Choosing Outdoor Seeds To Grow In Your Climate
What kind of cannabis you choose to cultivate and where you sow the seeds will dictate your outdoor crop’s performance. Our breakdown of the perfect strains for each climate zone will help you grow fire marijuana throughout spring, summer, and autumn.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR OF CANNABIS CULTIVATION—GENETICS
Genetics hold the key to your cannabis seeds’ potential and that’s a fact. No matter what miracle nutrient formulation you apply or how perfectly you maintain the garden, results will be genetics-driven. If you start with bunko beans, don’t expect huge yields of high-grade. Only by carefully choosing high-quality, feminized seeds can the cannabis grower avoid the low-ceiling limitations of weak genetics. Outdoor cannabis cultivation requires an even more rigorous selection process.
These days, the vast majority of cannabis strains on the market have been specifically adapted and bred for indoor cultivation. Sure, in theory, any weed can grow anywhere. But in practice, this is absolutely not the case with all cannabis varieties. Most marijuana will thrive in a sunny southern climate. However, plenty of outstanding, hardy strains can be cultivated in cooler, northern latitudes.
It’s time to get our hands dirty with some old-school marijuana cropping in the great outdoors. Match up the right cannabis with the local climate and you’ve taken the first step on the route to a successful outdoor harvest.
EUROPEAN CLIMATE ZONES: HOW MUCH SUN IS YOUR GARDEN GETTING?
Job number one is to establish how much daily sunlight your cannabis plants are likely to receive during the growing season. Once you know the timeframe you have to work with, you can begin to consider which strains are the best fits. Keep an eye on the local weather forecast and do a little online research. Find accurate data on hours of daily sunlight, sunrise and sunset times, temperatures day and night, prevailing winds, and precipitation frequency.
Perhaps you are based somewhere around the Mediterranean. If so, you have the luxury of growing late-blooming sativas outdoors from around April to Croptober. Maybe you are living in Northern Europe and only have a short Spring/Summer 8-10 week window to squeeze in some tough ruderalis. Or you could be somewhere in the middle and need versatile hybrids for a summer crop.
Here is a breakdown of different climate zones with recommended cannabis strains you can grow outdoors:
COOL NORTHERN LATITUDES
Northern European growers from the west coast of Ireland to eastern Poland need to go with cannabis strains that can survive in less-than-perfect conditions
Photoperiod and autoflowering strains bred to thrive in colder climates can produce top-shelf quality outdoors. With their fast growth and shorter flowering times, you can harvest them much earlier than other strains. This way, you can beat the rain in fall and avoid mould taking hold of your precious buds. Still, you must time your crop right to avoid the most inclement weather, as no cannabis is invincible.
Remember to reference weather data before choosing your seeds. If you find yourself limited to less than three months total crop time, you really only have time to grow very fast autoflowers during late spring/early summer. To be on the safe side, grow in containers so you can take your plants inside if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Quick One is one of the first market-ready autoflowering cannabis varieties, and was once one of the fastest strains you could grow. She is still blazingly fast, taking only 8–9 weeks from seed to harvest, which makes her an excellent choice for those with a short summer season. This compact plant won’t get taller than 50–60cm, yet will reward you with a decent yield of up to 150g/plant. She may not be the most potent cannabis, but 13% THC still produces a very relaxing stone. She has a fresh, herbal, and citrusy aroma and a pleasantly mild taste.
Another great choice if you need a super-fast autoflowering strain to beat the bad weather is Easy Bud. Similar to Royal Dwarf, but with a few genetic differences, this girls shines with good yields and a moderate THC level. Plant your seeds, and she will soon be showing off her ripe, juicy buds in a short 8–9 weeks post-germination. With 12% THC, Easy Bud is just the perfect strain if you enjoy a mild high that won’t knock you out. Staying at a compact height of 60–100cm, the strain can yield as much as 80g of citrus-flavoured bud per plant.
HOT, DRY SOUTHERN CLIMATE
Southern European growers have a huge advantage over northern growers. An abundance of sunshine facilitates a long growing season that can be productive from March-November. The possibilities are endless. It really comes down to which kind of sticky green is your personal favourite.
