Can you get a successful harvest outdoors in the springtime?

I live in the northern part of California’s Central Valley. My County has put severe limits on growing outdoors. To keep things “stealthy” I’m wondering about starting clones indoors over the winter, then putting them outside (in the ground) as soon as frost danger is over (easily, end of February). Plants here start flowering if you put them out as early as mid-May. So I am thinking about putting out foot-high clones end of February and letting them flower out. Harvest should then be late April/early May. They wouldn’t be big … sort of the SOG idea, but outdoors. Would this work? Are there some strains that might “take” to this approach better? Or is this a waste of time, effort and young plants? Would increasing light period (rather than decreasing) confuse the plants? Thanks for any ideas.

Yes, increasing the light period will make the plants want to continue vegetative growth and not flower until about 10 hours of darkness is the average per day and decreasing, in the fall, as they are short day flowering, mostly, and many will need the full 12 hours darkness per day. If you want to have a plant flower despite the photperiod and be able to harvest in the springtime you need autoflowers.

Happy growing,


Hello MacG-

This is in reference to a post I did last November. I had 7 clones that were going to be mothers but they just weren’t vigorous enough (have a whole mess of other mothers). So I figured why not try putting them outside in the spring and see what happens? No loss. They were going to be goat treats otherwise.

I put them outside in 5 gallon pots April 1 (they were all max of 16 inches tall). Today, they are about 2 feet high, with nice gooey thick buds. I figure they have another 4 weeks to go. I have not seen any leggy growth in the buds. They are still going strong in their flowering. I’m juggling the nutrients, giving a higher nitrogen than I would outdoor in late summer, along with phosphorus and a bit of potassium (occasional cal-mag and trace nutrients). I’m going to start adding in a taste of black strap molasses with their next watering. In about a week, I’m moving them indoors to finish under HPS light.

So far, it looks like my idea would work, to put a whole mess of clones outside as soon as frost is over, let them roll with the reduced daylight, then finish indoors. Next year, I might try a couple of plants thru the entire bloom outdoors in the spring. Sure saves on the electric bill, and I’ll have nice fresh bud during a time when you’re usually scraping the bottom of the barrel.

BTW, the strain that’s outside right now is Blue Dream.

NorCal Mary

Yeah, I tried it and it works and is a function of light hours. As long as you are giving them maximum light while indoors they will flower as soon as they are exposed to the shorter daylight hours outside. It’s a great way to double up on outdoor harvest.