guerilla growing cannabis

Now you have to find a perfect spot. A perfect spot is a place where the plants receive a good amount of sunlight, with a water source nearby (like a river or pond), where other plants around are growing healthy and without bugs, and obviously, where people won’t find them.

There are a lot of factors that can affect plants in the wild like animals, storms, other people, and lack of nutrients among others, so make sure you have the right place before you germinate your seeds.

That’s why you have to find a spot with good soil, to be sure of this you will have to check the vegetation around. If the plants around are healthy your plants probably will grow healthy too.

2. Finding The Perfect Spot.

As you may know by now, it’s recommended you don’t check on your plant until you’re nearing harvest. This is a huge disadvantage because your plant may die and you won’t know it until a couple of months later.

You can protect your plants with a wire cage but it is best you don’t, because if you do you will need to go in with tools and the wire cage itself and people can see you. Also, the wire cage can fall on your plant and kill it. The best way is to find a good spot so you don’t have to worry about things like this.

This method consists of using natural resources to grow your plants from seed to harvest (so you don’t take the risk of getting caught when watering, for example).

Guerilla growing consists of camouflaging cannabis with the natural vegetation. The selected spot must be hard to access, with a good amount of sunlight, a water source nearby, and fertile soil because you don’t want to be seen going in multiple times, ideally you should only go to harvest your plants.

There aren’t a lot of advantages other than the plant being far from your house. This is extremely beneficial to growers who live in a country where cannabis is illegal because even though you might end up without a harvest if someone ends up stealing your crop, you won’t get arrested.

Another thing the perfect spot must have is a good amount of vegetation, this is because you need to camouflage your plants so they don’t stand out.

4. Disadvantages.

Tip : If you’re worried about nutrients in the soil, you can mix slow-release powdered fertilizers a couple of weeks before planting, this will guarantee the soil is good for your plant.

A good way to look for it is to take a walk around the place you’re thinking of growing in the morning, afternoon and when the sun goes down, this way you can have an idea if that spot gets enough light all day long.

As you may know, plants need water. When guerilla growing cannabis it is very important to have this in mind because if you live in a dry climate, you will have to find a river, pond or any source of water to plant your cannabis nearby.

If you live in a place where cannabis is illegal, you don’t want to be seen going in and out of the spot you chose to plant. This means you cannot go every couple of days to feed your plants.


If possible, only visit your chosen spot in order to plant the seed, when you’re going to harvest and a maximum of once a month if needed.

If you live in a very humid place, try to find a place with direct sunlight so your plant doesn’t get mold, although this can seem hard, you have to guide yourself by the looks of the plants nearby.

Finding the perfect spot for guerilla gardening can be quite hard because you need to have a lot of things in mind. Just like growing cannabis on your balcony or in a grow tent, you must find a place that provides the following:

Your perfect spot will be a combination of all the elements specified above.

This is a very important aspect of this method of growing, if you choose a spot where there aren’t a lot of plants around, a 2m cannabis plant will stand out, especially when flowering.

Make sure that the weather is warm enough and there are no ground frosts in the morning anymore. In the UK, for example, it could be the end of May or early June. We recommend planting in the evening if the weather is hot and sunny, and in the morning if the nights are cold and the days overcast. This way, the plants will get more time to adapt to harsh conditions.

Even if you choose feminized seeds (we recommend that you do), some stray male is possible. And male flowers sometimes appear in female buds because of stress. So, whenever you visit your flowering plants, perform a quick check. It wouldn’t hurt.

Okay, it was an unexpectedly long list of jobs. You may skip all of them except two: the planting and the harvesting, but then don’t be surprised by very mediocre or non-existing rewards. And if you decide to visit your plants frequently, take some precautions:


Okay, you’ve found the ideal spot for your guerilla grow. It’s where no one will see your comings and goings, or find your hidden patch, and where your plants will be provided with good soil, enough water, and plenty of sunshine. What to do next?

Is guerilla growing a sound idea? Suppose one day your friend appeared on your doorstep in hiking gear and with a spade on his shoulder and told you that he was going to make himself a vegetable garden somewhere on the public land and, by fall, grow the best vegetables anyone has ever seen. You’d probably tell him that he was wasting his time and that the result would be pure crap.