Beginner growers can gain experience with some gourmet warm climate autoflowering varieties. In fact, the next-generation RQS auto hybrids are also a great option for more experienced growers looking to double-crop in a single season. Royal Haze Automatic and Northern Light Automatic immediately spring to mind as winners in a warm climate. All you have to decide is whether you prefer indica or sativa-leaning stash.
It would be a shame not to dabble with some fine photoperiod strains in a warmer climate. How about some organic, soil-cultivated OG Kush or Sour Diesel goodness to have your ladies growing into great ganja trees for some truly monster yields? But do keep an eye out when growing in these hot climate zones, as the scorching sun can be too much for plants to handle in excess. Shade, rather than shelter from rain, may be required. Watch out for heatwaves! Here are our favourites when growing in a hot and dry climate:
ROYAL HAZE AUTO
Our Royal Haze Auto brings simplicity to the Haze family! Being an autoflower, she does away with a major inconvenience that growers encounter with photoperiod Hazes—their long flowering time. Instead, Royal Haze Auto moves from seed to harvest in a short 10–12 weeks. She is also a great choice if you want to harvest several Haze crops over one summer season—something you can’t accomplish with photoperiod strains. Get ready for a great smoke with citrus and herbal flavours and a cerebral, uplifting Haze high.
NORTHERN LIGHT AUTO
Bred from Afghani genetics sometime in the 1970s, Northern Light has become one of the most popular strains among cannabis enthusiasts. Our autoflowering variant of this popular indica hybrid isn’t just a great indoor strain, but makes a formidable figure outdoors as well. Not that the photoperiod version isn’t awesome already (she sure is!), but there are cultivators who cherish the 9–10-week life cycle of the automatic version. And, let’s be honest, who likes to wait for awesome weed? Smoke Northern Light Auto to enjoy a relaxing physical stone with just the right amount of uplifting stimulation.
Not much needs to be said about OG Kush, one of the most iconic cannabis strains of all time. This super dank specimen, a 75% indica, is just ideal to grow outdoors under the sun. Here, a single plant can yield 500 grams in a short 8 weeks of flowering. Once you can finally set her buds ablaze, you will enjoy delicious citrus, pine, and fruit flavours. Her extremely relaxing indica effect makes OG Kush the perfect nighttime strain for chilling and watching movies.
Sour Diesel is another legendary cannabis strain that any “serious” cultivator shouldn’t miss out on growing. With roots in sunny California, she’s well adapted to dry and sunny climates. Here, the plant can grow to its full potential. This 70% sativa can reach a height of 2m and flowers over 10–11 weeks. Despite the slightly prolonged flowering period, she can provide an epic yield of up to 600g/plant. Among her highlights is her trademark fuel-like aroma and taste, which is highly sought-after by cannabis enthusiasts. She provides a relaxing but clear high.
WARM-WET COASTAL CLIMATE
Sun, sea, and outstanding outdoor sinsemilla. If you are living around the Mediterranean, you are also spoiled with choices. Although, cropping cannabis strains resistant to bud mould is probably advisable, especially if you’re a novice cultivator. Unfortunately, thick, tight colas and high humidity don’t mix.
For these climates, high-calibre Hazes are recommended. Their slightly looser flower formation and greater tolerance for humidity make sativa hybrids the perfect choice for the coastal cultivator. Of course, sativa genetics will add a few weeks to bloom, even for autoflowering Hazes. Then again, you have from April to October, so you’re not really in a rush. Plenty of time to harvest the finest headstash!
But don’t get too complacent with sativa genetics as they too can succumb to mould and fungus. Check the weather and be at the ready to harvest from September onward should the rain come early. Here are our recommended Hazes to grow in a hot and humid climate:
Derived from old-school Haze seeds and considered one of the best variants, Amnesia Haze by RQS is a great choice for growing in hot and humid conditions. This 70% sativa, which can reach a height of 210cm, keeps the risk for mould low thanks to her airy leaf-to-flower ratio. But know that growing Amnesia Haze isn’t something for the impatient. Expect about four months of growing and then another two weeks of drying and curing before you can finally enjoy this outstanding strain. On the other hand, getting 700g/plant in good conditions—and a spectacular head high powered by 22% THC—will absolutely make you forget the long wait. Well, just look at her name. duh!
