amount of work in acclimatising cannabis to particular regions. It is from these acclimated landraces that modern cannabis is bred. Often crossing powerful long maturing tropical sativas with equally powerful and quicker to mature indicas to create hybrids with desired traits of both. This makes it possible to grow many varieties in places you would not normally associate with cannabis' natural habitat.
GROWING CANNABIS IN FRANCE
Stretching from Dunkirk in the North at 51° latitude to the Pyrenees in the South at 43° latitude, France has a very dynamic environment for a relatively small country. It has four climatic zones, three mountain massifs, several major rivers and four coastlines.
Depending on where you live, your choice of what weed to grow will vary.
In the north, you are reaching the limits of the favourable conditions for growing cannabis of any kind. In the Southeast, you may dare to grow tropical hybrids. The mountain massifs mimic the homes of many indica landraces.
THE INTERMEDIATE ZONE
North, Paris and Central are typified by cold winters and hot summers, regular rainfall and mild springs. Growing in the North can be challenging, but just remember there are many growers who get good results in Wales or even Scotland which are very challenging environments in which to grow anything at all.
Day lengths are the important factor when growing cannabis. Marijuana requires more than twelve hours of uninterrupted daylight per day to vegetate properly. In the Far North there isn't enough functional daylight for cannabis to grow until the middle of April, but even then it is still quite cold.
Cannabis is very hardy and can handle the cold, but will not tolerate heavy frosts. This is where the local knowledge of your micro climate comes into play. Marijuana will grow slowly until proper warm spring weather arrives and the sun is truly in the sky for twelve hours.
If you are living in the North your dreams of growing monstrous pure-blood sativas will remain a dream unless you are using sophisticated supplemental lighting techniques. Hybrids are typically more vigorous and are ideal for the northern climate.
Indica dominant strains with short maturing times such as Early Skunk or Himalaya Gold are ideal in this type of situation. They are fast growing and disease resistant. Auto-flowering cannabis strains are a worthy choice for shorter summers. Only vegetating for 2-4 weeks and often mature in sixty days strains such as Royal Dwarf or Northern Lights XL Autoflowering will guarantee a full jar at the end of the season. If you have the space, overlapping germination and flowering times can give you three crops in one season.
The humid seaboard west of Bayonne enjoys hot summers with cooling sea breezes and mild winters. This region for centuries and to this day is where the grape thrives. Synonymous with world class wine the region also has ideal conditions for growing fine cannabis. Regular rainfall during the seasons with a damp mild spring and plenty of sunshine during the day in summer sounds like a customised weather menu for marijuana. Just watch your buds during the Autumn rains. The coast can get a real flogging from storms coming off the sea as the seasons turn.
Autumns are still too short for those impressive tropical sativas to mature properly, ten more degrees south and you would have no problems. On the temperate coast though, you will reap superb harvests from vigorous sativa dominant strains that are tamed with indica such as AK-47 or Sour Diesel.
The South has the driest climate in France with noticeable rain coming in spring and autumn. This is music to the cannabis grower's ears. Good rain during the early stages of cannabis vegetation makes the marijuana plant grow rapidly ready for lots of sunshine during the summer months.
Average daily temperatures of 27°C means that warm loving, fat nugget producing strains like the classic Silver Haze can be grown. A Lemon Thai Kush will thrive in the summer heat and resin production will be kaleidoscopic at harvest time when October hints at winter's chill. Keep a keen eye on your buds with the autumn rains, it is better to harvest a few days early to avoid a week of rain when your flowers are perfect.
SEMI CONTINENTAL & THE MASSIFS
The Alsatian region has a dozen microclimates, wine can still be grown in some, where others are less temperate and more alpine. The Lower reaches of The Savoy can mimic the home elevation of the parents of great indicas like Serious Kush or Aurora Indica, but the weather is far more harsh and inhospitable. The temperature is outside of the comfort zone for cannabis to grow properly.
Greenhouse growing is a recommended solution for growing in cold climates where the weather is unpredictable or too much on the cold side or where summers are too brief for cannabis. Short days can be supplemented with artificial light to extend the growing season and early snows can be ignored. When short summers can inhibit the growth of some species auto-flowering strains become an attractive option once more.
You have chosen your germination method and are set up and ready to go. Your peat or jiffy pots are soaked and ready or paper towel is damp and a warm dark spot has been set aside. Are you flowing with the rhythms of nature and germinating in time with temperature and day length? Or are you toying with nature and using supplemental warming for earlier germination and supplemental lighting during the early vegetation phase for more established plants?
Germinating in late April ready for the warmth of May is usual for the French latitudes. Early April on the southern Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts as it is warmer and the days are longer sooner in the season.
Germinating then vegetating with supplemented indoor conditions puts you in control. This method certainly increases yields as larger plants can be grown, but remember the flowering time is still the same at the end of the season. Harden plants off over a two-week period prior to putting in their final position, sometimes shock can stunt growth or induce early flowering.
EXCELLENT FRENCH CANNABIS
The Koeppen-Geiger climate classification for most of France is Cfb, a warm temperate humid climate. The southern coasts are classified Csa, a warm Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. The Alps and parts of the inner continent are classified Dfb, a humid snow climate with low yearly temperatures.
With careful species selection and an appropriate germination regimen, you can enjoy growing cannabis everywhere in France. It may need a little bit of help where the climate is more hostile, but the enthusiastic grower will be able to nurture jar fulls of resinous buds every harvest.
Written by: Guest Writer
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Royal Dwarf (Royal Queen Seeds) feminized € 13.50
Northern Lights XL (Zambeza) feminized € 17.50
AK-47 (Serious Seeds) feminized/regular € 80.00
Early Skunk (Sensi Seeds) feminized € 22.00
Silver Haze 9 (Sensi Seeds) feminized € 35.00
Aurora Indica (Nirvana) feminized € 25.00
Sour Diesel (Royal Queen Seeds) feminized € 20.70
Lemon Thai Kush (Humboldt Seeds) feminized € 30.00