A repost of a 2009 article, but its timelessness still bears fruitful information!


Spring is the time to plant those seeds and begin the magical process of growing outdoor pot plants that will be “knee high in July” and result in heavy harvests come Autumn.

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By Danny Danko, Senior Cultivation Editor, High Times Magazine

Recent events have placed marijuana use squarely into the public eye and never has the time been better suited to a real discussion of what legalization would entail and how we’re gonna get there. This isn’t the place for that however. This blog post will assume you already consider pot to be legal in your mind (or your state) and now need to grow some out for yourself.

Whether you’re trying to save money, learn a trade or control the quality of your cannabis (or all of the above), growing your own comes with a few challenges and getting those seeds popped properly and at the right time is one of them.

This guide is specifically for the outdoor gardener with some space in their backyard or on a remote deck or rooftop. Outdoor pot plants will thrive when treated properly but will also die quickly if neglected. They need to go out strong and stay strong in order to fully acheive their potential.

Seeds should be planted in cups or trays of moist soil mix on a sunny, not drafty, windowsill. It doesn’t hurt to put some clear plastic wrap over them until you see the seedling popping out of the top. Clones (cutting rooted from female mother plants) will save you time but can be hard to come by. Anyone can order seeds through the many online resources (Google it Holmes – I ain’t doing all the work for you).

Once sprouted, the seedlings  need at least 12 hours of direct light to thrive. If you don’t get enough sun, you must supplement with some fluorescent lighting or low-wattage growlight (125 to 250-watt Metal Halide High-Pressure Sodium HPS lights work well for this).

After the threat of frost or crappy weather has subsided, the plants are ready to go outside. First you must transplant them into larger containers. Water them in and acclimate them slowly to the outdoors – a few hours at a time for a few days, then add more hours each day until they can stay out for the duration.

They’re going to grow out vegetatively through the summer. This means the plant will continue growing new shoots and leaves. As it grows it will need more and more water and nutrients to feed it so adjust accordingly. I always recommend using a little less than recommended unless I see signs of deficiencies.


As summer turns to fall, the loss of daylight will trigger the plants to begin flowering. If you’re growing from seeds, this is the time you will determine the sex of your plants and discard the males, keeping only the females through the rest of the flowering process. But that’s a whole different blog…

In the meantime, check out my High Times Microsite at: Danny Danko’s Get Growing Now. There’s plenty of info there to get started, including six of my favorite beginner-oriented articles from past issues of HIGH TIMES as well as my favorite pot growing videos on youtube. Above all, stay safe and enjoy the process. Get growing!