SHINING SILVER HAZE
Shining Silver Haze is another formidable Haze Royal Queen Seeds is proud to have in our collection. Based on one of the first-ever Haze classics, the legendary Super Silver Haze, RQS further enhanced the sativa to please even the pickiest of connoisseurs. With a loose leaf-to-flower ratio that ensures good air circulation, greatly reducing the risk for mould, she is well suited to humid outdoor environments. This plant can reach a height of 220cm, flowers over 9–11 weeks, and will yield as much as 650g/plant. When smoked, she induces an instant head high that goes straight to your brain thanks to 21% THC. In addition, she delights the smoker with sweet, citrusy, and earthy flavours.
Growing marijuana outdoors under natural sunlight, instead of indoors with artificial light is just as nuanced. We'll help you make the best choice of seeds.
Top 5 Cannabis Strains To Grow Outdoors In 2020
Do you plan to grow outdoors this year? Take a look at our top 5 outdoor cannabis strains to grow in 2020. Get ready for fast growth and large yields!
Growing cannabis outdoors is extremely rewarding, if mostly for the large yields and low cost of operation. Many of Royal Queen Seeds’ varieties take very well to the outdoors, thriving under the natural sunlight. That said, when it comes to outdoor growing, the strain you choose can make all the difference between success or failure. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of our top 5 outdoor strains—cultivars that are ready to harvest by late September.
With the selections on this list, you can avoid unnecessary trouble with rain and frost in October and November. While other growers are busy inspecting their developing buds for mould, you’ll be drying and curing your harvest and filling up your jars. If you missed out on our top 5 strains for colder and warmer climates, feel free to give those a look as well!
BENEFITS OF CHOOSING THE RIGHT STRAIN WHEN GROWING OUTDOORS
When selecting a cannabis strain to grow outdoors, speed shouldn’t be the only concern. It’s also important for plants to be productive, to have a good aroma, and to induce a pleasant effect once smoked.
Here are the traits your outdoor strain needs to include:
• Fast flowering so you can beat rainy weather in fall
• Good natural resistance to mould and pests
• High yields
• Great potency, aroma, and flavour
• Superb effect
TOP 5 EARLY-FINISHING CANNABIS STRAINS TO GROW OUTDOORS IN 2020
Now that we know what makes a good strain to grow outdoors, it’s time to look at some recommended cultivars. Here are 5 of the best early-finishing outdoor strains to grow in 2020:
1. HONEY CREAM FAST FLOWERING
Honey Cream Fast Flowering is one of our recently updated favourites. This variety is very popular in Spain due to its sweet, creamy aroma, but you can grow it virtually anywhere in Europe.
Its remarkably short flowering time of only 6–7 weeks makes it a good strain in regions where the weather can get ugly early in fall. However, grow it in July and August, and this will provide a sufficient window for Honey Cream to receive a lot of sunlight so she can bulk up. This way, you can harvest good amounts of sweet, potent buds in September.
Besides its short flowering period and amazing flavour, Honey Cream convinces with a solid indica background composed of BlueBlack (Blueberry x Black Domina), Maple Leaf Indica (100% Afghan indica), and White Rhino. These three strains give Honey Cream FF an indica-dominant genetic profile, but there’s also a decent amount of sativa potency from White Widow, the predecessor of White Rhino. When things go well, plants reach outdoor heights of 180–250cm and yield up to 675g/plant.
Honey Cream (Fast Flowering)
|Honey Cream (Fast Flowering)|
|BlueBlack x Maple Leaf Indica x White Rhino|
|500 – 550 gr/m2|
|100 – 160 cm|
|7 – 8 weeks|
|Sativa 35% Indica 65%|
|625 – 675 gr/plant|
|180 – 250 cm|
2. SPEEDY CHILE FAST FLOWERING
Next up is Speedy Chile. This girl combines Early Skunk genetics with several Chile indica landraces, although a third generation autoflowering plant is partly responsible for its very short flowering time of just 6 weeks (42 days!).
