Trellising consists of basically Scrogging outdoors, although it can be harder because you lack the structure to do it properly, so you’ll have to build that structure yourself. Even though it sounds hard, preparing the structure for a trellis net (or trellising) is quite simple, and consists only of placing 4 stakes around the plant.
You can use bamboo stakes but if you have a little bit of cash to spend, we recommend using metal stakes , not only they won’t rot but can be reused in your other growing cycles. Depending on the space you have available, you can place the net horizontally or vertically around your plants.
Every grower wants to know how to grow cannabis outdoors and harvest big dense buds, but that can be a problem when growing outdoors. Considering that you don’t have walls or a structure to tie a SCROG net as you would indoors, you’ll have to come up with a way of supporting the extra weight. Obviously, you’re not obligated to do it but why risk those beautiful buds at the end of the flowering period?
2. Bamboo Stakes.
Bamboo stakes are what growers usually use to grow marijuana outdoors. Even though this is a cheap and effective method, be aware that bamboo sticks can rot , that’s why several growers avoid using them.
Cannabis outdoors isn’t limited by space and can grow huge. If you’re growing a high yielder, the branches may not be strong enough to support the buds and snap, this is why you need to provide support, with either b amboo stakes, a trellis net, or tomato cages.
You can still use bamboo stakes if you’re letting your cannabis plants grow for a short time but because they’re exposed to rain and are in the soil, they can rot. When bamboo rots, it can spread to your cannabis plants and they can suffer from mold (like powdery mildew) which can damage your plants and can easily spread to other plants nearby.
Wire cages can also be used as a structure to tie the branches to, using string or other materials that won’t damage your cannabis plant, you can easily tie the branches to the wire cage, giving the branches extra support.
These two methods can be used to support your cannabis plant when you grow weed outdoors, although when placing it around your plant you won’t be able to control its size like you would with a trellis placed on top of your plant. When you place the net horizontally (on top of your plants) this will not only support the extra weight but it will also allow you to train your cannabis plants like you would in a SCROG .
Tomato wire cages are pretty similar to placing a trellis around your cannabis plant. They will support your plant from every side but won’t allow you to control the height your plant reaches. On the other hand, some growers don’t want to restrict their plant’s height so this is not really a disadvantage.
When growing outdoors growers usually plant in bigger pots, that is because they aren’t limited by space like they would when growing indoors. This allows the plant to grow to its maximum, it will usually take more to flower but the buds will be denser. A very common problem growers have when growing cannabis plants in bigger pots is that the branches can’t support the weight of the extra dense buds. When growing indoors, this can be avoided by tying the branches to the sides or top of the growing tent, but outside we don’t have a structure like that.
Pros and Cons By Method.
Sometimes, when growing indoors, our cannabis plants can grow too much in a limited growing space and their buds end up extra heavy , for this reason, growers use techniques to support the branches. This can also happen outdoors, although then the problem is not the lack of space but the heavy buds of your cannabis plant.
“Avoid using a thin net because it can end up cutting into the branches!”
You can easily find wire cages in hardware stores and they’re fairly cheap, going for around $1.50 each, they can be reused so you won’t have to buy more for your next growing cycle. If you don’t feel like spending money, you can make your own cage, you’ll just need metal wire and you can easily find how to make them on the internet.
When you grow cannabis outdoors you cannot control the light cycle so usually, plants vegetate for a long period and then flower for even longer, this is why you should definitely provide support to all the branches to avoid snapping. When a branch breaks, it is definitely possible to fix it but it’s also easier for bugs and mold to attack your plant because there’s an open wound and, due to being weaker, it will be harder for your plant to fight against the attack.
Fortunately, there are several ways of heavy buds outdoors, this allows us to have bigger yields and harvest extra dense buds. Now, all of the methods you’ll read will definitely support your extra heavy buds but, before reading about the recommended methods, let’s take a look at their pros and cons.
