What do you do to prepare your outdoor grow site?


I live around Chicago, and I had 1 year that I think went really well, and one year that was a total flop. I am already looking to this coming spring. I have been watching move vids, and reading as much as I can. To help me improve the what I thought was good soil that turned out to be crappy soil. I know its still about 4 months till us in the midwest can plant outdoors, but I would like to hear what people have to say!
thanks for any comments

Humidity Domes help

If I were growing outside, I would consider fabric pots that you can move around. It’s almost inevitable that you will need to deal with a plant and having them potted will allow you tremendous flexibility.

If you must go in the ground, let me tag a couple of outdoor growers. One is in Maine so knows about cold climates. @Ragnar, @Willd.


Thanks! hope to hear from them. I do plan this year on doing in a few pots, but mostly in the ground.



God I feel so left out boohoo lmao


How ya Larry, take it that that’s your name/
Any I have grown outside for some time before going inside.
So with that being said I would be more than happy to tell you how I did it. And you can decide for your self ok ?
Let me know and i’ll gather my notes

Will joint


I live in San Diego and grow outside only, in 5 gal. buckets. I have found if I mix several types of soil together and most importantly I add a generous amt of gypsum (strong! thick stems, increases nut absorbsion and allows water to penetrate into the soil and root system, a surfactant. I raise buckets off the ground so bugs aren’t tempted and very importantly in my area Monterrey BT spray to keep looper worms away, used religiously wkly from birth to harvest:):sun_with_face: Out of 8 seeds I had 6 females and my harvest was a tad over a pound


PS I am in a w/c as well. I’ll post pics when I figure out how.


While you amend and build up your soil, you can just dig a 5 or 10 gallon hole and fill it with good potting soil. FWIW, I’d suggest very wide spacing for your outdoor plants. Last year I used 4’ and they grew all into each other. This year I’m going with 10’ feet or so.


High PhantomFarmer Actually I had 2 plants per ‘bench’ 2x4’s x 3 on top of cinder blocks. Now I must say I do not pinch/top so they grow as they grow. One grew to 7’ tall and I never saw the top of it until harvest, was I surprised! I am in a w/c and cannot dig any hole, much less tend to the lower plant parts. My buckets are at my eye level so I can tend to them without problems, and if I need to ever move them they are at lap level. I do not walk and I stand very little. I had one 23" cola and several 15-18 in colas. I never had to tie them up or prop them in anyway, they held their own, never drooping when in full bud and withstood any wind that came their way including a Santa Ana. I’ve been ‘gardening’ for over 50+ years and I wouldn’t ever skip the calcium. I put it in everything. San Diego is mostly DG and can act like cement.


I grow outside in both…large pots ( 50 gal and up) or straith in the ground…
There is no much winter here now, no snow, so I be going pretty soon start dropping buckets of rabbit manure to each hole so it has time to age …
I have quite clay soil so, I use a few shovel fulls of gypsum to help break it apart…it takes time ( months) to start working…
Also a lot of forest raket humus and earthworm castings ( awesome stuff)…
For flower I mix in Indonesian bat guano 0-7-0…
I make compost tea and use it every other watering…
has some super recepies…
I be adding 2cf bag of Happy Frog to each hole or pot this year to make my substrate little lighter and airy…
If you can find “project bananas” grow journal you be able to read all I did last year…I was pretty happy, but this year I want to be happier :wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink:

Happy growing !



This it


Someone here is finally from the neighborhood, if I had to guess probably fairly close (context clues :wink:) welcome to the group @Larry815!

I am indoor guy, but I know a few people in the area who do some outdoor stuff. They like to do stuff with like 9 week flowering period or less. Since our fall season can be a little unpredictable. I’m pretty sure that they prep their compost for the next seasons grow prior to harvesting, but I don’t know a lot about it.

Something else they do, is start their plants indoors about 6 weeks or so prior to the frost free date. I think they top them some prior to moving outside, in order to get them a little more round than talll. Whether or not that’s good for you, I’m not sure.


North San Diego County: Last summer I grew in 7 gallon pots of Miracle Grow Potting Soil with no amendments. (I didn’t know any better.) No nutrients added until they started to flower and then Scott’s Bloom fertilizer. Worked fine but I really could not flush them at the end. I am not concerned with police as much as thieves, since I am legal. So I grow outdoors in a chain link cage with a padlock to keep it legal. Plants and a shed keep it invisible unless people walk right up to it on our fenced and posted property.

This year I am starting inside and plan to set five SCROGged Blue Dream plants out in about June in 5 gallon cloth pots of pure coco coir. As soon as they go outside it’s Monterry Insect Garden Spray spinosad every week.


I start mine outdoor grow in greenhouse at the end of February, they go out in May…


Are you in the area too? I would think February in Chicagoland would be a little tough on them even in greenhouse. Never tried though, so couldn’t be sure one way or the other.


NorCal and I still heat my greenhouse :wink::wink:


Ahh, I see. You think that would feasible in potentially below zero temps? I’ve never done anything in greenhouse, so I haven’t the slightest clue. We get snow into April sometimes.


NorCal here as well. Last year, I started indoors in early April, and in May I planted in the ground. Well, in raised bed planters in my garden. I did nothing to prep, it was my first grow, and I was very fortunate with the results. I didn’t even add nutes until very late in the grow.

The main concern here is pocket gophers. This year I’m also doing my grow in those beds, but I plan to cage the plants’ roots this time to keep them safe. I’ll probably amend the soil as well.

I’m planning four plants this year out there. I have irrigation in place so it’s pretty easy.


I dont know brother, I think below zero is kind of pushing it a bit :wink:
I would wait to start yours in april…
Happy growing season !!!


Very well, I am dealing with moles and gophers too, I had this Croatian garlic my friend from Czech gave me last time he visited, I planted two beds in october, by spring , all I could find were tunnels…no garlic​:sob::sob::sob::sob::sob:, caging the rootball is very smart move…
And yes, amend the soil a bit, earthworm castings, bone meal, blood meal, bat guano, forest humus, garden compost , aged manures…
All this will work very well for you…
When they start flower, avoid nitrogen completely, there will be enough left in soil to finish them…just add some phosphorus and potassium , when that time comes I will tell you what I be adding ( dont know yet) :wink::wink::wink::wink:
Happy growing !


I just posted some pics so you can see how sturdy they are, the tall one in the pic was 7+ft. I never saw the top until harvest