Guerilla grow: Growing weed in the woods
If you don’t have much room at home or a large garden but you do have an adventurous spirit, a guerilla grow can be the answer. And it is also an inexpensive option. Here are some tips for growing weed in the woods, although, of course, such an endeavour is never guaranteed! Start your guerilla grow at the end of spring after the danger of frosts has passed and follow our advice. With a bit of luck, your harvest should produce enough buds to last you through the cold winter months.
Choosing the right location is the key to success
Planting cannabis in the wild is dependent on the correct growing location and is of paramount importance to the success of your grow. Whether you intend to cultivate a couple of plants or a good dozen, it is the location of your secret plantation that will ensure success.
Things to consider
The growing site should be well away from any public footpaths or boundaries to prevent curious eyes from stumbling upon your secret or even stealing your harvest. The ground should not be excessively wet, so avoid boggy marshes or any area that is likely to be flooded. Check that the available water isn’t too far away from the site – this could be a stream, well, pool or river or even a trough for livestock. If any of these are situated near the growing area, you should also make sure the water is not stagnant or unclean. Stagnant water can contaminate the nearest aquifer. Ensure that standing water is at least a dozen metres from the grow site.
Good spots for a guerilla grow
- In the wood
- In the dunes
- In meadows
Adequate drainage is vital because cannabis needs plenty of water but does not do well growing in water as the roots will quickly rot, which means a speedy death for your weed plants. If you notice insects or larvae in the water, it means it is likely to be permanent, and is a sign that it is not the right location for a guerilla grow.
Get the young seedlings ready in a tub, or, even better, biodegradable pots (made from a natural plant fibre such as coconut coir). Planting cannabis seeds directly in the soil is also possible if you live somewhere with a long growing season.
Watch out for areas overgrown with weeds as they naturally prefer under the same environmental conditions as marijuana. Spend some time clearing this area, pulling weeds out by their roots and using a garden fork to aerate the soil and remove any large stones. Although, there is no need to make the site perfectly manicured and completely weed-free as this could draw unwelcome attention to the site!
Then it’s time to plant your seedlings in the ground. If the roots of your plant seem rather delicate, sink your tub directly into the soil, so that it is completely submerged. However, it’s a fact that during the transplantation process, your roots will probably sustain a bit of damage, no matter how careful you are. One tip is to use a pair of scissors to cut away the base of the tub to free the roots and then plant the pot in the soil – this technique is often used by tomato growers.
We recommend planting between 10 to 12 plants; a number which will lead to the probable harvest of 5 or 6 plants. Expect at least half of it to be lost to natural causes, such as insects or bad weather. Besides, eliminating male plants will also reduce the number of mature plants at harvest, although you could choose feminised seedeeds to avoid this.
If you don’t use feminized marijuana seeds, you should remove any male plants before they have a chance to pollinate the female buds with seeds. However, harvest management will be quite challenging unless you visit the plantation to check the condition of the plants as often as possible.
Tips for a successful guerilla grow
If you plan to grow in the wild, there are a number of points to consider. Here you can think of:
1. The growing medium
As it is not recommended to visit your guerilla grow daily, the culture medium should be able to hold plenty of water for as long as possible. Choose a mixture of potting soil, peat, and vermiculite. Well-rotted manure is always welcome, and tomato feed also works well for weed plants.
Worms are ideal creatures to help aerate the soil and should be encouraged.
If you have chosen to plant seeds, ensure the soil is well aerated by using an aeration tool or simply digging the soil with a fork. It’s really important to ensure that the soil is nice and pliable so that early roots can easily explore the soil.
Since weed needs a plenty of moisture, there will probably be occasions when you need to visit the site to water them. The rule of thumb is that if there is no rain for three consecutive sunshine-filled days, the plants will need to be watered.
You should aim to dampen the first couple of centimetres. Wait until the water sinks into the soil surrounding the base of the last plant, then return to the plant you started with, and water again on your return. This is the gentlest way of watering the growth medium. If too much water is chucked over the plants at once, there is an increased danger of exposing the roots and harming the plants. The sudden shock of cold water will also slow growth until the roots have a chance to warm up.