1. Why Support Plants Outdoors?
So make sure you have everything planned out before starting your grow cycle, meaning that you should know approximately for how long your plant will grow, how tall, and, if possible, the size of the buds. Keep in mind that supporting the branches isn’t always needed; If you’re not planning on growing a huge plant then it most likely isn’t needed but, depending on when you start the cycle, your plant may reach up to 300 cm in height and this is when you definitely need a way to support the branches. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do it at the right time and correctly, you avoid any kind of problems.
If you’re wondering how to grow outdoor weed and the basics, have in mind that supporting your plants is definitely important when growing outdoors. When growing cannabis in bigger pots, your plant will consequently grow more and develop denser buds. If you fail to give support, the extra weight may be too much for your plant and the branches can snap. It really doesn’t matter what you use to support your plants, you can use either:
Feel free to help fellow growers by sharing your tips and tricks on how to support heavy buds outdoors by leaving a comment in the comment section below!
The outer caging is there to help support the outward, lateral growing branches. Use the same wire fencing or heavy-duty vinyl-coated wire caging that was used to create the horizontal trellising. Cut the caging material so that each piece fits in the spaces between the T-posts, forming a square box.
This means outdoor cannabis can get quite big, as most cannabis varieties are genetically predisposed to grow rather large.
However, anyone who has grown any type of plant in containers outdoors will know that they are prone to toppling over, for one reason or another. Strong winds, heavy storms, or just the sheer top weight of the plant itself can be enough to cause the container to tip over.
Cut your chosen wire material into one or two square pieces large enough to touch the T-posts. Just above the tomato cage, hang the first square of caging horizontally by tying the corners to the T-posts with wire or a strong gardening twine. It is important that the horizontal trellising be as secure as possible to ensure proper support of the upper branches.
Illustrated steps to support outdoor cannabis plants in large fabric containers.
Step 3: Add Horizontal Trellising.
Utilizing a larger container size can help add extra stability, but even that can cause problems. If the plant falls over and the container stays upright, the stems can bend and even snap.
The outer caging should be installed about one or two feet above the top of the container—to allow easy access for regular maintenance such as pruning or watering—and reach the top of the T-posts.
Below, I’ve outlined one way you can support your outdoor cannabis plants. This system is designed for and works best with larger fabric aeration containers, ranging from 100 to 1,000 gallons in size. ( Read also: How to Trellis Your Plants Properly)
A large, heavy-duty tomato cage is at the center of this system and it will provide the internal support for the main stem and branches. Install the tomato cage at the time of transplanting to avoid damaging the growing root system.
If you grow cannabis indoors or in greenhouses, you have a lot of control over your plants. You can manipulate the amount of light a plant receives, which in turn can shorten the plants’ growth cycle from seed/clone to harvest significantly. It also results in relatively smaller plants.
A lot of hard work and preparation goes into the cultivation of a successful cannabis crop. The best way to avoid failure is by taking the necessary steps to prevent unwanted occurrences in the garden.
Secure the outer caging tightly to the T-posts in several different spots. Much like the horizontal trellising, the outer portion of the support system should be in place before the branches reach this point so they can easily grow into the caging’s holes.
Growing cannabis in the great outdoors is a completely different story, as the plants are subject to the whims of nature itself. Flowering does not occur until the seasons change at midsummer, resulting in a much longer growing season (the outdoor growing cycle can easily reach anywhere from six to nine months, as opposed to three months indoors).
A plant falling over from a strong gust of wind, or branches breaking from the sheer weight of ripening flowers is a disheartening way to lose a portion (or all) of a crop. Especially since this type of failure can be easily prevented.
One way to have a better grasp on your plants is to grow in containers instead of natural soil. This way, you can control what is in the growing media and avoid any possible inconsistencies or contaminants that may be present in the soil.
Step 1: Initial Support.
The horizontal trellising will have the job of supporting the upper branches of the plant, so use wire fencing or heavy-duty vinyl-coated wire caging with four to six-inch square holes as these will be strong enough to support the weight of the flowering plant.
The T-posts are responsible for holding the entire structure upright, so do not cut corners with this step. To provide an extra level of support, the initial support caging can be tied to each of the T-posts.