But make no mistake, Speedy Chile is a photoperiod strain that flowers depending on the amount of available light hours per day. One could say that fast flowering strains are the next breeding evolution after autoflowering genetics: These strains produce high THC levels while maintaining an incredibly short total crop time.
For outdoor cultivators and novice growers, choosing Speedy Chile Fast Flowering is a wise decision. You can fill your bags with buds in early September, which leaves no room for uncertainty regarding climate or mould issues. And the buds you gather will be excellent in their own right, producing sumptuous flavours of fruit and pine alongside a THC content of 16%.
Speedy Chile (Fast Flowering)
|Speedy Chile (Fast Flowering)|
|Early Skunk x Skunk x Chile Indica|
|475 – 525 gr/m2|
|60 – 100 cm|
|7 – 8 weeks|
|Sativa 30% Indica 70%|
|450 – 500 gr/plant|
|100 – 170 cm|
3. CRITICAL KUSH
You’ve probably already come across Critical in your career as a hobby grower, a true heavy-yielding champion we recommend for indoor and outdoor growers seeking the best ratio between yield and flowering time.
Critical, which also made it into our Top 5 Strains For Colder Climates, is a vigorous and rapid-flowering indica that deserves to be featured in every cannabis ranking that exists. However, crossing Critical with the notorious OG Kush took potency to a whole new level.
Critical Kush features some of the cerebral and rather sativa-like effects of OG Kush in addition to the powerful couch-lock stone of Critical—a classic scenario of “buy one high, get one free”. Growers looking for a sturdy, potent, and profit-yielding strain for the outdoors won’t make a bad decision with Critical Kush. The rewards you’ll receive in late September are huge: outdoor yields of up to 550g/plant, a long-lasting and intense effect, and a final product with an average THC level of 20%.
|Critical x OG Kush|
|500 – 550 gr/m2|
|60 – 100 cm|
|8 – 10 weeks|
|Sativa 20% Indica 80%|
|500 – 550 gr/plant|
|100 – 140 cm|
|Long Lasting , Physically Relaxing, Powerful|
4. SWEET ZZ
Sweet ZZ is our own version of the legendary Zkittlez. With its fruity aroma and succulent flavour, it’s top favourite for all candy-loving cannabis growers.
Bred from Grape Ape and Grapefruit, this indica-dominant hybrid takes only 7–9 weeks to flower, so you can cut this plant down in late September outdoors. When you do, better bring an extra bag, as this girl can yield up to 600g/plant in good conditions.
Although Sweet ZZ is indica-dominant, its effects are firmly focused on the mind, not the body. It will hit you with waves of uplifting thoughts and feel-good vibes. Add its delicious flavours of citrus, berries, and candy, and you get the physical embodiment of happiness in one awesome smoke. Good thing it’s not ultra-powerful with 15–20% THC. This way, you can savour its taste and effect for a long time before reaching the point of no return.
|Grape Ape x Grapefruit|
|550 – 600 gr/m2|
|80 – 140 cm|
|7 – 9 weeks|
|Sativa 20% Indica 80%|
|500 – 550 gr/plant|
|160 – 200 cm|
5. FAT BANANA
With Fat Banana, the breeders at RQS managed to hybridise the biggest and fattest Banana OG specimens. This Kush strain will seduce you with fruity flavours, and it may lay you flat on your couch with its incredibly potent smoke.
Perfect for growing outdoors, the strain needs about 7–8 weeks to mature its flowers. If all goes well, you can bring in 500g/plant by mid-September.
Fat Banana is one of those creeper strains where you’ll want to take it slow. The high starts out with a mild euphoric wave accompanied by mouth-watering fruity flavours, which makes it very difficult to put the doobie down again. It is easy to forget that the strain is immensely potent, with up to 25% THC or more. Before you know it, a powerful physical stone will take hold, and you’ll find yourself glued to the couch in utter relaxation.
Click here for a selection of the best early-finishing outdoor cannabis strains that you can harvest by the end of September. Grow great weed in 2020!