As an amateur grower, I have three seasons worth of guerilla growing under my belt. The first one was meticulously planned and expertly executed. It was very uphill work, but the results were amazing. The second time around, I was sure to do even better, but with much less effort. It was a total disaster. The third time was a last minute decision—I had some extra seeds and a good spot to plant them—and the results were surprisingly good, mostly because of the favorable weather. It all comes down to luck really .

This can make for a very entertaining story, but I’d prefer to entertain my friends with a well-packed bowl instead. And growing in trees is not the most direct path to this goal.

In contrast, bugs are never such a big problem in guerilla gardens. They are dangerous in the earlier stages, but when the plants get big, no pest will do them any irreparable damage. So, if you’re not raising your plants for a beauty contest, just ignore an eaten leaf or two, or even a dozen.

A very disappointing-looking Purple #1 in late September. Luckily, an unusual spell of good weather (all the way to early November) allowed her to put on some serious weight. But in a worse year, she would have to be harvested like this. Pathetic!

And when the buds start to fatten, you can remove larger and older fan leaves, especially those that block the sun and hinder air movement.

Weeding Your Guerilla Growing Spot.

Let’s list all the requirements a good guerilla grow spot should meet:

UK outdoor growers know that you don’t chop your plants based solely on the calendar. Sometimes, you’ll have to harvest your buds before their peak maturity simply because there’s a cold spell coming, or a long period of rains with no chance of sunshine later. This is another thing that makes guerilla growing so unreliable. So watch forecasts closely and if you expect the cold and humid weather till the end of the growing season, harvest your buds before that and not during or after. Bud rot and mold are more than real and no fun at all.

However, it’s always advisable to cut one or two pairs of branches at the very bottom of the plant because they seldom amount to anything, can droop and actually touch the dirt with their buds. If the canopy is too dense, it’s probably a good idea to also remove some secondary side branches in the deep shadow inside the bush. Do all this pruning when the flowering begins.

I personally know people living in a populated residential area of a major city who managed to find a vacant lot for a small hidden garden of a few plants. The drawback is that you’ll probably have to visit your plants only at night . In my first (and very successful) guerilla grow, I did all my work at night. It’s inconvenient and risky, but it can be done.

It’s always best to start your seedlings inside and then take them to the great outdoors at the age of 2-3 weeks from seeds at least. Slide them (together with their containers) inside tubes made of cardboard or plastic bottles for safe and discreet transportation. Don’t forget to take some bottles of water with you because it’s best to water your seedlings right after the transplant.


Table of Contents.

There’s good news ahead, but for now I feel obliged to warn you of more dangers. Like there’s a number of animals that might think you planted cannabis for them to feast upon.

I prefer to weed my patch every other week, or once a month. In the beginning, this will prevent other plants from successfully competing with cannabis, and later it will combat stale air and mold near the ground. Leave the grass where you’ve plucked it because it will serve as mulch and organic fertilizer.

This issue is related to the question of what works best for an outdoor marijuana grow: pots or ground. Obviously, if you have this brilliant idea of hiding your weed plants almost in plain sight in the canopy of a tree, they will have to be in some sort of containers. I strongly advise you against planting marijuana in pots in any guerilla-style operation. Pots require a much more frequent irrigation which can be very time-consuming even in a normal garden. Imagine yourself climbing a tree with a watering can every morning before work!

So, if you are set on guerilla growing weed, at least don’t plan anything large-scale and don’t depend on the results financially , or else you may be severely disappointed.

Even larger autoflowers may need some kind of support to prevent their side branches from breaking under the weight of buds. And it’s an absolute must for photoperiod varieties, especially in case of an extended vegetative period. As a bare minimum, you’ll need to connect individual branches with pieces of string, so that they lend support to each other, or to tie up each of them to the main stalk. But it’s not really effective and wouldn’t prevent the whole plant from toppling over (for example, during a thunderstorm).

He says the drones also act as a good cover as to why they're out and about in the first place. “Flying our machines over our beautiful ganja plots and getting stunning footage back, while standing a mile away smoking a spliff and drinking coffee. We love it.” Cannabis seeds are legal to possess in the UK and are easily bought. They use online stores such as the Real Gorilla Seed Company, which specialises in seeds for outdoor grows.  

Neil agrees. “The best thing for us is to be able to ditch the dealer and grow our own supply. Doing it ourselves we keep fit, we know where our weed comes from and what was used in growing it.”

