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Best Outdoor Grow Setup for Cannabis 2023

Last Updated: August 01, 2023By Joshua Mezher

Growing marijuana is easier than you think. Once you get your seedlings started, growing outdoors is simple. You can let nature take its course so long as the conditions are right. You won’t need to study up much beforehand. Healthy weed can be grown both indoors and outdoors, with little to no experience. 

It also doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, it’s easy to use a cheap grow setup when growing weed. When growing outdoors, you don’t need as much equipment, so you don’t have to worry about things like researching how to make cheap grow lights or set up tents. 

Grow Weed Outside


cannabis plant growing in the garden

Many first-time and even experienced growers are under the impression that growing weed is a costly and complicated process. Lucky for you, this is not necessarily true. Weed lovers can rest assured that cannabis can easily be grown in your garden like any other plant

Related: The Top 7 Cannabis Strains to Grow Outdoors

However, marijuana may be the ultimate plant. She is a great addition to anyone’s life and has a long history of meaningful relationships with humans. Unlike other plants, it is easy to install a growing setup anywhere and cannabis plants come in many different aromas and colors. She also treats numerous ailments and is relaxing to the mind at the same time. 

Outdoor Grow Setup Essentials

Growing cannabis outdoors doesn’t require as much as growing it indoors. When growing outside, sunlight and fresh air naturally provide the environment you need to grow a healthy cannabis plant.

Even though you need fewer supplies, you’ll need a few things to ensure that your cannabis plant grows happily and healthily.

checking on outdoor cannabis buds 

Here’s what we recommend:

Outdoor Growing: Seeds vs. Clones

All good outdoor growing setups start with healthy cannabis seeds. They should be relatively young, firm, and dark in color.  Most outdoor growers choose to start with cannabis seeds rather than clones. There are various seeds to choose from, like auto-flowering, feminized, photoperiod, and regular ones.

A massive factor when choosing which types of seeds to use is your climate zone. Whether you’re in a warmer or colder climate, you’ll want to research the strains you wish to grow to ensure they’re compatible.

Growing cannabis clones (young cannabis plants) is another way to start growing outdoors without worrying about germinating seeds. Instead, you’ll start with a young, healthy cannabis plant, but outdoor clone growing requires some special considerations.

One mistake many outdoor growers make is taking their clones outside too early. Another common mistake is using too big pots. Ideally, you won’t move your clones outside until they’re strong, hardy, and about over two feet tall.

Outdoor Growing Mediums

A significant part of having the best outdoor grow setup for cannabis is the growing media you use for your plant. You can grow outdoor cannabis directly in the ground, with a hydroponic setup, or in a growing pot and soil. Growing weed in soil is easier and more affordable, but using hydroponics can produce plants that grow faster.

The soil you choose for your cannabis should be full of organic matter and allow for proper drainage so that you don’t have to deal with root rot. Many outdoor cannabis growers will dig a hole and then add fertile soil. If you’re using existing soil, you’ll want to test it to check the pH levels and ensure there are no contaminants. You’ll also be able to see what fertilizers your soil needs.

Other outdoor cannabis growers choose to grow their plants in a pot, which gives them control over the soil and makes it easy to move them. For pots, you can use pre-made soil to improve the overall nutritional quality of your grow media. Living and super soils come with organic ingredients mixed in to help your cannabis plant grow its best. If you want to learn how to mix your own super soil, join our ongoing Summer Grow Class Series

organic outdoor marijuana next to specialty blended superb soil

Outdoor Growing Containers

While you can grow your cannabis directly in the ground, many growers prefer to use pots or other containers for their plants. Ideally, the pot you choose should offer enough room for root growth without being too large.

Commonly used outdoor cannabis plant containers include:

5-gallon pots are great for small and medium cannabis plants, and 10-gallon pots (or ideally larger like 35-gallon pots) are necessary to grow larger plants. The bigger the pot, the bigger the plant, and eventually, more pot at the end of the season!

Nutrients for Growing Cannabis Outdoors

When growing cannabis outdoors, the plants need many different micro and macronutrients during their lifecycle. Which nutrients they need depends heavily on the soil you use. Outdoor growers who transplant cannabis typically use soil amendments to blend with the existing soil.

Generally, the best outdoor growing setups use organic nutrients. These nutrients range from fish and blood meal to bat guano, wood ash, and kelp and bone meal.

For beginners, it’s best to use premade soil blends with the right amount of nutrients and avoid using fertilizers that are long-release.


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Setting Up Your Outdoor Grow

There are some considerations when starting an outdoor cannabis grow setup, including:

Your Climate

To grow cannabis outdoors, it’s crucial to understand your area’s climate. While cannabis can survive in various conditions, it’s also susceptible to extreme weather.

Temperatures above 85°F can cause your cannabis plants to stop growing, and temperatures below 55°F can stunt, damage, or even kill your plants.

High winds and heavy rain can cause damage to your plants, reduce yields, and result in excess moisture that can lead to mold and mildew during the flowering stage. It is really useful to have some way to move your plants or shield them from the elements. 

