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Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Outdoor Growing, Part 3

Mother Nature does most of the heavy lifting for you when you grow outdoors. Mother Nature does most of the heavy lifting for you when you grow outdoors.

So far in our Hydro 101 series on outdoor growing we’ve covered quite a bit of ground. But for the beginner heading outdoors, or making plans to head outdoors next season, there’s still a lot left to learn.

Just as there are many different things to think about outdoors, there are also a lot of similarities between indoor growing and outdoor growing. Indoor growers have to try to replicate Mother Nature as best as they can, especially things like sunlight, wind, and CO2. When you’re growing outside, these things are taken care of for you, but you may face a few obstacles like rain, humidity, heat, or freezing temps depending on which part of the globe you live in.

When you’re growing indoors, you can control everything and create a perfect growing environment, but it does take a lot more of your attention. All kinds of things can go wrong. Fans can break, causing the heat levels to go way up. If you’re growing hydroponically, pumps can go out, and if you don’t catch these problems soon enough, you can lose your entire crop. The list goes on. As a result, amateur indoor growers usually don’t get the results they are hoping for the first few times. It will probably take a few indoor grow cycles to start to get the hang of it.

On the other hand, newbies growing outdoors usually succeed or meet their expectations because Mother Nature controls the environment for you pretty well. You just have to water and feed with nutrients and for the most part you will get decent quality and good yields. Also, it’s cheaper because you don’t have to pay for the sun to go up and down.

Newbies growing outdoors usually succeed or meet their expectations because Mother Nature controls the environment for you pretty well.

One of the most important differences to note is that there’s a different time frame from seed to harvest outdoors compared to indoors. Outdoors you have a vegetative cycle that’s a few months long, whereas indoor you have more leeway to decide when you want your plants to begin to bloom. When you’re outdoors, you have to wait for the days to get shorter.

For the most part, whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, your total flowering time is fairly similar. However, some people are not sure when to begin adding bloom nutrients to their outdoor crop. But observe your plants closely. They will tell you what they need when they begin to slow their vertical growth and show signs of flowering. Those signs look like little white hairs emerging from the internodes, which is the portion of the stem of your plant in between where each bunch of leaves grows out. When you see these little hairs, it’s a good time to start adding bloom nutrients.

When harvest time nears, whether indoor or outdoor, you look for the same signs of full ripening, like full, dense, pungent smelling flowers that spread from internode to internode. Also, 75% of flower hairs will have turned a red or amber sort of color. 

Next week we’ll look at some of the unusual pests you may encounter outdoors that don’t affect you indoors. We’ll also look at the disease problems you can face, some of which you might be familiar with if you’ve been through a few indoor cycles already.

Read Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Outdoor Growing, Part 1

Read Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Outdoor Growing, Part 2

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What’s the difference between hydroponics growing systems? Find out here.

Are your plants stressed? Find out what’s best for your hydroponics crop here.

Trying to find the right location for your indoor garden? Get expert advice here.

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Last modified on Friday, 17 August 2012 16:28

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