How to grow cannabis in summer after a late start. Read our full guide on germinating cannabis seeds in July and growing cannabis in the summer. Breeders have begun specializing in the cultivation of cannabis seeds. Find out more about how breeders pay special attention to the pollination, harvest time, and drying process for the seeds to improve the likelihood of a successful harvest. Worldofseeds is a international marijuana seeds bank and distributor. We offer the best cannabis seeds online around the world with a great price.
Can I start seeds in July and harvest in October?
Yes you can! Although most growers would, perhaps correctly, point out that a July start is a little late if you are aiming for maximum yield. Many outdoor growers would hope to germinate their cannabis seeds a couple of months earlier than July in order to give their plants the best chance of reaching their true genetic potential.
That said, you can germinate your seeds in July and still get a good quality harvest. If you are interested in knowing more about how to grow cannabis in summer, even after a late start, we have some great tips and info.
“When is it too late to plant cannabis for summer?” is a common question from outdoor growers. The answer depends partly on your local climate and the type of cannabis seeds you are hoping to grow.
With some expert advice on the best type of seeds for your situation (autoflower seeds vs feminised seeds), growing cannabis in summer is very straightforward. Lots of people get great results and so can you!
Pros and cons of starting cannabis seeds in summer
The summer solstice (longest day) is June 21st (Northern Hemisphere) and December 21st (Southern Hemisphere). Regarding the summer solstice, cannabis is generally recommended to be planted outdoors before the solstice. This remains good advice, but for many growers it is also possible to plant your cannabis seeds after the summer solstice and still get a harvest in the autumn/fall.
Advantages of seeding cannabis in July for northern Hemisphere growers (or January for Southern Hemisphere growers):
- The warm summer weather has already arrived, your growing season is already here!
- No risk of losing your seedlings due to an unexpected late frost.
- Guerrilla growers will already have lots of wild plants growing rapidly, perfect to hide your cannabis plants behind!
- There is still time left for a harvest, even if it’s a slightly shorter remaining grow season.
- You can look forward to seeing your plants thrive outdoors immediately in the mid summer conditions.
The disadvantages of starting cannabis seeds in July also need consideration:
- In general, your soil will be drier for your seedlings. Root growth is more difficult in dry soil so watering needs to be more frequent while the plants are young and more vulnerable to the heat.
- Black plant containers can become extremely hot in direct sunlight. In the worst cases this will bake the root ball, dehydrating the soil and the plant. This can kill the plant within a day or two. Keep plant containers in the shade, perhaps wrapped in a reflective white cover. Avoid putting plant containers on hot tiled surfaces.
- Plants germinated late in the season will likely be smaller than they would have been with an earlier start. This will mean smaller yields.
- Young plants may not cope well with direct midday sun in the hottest part of summer. Consider living them some shelter/shade from the sun between midday until around 4-5pm in extreme conditions. Perhaps under a tarpaulin or similar.
- With a short vegetative period the root network of your plants won’t be as deep or extensive as it would have been with a long vegetative period. This means you will need to give extra consideration to watering your plant more regularly.
How to grow cannabis outdoors in summer
Look for a private area where you can plant your cannabis seeds and allow them to develop without risk of discovery. Outdoor cannabis growers often have several guerrilla grow locations, just in case one of them is discovered. Unused field corners, waste urban land, river banks, hillsides etc all make great potential locations.
If local soil quality is poor you can supplement it with supermarket soil, well-rotted manure, general fertiliser etc. You can easily make a cannabis organic summer soil mix by blending some quality compost with some slow release organic nutrients such as those from BioTabs. Or you could add your own ingredients to enrich local soil e.g. bone/fish/blood meal, seaweed, worm castings, bat guano etc. If you can grow cannabis on your own land, balcony or patio that makes it easier to monitor plant development.
“How often should you water outdoor cannabis plants during summer” is another common question. In times of hot weather it is normal to water both at morning and night. If you use a larger plant container the roots have a larger available root space of moist grow medium which will allow your plant to manage for longer periods with watering.
