All You Need To Know About Guerrilla Growing Cannabis
Guerrilla growing is when you grow cannabis outdoors, somewhere in a hidden location that won’t easily be discovered. Learn all about how to successfully guerrilla grow cannabis in our guide below!
Not everyone can grow cannabis in their own home or garden. For some cannabis enthusiasts, the only way to go about growing weed is to do it outdoors in a secret spot in nature. When you stealthily grow weed somewhere (where you hope that your precious crop isn’t discovered), this is known as guerrilla growing. Here is all you need to know on how you can successfully guerrilla grow cannabis!
THE BENEFITS AND DRAWBACKS OF GUERRILLA GROWING CANNABIS
The most obvious advantage to guerrilla growingis that your plants will be located suitably far away from your place of residence. While this can be a pain in terms of checking up on your plants, it removes the risk of you getting busted should growing cannabis still be illegal in your region. In those places where cannabis laws are still not as relaxed as we’d wish, a guerrilla grow can remove the threat of cops, landlords, and neighbours complaining about the smell or sight of your “devil’s lettuce”.
Then again, growing weed somewhere out in nature can have its own risks. The biggest, of course, is that your grow might be discovered—by humans or otherwise. Animals out in the wild, from deer to birds to nasty bugs, can all take a toll on the health and vitality of your precious plants. And of course, any human passersby who enjoy cannabis themselves may take their own toll by chopping down your plant or stealing your container. Moreover, adverse weather conditions mean that your guerrilla-grown crop largely has to fend for itself.
Still, if you plan your guerrilla grow ahead of time and go about it with some basic know-how, it is certainly possible for the experience to be both fun and rewarding.
HOW TO FIND A GOOD SPOT TO GROW
The very first thing you need to do when planning a guerrilla grow is to find a suitable location. Obviously, you want to choose somewhere discreet where there is little chance of your plants being spotted. For this, you should explore the surroundings of a potential location to see whether you come across nearby paths, footprints, garbage, and other signs that people may come here on occasion.
So make sure to select your secret growing location a good distance away from streets, paths, and buildings. Consider also that the odour of your plants may be noticeable as much as 10–15m away or more, so take this into account when choosing a spot. Parks, public places, and areas that seem to be kept-up well are usually not very good locations. The more difficult it is to get to your secret growing spot, the better!
When you’re choosing a guerrilla growing spot, you must also make sure there are no street lights in the vicinity. The lights could otherwise mess up your plant’s natural dark cycle, causing it to turn intersex or resulting in other adverse reactions.
LOOK FOR WATER
Experienced guerrilla growers often say that a hidden spot near water is optimal. So, if you have a lake or stream nearby, this can be a nice advantage. It can make it easier when it comes to watering your wild plants, and you won’t look suspicious carrying buckets of water over quite some distance. In an ideal location near a lake or river, your plants can just absorb the water that’s already in the soil, and you may not even have to water them. Likewise, locations near water are naturally also warmer in the winter, so there is less risk that your plants would suffer from frost. On the other hand, if you grow very close to a stream, there can be a risk for flooding should it rain heavily late in summer. Keep this in mind.
If you grow outdoors, you will want to frequently check on your plants. You may need to water them often, and you want to keep a close eye on things such as pests or other possible problems. Because of that, a growing spot that’s miles and miles away isn’t optimal. If you can, choose a guerrilla grow spot that is accessible by foot or bike.
STARTING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
Now it’s time to get to the exciting bits: how to start your guerrilla grow. The “pros” normally don’t start a guerrilla grow from seed. It can be best to start the seeds or clones indoors first, then replant them in your secret spot outdoors once your seedlings have grown a bit. You can still plant seeds outdoors, just don’t expect the same results as you would when transplanting a robust young plant.
The best time to replant your cannabis seedlings outside is after the last frost has occurred in spring. Make sure to accustom your seedlings to the conditions outside. Before you set them out, you should place them in the sun for a few hours every day so they can get used to the natural sunlight. As you’re doing this, it can be a good time to prepare your guerrilla grow spot for your plants!
PREPARING YOUR OUTDOOR GUERRILLA GROW SPOT
There are some things that you should do to prepare your grow spot before you start planting. You may want to put up extra protection against animals, or camouflage your location. Likewise, most growers bring in outside soil to grow their plants, as natural soil is not always ideal for raising healthy and productive specimens.
In this case, start out by digging a hole for your plant, and filling it with a rich growing medium of soil, coco, and perlite, if possible. The hole should be big enough to accommodate the spread of roots into nutritious soil.
Although the above process requires only one visit, watering becomes a little more complicated. Frequently watering your plant out in the wild can be challenging. A good way to go about this is to mix water-absorbing polymers into your substrate. These polymers are like water-filled gels that can absorb and store water, which they slowly release so your plants can drink during dry spells. When you add mulch and cover your growing spot with straw, this can also help keep water from evaporating so that the soil in your grow spot will stay moist for longer.
