To grow indoor or outdoor - that is the question! We break down 7 important considerations.
Obviously, the biggest difference between growing indoor and outdoors is control. Growing inside a cabinet offers complete control of every aspect of your environment. Lighting, airflow, water and nutrients are all dialed in precisely with our growing program, leading to the perfect growing environment and healthy plants from seed to harvest. When growing outdoors, you are at the mercy of mother nature. Potentially poor weather is just the beginning: soil quality, temperature swings, extended rain, dry spells, cloudy weeks and aggressive winds can all impact negatively on your plant’s health and yield. Speaking from experience, we lost half a near-harvest plant to a windstorm after caring for it for 5 months…devastating! Then there’s pests, insects, competing plants, moulds, fungus, and worst of all, the neighbor’s teenager.
2) Lifecycle Times
Cannabis is a photoperiod plant, meaning it’s lifecycle stage is dependent on the hours of sunlight it is exposed to. When a plant is exposed to 18 hours of sunlight it will grow large and leafy in its vegetative state. When that light exposure is reduced to 12 hours of sunlight per day, the cannabis plant will switch to its flowering stage and start producing buds. When growing in a cabinet you can switch the photoperiod at any point in time by simply adjusting your timer, triggering the plant to switch into its flowering stage at will. Our growing program lasts 3 months from seed to harvest, with 4-6 weeks in the vegetative state, and 6-8 weeks flowering. On the other hand, growing outdoors you can obviously not control the photoperiod of the sun. In Canada, the vegetative state runs May – August, and the flowering state from August to October. Expect a 6-month lifecycle from seed to harvest when growing outdoors.
3) Growing Frequency
With 3 month growing cycles and complete control over the photoperiod, you can expect to grow upwards of 4 plant lifecycles per year in your cabinet. Growing outdoors in Canada, there is only one possible plant lifecycle per year: May-October.
4) Size and Trimming
In short, cannabis grows to the environment. Our cabinets are built to be the perfect size – compact enough to work with any living space, but large enough to grow healthy plants with a large yield. With our program, expect two short trims during early flowering, called defoliation, and one large, final trim at harvest. When growing outdoors, there are no size constraints – expect healthy plants to grow extremely large: it is not uncommon for plants to exceed 8 feet in both height and diameter. Plants of this size are beautiful, but very difficult to maintain in both size and weight. Expect to trim a large amount of leaves on a weekly basis during the summer, stake and support throughout the grow, and keep in mind that you will spend several hours and maybe days trimming the entire plant at harvest.
5) Flower Quality and Yield
Indoor = Higher quality, lower yield
Outdoor = Lower quality, higher yield
Indoor grown cannabis with a controlled micro-environment results in a better flower. Period. With complete and precise control over every aspect of your plant needs, the end product is simply of higher quality. With exposure to the myriad of factors involved with outdoor growing, the final quality will rarely come close to indoor. In terms of yield, expect to harvest anywhere from 2-6 ounces per plant of top quality flower. With a successful outdoor grow, expect to harvest anywhere from 4-16 ounces of lower quality flower.
6) Safety, Odour, and Stealth
Our cabinets are lockable, remove odors through carbon scrubbing, and are designed to be beautiful and inconspicuous. Unfortunately, none of these important considerations can be achieved growing outdoors. During flowering, your cannabis plants will give off a strong, distinctive odour, they will grow large, and without security, the plants are vulnerable to anyone who might want to pick some flowers.
In short, growing indoors is marginally more expensive than growing outside. After all, you don’t get a bill for sunlight and rainfall. Luckily, our cabinets are built using the latest in efficient lighting and ventilation systems. Expect monthly utility costs between $5-$10 per cabinet depending on your municipal rates, and timing of your lights (on/off peak hours). With a 3-month growing cycle, expect to pay $15-$30 in utilities.