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Growing marijuana outdoors is an easy, affordable, and environmentally-friendly way of growing cannabis plants. Even if you have a small budget, you can get excellent yields with only a few cultivation tools and supplies.

If you plan on growing marijuana in the ground, a crucial part of your marijuana grow will be your outdoor grow hole size and soil mix. How big should your outdoor grow hole be? Is digging a bigger grow hole better? Our outdoor grow hole size guide shows you what factors to consider before digging your grow hole.

What is the Ideal Outdoor Grow Hole Size?

An outdoor grow hole size depends on the size of the plant, pot, and root ball. In the beginning, outdoor marijuana growers may start their plants indoors to give their tender plants a fighting chance at growing strong and healthy. Once your cannabis plants have grown enough to handle the outdoor environment.

Grow hole sizes can depend on the variety of cannabis plants you intend to grow. Small cannabis plants like autoflowering strains may not need as big a hole as larger sativa plants. Ultimately, you want to have enough room in your hole for roots to thrive.

Is a Bigger Grow Hole Better?

cannabis plant outdoors in soil

Generally, the bigger you dig your hole, the bigger your cannabis plants will grow outdoors. Essentially, larger holes or containers give the plant’s roots a lot of space to thrive. Some outdoor growers use 10-12 gallon containers, although bigger holes/containers may require investing in more soil mix.

Digging the hole too small with compacted sides can contain root growth and lead to a root-bound plant. Signs of a root-bound plant include wilting, spotty, and yellowing leaves. Ideally, you’d dig a hole about 2-3 times the diameter of the plant’s root ball.

Go for Shallow and Wide Grow Holes

For the most part, cannabis roots will grow about 12 inches and, in some cases, 24 inches deep. The roots of clones may grow even shallower since clones do not have a tap root like plants grown from seeds. While the roots grow down, they also grow wide.

Digging shallow and wide grow holes is the best for your outdoor plants. Cannabis roots rarely grow deeper than 18 inches. Digging your hole very deep may increase your time and labor without seeing improved results than if you dug a shallow and wide grow hole, about 2’x2’x2’ should be ideal for your outdoor cannabis plants. 

How to Dig a Big Grow Hole

Digging a hole sounds like a piece of cake, right? While digging a grow hole may sound easy, there are a few factors to consider, including hole size and spacing between holes. An essential aspect of digging a hole for planting is finding the right digging tool.

A large shovel or spade is one of the best digging tools for digging a large and deep hole. If you plan to grow several marijuana plants, determine the spacing between plants. Spacing depends on the size of the mature plants. Larger plants may need several feet of space.

Be sure to avoid putting in plants with compacted grow hole sides. These can constrain roots similar to plants grown in a pot. Remove the compacted soil on the sides using a small garden space or trowel from the bottom up. Insert the spade and gently pry outward to remove small clumps of soil on the sides.

Adding a Soil Mix to Your Outdoor Grow Hole

Once you’ve dug a hole deep enough for your outdoor marijuana plants, it’s time to fill it up with good soil mix. Organic soil with lots of compost and organic matter can provide a good soil structure and microbiome that help your plant get the proper nutrients.

Creating your own soil mixture instead of using your native soil can improve your soil’s drainage and porosity to give roots the air they need. Head to your local garden store to find pre-made soil or build your own soil with ingredients such as worm castings, peat moss, blood meal, bat guano, kelp meal, and other soil amendments.

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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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