For enhanced support, install a secondary horizontal trellis about one or two feet above the first. Each section of the horizontal trellising should be in place before the growing branches reach it. This will allow them to easily grow into the caging’s holes.
An unexpected fall can lead to significant plant stress that can hinder overall production or yield and, in the worst cases, even total plant loss. Losing a plant to something as simple as it falling over is a foolish way to ruin a crop. Therefore, it’s important to have a strong, reliable plant support system.
Install four metal T-posts equally spaced around the container (if an imaginary line is drawn from post to post, it would create a square around the circular container). Depending on the container size, the T-posts should be anywhere from six to 10 feet in length and anchored deep enough into the ground to provide maximum stability.
If your growroom’s parameters are on point, indoor cannabis has a pretty cushy life. Its outdoor cousin, on the other hand, has to deal with the whims of Mother Nature.
Using this simple method of plant and container stabilization will help ensure that your plants will stay upright throughout the season and give you one less thing to worry about.
Step 2: Install T-posts.
As flowers change weight and size, retying and adjustment is typically needed for at least 50 percent of tied branches. Although materials for this method are inexpensive, the task of tying and retying is extremely time-consuming in order to be effective. However, when adequate time is invested, Velcro and string-tying methods will result in a great harvest.
Labor required: 30 seconds per plant, 1 time per flower cycle.
Materials required: Netting, bamboo sticks (plus string or Velcro if plants are accessible)
Velcro or string are two of the most common materials used to support marijuana plants as they grow. By week five or six, the stalks become strained by the growing weight of the buds, requiring additional support. Using 50- to 100-foot rolls of half-inch green Velcro or string, the material is cut to length and affixed from the heavy branch to the center stalk.
Materials required: Wire tomato cages, bamboo sticks, string or Velcro.
Trellis netting is commonly used over beds or pots and is laid across the entire canopy at week two or three. Plants grow through the netting, which provides support for the stalk and upper branches. Although branches and buds above the net enjoy proper light and airflow, the lower part of the plant can suffer from reduced light and airflow.
Materials required: Wire cannabis supports.
Labor required: Varies depending on plant accessibility.
Wire Tomato Cages.
There are numerous common methods for supporting and growing cannabis plants. Each method has pros and cons, requiring different materials and amounts of time to ensure healthy, profitable crops. So how do the different methods compare?
Labor required: 5-10 minutes per plant, 1-2 times per flower cycle.
With trellis netting covering the canopy, branches below the netting may be difficult to access. Heavy buds may rot because they end up on the ground. Lower buds that manage to stay off the floor will be limited in growth due to inadequate light. Limited access to the “hospital,” or lower third of the plant, makes maintaining and monitoring the health of the plants difficult as well.
Materials required: Velcro, string, bamboo sticks.
Other considerations with wire tomato cages include interference in ideal lighting conditions and potential contamination near the roots. During the early stages of the flower or veg cycle, lights cannot be lowered close enough to the plant (within 12-18 inches) because the top of the cage is in the way. With metal stakes rusting and deteriorating near the roots of the plant, it’s important to consider the risk of nutrient lockout.
Cannabis supports also have another unique feature — they’re extendable up to 72 inches tall. As the plant grows, the next stage of the cage is popped up in a matter of seconds to provide another level of support. Throughout the growing cycle, lights can be brought down to within 12-18 inches of the plant for maximum lumen intensity.
Tomato cages are designed with a narrow diameter at the bottom and larger diameter at the top, like a funnel — or, when viewed from the side, a triangle. Cannabis plants, however are naturally wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. Because of this, when cannabis plants are supported with tomato cages, the lower branches lack anything to rest on. In order to keep the buds off the ground, tying with string or Velcro is still required. Narrow tomato cage bases are also unable to keep top-heavy plants from tipping over which can result in partial or entire plant loss.
This is the only method that requires no tedious and time-consuming tying. Branches naturally rest on wire rings around the support, allowing for quick adjustments or guidance as needed. The plant is able to fill out naturally, which ensures maximum airflow.