How to Grow Weed Outdoors in California?

When to plant weed outdoors in Northern California? Is the Southern area better for cultivation? Cali residents are lucky when it comes to our favorite green plant.
As arguably the most 420-friendly US state, California is the hotbed for canna-gardening. Why not take advantage of that?
You’re free to buy cannabis seeds and keep marijuana crops for personal use. As a bonus, your climate lends itself to successful cultivation. Here’s all you need to know for a prosperous California grow.
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The California Climate

California residents are perfectly positioned to grow cannabis outdoors. Much of the state has a Mediterranean-like climate, with dry, warm summers and mild, humid winters. Freezing is rare, even in the dead of winter.

There’s a slight weather difference between the Northern and Southern areas. Both regions are great for cultivation, but you should consider the disparities when preparing your farm.

  • Southern Cali has 284 sunny days per year, summer temps of 75–78°F, and winter temps of 52–56°F. Rain is rare and typically only occurs from October to March.
  • Northern Cali has 259 sunny days per year, summer temps of 70–75°F, and winter temps of 47–50°F. There’s rain from November till March; precipitation rates are higher.

In essence, both parts of the state are pretty idyllic. The Southern territory is more tropical, accommodating for particularly fussy sativa strains.

We’ll divulge into differences between regions where necessary, but they don’t render one part of the state better for growing than the other. Most of our tips apply across the board. 

So, let’s see how to care for your California outdoor weed.

When to Plant Weed in California?

California doesn’t have four distinct seasons. The number of daylight hours changes throughout the year, though. It’s worth considering the calendar for sowing and harvest times.

When to plant weed outdoors in Southern California? What about the North?

You can follow the same rules in both regions, as the day length remains pretty consistent.

Plant photoperiod seeds in late spring. Take your pots outside at the beginning of May to make your crops big and strong.

Early summer sowing is better for autoflowers, letting you make the most of each super-sunny day. The latest you want to plant them is in late August.

How Much Water?

Cali’s dry air and intense sunshine leave most crops parched without assistance. So have your watering can on the ready, or even better, install an automated irrigation system.

As a rule of thumb:

  • Mist seedlings every day
  • Soak vegging plants every other day
  • Water flowering plants once every three days

Stick to this schedule but stay vigilant in the August heat. Underwatering harms bud stickiness, but there’s a simple test to determine whether your plants need more water.

Stick your finger into the soil down to the first knuckle. If it comes out dry and clean, shower the pots as soon as possible.

In a nutshell, it’s better to provide generous water amounts in California. Overwatering is much less of a concern.

How Much Sunshine?

Growing outdoors in the sunny state means there’s no shortage of direct light for your crops. You don’t need to trouble yourself with this factor; letting them bask in the sun produces great results.

We’re mentioning sunshine for one reason—Southern Cali growers should plant underneath trees or rooftops. This zone gets intensely hot in the summer, and having a shaded spot in the afternoon prevents over-transpiration.

If you’re in a Northern region, feel free to sow in direct sunlight.

Know Your Protectants

Growing outdoors leaves your weed garden vulnerable to all sorts of pests. The following could endanger crops in Cali:

  • Moths
  • Fruit flies
  • Bollworms
  • Aphids
  • Weevils

Companion herbs around your precious pot plants can repel insects or draw their attention elsewhere. We’d suggest basil and parsley.

As a bonus, keeping a diverse garden aids soil microbes and helps maintain root health.

If wandering eyes are more of a concern than pests, covered crops are the way to go. Sunflowers love California, and their tall, bright stature draws people’s attention away from marijuana.

Other than that, install wind and rain shields around your garden. Summers aren’t known for torrential rainstorms, but a large umbrella on hand is lifesaving if there’s extreme weather.

Flowering & Harvesting

If you followed our tip on when to plant weed outdoors in Northern California, your crops should switch to flowering in mid-August. Southern Cali gardeners see the change in early August.

Unless you’ve used feminized seeds, now’s the time to locate and eliminate male crops. Check for other flowering males in your vicinity to reduce the risk of pollination.

Otherwise, continue providing proper care for vigorous bud production.

Both regions get ample sunshine till the end of September, so you’re unlikely to need lamp supplementation. Spend August and September preventing plant health issues, delivering water and phosphorus, and admiring the buds.

When is weed harvest season in California?

Harvest in October for the best-tasting, strongest flowers. You can wait till Halloween in Southern Cali, as the days remain pretty warm. Those in the Northern regions should cut the plant down in mid-October.

Happy Growing!

Nothing beats smoking buds you grew yourself, and California lets you experience that joy to the fullest.

Buy seeds, study our tips, and get growing. Let the Cali sunshine fatten your buds and achieve the yield of your dreams. Spend the summer on your gardening adventure and set yourself up with enough pot to see you through the winter.

If you want to learn even more about growing good cannabis, we offer a free 40+ page guide full of images.
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This guide will answer many questions about growing cannabis, like the following...

Selecting Seeds
Identify and Correct Problems
Maximize Yield
Much More...

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