You can also consider adding slow-release nutrients to your substrate. You should be able to source the substrate, polymers, and the slow-release nutrients from any good garden centre or grow shop.
After digging the hole and filling it with a suitable substrate, you can finally plant your seedling or seed. Water your plant well until all the soil in its surroundings is moist.
CAMOUFLAGING YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
The possibility that your secret grow spot could be discovered is arguably the biggest risk with guerrilla growing. Because of that, you want to camouflage your growing area.
Ideally, your grow spot should already be hidden enough that you don’t need to go through much effort to conceal it. If necessary, you can use the surrounding vegetation to hide your plants by constructing a sort of natural fence, making it necessary to move these plants out of the way to access your hidden crop.
Then again, there will always be a small risk that your plants could be discovered, no matter how well you hide them. This is the reason that guerrilla growers often spread their plants around in multiple locations, rather than relying on one single spot. In other words: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! If you plant your weed in more locations, any unexpected happenings will not result in the failure of your entire crop.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PLANTS
Outdoors, a lot can happen to your plants since they will be susceptible to all nature has to offer. You can increase protection of your cannabis plants by making simple cages out of chicken wire. These should at least keep larger animals like birds and deer away from your plants. When you visit your guerrilla grow, you should also make a habit of checking for common signs of pest infestation. Some natural pesticides such as neem oil can work in a preventative way so you can decrease the chances for common pests, such as aphids, to appear. Online, as well as in grow stores, you can find a number of products to repel deer, rabbits, and other animals.
EXTRA TIPS TO KEEP YOUR GUERRILLA GROW UNDER THE RADAR
As you will likely go to your secret cannabis plantation fairly often, avoid always taking the same route. A fresh path out in the wild could draw suspicion, so take a different way as often as you can. If you notice that you leave footprints, cover them up with dirt.
It can also be helpful to prepare a credible story for the eventuality of someone seeing you near your spot and asking what you’re doing. You could, for example, carry a camera or binoculars on you and say you’re bird-watching. And if there’s a lake or a river nearby, you could carry fishing equipment to conceal what you’re doing. Needless to say, when you have gotten away with your story, it would be smart to look for another growing location.
FEEDING AND WATERING YOUR OUTDOOR PLANTS
Unless you added polymers to your substrate as mentioned earlier, you will need to water your plants regularly. For this, you can simply observe your local weather. If it didn’t rain for a week or longer, chances are your plants will be thirsty.
If you’re using slow-release nutrients mixed with your substrate, your plants may do well throughout their entire life without you needing to feed them. Otherwise, make sure that you give them sufficient nutrients so they can grow and stay healthy. When you’re purchasing cannabis nutrients, make sure that they are suitable to use in soil outdoors.
KEEP YOUR PLANTS DRY IN FALL
Watering your plants frequently is important, but so is keeping them dry as the weather gets rainy at the beginning of fall. Especially in our European climate, extended days of rainfall can increase the risk for mould to grow, which could spoil your entire harvest. When you visit your plants, shake the excessive moisture from rain off the buds to decrease the risk for mould. If the weather doesn’t look as if it will get better at the end of summer, or it is expected to stay cold and rainy for weeks on end, you may want to harvest early so you can save your buds from rot.
TIPS FOR HARVESTING YOUR GUERRILLA-GROWN CANNABIS PLANTS
When it’s finally harvest time, it can help if you don’t get too excited that you rush things. Know that harvesting your outdoor guerrilla crops can be the most sensitive part of the entire grow. After all, you will likely be carrying back a whole bunch of juicy and aromatic buds, and you want to do this without drawing unwanted attention.
For harvesting, most guerrilla growers begin early in the morning before the sun comes up. You will need at least one large container where you can place your buds. Get a sealable container with a lid so that your harvest won’t raise suspicion from the smell. Quickly cut the branches and place them with the stem down into your container. This helps keep the buds intact. It shouldn’t require long until you have cut all the branches so you can take them home.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT STRAINS FOR YOUR GUERRILLA GROW
What makes growing cannabis outdoors exciting, yet also challenging, are the many factors that decide whether your grow may turn out awesome, or not so much. And not always can we keep these things under control. Mother Nature may bless your grow with optimal conditions to reward you with amazing yields, or she could be moody and spoil your plans with poor weather, rain, and pest infestations.
Although you cannot predict everything that will happen, you can greatly increase your chances for a successful outdoor guerrilla grow by selecting the right strains. This is because some cannabis cultivars are better suited to the outdoors than others. They may have increased resistance to mould and pests, or they may grow particularly short, making them ideal to grow under the radar. Here are 5 strains perfectly suited to a successful guerrilla grow.
