- The outdoor growing season has sprung and it is now time to germinate those cannabis seeds that will soon bear fruit, providing you with a larder full of buds to survive the winter.
- Unfortunately, space is often an issue and creating your own cannabis garden might be out of the question.
- If that is your case, then worry not, in this post we bring you all you need to know in order to become an expert guerrilla grower.
- Keep reading!
What is cannabis guerrilla growing?
Guerrilla growing involves growing cannabis secluded in nature, either in a wild or semi-urban area, where it won't be easily discovered. With the air of the mountains being cleaner and free of urban pollutants, this method is perfect for those nature lover growers that don't have a garden of their own and want the end product to be as natural as it comes – of course, this will imply avoiding fertilizers and chemical pesticides too.
Like anything else, guerrilla has its pros and cons. While it is more cost-efficient – you won't need that much equipment – it is also more time consuming, as you will have to go back and forth to the growing area – which, if well hidden, will be a bit distant – carrying the soil, the irrigation water and the like.
What are the steps to a successful guerrilla grow?
1. Know the climate of your area
- Mediterranean climate: being a dry climate, you can't rely on rain for irrigation, so make sure you have a spring, a well or a stream nearby that allows you easy access to water.
- Atlantic climate: with rains dispersed throughout the year, you won't have to give water that much thought.
2. Choose the right genetics
Choosing a strain that is compatible with your region's climate is critical. If you grow a White Widow, which is sensitive to botrytis, next to a bramble, when the leaves fall, a humus layer will build up attracting fungi to it. Critical +, instead, is a great choice for wet climates: it is fast, high-yielding and quite resistant to botrytis, and as it has a short flowering period, it can be harvested before the bad weather and the autumn rains arrive.
3. Find the perfect spot
Location is key to guerrilla growing, so spare no effort finding a good spot. This is what you should be looking for:
- Discretion and safety: there is a couple of things you need to know before you go guerrilla. First, it is a lot of work and, second, chances are that you might get your plants stolen. So try to find a discreet, well-hidden area where the plants are not easy to spot and nobody feels tempted to get their hands on them. This means avoiding the well-travelled paths, residential areas and the like so that you can work far from prying eyes and light-fingered passer-by. Another golden rule if you don't want to get caught is not telling a soul.
- Light: cannabis plants need many hours of direct light to thrive and flower, so avoid north-facing, dark sites where the sun can't penetrate.
- Water: even if the rain will do most of the work for you, sometimes it won't be enough and you will have to carry your own irrigation water. This is why you should consider growing next to a source of water (a river, a swamp, etc.).
- Easy access: the chosen spot should be hidden enough to keep unwanted visitors away but not inaccessible so that you don't have to go through an ordeal whenever you need to check on your plants.
4. Create the right environment for the plants to thrive
- Clean the site: remove fallen leaves and organic remains.
- Work the soil: the substrate needs to be porous and nutrient-rich. Most probably, this won't be the case at your guerrilla growing location, so you might have to carry your own soil and make a mix.
5. Germinate in advance
If your grow spot is difficult to access, you can consider starting the seeds at home and transplanting them into small pots. Cannabis plants are more vulnerable in their early life stage, so if you have the opportunity – and the space – to allow the seedlings grow a little before moving them outdoors, the chances of survival will rocket. If this is not the case and you are planning to start your seeds in bare soil – which we strongly advise against – you will have to visit the spot on a daily basis for the first two weeks.
Some more things to consider...
- Protect your plants during their early life stage: cover them with a mesh that allows light penetration while acting as a barrier for predators (rodents, birds, wild boars, etc.).
- Cover your plants: your grow site needs to be difficult to spot, so planting next to some brambles, which tend to reach two to three meters in height and whose thorns keep hikers away, could be a good idea.
- Keep pests under control: take preventive measures to avoid pests such as spier mites and caterpillars.
- Leave no trace: try to take a different route every time you visit the plants, otherwise you will end up making a path that could draw the attention of hikers, who may feel the urge to explore it.
- Regularly visit the crop: there are many factors that can work against you when growing outdoors. Basically it will all come down to battling the elements and coping with pests and adverse environmental conditions as they arise, this is why you should check on the plants on a regular basis and address all their needs.
- Keep a low profile when harvesting: this is the most delicate moment, as you will have to transport the delicious buds that will keep you supplied throughout the winter. Be particularly vigilant: harvest early in the morning – by early we mean at dawn – and take steps so that nobody can guess what you are carrying. The most important thing here is covering the smell, for which you can use a TightVac, an airtight, cylindrical container that keeps the smell sealed inside.