If you root your plant directly into the moist earth (without a container) it allows you more latitude, you may need to water less frequently since the roots can source their own water unless in severe drought. When growing in containers you can assess the remaining moisture levels by lifting the container (if possible) to assess the weight. Or you may prefer to use a hygrometer in your plant container to measure moisture level in the root zone.
Growers in extremely hot regions often ask whether will cannabis grow outdoors in summer, in the south with hot temperatures. Unless temperatures are regularly hitting 35-40ºC for prolonged periods then you should be able to get the plants through to harvest.
Planning your grow after a late outdoor season start
If you are aiming to plant cannabis seeds in the summer, most growers aim to get their plants outdoors as soon as the weather is suitable. For growers in northern Europe that can mean waiting until the last frost has passed.
- At Dutch latitudes, or similar, growers often put their plants outdoors around late May.
- At southern Mediterranean latitudes you might place your seedlings outdoors in March.
Obviously, an earlier start allows your photoperiod feminised outdoor strains a longer period of vegetative growth and therefore a larger final result. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t start your feminised seeds in July, and accept a somewhat smaller final result.
Autoflowering cannabis seeds are generally recognised as being the fastest, simplest and easiest way to grow cannabis. They can grow from seed to harvest in around 3 months.
Having a spare pack of autoflower seeds in the fridge is always a good idea for outdoor growers contemplating a last-minute summer grow. Check out the Dutch Passion Seed Sale for the latest special offers.
Choosing the best suited seeds for a summer cannabis grow
If you’re planting your cannabis seeds in June or July you need fast growing outdoor strains. Autoflower seeds are particularly recommended for outdoor growers thinking of a late start.
If you plant your auto seeds in June (or early July) you should have a crop around late September or early October. If you can pre-grow your auto seeds indoors for a couple of weeks (under 24 hours of daily light) before planting them out that will speed up your plant development and final size even more.
Choose the faster autoflower strains if you are up against the clock with a late season grow. Some longer blooming autos (e.g. Auto Ultimate, Auto Glueberry) can take a few weeks longer than average, such autoflower strains are probably best avoided if you are on a tight schedule.
Recommended fast/tough auto strains include Auto Mazar, Auto Blueberry and Auto Blackberry Kush. All will do well outdoors and are fast enough to deliver a harvest even if planted outdoors late in the year.
Photoperiod feminised strains are also a good choice for a late season outdoor grow. Dependable strains such as Frisian Dew, Think Fast and Durban Poison are all recommended.
However, it should be noted that photoperiod feminised outdoor cannabis seeds germinated in July will only have around a month of vegetative growth before starting bloom. This will have inevitable consequences on size and yield. Expect a small/medium sized result rather than a monster outdoor plant.
Watering and feeding schedule for outdoor cannabis in summer
Watering requirements when growing in the middle of summer can be high. Growers in Southern Europe may see heatwave temperatures in excess of 30ºC for long stretches. This can mean watering your plant at morning and night. Some growers leave some water/nutrient solution in a tray underneath their plant container.
This can help the plant from completely drying out. Some growers remove their plant from direct sunlight in the middle of the day, or place the plant in shade to protect it from the worst of the midday heat.
Growers in cooler climates (e.g. Northern UK, Scandinavia) may still face hot temperatures though rarely as high and prolonged as those faced by growers with more Mediterranean climates. Watering and feeding schedules for growers in these regions will vary significantly.
Whether you are growing in a hot or a cool climate you will need to find the right watering schedule for your conditions. Even in the same grow location, outdoor conditions can vary significantly from one year to the next.
Flowering cannabis plants seeded in July
Autoflower seeds germinated in July (Northern Hemisphere) will probably start bloom during August and finish flowering in late September or early October. Many outdoor growers enjoy the often compact, squat and bushy nature of growing autoflowers outdoors. Autos can be easier to hide than 3-4 metre tall photoperiod monsters!
Autoflowering cannabis seeds also do very well in a greenhouse or polytunnel. As with feminised strains, a greenhouse helps protect your plants from the worst of the late-season weather. It’s something to consider if you have significant concerns about the October weather at your grow location/latitude.