TOP 5 CANNABIS STRAINS FOR GUERRILLA GROWING
Quick One by Royal Queen Seeds was one of the first and fastest autoflowering cannabis varieties on the market. This formidable indica-dominant auto is still great to grow today, and rewards with decent yields. She will not grow taller than 50–60cm, which makes her a particularly good guerrilla strain. Her entire life cycle is a short 8 weeks from seed to harvest, perfect for getting in and getting out fast!When you’re growing weed outdoors in a secret location, this is known as guerrilla growing. In this post, we'll walk you through the guerrilla growing process.
Cannabis Guerrilla Grows
Cannabis Guerilla Grows are much more common than you’d think; people have been using this stealth method to grow for decades now. The idea is basically to plant your grow somewhere remote, away from any towns or villages, near a constant flow of water so you don’t have to worry about irrigation; you’ll practically only have to plant and harvest.
Guerilla grows have pros and cons like every other method; keep in mind that if you’ve planted in a remote area that you can get to, other people can get there too. You might end up with plants infested with insects, or maybe the quality might be bad. In this article we’re going to talk about the steps you need to follow to reach harvest time with your guerilla grow.
How to Grow in Guerilla
The first thing you’re going to need to do is find the right strain; for guerilla grows you’re going to want to find a sturdy strain that doesn’t require much caring for, as you want to be able to visit your grow as little as possible to avoid causing suspicion. If you’re looking for some hardy strains that will put up with harsh conditions then Skunk strains, White Widow and Northern Lights are all quite sturdy.
Once you have your seeds, you can go and look for a place for them while they’re germinating. The best plan is to find somewhere with a river close to it, even a small stream would do. If possible the area should have large plants or trees where nobody would even think to look; if you need to get your feet wet and cross a stream to plant them somewhere that’s a bit harder to see then do it. You’d much rather the journey to be uncomfortable than for someone to find your grow and take it, wouldn’t you? If you find somewhere with some sugar cane, you won’t even have to water them. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, you’ll need to open up some space in the bushes or cane so that the plants can grow hidden but still be in a place with sunlight.
If you can’t find somewhere to plant near a source of water, don’t worry; you can mix the soil with polymers that will help the soil to retain much more humidity and nutrients, although you’ll still need to go and water at least once every two weeks which can call some unnecessary attention to yourself.
Once you’ve picked the right place, you’ll need to prepare the soil properly. You’ll need to make a hole, which will be larger or smaller depending on the amount of plants you’re going to be growing. If you’re looking to grow a massive seasonal plant, planted in March-April then the hole will need to be about 40x40cm and 60cm deep. If you’re planting later so that they don’t get too big or even autoflowering plants, then 20x20cm and 40cm deep should be more than enough.
Once you’ve made your hole you’re going to want to fill it with substrate mixed with some organic fertilizers. If you plant it earlier for bigger plants then it’ll need a different mix than if you’re planting a bit later or autoflowering strains. The most important thing is that you pick a substrate that’s good for the kind of terrain you’re working with. If the terrain is dry then you’ll need to choose a substrate that’s good at retaining humidity like Light Mix or BioBizz, and if it’s too humid then you’ll need to use a substrate that dries out quite nicely like Canna terra Professional. If you want it to retain even more humidity than it already has then you can mix it with polymers which retain water until it’s needed. If you want it to be a lot dryer you’ll need to mix it with expanded clay balls.
If you’re growing in the spring time you’ll need to mix your substrate with worm hummus so that, even if you water scarcely, the soil will have enough nitrogen for growth as well as a good root system. You’ll need to repeat the dosage the next month to make sure that your plants will be able to begin flowering on just water.
If you’re growing late plants or autoflowering plants then you’ll need to use bat guano once they reach the flowering period. You’ll need to use two big spoonfuls per 7L of substrate that you’ve put in the hole; 50L of substrate means 15 spoonfuls. All you have to do is give them a smooth organic fertilizer for flowering like Bio Flores every now and then and you should get an amazing harvest.
To grow in guerrilla you need to visit your plants the least amount of times as possible. The best thing to do is to bring them to site once they’ve grown a bit so the insects won’t kill them off, or at least until they’re big enough to be sprayed with Neem oil.
Every 20 days you’ll need to spray them with Neem again and water them; you should bring big bottles with you so you don’t have to do various trips. Make sure you take your bottles back home with you, as many people have been caught out due to discarding their bottles near their grows. During the summer you can use some Bacillus Thuringiensis to keep other insects like worms away.
This is all the advice you need to begin your guerilla grow, and if you’re lucky you can harvest some genuinely decent plants without the risk of having them at home.
Author: Javier Chinesta
Translation: Ciara Murphy