Best Strains for Outdoor Growing in Extreme Environments G 15 May 2021 It’s that time of year when the cannabis growing action leaves the comfort of the indoor grow room and heads outside to take advantage of the most powerful light in the whole universe! There is something very special about buds which have grown fat and juicy under natural sunshine, adding an extra dimension in the taste and effect departments. It wasn’t too many years ago that growing outside was little more than a dream for cannabis aficionados in more northern regions. However, these days it’s a different story and established seed companies such as Paradise Seeds, with 27+ years of experience in the R+D department, have several cannabis varieties that are suitable for growing in these regions. Likewise, this research and development has created strains which are able to cope with the temperatures racing the other way during the intense heat of the summer in southern regions. Paradise Seeds has prepared recommendations for the best strains for cannabis growers in each of these distinctive growing environments Good Outdoor Strains for Cold and Wet Outdoor Grows Paradise Seeds has always been keen to develop varieties that can be easily grown ‘in our backyard’, which in the case of the Netherlands can be rather wet, cold and sunshine deprived! Durga Mata (also available in a 1:1 High CBD form) is an excellent outdoor variety for such an environment. It is a hardy and versatile Indica, thanks to its combination of genetics drawn from the Hindu Kush valley. This plant has high pest and disease resistance qualities, a very Zen like effect and a taste that has been compared to Turkish Delight! The second recommendation is the sativa dominant hybrid (60/40 sativa/indica), Nebula. This award winning plant is known for its wonderful honey sweet taste and big yield potential. In the genetic mix is a combination of Afghani, White Widow and Californian Haze, producing a plant which is highly resinous, with a rich terpene profile that is characterised by the prominence of Caryophyllene, Beta Pinene and Terpinolene. Nebula is also incredibly no nonsense in the outdoor setup – the kind of plant you can put in the garden and forget about until harvest time (although she will of course respond to being well cared for and reward the grower accordingly!). A proven performer in regions which are prone to dips in temperature and climates where persistent winds and rain arrive as harvest approaches - its medium sized buds offer good mould resistance too. Bonus suggestion: Make the most of the intensity of the mid summer sun and plant some autoflower strains. Auto Kong 4 is a cross of GG4 (formerly known as Gorilla Glue) and Pandora (one of our original high yield autos). A big yielder with a distinctive sweet and sour taste. Best Outdoor Strains for Arid and Hot Outdoor Grows We have seen outdoor grown Dutch Dragon plants which have exceeded 3 metres in height! Now we have your attention with that headline… let’s take a look at our first hot climate recommendation. This original Paradise Seeds classic is a plant that beats with a Mediterranean heart. It’s a sun seeking sativa, but more bushy than many with Swaziland roots (from the South African region famed for its sativas). This hot weather performer copes very well in conditions of heat and intense sunshine. Sweet and fruity, the buds are characterised by the dominance of Limonene and Caryophyllene in its terpene profile. The second recommendation from Paradise Seeds is Wappa. Another multi award winning hybrid, this is one of Paradise Seed’s most popular strains and for good reason. It has sweet skunk at its core and its all round qualities –high yield, easy management, great taste and uplifting effect – make it a reliable performer in an outdoor set up. A superb pick for growers in southern regions thanks to its in-built resistance to very high temperatures, this plant is also available in auto form (Auto Wappa) which also exhibits these prized characteristics. Essential Preparations for Outdoor Growing While it’s easy to just focus on the genetics, experienced outdoor cannabis cultivators are aware that the success of an outdoor grow project requires some pre-season preparation to ensure the best harvests 5-6 months along the road. For growers in more northern regions (between the latitudes of 45° - 55°) this means thinking ahead to the flowering period which is often accompanied by wind, rain and the sudden drop of temperatures as Summer turns to Autumn. Mould is a formidable enemy of the grower in these regions and we receive many enquiries about this issue at Paradise Seeds. While there are treatments for plants during this stage, planning ahead now can minimise the risk. Our top tips are to select the most suitable strains for your growing environment and also to think about different ways to grow your plants (using training techniques such as LST and scrogging) to spread the vegetation out, make your plants easier to protect (shielding them from ‘days’ of rain for example) and promote good airflow. For growers in southern regions of Europe (typically between 45° - 35° north of the equator) the issues faced are extreme heat and an arid environment – not to mention the pests and diseases that result from it. While all cannabis plant varieties will benefit from extended sunshine, top tips for southern region growers include planting out later in the season to avoid the attention of pests such as Red Spidermite and White Fly and of course ensuring that your plants have some shade for protection (pots are a good choice for this reason). As ever, Paradise Seeds ALWAYS recommends that growers read the strain descriptions to find out which variety of cannabis plant is best suited to their growing environment. By following the basic guidelines set out in this article (and of course selecting the right strains for the task!) you will be setting your garden up for success this outdoor cannabis grow season. Good luck and happy gardening.