First Time Growing Ganja Outside (in the ground) & a 6 ft. Tall Beauty!
Spending the entire growing season in New Mexico for the first time this year afforded me the opportunity to achieve numerous gardening firsts - including my first time ever growing Cannabis outside and in the ground. I have grown a few plants outdoors up in Montana before, but still in pots as the grow season up there is too short to reach harvest before freezing temperatures arrive. Here in New Mexico, however, even in the high elevation where I’ve been doing all this gardening, the grow season is long enough and the plants triggered to go into flower early enough that growing Cannabis directly in the soil outside is a very real possibility. And, as I quickly began to see, this is the way to grow in climates that allow.
I was absolutely blown away by how fast this Blueberry/AK hybrid reached the tree-like mature height of just over 6 feet tall!
One of the stars of this grow, she was definitely a beauty, though she is now no more having just been harvested.
At her peak, shooting up over an inch, sometimes two inches per day, we ensured she would reach her peak height by never topping the plant. The other two massive plants, seen in the cover photo, are far bushier due to topping, but they all would have gotten a good bit bigger had we not been so late to get them in the ground…
Being New Mexico, the soil is incredibly poor, so growing anything directly in the soil is no easy task, requiring lots of digging in hard clay soil that must be seriously amended with compost before truly qualifying as real ‘soil’. We amended the soil to a mix ratio of approximately 50% native clay soil and 50% compost. The use of humanure - composted human poop from composting toilets - in select areas of the garden revealed that the Cannabis, among other plants, thrived with the use of it, growing far bigger and faster where both regular compost and humanure was used as opposed to just garden compost.
Another benefit to growing in NM besides the warmer climate/longer grow season is that it is now among the growing number of states where it is legal (recreationally) for residents to grow, 6 mature plants per adult - and interestingly, my first time growing the cannabis in the ground took place during the first season that it was technically legal to do so here.
At the end of it all, we were left with 11 decent sized mature females of various sizes, three of which were unmatched in size (and total harvest weight no doubt), while the one that remained potted for the season ended up being almost entirely destroyed by plant worms, sadly. Still, 10 plants not bad at all, and a good reminder to Neem regularly through the entire duration of the season.
Besides the Blueberry, there was also an OG Kush, a Gorilla Glue (the potted plant with only a few salvaged flowers), some Iranian strain from seed gifted from a friend, and the rest from mystery bag seeds previously collected by the gal here I was growing with. It was her first time growing the plant at all, and has been a great experience for both of us - now keeping us a little too busy with endless trimming, an ongoing project that sometimes seems it may never end.
Pictures of the first two healthy plants I harvested - smallest of the ones we transplanted into the garden - both mystery strains though the aroma of one distinctly reminded me of a chocolate skunk, but who knows how I could ever know with certainty…
And a picture of that Iranian strain as well:
These three plants were in the garden bed where I did a controlled humanure experiment, and the two plants that had humanure in their soil matured to about twice the size of the one without humanure, proving to me the immense power (and benefits) of composting toilets and gardening with the resulting composted manure!
Although growing in the ground, all these plants were started in small pots indoors before being transplanted into the garden. I did manage to plant one seed directly in the soil, however, and though I was about a month late getting the seed in, the little baby still had just enough time to reach over one foot tall and form just one single gorgeous flower (this also a Blueberry/AK).
All in all, its been a good learning experience, as, despite having some Cannabis growing experience and a natural green thumb, I had never seen these plants grown directly in the ground, let alone done it myself, nor did I have a clue about gardening in the dry southwest climate as found here in NM, both of which I learned more about than could be put in one single post. The experience won’t truly be over until the harvest is finished, but we’re getting there, slowly, one day at a time - as I try my best to chip away at this a little at a time while also attempting to keep up with all the other harvesting that needs done around here before the first freeze comes.
Until next time, I hope readers enjoyed this post, and happy growing.