Choosing Your Outdoor Grow Site

When choosing your grow site, here’s what to look for:

outdoor cannabis in the sun


Your cannabis plant will need direct sunlight for a good part of the pay. If it doesn’t get at least six hours each day, you’ll need to find a new location.

Ideally, your cannabis plants should get as much sunlight as possible. As seasons change and fall gets closer, your plants will get less sunlight than usual, which triggers their flowering stage.


A constant breeze, especially in hot climates, is great for your cannabis plants. However, if you live somewhere with constant high winds, you’ll want to plant them near a windbreak like a fence, wall, or large trees and bushes.


You’ll also want to think about privacy and security when growing outdoors. From judgmental neighbors to potential thieves, you’ll want to conceal your garden. Tall fences, trees, and shrubs work great if you don’t live in a secluded area. Also, many states have laws that your cannabis plants cannot be seen from the street.

Outdoor Growing Locations

Some growers place pots on their rooftop or balcony that are shielded from view, and others might build wire cages to keep other people and animals out of their plants. Whatever you choose, it’s important to consider the size of your final plant; outdoor cannabis plants can get to be 10-feet tall or bigger!

Garden plots are the most common location for outdoor growing, and many growers will plant other veggies alongside their cannabis.

Balconies are another great spot (if they get enough light). Ideally, it’ll face south and get a decent breeze. However, your neighbors may see it on your balcony.

You can also grow your cannabis on your roof, which is great for sunlight but can have too much wind.

cannabis plant growing on rv roof

Related: How to Grow Cannabis Using LED Lights

Growing Autoflowers Outdoors

Outdoor cannabis plants require predictable environments that ensure they are free from harm. Because of this, it is usually a good idea to start growing your plants inside while they are young. This is because young autoflowers are quite susceptible to damage in their early stages of life, especially when your plant is developing from a seed to a young seedling.

Giving your baby plant special treatment in the beginning is more likely to pay off considerably later. If you want to guarantee your plants have the best chance of producing a great harvest, you need to start off strong from day one. 

Germination and Soil

Germinating autoflowers is no different from germinating all other seeds. An easy way to do this is by placing the seed directly in the soil and soaking it in water until it opens.  Another way is setting the seed in a cotton pad or a wet paper towel and then watering that until it sprouts. But the way we recommend is soaking your seed in neutral pH (7) water in a cool, dark place for up to 24 hours.  Then you’d plant the seed in a peat moss jiffy pellet. 

Related: How to Grow Autoflowers Outside

The simple soil method

A simple way to protect the roots involves making a slight hole in the soil with a pencil, adding the seed in the hole, and covering it. Moisten the soil by spraying water on it and maintaining a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Paper tower or cotton pad method

Put your seed on a paper towel or two cotton pads. Moisten your seed by spraying the cotton pads or towel with water. Maintain a temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit and be sure to put the seed and its coverings under an upside-down bowl. Another option is to put it in a Ziploc bag. 

It will take a few days for the seed to open, then you can plant it in the soil. Be mindful of the root tip that may be exposed so you do not damage it since it can get trapped in the cotton or paper fibers.

Plant your seeds in a peat moss jiffy pellet

This method is highly recommended. Place your seed in neutral pH water for no more than 24 hours. Keep in mind; root tips should never be touched by bare hands. The best options are to use a clean spoon to move the seed.

You will need to drain any excess water, then you can plant the seed 1 cm into the pellet, so it is completely covered with pellet soil. Place it under a good light source, and in 2-7 days, you will see your plant peeking above the soil.

happy cannabis seedling popping out of soil

Hardening Off

You do not want to just put your autoflower plant outside without first helping it adjust to the outdoor environment. Immediately giving it constant exposure to the elements could traumatize the plant, which may hurt its health. 

The best time to do this is when the temperature warms up, preferably above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The process will take a few days. Start by placing the plant outside for 3 hours in an area that’s protected from heavy wind or rain.  Each day you will increase the time until you get to 24 hours. Now, your autoflower plant is prepared for consistent outdoor growing. 

Time to Flower

Autoflower seeds generally flower faster than other types of marijuana plants. On top of that, your particular strain will also make a difference because each strain has its own typical flowering and growth phase. That’s why it is important to research how your plant grows before buying the seeds. When you purchase a grow kit from a Pot for Pot, we provide information about suggested strains, as well as coupons, to help get you started. You can also find details and reviews on growing certain strains online.

Growing Weed Without Nutrients

You do not need nutrients to grow marijuana; however, it is not recommended to go without them.  Marijuana needs to grow under certain conditions, and most likely, the soil in your yard and whatever you may find at a local store just will not cut it. Cannabis is not like your average houseplant, and it has special needs. Without the proper fertilizer, the leaves will turn yellow, and you’ll end up with a lower yield. 

