Grond Vs. Potten
3 min

Growing Cannabis Outdoors: The Ground Vs Pots

3 min

Ground or pots? It is a question on many novice outdoor growers mind. It is all about suiting your needs, so here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.

When it comes to growing cannabis outdoors, there is a natural assumption that it has to be done in the ground. However, many growers will cultivate their cannabis plant in a pot rather than the open soil – adding a little bit of versatility. Knowing which to do – whether to plant in the ground or in a pot - can be tough, and will be completely dependent on your needs. So here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.


Growing Cannabis In The Ground

Plus black symbol_1  Pros

Planting cannabis directly into the ground is the most traditional method of growing cannabis outdoors. It is as nature intended, and offers various advantages. The first and foremost is that the cannabis plant has access to all of the room, moisture and nutrients held within the soil. This allows them to flourish and become huge, reaching potentials very rarely seen when grown in a pot, or indoors.

This leads to the next advantage: less maintenance. The natural levels of nutrients and moisture within the soil, and the unlimited room the cannabis will have to expand to hunt down more, will mean you won’t have to get involved as often with extra feed. Extra feed will likely be required, but nowhere near as much as if you were growing in pots – keeping costs down. Also, when growing in the open soil, your cannabis will rarely run out of room to grow, whereas those who grow in pots may have to transplant to larger pots if planned incorrectly.

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Minus symbol%20(1)  Cons

A big disadvantage of planting your cannabis directly into the ground is that once it is there, that is it; you can’t pick it up and move it without digging it up and causing serious stress. This means your cannabis has to endure what the elements throw at it, including storms, hail and heavy rain that can all have a detrimental effect on your crop. It means, should there be a severe weather warning, you have to take other steps, like building a shelter around the plant, to keep it safe. Also, as cannabis cannot be moved, it must be planted at the correct time of year to ensure it gets optimal light – not so much of a concern when you can pick up a pot and move it around your garden.

Cannabis planted directly into the ground can also grow very big – uncontrollably so. While this may mean big yields, if you happen to have neighbours close by, gigantic cannabis plants poking over the fence may arouse suspicion.

Lastly, planting directly into the ground gives you less control over the soil quality. It is possible to dig up your grow site and refill it with soil of your choosing, however, unless you put a physical barrier between your new soil and the native soil (which kind of defeats the point of growing cannabis in the ground), things like rain runoff and other factors can still undo the optimal balance of your custom soil. It is very hard to keep outdoor soil optimally balanced – it can be done, but it will be tough.


Growing Cannabis In Pots

Plus black symbol_1  Pros

Growing cannabis outdoors using pots tends to give the polar-opposite advantage and disadvantages of growing directly in the soil. For example, growing in a pot will give you a great amount of versatility in terms of transport. You can move your cannabis around the grow site, ensuring it is always in the sun, or bring it into a shelter when the weather turns particularly nasty.

Another advantage of growing cannabis in a pot is that pots can be used to control growth rate. Depending on the size of the pot used, your cannabis plant will only grow so big, as space becomes more restricted. This can be a huge advantage when stealth is an issue, as it can prevent the cannabis growing out of control. If you want your cannabis to be as big as it can, then you can still use a huge pot to give it all the room it needs, while still gaining the other advantages of growing in a container.

Lastly, growing in a pot allows you to control the quality of the soil. You can mix up your own perfect blend without worry of contamination from other sources – meaning pH, nutrients and moisture can be closely controlled.

Minus symbol%20(1)  Cons

Being able to transport and move your cannabis around easily is great. However, what is not so great is the ease with which others can move it around too. Having your cannabis in a pot makes it much more vulnerable to being stolen by less than reputable people. It shouldn't be a concern though if you keep it all well-hidden and don’t tell anyone about it.

Also, while restricting the growth of a cannabis plant may be an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage if you don’t get it right. Picking a pot that is too small will result in a much smaller yields than intended.

Lastly, cannabis grown in pots needs much more attention and maintenance, as it cannot reach out and take natural nutrients and moisture from their surroundings in the way cannabis in the ground can. This means you will need to regularly feed your cannabis, and keep a close eye on its pH levels.

As you can see, there are various advantages and disadvantages to both growing directly in the grounds, as well as using pots when growing outdoors. There is no right or wrong answer; it is all about what is most important to you and doing what suits your needs. We hope the above has helped!

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
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