It’s also essential to avoid too much humidity in the autumn. While keeping your plants damp in the summer is key, it is just as crucial to keep your buds nice and dry in the autumn to prevent mould from taking hold.
Give the mature plants a shake every now and then to remove excess rain moisture. If it is really muggy and dampy, you may even have to harvest early to prevent mould from spreading.
3. Visiting your guerilla grow
If the planting area is in the middle of nowhere, it might be a good idea to take note of the exact location in case you forget where the location of the plants is! There are several ways you can track your location. Most growers prefer to place their plants well off the beaten track – at least ten minutes walk away. The simplest way is to use an app on your smartphone to record the geolocation and save it somewhere safe.
Or you could try a more old school way which is easy and fun and involves placing painted or memorable stones or marking trees and bushes along the trail indicating the site – a bit like Hansel and Gretel. The trick is to make the markers noticeable to you but not to anyone else!
Finishing up your guerilla grow
When the leaves fall, the resin flows and the colours begin to change, it’s time to harvest. Do it at a sensible time when you are less likely to come into contact with others, such as early in the morning on a cloudy day. Bring a large, strong container, like a 2-litre bucket with a secure lid, to avoid the smell attracting unwanted attention. Place the branches in the container with the cut end pointing down to keep your buds intact.
Once you and your plants are home and dry, you can start to dry them off and begin the process of curing your plants. Hopefully, you will have enough weed to keep you going for the whole year and some seeds for next year’s.
Want to start growing weed in the woods? Use these tips for a successful Guerilla grow in the wild. Buy seeds at Weedseedsexpress and get 20% FREE SEEDS
All You Need To Know About Guerrilla Growing Cannabis
Guerrilla growing is when you grow cannabis outdoors, somewhere in a hidden location that won’t easily be discovered. Learn all about how to successfully guerrilla grow cannabis in our guide below!
Not everyone can grow cannabis in their own home or garden. For some cannabis enthusiasts, the only way to go about growing weed is to do it outdoors in a secret spot in nature. When you stealthily grow weed somewhere (where you hope that your precious crop isn’t discovered), this is known as guerrilla growing. Here is all you need to know on how you can successfully guerrilla grow cannabis!
THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF GUERRILLA GROWING CANNABIS
The most obvious advantage to guerrilla growingis that your plants will be located suitably far away from your place of residence. While this can be a pain in terms of checking up on your plants, it removes the risk of you getting busted should growing cannabis still be illegal in your region. In those places where cannabis laws are still not as relaxed as we’d wish, a guerrilla grow can remove the threat of cops, landlords, and neighbours complaining about the smell or sight of your “devil’s lettuce”.
Then again, growing weed somewhere out in nature can have its own risks. The biggest, of course, is that your grow might be discovered—by humans or otherwise. Animals out in the wild, from deer to birds to nasty bugs, can all take a toll on the health and vitality of your precious plants. And of course, any human passersby who enjoy cannabis themselves may take their own toll by chopping down your plant or stealing your container. Moreover, adverse weather conditions mean that your guerrilla-grown crop largely has to fend for itself.
Still, if you plan your guerrilla grow ahead of time and go about it with some basic know-how, it is certainly possible for the experience to be both fun and rewarding.
HOW TO FIND A GOOD SPOT TO GROW
The very first thing you need to do when planning a guerrilla grow is to find a suitable location. Obviously, you want to choose somewhere discreet where there is little chance of your plants being spotted. For this, you should explore the surroundings of a potential location to see whether you come across nearby paths, footprints, garbage, and other signs that people may come here on occasion.
So make sure to select your secret growing location a good distance away from streets, paths, and buildings. Consider also that the odour of your plants may be noticeable as much as 10–15m away or more, so take this into account when choosing a spot. Parks, public places, and areas that seem to be kept-up well are usually not very good locations. The more difficult it is to get to your secret growing spot, the better!
