FAQ - Growing Outdoors
Spring has just kicked off and gardeners all around Australia are prepping their gardens or pots for the impending season.
Usually around this time a lot of our indoor gardeners try their hand at outdoor growing, some have lots of experience and need very little assistance. There are some new gardeners and seasoned indoor gardeners that experience some issues making the transition, so this FAQ is generally aimed at the latter group, however all gardeners should be able to draw some tips or inspiration from this post too.
(Q) Do I have to use Soil if I am growing outside?
(A) No, you can use any growing medium successfully the most commonly used in Australia for outdoor container growing is Coco Coir.
(Q) How often do I feed my plants Outdoors?
(A) Depending on which substrate/medium you choose to grow in, also depends on the feeding rate. For example; Coco growers would feed once or multiple times per day as would the perlite/vermiculite growers, those who opt for a soil, if the soil is “living” then watering once a day is enough with no further amendments needed, this is only short lived and eventually the user would have to amend organics relative the plant’s needs.
(Q) How long is an Outdoor season?
(A) There are many theories on this and I do not claim mine to be the go-to method, however results do speak for themselves and with rarely a failure I think the advice is justified. Mid-Late October – April-June, the reasons as to why one would start around mid-October would solely rely on the weather pattern. Also around this time growers who follow the zodiac would plant/germinate on a waxing Gibbous moon and harvest on a waning moon (which aligns similarly with April-June The reason for the 4-7 week difference is because of the genetics, some varieties flower and mature much earlier than others, in a nutshell though your Indy and hybrid varieties will finish much earlier than the majority of the satty dominant ones.
(Q) I’ve heard pests can be an issue?
(A) Of course, they live outside too. The smartest approach here is aiming for prevention rather than cure. When your plants are small, mist the every 3-5 days with pyrethrum and/or a neem based oil like Mite-rid or a more organic approach, diatomaceous earth as a soil treatment and it can also be made up into a soluble spray using de-mineralized water and a few drops of surfactant. By doing this, your plants will develop a resistant barrier and will barely be touched. Remember if the plant is healthy not much can affect its immune system, insects usually attack due to weakness, so just make them strong!
(Q) Best hydroponic nutrients for outdoor growing?
(A) All of them! They all have the elements needed for premium plant growth and flowering, the most common chosen for outdoor currently is; Hy-Gen & Cyco Nutrients.
(Q) Toward the end of the season what’s the best tip?
(A) In general I would say always be prepared to have to do some work, more specifically when it starts to rain and your precious plants are going into flower, moisture is the enemy. So droplets of rain sitting in the center of flowers is not good, id advise getting some form of coverage pre-setup in case it does rain, this way you can cover a tarp or sheet over and prevent them getting drenched. Another alternate is put them in a shed or even indoors if you have to. Last but not least is just remember to feed everyday sometimes twice! If you have your heart set on a specific outcome, you must remember to feed