Growing Indoors vs. Outdoors: The Pros and Cons
There are some significant differences between growing cannabis indoors and outdoors. Knowing them can help you decide which is best for you.
Deciding whether to grow your cannabis indoors or outdoors is an important decision to make, but fortunately, there is no right or wrong answer. Where you decide to grow your bud will depend completely on your circumstances, and which situation suits you best. So let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Growing cannabis outdoors is seen as the most natural way to cultivate a crop – it is as Mother Nature intended. A few considerations to take into account when growing cannabis outdoors is that it should be conducted where plants will avoid detection, have 8 hours of direct sunlight, be close to a water source, and will be easily accessible once every 1-2 weeks.
- It is the easiest method of growing cannabis, as much of the nutrients and moisture required are supplied and replenished by the growing environment (although you may need a little extra feed every now and again).
- Outdoor grows tend to result in much larger plants, which means much larger yields. This is because cannabis grown outdoors usually has all of the room it needs to expand, and all of the sunlight it needs to thrive – direct sunlight can provide 1000 watts per square meter, often outperforming their indoor light counterpart.
- It is cheap! At its base, all you need is a seed and some water. There are no lights or ventilation systems to buy, and no electricity upkeep. You can pour a lot of money into an outdoor grow if you want, but it is not a necessity like it is indoors.
- Many anecdotally believe that bud grown with sunlight produces better tasting bud than bud from an indoor grow.
- Your cannabis is at the mercy of the elements, and could be destroyed by a storm, strong winds or heavy rain. This can be avoided by growing outdoors in pots, so they can be brought indoors during bad periods, but this negates the advantage of having room for your plant to expand. You can see the pros of cons of using pots compared to open soil growing in our blog post here.
- Outdoor growing is less likely to be practical for someone who lives in a city or particularly built up area.
- If your grow is not close to a water source, then you have to manually transport water to the site during dry periods.
- If the grow site is not planned out well enough, there is a risk of discovery by people passing by, or worse, thieves.
- In addition to the elements and thieves, cannabis grown outdoors is also more prone to damage from disease, pests, and animals.
- As there is no control over hours of light, grow times tend to be longer (but you do get bigger plants).
- Depending on where you live, outdoor growing only tends to produce one crop a year, unless you use an autoflowering strain.
Growing cannabis indoors is seen as much more practical and discreet by many, especially those who live in urban areas. To grow indoors, you need somewhere with running electricity and water, and the required space to grow one or two plants. The aim of an indoor grow is to create a stable and controllable growing environment.
- The biggest advantage to growing indoors is complete control over the growing environment. You can control lighting, temperature, water, humidity and CO2 levels with relative ease. It is also much easier to keep the growing environment free of pests and disease.
- Control over lighting means growing time can be much shorter, as you decide when flowering begins.
- Well planned indoor grows with adequate ventilation are much more discreet than growing in your garden.
- Can grow cannabis all year-round.
- Many believe that cannabis grown indoors is of a higher potency and quality.
- Growing indoors usually has expensive start-up costs, as you have to buy all the equipment required.
- You have to pay ongoing electricity bills.
- Indoor grows require a lot more care and maintenance than an outdoor grow, as moisture and nutrients are not naturally replenished; however, for some, this level of control may be seen as an advantage.
- Ventilation and filtering must be maintained to ensure discretion.
There is a lot to consider when choosing a growing environment, and it will largely depend on your needs and wants. Whatever you choose, make sure to enjoy the experience, hobby growing is extremely rewarding – especially when you begin to see your efforts pay off!