When you’re choosing a guerrilla growing spot, you must also make sure there are no street lights in the vicinity. The lights could otherwise mess up your plant’s natural dark cycle, causing it to turn intersex or resulting in other adverse reactions.
LOOK FOR WATER
Experienced guerrilla growers often say that a hidden spot near water is optimal. So, if you have a lake or stream nearby, this can be a nice advantage. It can make it easier when it comes to watering your wild plants, and you won’t look suspicious carrying buckets of water over quite some distance. In an ideal location near a lake or river, your plants can just absorb the water that’s already in the soil, and you may not even have to water them. Likewise, locations near water are naturally also warmer in the winter, so there is less risk that your plants would suffer from frost. On the other hand, if you grow very close to a stream, there can be a risk for flooding should it rain heavily late in summer. Keep this in mind.
If you grow outdoors, you will want to frequently check on your plants. You may need to water them often, and you want to keep a close eye on things such as pests or other possible problems. Because of that, a growing spot that’s miles and miles away isn’t optimal. If you can, choose a guerrilla grow spot that is accessible by foot or bike.
STARTING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
Now it’s time to get to the exciting bits: how to start your guerrilla grow. The “pros” normally don’t start a guerrilla grow from seed. It can be best to start the seeds or clones indoors first, then replant them in your secret spot outdoors once your seedlings have grown a bit. You can still plant seeds outdoors, just don’t expect the same results as you would when transplanting a robust young plant.
The best time to replant your cannabis seedlings outside is after the last frost has occurred in spring. Make sure to accustom your seedlings to the conditions outside. Before you set them out, you should place them in the sun for a few hours every day so they can get used to the natural sunlight. As you’re doing this, it can be a good time to prepare your guerrilla grow spot for your plants!
PREPARING YOUR OUTDOOR GUERRILLA GROW SPOT
There are some things that you should do to prepare your grow spot before you start planting. You may want to put up extra protection against animals, or camouflage your location. Likewise, most growers bring in outside soil to grow their plants, as natural soil is not always ideal for raising healthy and productive specimens.
In this case, start out by digging a hole for your plant, and filling it with a rich growing medium of soil, coco, and perlite, if possible. The hole should be big enough to accommodate the spread of roots into nutritious soil.
Although the above process requires only one visit, watering becomes a little more complicated. Frequently watering your plant out in the wild can be challenging. A good way to go about this is to mix water-absorbing polymers into your substrate. These polymers are like water-filled gels that can absorb and store water, which they slowly release so your plants can drink during dry spells. When you add mulch and cover your growing spot with straw, this can also help keep water from evaporating so that the soil in your grow spot will stay moist for longer.
You can also consider adding slow-release nutrients to your substrate. You should be able to source the substrate, polymers, and the slow-release nutrients from any good garden centre or grow shop.
After digging the hole and filling it with a suitable substrate, you can finally plant your seedling or seed. Water your plant well until all the soil in its surroundings is moist.
CAMOUFLAGING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
The possibility that your secret grow spot could be discovered is arguably the biggest risk with guerrilla growing. Because of that, you want to camouflage your growing area.
Ideally, your grow spot should already be hidden enough that you don’t need to go through much effort to conceal it. If necessary, you can use the surrounding vegetation to hide your plants by constructing a sort of natural fence, making it necessary to move these plants out of the way to access your hidden crop.
Then again, there will always be a small risk that your plants could be discovered, no matter how well you hide them. This is the reason that guerrilla growers often spread their plants around in multiple locations, rather than relying on one single spot. In other words: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you plant your weed in more locations, any unexpected happenings will not result in the failure of your entire crop.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PLANTS
Outdoors, a lot can happen to your plants since they will be susceptible to all nature has to offer. You can increase protection of your cannabis plants by making simple cages out of chicken wire. These should at least keep larger animals like birds and deer away from your plants. When you visit your guerrilla grow, you should also make a habit of checking for common signs of pest infestation. Some natural pesticides such as neem oil can work in a preventative way so you can decrease the chances for common pests, such as aphids, to appear. Online, as well as in grow stores, you can find a number of products to repel deer, rabbits, and other animals.
