I live in zone 7b, Central VA, summers are hot and humid, spring and fall can be cool and rainy. Summers can have drought, or could have higher than normal rain - it’s never consistent. Basically Mid-Atlantic climate - same type of summer as DC or Raleigh for example.
My front yard has sun out the Wazoo, but I’d worry about human predation having it exposed out there. So my outdoor grow this year (my first) was in the back yard and along the sunny broick wall where I grow my tomatoes and peppers. That section proved too dense and my autos that I tried growing there ended up stunted and not productive.
The back-yard proper is shay for most of the day. Morning gets some good sun but after mid-day, my neighbor’s Silver Maple shades the yard.
So those are my environmental constraints. I could dig a hug hole in the sunniest part of the yard and fill it with good soil, or I could use a 25-gallon grow bag. Huge hole is better for frequency of watering, but I like being able to move a plant around if I want to.
Anyway, knowing all that, what is the most likely Sativa variety to have success next year? I will have a few Maui Wowie seeds left over (going to grow two of them in a SCROG in my basement tent starting next week), so I could try them outside, but I was thinking something huge and monstrous might be a fun project.
I am planning on doing sativas outdoors next year in an unused space beside the house. Our backyard backs up to a walking path and park. Although my outdoor grow was well camouflaged, it still was a source of anxiety. I can put up an additional fence section and the side yard would be fully corralled.
Imo you want early finishing lower yielding sativa hybrids. Nobody wants low yielding plants, but harvest weight has a lot to do with bud structure and density. A more airy bud will often be less likely to have issues with mold or rot. Most 100% sativa genetics are going flower longer which will take you deeper into rainy season.
I had success with Amnesia Haze autoflowers in Central Virginia this summer, grown in the ground, in regular garden soil and using natural compost as fertilizer.
I dug holes two feet deep by two feet in diameter, saved the top layer of garden soil, extracted the clay underneath, added peat moss and compost, and mixed the garden soil back in. I sowed the germinated seeds directly into the prepared soil in mid-May and they just took off. I was able to harvest in early August with zero rot or mold.
I’m dead in Central Va and this year I had Granddaddy Purple and New York City Diesel, both ILGM genetics.
While I did have some rot on each thanks to our extra rainy fall, the NYD had considerably less than the 100% indica of the GDP. I think the NYD is 60/40 sativa dominant. I also have a NYD currently in my tent, and the buds from the outside plants are much larger than the inside plant so far. I don’t think the tent girl will catch up either. These are all photos and not autos.
I will be growing NYD outside again next season, but I’ll be doing a lot of training and keep the plant low and wide. Just more or less letting it grow how it wanted it ended up being about 8ft tall.
I’m currently debating growing 2 photos and 2 autos next year. Thinking that if I can get them outside early enough I can do 2 runs of autos while the 2 photos do their long-haul.
Undecided totally for next season, but I do want to try a G13 out there. It’s indica heavy but potentially monster yields according to the sales side info.