Feminised strains planted in July will have a month (or less) before they show signs of bloom. That means it is more realistic to have modest expectations of the final plant size and yield. But even with a July start, you can still harvest some good quality buds in autumn/fall.
Cooling cannabis plants during summer
How to shade cannabis plants in summer? On the hottest days you may want to keep your plants out of the midday sun, if only for a few hours. Cooling cannabis plants during summer isn’t easy.
If grown in a container, move your plant to a shaded area. Some growers create shade for their plants with a tarpaulin, but this isn’t always easy when growing outdoors.
Avoid placing your plants on a hot tiled surface which can greatly increase temperatures in the root zone. Likewise, avoid black plant containers which will heat up in the sun and cook the root ball.
Even when a cannabis plant is badly dehydrated it can often recover after a few hours of cool conditions and plenty of water. After all, people have been growing cannabis in hot climates successfully for thousands of years.
The real issues happen if your plant is in mid bloom and hits a heatwave. Recovering from heat stress and dehydration is easier in vegetative growth then it is in bloom.
Professional growers do have a few options. Increasing CO2 content, for example in a greenhouse, allows plants to tolerate higher temperatures. Some greenhouse growers with blackout blinds equipped on their greenhouse have an easy way to shade their plants if temperatures reach dangerous levels.
Harvesting cannabis plants seeded in July
If all goes well, and it often does, your cannabis plants started in July will be ready to harvest around October. If the late season weather is poor, you may consider creating some kind of shelter/cover to keep torrential rain off your buds. With a little bit of luck you may see your plants grow steadily and supply you with some bonus winter buds.
For those growing in reasonable climates, it is also possible to get an early season auto harvest as well as a late season auto harvest. The following grow review from Denmark shows how even Scandinavian growers can get two successive autoflower harvests each year
Grow cannabis from seed to harvest in 3 months!
Even if you have left it late to plant your cannabis seeds this year you can still get a decent harvest with a short 3-4 month summer grow. Feminised seeds, and perhaps especially autoflower seeds, are great options for growing cannabis in summer even with a late start. If you are thinking about a late season outdoor grow remember it’s easy, secured and fast to buy cannabis seeds online!
The Importance of Collecting and Harvesting Cannabis Seeds
T here was a time in our not-too-recent history when a sack of weed almost always included seeds. However, as cannabis cultivation evolved, so did the demand for sensimilla, or high-quality, seedless cannabis. Breeders not only began developing their own customized strains, they also started specializing in the cultivation of very special cannabis seeds. These seeds are used in both the breeding process and the wide-spread distribution of the carefully created strain itself.
- Autoflower Seeds Explained
- Do Cannabis Seeds Go Bad?
- What to Look for When Buying Cannabis Seeds
- Ultimate Cannabis Seed Feminizer: Colloidal Silver
The Role of Seeds in the Breeding Process
The process of breeding the perfect strain requires a controlled production of seeds. Breeders must force their favorite plants to produce pollen and then use it to pollinate other favorite strains, thus creating “cross-breeds” of their two selected parents. Note that this process is not haphazard like the seeds one might find in a poorly-controlled outside marijuana grow – cannabis seed cultivation is a precise process that requires controlled, sanitary environments that are thoroughly sealed to prevent outside dander from getting in.
The plants can “veg” here, or continue their vegetative growth phase if trying to increase their size before seed production begins, but it’s not necessary. Once the plants are large enough, they are put into a flowering light cycle of 12 hours light and 12 hours of complete darkness.
Within a few weeks, the male will produce pollen sacks which will soon burst and get carried off into the air to pollinate the females. The females will now produce seeds which may continue to be used in the breeding process or harvested and sold to the public.
For the purpose of seed production, only around 20 females are recommended per male. However, a single male can realistically pollinate hundreds of females, hence the importance of a tightly sealed environment during the seed production process.
Natural Cannabis Seed Production
Cannabis is an amazingly resilient plant and doesn’t require male pollination to produce seeds. Evolution has bestowed upon the cannabis plant an amazing ability to self-pollinate when there are no males around to do it for her. Whether stressed or old (for example, a female cannabis plant that is not harvested before her prime), if a female senses an environment that is not conducive to long-term growth, she will produce seeds in hopes that her legacy will continue.