EXTRA TIPS TO KEEP YOUR GUERRILLA GROW UNDER THE RADAR
As you will likely go to your secret cannabis plantation fairly often, avoid always taking the same route. A fresh path out in the wild could draw suspicion, so take a different way as often as you can. If you notice that you leave footprints, cover them up with dirt.
It can also be helpful to prepare a credible story for the eventuality of someone seeing you near your spot and asking what you’re doing. You could, for example, carry a camera or binoculars on you and say you’re bird-watching. And if there’s a lake or a river nearby, you could carry fishing equipment to conceal what you’re doing. Needless to say, when you have gotten away with your story, it would be smart to look for another growing location.
FEEDING AND WATERING YOUR OUTDOOR PLANTS
Unless you added polymers to your substrate as mentioned earlier, you will need to water your plants regularly. For this, you can simply observe your local weather. If it didn’t rain for a week or longer, chances are your plants will be thirsty.
If you’re using slow-release nutrients mixed with your substrate, your plants may do well throughout their entire life without you needing to feed them. Otherwise, make sure that you give them sufficient nutrients so they can grow and stay healthy. When you’re purchasing cannabis nutrients, make sure that they are suitable to use in soil outdoors.
KEEP YOUR PLANTS DRY IN FALL
Watering your plants frequently is important, but so is keeping them dry as the weather gets rainy at the beginning of fall. Especially in our European climate, extended days of rainfall can increase the risk for mould to grow, which could spoil your entire harvest. When you visit your plants, shake the excessive moisture from rain off the buds to decrease the risk for mould. If the weather doesn’t look as if it will get better at the end of summer, or it is expected to stay cold and rainy for weeks on end, you may want to harvest early so you can save your buds from rot.
TIPS FOR HARVESTING YOUR GUERRILLA-GROWN CANNABIS PLANTS
When it’s finally harvest time, it can help if you don’t get too excited that you rush things. Know that harvesting your outdoor guerrilla crops can be the most sensitive part of the entire grow. After all, you will likely be carrying back a whole bunch of juicy and aromatic buds, and you want to do this without drawing unwanted attention.
For harvesting, most guerrilla growers begin early in the morning before the sun comes up. You will need at least one large container where you can place your buds. Get a sealable container with a lid so that your harvest won’t raise suspicion from the smell. Quickly cut the branches and place them with the stem down into your container. This helps keep the buds intact. It shouldn’t require long until you have cut all the branches so you can take them home.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS FOR YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
What makes growing cannabis outdoors exciting, yet also challenging, are the many factors that decide whether your grow may turn out awesome, or not so much. And not always can we keep these things under control. Mother Nature may bless your grow with optimal conditions to reward you with amazing yields, or she could be moody and spoil your plans with poor weather, rain, and pest infestations.
Although you cannot predict everything that will happen, you can greatly increase your chances for a successful outdoor guerrilla grow by selecting the right strains. This is because some cannabis cultivars are better suited to the outdoors than others. They may have increased resistance to mould and pests, or they may grow particularly short, making them ideal to grow under the radar. Here are 5 strains perfectly suited to a successful guerrilla grow.
TOP 5 CANNABIS STRAINS FOR GUERRILLA GROWING
Quick One by Royal Queen Seeds was one of the first and fastest autoflowering cannabis varieties on the market. This formidable indica-dominant auto is still great to grow today, and rewards with decent yields. She will not grow taller than 50–60cm, which makes her a particularly good guerrilla strain. Her entire life cycle is a short 8 weeks from seed to harvest, perfect for getting in and getting out fast!
When you’re growing weed outdoors in a secret location, this is known as guerrilla growing. In this post, we'll walk you through the guerrilla growing process.