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How to Grow Marijuana Outdoors—Secrets and Strategies

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.03.52 PMHey there! With the price of marijuana plummeting, growers are making less money than ever before. Profits are getting smaller and smaller by the day, it seems. Soon, most growers will be forced to find another way to make a living.

So what’s the solution?

Grow outdoors. You’ll cut costs WAY down, and increase your profits considerably.

To help you, I’ve created a series of videos that will show you how to grow big, stinky, sugary, kickass buds outside. These short videos will help you maximize the genetic potential of cannabis in your outdoor grows.

(Warning: If you’re easily offended by a few F-bombs, please skip straight ahead to the videos near the bottom of the post.)

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.05.21 PMNow, as you may know, I’ve been growing marijuana since 1983, and helping other growers for nearly as long. My first crop was indoors. And for a couple of years, that’s what I stuck with—growing indoors under artificial light. Until…

I was kicking back on the sofa in the family room of one of my growhouses, snapping bong rips with a few of my friends and grow partners—including two growers that, for the purpose of this post, I’ll call Scar and Donny—and brainstorming ways we could grow more weed.

Now, keep in mind, this was the mid-’80s, long before states began passing medical and recreational marijuana laws. Growing was a felony that lawmen and courts enforced with a vengeance.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.03.03 PM“What if we grow outdoors?” Scar asked.

Looking at Scar was like looking at John Rambo in First Blood, when the vicious deputies stripped him down, beat him, and blasted him with a fire hose on full capacity—evidence of the torture he’d endured years before in a Vietnamese POW camp all over his flesh. As the cruel small town deputies tried to dry-shave Rambo for court, he flashes back to being bound by ropes to a bamboo cross, a stone-faced Vietnamese commander slicing his chest open with a bayonet.

But Rambo had gotten off easy compared to Scar. Dozens, if not hundreds, of long striated scars covered Scar’s upper arms, shoulders, chest, and stomach. I was aware that he’d served as a Green Beret in Vietnam, and wondered if, like the fictional John Rambo, Scar had been imprisoned by sadistic captors who carved into his tissue with their lengthy blades. Repeatedly.

first-bWhat the hell had he been through?

I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy.

But knowing Scar had grown outdoors in the past, I said, “Tell me more.”

“Alright.” Scar took a swig of his beer. “We grow out in the woods and the marshes, on government land. And we go big. Fucking acres of the stuff. There’s no limit to the size of our grows. No electricity. No landlords. No leases. No rent. Sure, we may lose a garden or two to cops and patch pirates, and maybe Bambi’ll come hoppin’ along and eat a few plants, but that’s why we don’t rely on just one grow. We set up a bunch of ’em.”

Scar had my undivided attention as he continued. “Now, I’m sure you know it’s different from indoors in that we can only harvest once a year. But if we plant early in the season, and if the soil is good and the plants get plenty of water and sunshine, we can grow some King Kong motherfuckers. And—”

zillaDonny cut in, his eyes now blazing red from the dozen or so bong rips he’d taken. “Shouldn’t it be Godzilla…’cuz, ya know, he’s like…green?”

Without missing a beat, Scar said, “King Kong, Godzilla, fucking Jolly Green Giant, all those motherfuckers. ’Long as the spots are well-hidden, we can go as big as we want—grow football fields of fucking ten-footers.”

“Jolly Green Giant?” Donny said to himself, stoned out of his mind. “Why didn’t I think of that?”

“Now, setting it up a shit ton of work,” Scar said, “but it’s worth it.” He then went on to explain everything he knew about growing outdoors.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 5.04.04 PM“And most importantly,” he said, “we work late at night, when it’s dark. I mean, we can do some of the work in the daytime, but if we’re hauling anything in or out of the garden, we gotta do it at night so no one sees us.”

The idea of growing outdoors appealed to me. It sounded fun, trekking through the bush, visiting secret pot patches that only a small handful of close comrades and I were privy to.

I’d spent my childhood running around the woods, camping and hunting and building tree forts and playing tag. The stars and the sunshine; the fresh air, plants and trees; the marshes, animals, smells and sounds. I loved all of it. And I missed it.

I was in.

ginNow, a few bongs rips later, Scar would—without my knowledge until it was too late—grab a Ginsu knife from the kitchen, walk into the bathrom, and chop off one of his fingers. His reason?

“To prove my undying loyalty to you, brother,” he said, holding the blood-drenched finger out in front of him.

Oh, and the cause of the scars covering his body? Turns out he’d inflicted the lacerations on himself. Scar was a self-mutilator.

That entire story is included in my upcoming book, Marijuana Don, by the way.

Okay, so my first few outdoor crops were so-so. But after I got the hang of it, I was supplementing my income from indoor grows with marijuana fields spread out over four or five counties in Illinois as well as Wisconsin.

And here’s one of the biggest reasons for my success…

A friend of mine showed me a garden he’d found of HUGE, beautiful pot plants surrounded by ragweed. I dug my hand into the soil. It was so soft my arm easily sank a foot and a half down. I pulled out a fistful of the stuff and inspected it. Unlike a lot of soil, it wasn’t packed together like clay. It was fluffy and aerated and smelled rich with nutrients. I rolled it through my fingers in awe.

