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Growing marijuana outdoors is an affordable, fun, and natural way to grow weed. Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced cannabis grower, our best outdoor grow setup for marijuana guide can help you plan out and set up an outdoor garden.

Here is what we will cover:

  • What are your state’s outdoor cannabis cultivation laws?
  • What equipment and supplies do you need to grow weed outdoors?
  • Where is the best place to locate your outdoor garden?
  • How do you set up a private and secure garden?

Is It Legal To Grow Weed Outdoors?

Before you invest in an entire outdoor grow setup, it is important to understand your state and local home cultivation laws. While most states have medical cannabis laws and many have adult-use laws, not all of them allow cannabis home cultivation.

In states that allow growing cannabis at home, the cultivation limits may vary between recreational and medical users. In addition, local governments can require a cannabis growing permit, restrict garden sizes, and ban outdoor grows.

field of marijuana plants, best outdoor grow setup

Best Outdoor Grow Setup Essentials

Outdoor marijuana plants do not need quite as much equipment as indoor marijuana plants. When you are growing outdoors, the sunlight, rain, and wind provide the optimal environment you need to grow healthy cannabis plants.

Even though you may not need as many supplies as growing indoor cannabis, the equipment and supplies you do need are very important to the growth and health of your plant.

So, what do you need to grow weed?

Here is what you will need to have the best outdoor grow setup:

Seeds and Clones

The best outdoor grow setup all starts with a healthy cannabis seed. Healthy cannabis seeds are dark in color, firm, and relatively young. Many outdoor growers start with cannabis seeds. There are a variety of seeds to choose from including photoperiod, regular, autoflowering, and feminized, for starters.

Check out our ultimate guide to marijuana seeds to learn the difference between all these different types of seeds and the best marijuana seeds for outdoor cannabis growing to help you choose the right seed for your outdoor grow.

Learn how to grow weed from seeds to harvest with our handy guide.

A major factor to determine the type of seeds you need will depend on your particular climate zone. Whether you have warmer or colder climates, research your particular strain to determine if it is compatible with your environment.

Cannabis clones, or young cannabis plants, or another way to start your garden without having to germinate a seed. Instead, you start off with a healthy and young cannabis plant. However, growing a clone outdoors requires special considerations.

Many growers make the mistake of taking their clones outside too early or using bigger pots than needed. Ideally, you want to have your clones completely outside once they have grown about four feet tall and are strong and hardy.

Not sure if you want to start with seeds or clones? Check out our pros and cons for cannabis seeds vs. cannabis clones.

Grow Media

A huge step in having the best outdoor grow setup is the growing media the cannabis plants are in. Outdoor-grown cannabis can be grown directly in the ground, in a growing pot with soil, or in a hydroponic setup. While growing cannabis in soil is more affordable and easier, hydroponics can produce faster-growing plants.

Marijuana soil must be full of organic beneficial matter and allow for proper drainage of water to prevent root rot. Many cannabis growers will dig a hole and add fertile soil. If you will be using your existing soil, get it tested to ensure it has the appropriate pH and no contaminants. You will also get recommendations for what fertilizers your soil needs.

Other growers may choose to grow their cannabis in pots so they can move them around easier and have full control over the soil. Using pre-made soil can improve the composition and nutritional quality of the grow media. Super or living soil comes pre-made with natural and organic ingredients such as worm castings, bone meal, bat guano, and more.

Check out our blog post on the best soil for growing weed to help you choose the best medium for your soil-based, hydroponic, or aeroponics systems.


While you can grow directly in the ground, many growers choose to grow their cannabis in containers full of soil or pots for their hydroponic systems. Ideally, your container should provide enough room to allow for root growth, but not too much room.

Common cannabis plant containers include:

  • Flower pots
  • Fabric pots/smart pots
  • Air pots
  • Hempy Buckets for hydroponic gardens

A 5-gallon pot can be good for small to medium plants, while a 10-gallon pot or larger may be necessary for bigger plants. Take a look at our guide on the top four pots for growing cannabis.


Cannabis plants require a wide range of macro and micronutrients throughout their life cycle. The type of nutrients your plants need depends on the composition of your soil. Outdoor growers that transplant their weed plants outside usually use soil amendments in powder form to blend with their soil.

The best nutrients for outdoor growing come from organic ingredients. Blood meal and fish meal are good sources of nitrogen. Bone meal and bat guano have a high concentration of phosphorus. Wood ash and kelp meal are high in potassium.

For beginners, we recommend investing in pre-made soil blends that contain the appropriate amount of nutrients. Avoid fertilizers advertised as long release fertilizers.

Best Outdoor Grow Setup Location

What is the best location for your outdoor garden? When growing marijuana plants outside, you need to consider a few factors before setting up your garden.

  • Sunlight: Outdoor-grown cannabis plants need at least six hours of sunlight a day. Check to see if your outdoor location gets enough sunlight per day. Ideally, your plants should get plenty of direct sunlight during the middle of the day.
  • Wind: Cannabis plants like a gentle breeze, particularly in hot and humid climates. However, harsh winds can damage plants. Install a windbreak for your outdoor cannabis garden, if necessary.

Consider how tall and wide your plant genetics grow. Do you have enough space in your yard, balcony, or roof?

Best Outdoor Grow Setup for cannabis 1 1

Cannabis Outdoor Grow Privacy and Security

Having security is ideal for maintaining the best outdoor grow setup. If you will be growing marijuana outside, local regulations require that you maintain your outdoor garden in a secure location not visible from the public view. Many outdoor growers value a discreet garden to deter trespassers and avoid annoying neighbors.

If you have next-door neighbors, a tall fence, tree, or shrub can provide some discretion for a full-grown weed plant. Disguise your cannabis plants by pruning them in a non-typical pattern or use other plants such as pride of Madeira, staghorn sumac, jasmine, and lavender to hide your weed.

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A greenhouse or similar outdoor structure can help hide your cannabis plants. How do you set up a discreet greenhouse? It depends on the type of greenhouse you plan to build. Check out our blog post on the different marijuana greenhouses to consider.

Enroll in Cannabis Training University

If you want to learn everything about weed cultivation and how to grow marijuana outdoors, enroll in Cannabis Training University’s online cannabis certification.

We teach you how to grow huge weed plants, how to grow weed outdoors and indoors, what are the best marijuana grow tents, when does flowering start outdoors, how long does weed take to grow, and more weed growing tips.

Our cannabis cultivation course covers:

  • Cannabis clones and seedlings
  • Vegetative and flowering stages of cannabis
  • Harvesting, curing, and trimming cannabis
  • Cannabis garden troubleshooting

Learn how to start growing weed today! Enroll at CTU and start your cannabis career with a master grower certification.

Luis Cordova
Luis Cordova

Luis Cordova is a distinguished author, and renowned expert in cannabis cultivation, who possesses a Master's degree in Plant Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Science. As a valued contributor to highly esteemed publications such as Cannabis Training University and Maximum Yield Magazine, Luis has emerged as a trusted source of guidance and knowledge in the cannabis industry. Having written thousands of informative articles, Luis is widely recognized for his comprehensive expertise on cultivating cannabis, both indoors and outdoors.

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