That’s where a Pot for Pot can help. Our all-in-one Complete Pot Grow Kit includes Beneficial Bacteria, Coco Brick, Superb Soil, Rooting Booster, and Aeration Top Soil Mix. The Aeration Top Soil Mix is excellent for controlling moisture and air. The rooting booster ensures all the nutrients make it to the roots, so your plant grows strong. And Superb Soil makes sure your autoflower has all the nutrients she could ever need, naturally! 

urban outdoor marijuana plant

The Cheapest Indoor Grow Setup

cheap grow setup indoors includes a LED grow light positioned above the plant in a fabric pot, so the plant can breathe and not get overwatered. The pot would need to be in a saucer so it can catch all of the runoff water. 

There is no reason to give your plant a designated room for growing. You can place these items just about anywhere in your home, and the light can easily be hung from the ceiling. We do suggest putting your plant where it can get the benefits of some natural sunlight, which will increase the effects of the LED grow light. Marijuana plants often attract pests and mites, so it is a good idea to protect them by keeping the area clean. Using diatomaceous earth for your soil and natural leaf shine on the leaves can also help with this issue.

The least expensive way to have everything that you need is with our Complete Pot Grow Kit. a Pot for Pot has all the right tools to set up your grow space (and a $40 coupon toward the purchase of seeds). You will get the highest quality soil enhancement, scissors, a watering can, and a smartphone camera magnifier to make this process as easy and successful as possible. This kit, your marijuana seeds, and cheap grow lights are all you need to grow marijuana. 

Related:: DIY: Cheap Indoor Grow Setup


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What You Need to Grow Weed on a Budget

Worried about the cost? Don’t be; growing marijuana on a budget is simple! All you need for a cheap grow setup are lights, soil, trimming scissors, and nutrients. To achieve the best possible yield, you can add additional tools such as a saucer to catch excess water, a watering can to ensure efficient watering, and a fabric grow pot.  However, this may get a little costly if you try to put it together on your own. Instead of trying to DIY cheap grow kits, save yourself some trouble and purchase a Pot for Pot.  

Grow Lights for Growing Marijuana

Your yield will be higher when your plants get plenty of light. Depending on where you are growing, there are different options for light, but we say hands down the sun is undefeated when it comes to the best growing light. Plus, if you are looking for the best cheap grow lights, it does not get any better than the sun. 

It is a free full-spectrum light source that your plants are meant to grow beneath. If you have a weed growing setup indoors, you can use a sunny window with 4 hours of direct sun as your cheap grow lights. When your babies get sun all day long, the yield will be substantial.  

Marijuana Needs Good Soil

Soil is where your plants live, so you must give them the best. Many cheap grow kits do not include high-quality soil. A Pot for Pot, on the other hand, does. We include all the essentials needed for healthy, thriving plants. We make the process simple with our 18-ingredient blend that we call Superb Soil. It has every nutrient needed to blossom from a seed to a mature plant. 

We also include beneficial bacteria and fungi like Mycorrhizae. The important bacteria and Trichoderma help the plant’s roots to break down the soil and enhance the plant’s nutrient intake. Hands down, weed grown in natural soil is always superior. 

An effective cheap grow setup does not require a grow light and grow room. And you do not need to have a magical ability to make plants grow to get great results. Even people who manage to kill every plant they own can succeed at growing weed with the right amount of motivation. Through the power of the sun alone, your growing experience can be very rewarding. 

Our grow kit, along with autoflower seeds, makes it easy. All you need to do is provide light and water the plant.

Cannabis growing outdoors

FAQs About the Cheapest Way to Grow Weed

What is the best light for growing weed?

You have many options for lighting when growing marijuana. There is no better lighting than natural sunlight. However, if you have your weed grow setup indoors, you can choose from high-intensity discharge grow lights, LED Grow Lights, and Fluorescent Grow lights. 

Does growing cannabis outdoors produce better pot?

Growing outdoors comes with many benefits and very little overhead. When you are growing outdoors in your garden, your plant is exposed to the elements. This can limit your ability to control the environment. However, this does not mean you cannot achieve excellent growth. With proper soil nutrients, protection from pests, and plenty of sunlight, your plants will thrive. 

How can I save my dying marijuana plant?

When your plant is dying, it is necessary to get to the bottom of the problem. Some potential issues are microscopic infestations, environmental conditions, and other possibilities. Research the plant symptoms to find the source of the issue. A Pot for Pot helps with this by providing ongoing online grow support every step of the way from seed to harvest.  Our expert growers are always available to provide coaching and guidance so you can keep your plant healthy or troubleshoot a problem before it gets out of hand. 

Growing your own marijuana does not have to be complicated. You can get great results with minimal growing weed equipment. However, taking the cheaper route still requires specific tools and nutrients. Yes, you can give your plant everything it needs to grow well without going all out. Just don’t forget the necessary accessories like a pot, watering can, soil nutrients, natural pest control, and scissors. Ultimately, you can get great results with quality seeds, quality soil, some knowledge, and a little water and sun.  And a Pot for Pot is here to help you do that for a great price.

Ready to start your outdoor grow? Get the best pots for growing cannabis at a Pot for Pot! Our pots and kits are designed to help you grow the best cannabis!


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