The_BM_Story_Page_15_300x300pxI then went to the county offices and discovered all these maps that classified different types of soil different parts of the region.

The entire county had been classified for soil!

Other counties had maps like these as well. I pored over them and found classification matches for the exact soil that was producing the monster plants.

That’s where I would grow.

However, the spots needed to be secluded and allow for numerous escape routes should I spot the heat coming around the corner.

I soon picked up a pilot’s license, a Cessna 172, an Ultralight, and a GPS unit—this was when GPS’s were new to the market—and flew around with the maps, establishing my new grow spots. I noted entry points—where my junior partners and drivers would drop me off—as well as escape routes.

The_BM_Story_Page_16_300x300pxSince most of the gardens flanked swamps and creek beds, I almost never had to water them.

The plants grew into BEASTS! Many grew as tall as eleven or twelve feet!

You see, deep down, the soft, fluffy, pitch-black soil retained a ton of moisture, enabling the plants to throw down massive root systems. High in microbial activity, beneficial bacteria, and beneficial fungi, the Super Soil I’d discovered was the perfect soil.

And since the soil did so much of the work for me, once the plants were in the ground, I’d simply fly over my patches every few weeks to monitor their progress. If I spotted unwanted weeds, I’d go in late at night and yank them out under the cover of darkness.

Most of my gardens I visited less than once a month—and still the plants grew like crazy.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.30.56 PM(BTW, I wrote a blog post where I lay out many of the strategies I used to get away with countless large outdoor grows. You can read it here: How I Harvested So Many Guerilla Grows Without Getting Caught)

Now, unlike today, ALL the laws were against us back then. We were outlaw growers growing on government land and the potential prison sentences—especially for the amount we were growing—were downright fucking brutal. We might as well have been selling cocaine to eighth graders.

Which is why my partners and I took extreme measures to avoid detection and arrest. We employed night vision goggles, police scanners, kill switches in our vehicles that would kill brake lights and taillights, spotters, decoy vehicles, counter-surveillance strategies, and surveillance-detection driving techniques. To avoid getting caught should I get chased, I enrolled in race car driving and counter-terrorism driving classes. I even entered a few Formula Ford races.

The_BM_Story_Page_17_300x300pxOver the years my crew and I were ambushed, chased, and stalked by local, state, and federal law enforcement. I go into those stories in detail in my upcoming book, Marijuana Don.

Anyhow, a lot has changed since back then, but outdoor growing still holds a special place in my heart.

For one, side-by-side comparisons of the same strain grown outside vs. inside show that the plant grown outside will often have a higher percentage of terpenes, which can lead to more flavorful and aromatic product—provided the plant product is dried and cured properly.

However, the primary benefit for most growers is the amount of money they’ll be able to save, especially when it comes to the electric bill. And those savings translate to more profits—A LOT more.

It’s no secret that Big Marijuana is moving into our industry. And they have the ability to streamline their operations, pay workers crap money to manage the grows, and purchase equipment and supplies for as little as possible because they can buy in bulk.

And since growing outdoors cuts the cost of production to a fraction of what it is indoors, commercial production will move to greenhouses, utilizing light deprivation and light supplementation to grow the product.

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 3.13.30 PMAnd, with CRISPR technology, Big Marijuana will be able to produce GMO marijuana, modified to thrive specifically where it’s grown outdoors.

The majority of production will move to Third World countries, where both land and labor are cheap. When the marijuana is grown, the cannabinoids and terpenes will be extracted and shipped to the United States in 55-gallon drums.

All this means Big Marijuana will be able to hawk their product for much less than everybody else.

We’ve already seen the price of a pound of marijuana drop far below what it was just a decade ago.

Right now, high-quality bud on the U.S. legal market goes for an average of about $1800-$2200 per pound.

In Colorado the price has dropped to between $1400-$1600 per pound.

Screen Shot 2015-07-06 at 1.34.11 PMThis is for marijuana that’s better than what once sold for two to three times as much on the black market.

And profits have only begun to dwindle.

Within a few years, the average price for a pound of weed will sink to $500-$600.

And when you factor in the cost of production…

  • Indoors costs an average of $400-$500 per pound to produce.
  • In a greenhouse, using light deprivation and light supplementation, it costs approximately $100 per pound to produce product as good as anything grown indoors.
  • Outdoors it costs about $10 per pound to produce.

… It’s easy to see that indoor growers will be pushed out of the market. Their profits will be somewhere between almost non-existent and completely non-existent.

The smart growers will move either outdoors or into greenhouses.

And there’s just something beautiful about growing under the sun, the way Mother Nature intended.

If you’re interested in growing outdoors, watch these videos I made for you. They’ll help you maximize the genetic potential of your outdoor grows.


Video #1 – Cannabis indoor cloning

Video #2 – How to transplant cannabis clones outdoors 

Video #3 – Outdoor marijuana water and feeding secrets

Video #4 – How and when to harvest your outdoor marijuana plants 

Talk soon,


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