But it’s not just the police or random members of the public they need to take into account, it’s also “rippers” – professional cannabis plant snatchers who often use drones and Google Maps themselves to hunt down the rising number of illegal outdoor grows popping up across the British countryside. 

They’ve had grow sites near motorway verges and major junctions, near railway lines, quarries, ley-lines between large countryside fields and openings in vast areas of woodland. “The plot needs to give the plants at least six hours of direct sun per day, preferably more. So south facing with a big open sky is ideal. You have to balance being open to let in sun but being hidden enough not to be seen”, says Damo.

Damo and Neil, who are using pseudonyms for fear of being identified, are willing to live with the risk of going to jail for cultivating a Class B drug because they think the country’s ban on the plant is backward, and they don’t like buying weed from dealers. 

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Damo and Neil both have day jobs. Damo works in an office and Neil is a mechanic. But for the last eight years they’ve been cultivating large amounts of cannabis, hidden in plain sight, next to some of the busiest motorways in England.

But these plants aren’t the battery chicken style tiddlers found growing under indoor lights for quick profits. They are tall, bushy plants averaging 9ft, and sometimes 15ft high, grown using cannabis seeds designed specifically for an English climate that, due to global warming, is growing less English every year. This Spring was the sunniest on record and they had to make weekly forays out to their plots with hundreds of litres of water to stop them drying out.   

As with indoor grows, some get found by the authorities. This year one of their plots was found by railway security near the Eurostar train track and destroyed by British Transport Police. 

The pair use Google Maps and a 4K camera drone to seek out ideal sites, usually in lightly forested “no man’s land” zones between motorway junctions, where most people have no reason to ever step foot in. 

Harvesting the plants in September and October is the riskiest part, because that is when they end up driving around with transit vans stuffed with bundles of freshly cropped weed. Most of their grows are near motorways, so they reap their harvest under cover of being road maintenance workers, with high-vis jackets and an official looking white van, usually at night. 

Outdoor grows are harder for police to find because they are not situated in built up areas and are less prone to attracting attention. So far this year the only reported police discoveries of guerrilla grows include 750 plants found in woodland near Mansfield in September and 50 plants found in a small woodland clearing near Lowestoft in May.   

“There is a sense of adventure involved in doing this,” Damo says. “But the main motivation is a big fuck you to prohibition: to those who uphold it, and those who benefit from it. 

“Hi-vis is the new stealth,” says Neil. “People do not bat an eyelid. They just see a bloke walking down the hard shoulder of a motorway with a hard hat. Both vans we use are kitted out with flashing lights and fitted with highway maintenance signs. When we are doing our shit, police don't even look twice.”

The process takes around eight months from start to finish, from finding grow sites in February, planting in April, feeding the plants nutrients such as “fish blood and bone, super manure and chicken shit pellets”, to harvesting in September or October. 

“The most important things for us are security, sun, soil, and a bonus is a local water source,” says Damo. “You need to find somewhere that no person has any reason to go to, or would want to go to, or would find it extremely difficult to get to. Strangely enough, there are plenty of places just like that to be found, even in 2020 in the UK.” 

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They are part of a rising online community of “guerrilla growers” cultivating cannabis on thousands of secret, open-air sites across the UK. For many it’s a more appealing alternative to growing indoors under artificial lights, or buying weed from a black market tainted by organised crime and exploitation. 

Damo and Neil grow around 100 plants, distributed among five sites around England’s south east, harvesting around 40 ounces of organic, gangster-free weed a year. What they don’t vacuum-seal to use over the next 12 months themselves – both men are big tokers – they give out to friends for free and use to make bubble hash and oil.  

They first got involved via the online guerrilla growing scene, where members share tips, grow diaries and “my plant’s bigger than your plant” photos of their crops. Damo says there are between 1,000 and 3,000 active guerrilla growers in Britain. 

They use drones for plot hunting and mid-season plot check-ups. It means they don’t have to hike into the plot and get scratched up by thorns and brambles and avoid leaving a trail. “The drones give us such good detail we can check the health of plants, even spot mould or the onset of flowering, from our eye in the sky,” says Damo. 

“Rippers will steal your harvest,” says Damo. “They will wait for buds to be ready and harvest them before you have a chance to. They know all about guerrilla growing, and are actively out there looking for plots in order to rip them.” Damo and Neil usually lose one or two sites to rippers or police each year.