Planning an outdoor grow have a few questions

I have yet to purchase anything but I am planning an outdoor grow this upcoming spring. This is taking place very far north Illinois and I was planning on using white widow auto flowering seeds but I am unsure what strain would work best for my conditions. what is a good way to assess the soil I have to know what changes are to be made to it for it to be optimal? Furthermore, what is the best way to make sure pests/mold or any threats to my crop can be handled in the most effective manner. Currently I was planning on getting neem oil and spraying my plants fairly regularly is this all that’s needed? I also have Well water at my disposal that I drink all the time is this okay to use on my plants? I have never done a grow before and I have read up a lot but want some clarification on some things and that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


I think neem oil is okay for veg but not flower cycle in my actual garden I use copper rings around my garden plants that keeps away slugs had a problem with tiger slugs they ate very fast that’s something you may want to think about rain water should be just fine for them but someone may pop up and say otherwise as I’m not exactly an expert on growing the stuff myself I’m only on my first grow

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Thank you for your input, any alternatives to neem oil? if there’s an issue with slugs can I just use salt?

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You’ll need planters or one big area you are able to till and extract and add your own topsoil if your isn’t of decent grade. I live in an area of clay and shalestone. We use raised planters for our outdoor purposes, and 30 gall planters

I’m more of a naturalist so for bug prevention I would buy a absurd amount of praying mantis eggs and place the throughout the grow


Sound advice :+1: I take it you will be a lover of the lady bug then? I hear that they also are a plants friend in keeping away gnats and other small insects

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I release those indoor


Welcome !well water will be fine I would just check the pH on it before I watered in with it. Adjust it to where you need it. Outside grow good way to get started without spending a lot of money good luck.

If your using well double check if there’s a filtration system, if so try to bypass it

Water softeners love to use salts for their products

I would agree with above, make a raised planter and add some decent topsoil and drainage. The roots will venture out from there to get what they need. Growing plants in poor quality soil actually improves the soil quality.

Moths/caterpillars are an issue here, I use Monterey BT as preventative.

My biggest piece of advice would be to get some non auto seeds and start them indoors on 18/6 light cycle. Identify a keeper or 3 and take clones. Prepare these clones to go outside and put out June 15th.

These will go into flowering after a couple weeks. The clones are the same age as the mother so they will be ready. This way you don’t have to worry an auto not finishing or getting stunted.

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Spinosad is safe for flowering. Captain Jacks dead bug is an organic product that works well.

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Since this is your first grow, I would suggest that you go with 5 or 7 gallon pots (fabric pot) for each plant your planning. That way your plants can be moved when needed - to get more/less sunlight - get out of the bad weather. I’m in NW Indiana and the weather changes can really mess up months of patience and hard work.

Thanks for everyone’s input I’ll definitely make some considerations and changes.

Neem oil spray every other week during veg.
Preventative mold/wpm measures are also key. Many are useable within a week or two of harvest. Organic/omri are best, since you will be consuming this.

If you encounter problems, ask. Many of us have dealt with them before, and can guide you…