Cannabis is generally a pretty easy and straightforward plant to grow as it is resilient and can grow in a wide range of environments. Growing your own plant is a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy high-quality buds all year round. For growers who do not have the luxury of space to cultivate their own cannabis, guerilla growing can be a saving grace.
What is Guerilla Growing?
Simply put, guerilla growing means cultivating cannabis secretly outdoors. While this practice is widely associated with growing weed, you can actually use the same method to grow other plants and vegetables. A nice forest or scrubland clearing provides for a suitable and ideal site to safely grow a few cannabis plants while remaining undetected. The risk of getting busted by a cop, a neighbor, or anyone else who can accidentally stumble on your crops remain much lower.
While guerilla growing provides the obvious advantage of cultivating cannabis unnoticed, it also has some drawbacks, which include the fact that taking care and keeping an eye on the plants will become a bit harder since they are not in your own garden. There are also the risks of bugs, pests, and nibbling animals that can ruin your plants. In this article, we will provide you with an extensive guide when considering guerilla growing for your cannabis plants.
Where to Set Up Your Guerilla Grow?
Isolated Plots With Daily Hours of Sunlight
When looking for the best spot to cultivate cannabis, you have to keep in mind the following aspects – security, discretion, and weather conditions. Choose off-beaten tracks and avoid spaces that will increase the chances of your plants being exposed as the odor of cannabis plants can be noticeable up to 10 meters away. As mentioned, secluded forests and abandoned farmlands that are not visible from a path are potential good spots for your cannabis grow.
Planting your weed among high-volume crops is a good way to hide them. Just make sure to choose the sunny side of the field to ensure your plants get their needed sunlight requirement. Watch out for any vegetation that could block out the light. The basic requirements of guerilla growing are no different from the outdoor cultivation of cannabis plants, and this includes daily hours of sunlight.
Avoid Spaces With Powerful Air Currents
Look for areas that are sheltered from high winds, which can easily become brutal to your crops. As any outdoor cannabis grower knows, a strong gust of wind can easily break branches and stems. Another thing to consider about these air currents is that any powerful wind can easily spread the intense smell of your cannabis plants to quite some distance. And the last thing we want is for their odor to reach nosy noses that can cause problems.
Uninhabited Spots With No Signs of Other Human Activity
Choosing a site that’s deep into the forest, however, is not enough. You also have to test how uninhabited it really is and be familiar with the activities that go on around that site. For instance, even a faraway and most secluded spot can easily become filled with avid mycologists once the mushroom-hunting season begins. Many smart growers opt to scatter and cultivate their weed in different locations to ensure that they still have different hidden sources even in the unfortunate event of one of the crops being discovered. While this may mean extra work and spaces to cover, you are sure to reap something during harvest season. Do not limit yourself to planting your cannabis plants on the ground – the rooftop of an abandoned building is a nice location that further lowers the risk of discovery.
Place With a Source of Water Nearby
Many growers also choose hidden spots that are near a body of water, like a river, stream, or lake, so that the plants can easily absorb the water on the soil. These spots also decrease the risk of frost. Depending on the terrain, expert growers can create a passive irrigation system for their crops using the nearby body of water. As the name suggests, guerilla growing requires you to plan you grow like a military operation.
When to Start Guerilla Growing?
As with any kind of operation, timing is crucial – anything too early and too late can spell disaster to your crops. If you are growing photoperiod cannabis plants, you need to make sure that they have a decent vegetative and flowering time. Planting them too soon may expose them to cold temperatures, and frost while planting them too late will also mean mold and mildew problems from the rainy season.
Ideally, cannabis plants are grown safely indoors and in a small pot until they reach a height of 15 to 20 cm tall as they are highly delicate and may not be able to survive if planted immediately at a growing guerilla site. Once they have reached the ideal height, they can then be transported to the isolated plot. Remember to introduce natural light (from artificial indoor lights) gradually by letting it get two to three hours of sunlight more every day to avoid frying the plants. Many professional guerilla growers, however, opt to choose fast-flowering strains, and this can become a little more complicated for novice gardeners.
Autoflowering seeds can start to flower in just 10 to 15 days, so, in this case, it is best to bring the germinated seeds to the guerilla site and their final location. In order to protect the small buds from curious animals like rabbits or deers, you can create a tube out of chicken wire to serve as vertical protection for the plants.
One thing to consider is the pot used while starting them off indoors, as cannabis plants usually do not do well when being repotted. Many smart, professional growers use biodegradable pots that look like the soil so they can easily be camouflaged in the guerilla location. They are also light and can absorb excess water that can be detrimental to your marijuana plants.
What Strains to Use for Guerilla Growing?
Once you’ve found the ideal secluded location for your guerilla grow, it is also important to know the most suitable cannabis varieties for this particular cultivation method. Many expert guerilla growers choose autoflowering strains for a number of reasons.
For one, you do not want monstrous plants that grow very tall as they can easily draw attention to themselves. Autoflowering strains are small and stealthy. Additionally, they grow fast and robust, making them the ideal strains for guerilla growing. The fact that they bloom independently of the photoperiod allows cultivators to reap several harvests a year. The Northern Lights autoflowering strain is a favorite option for guerilla growers as they are compact in size (up to a height of only 120 cm), very easy to grow, and very quick to flower. On the other hand, if you only have choices of photo-dependent strains, the classic Early Maroc is a true variety suited for guerilla growing.
Guerilla growing marijuana is a common practice among many growers who do not have enough space for cultivating their own cannabis. As the name implies, this method requires careful planning to be successful. The most important rule is to find locations that are isolated and far from footpaths and to consider autoflowering varieties for their compact stature and fast life cycle.