This is how feminized cannabis seeds are produced. Breeders will carefully stress a healthy female plant to “trick” her into thinking her life or safety is in danger.
One common method is to stress the female by applying solutions like colloidal silver or silver nitrate generously onto the leaves when she first enters the flower light cycle. Within 3-4 weeks, male sex organs will appear on the nodes of the female plant. Please note, applying these stress-inducing solutions to plants renders them unsmokable. The particulate cannot be washed off thoroughly because it settles deep into the surface of the plant. This method is for seed production only.
Another method is to simply let a healthy female age. If she grows past maturation, she will produce male “banana” pollen sacks without any male chromosomes. Though she may look like a hermaphroditic plant at this point (one containing the chromosomes of both male and female), the pollen she produces will contain only XX chromosomes and therefore cannot pass the Y (male) chromosome down to its heirs. Pollen collected in this way is then used to pollinate another female which will then produce female-only seeds.
How to Collect Cannabis Seeds
Though many grow ops aim to do away with seeds to grow fine sensimilla instead, sometimes breeders want seeds. Whether to grow their own crops or to sell to a demanding public, cannabis seed cultivators have their goals set on producing healthy, happy seeds in lieu of big, beautiful buds.
Seed crops are harvested when the seeds are plump and dark, often with a tiger stripe appearance (around six to eight weeks into flowering).
After harvesting, the bud is dried and the seeds are collected. Small-scale seed collection is done by simply crumbling the cannabis flower and collecting the seeds that fall out (this video by Johnnys Green Extractions offers a clever way to separate seeds from flower using an old vinyl record cover).
Commercial seed collection usually involves special machines that crush dried flower then pass the trim and seeds into separate bins. After seeds are collected, they’re stored in opaque, air-tight containers to prevent them from rotting or sprouting prematurely.
Though cannabis flower is usually cultivated to be seedless, sometimes the seeds are the whole point. Breeders pay special attention to the pollination, harvest time, and drying process when growing cannabis specifically for the seeds to improve the likelihood of a successful harvest.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are Feminized Seeds Made?
Feminized seeds are made by inducing a female plant to produce seeds without being pollinated by a male. These resulting seeds will not contain a male Y chromosome, only retaining the two X chromosomes from the female plant, and thus all of the resulting seeds will be female. This process can be done by stressing the plant, altering it with chemicals, or allowing it to grow past its harvesting time.
How Many Plants Can a Male Cannabis Plant Pollinate?
For professional production, it is recommended to pollinate about 20 female plants per male plant, but this is done to ensure tight oversight and quality control. In the wild, a single male plant can pollinate hundreds of female cannabis plants.
Can You Smoke Cannabis That Has Been Treated with Colloidal Silver?
No, colloidal silver is only used on plants raised for seeding purposes, it makes the plants that it is sprayed on unsmokable.
How are Strains Crossbred?
Cannabis breeders create crossbreeds by using the pollen of one strain to pollenate seeds with another strain. The resulting seeds will have genetics from both parents. These new plants are selected by their desirable traits and then stabilized through further breeding, typically using the genetics of their parent strains.
Have you ever harvested cannabis seeds? Share your experiences in the comments below!
Abby is a writer and founder of Cannabis Content, a marketplace designed to connect cannabis writers and creatives with businesses in the industry. She has been a professional cannabis writer since 2014 and regularly contributes to publications such as PotGuide and M&F Talent. She is also the Content Director at Fortuna Hemp, America’s leading feminized hemp seed bank. Follow Abby on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.
Seeds EARLY HARVEST WORLDOFSEEDS
Our Early Harvest varieties are fast flowering varieties, femnized and photodependent and are the result of the crossing of an autoflowering F4 with photodependent varieties of our catalog with what we manage to shorten their flowering and strengthen their vegetative growth stage, which turns them into varieties ultra-fast. These plants can be ready for harvest, from seed, in about 8 weeks in total, which makes them ideal for crops in wet, rainy areas and very harsh winters, as their speed allows you to anticipate the attacks of the majority of fungi.
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