It was an interesting summer and Ontario saw many first-time cannabis growers try their hand at growing cannabis outdoors in this first legal outdoor growing season. There were some interesting results. If you were growing outdoors in the city, you may have had issues with your plants being pollinated and therefore your nice buds turned to seed. Unfortunately, there were likely more than a few growers who may be raising males as we were given reports of pollinated plants from Toronto to Hamilton. For those that did manage to raise their plants to maturity, we hope you were able to crop and were not victims of the many robberies that happened through the end of summer. These at least led to some interesting new articles as you can call the police now if your cannabis plants are stolen.

Some of the other challenges we saw included using pots that were not the right size and limiting the success and yield of the plants. You can almost look at pots as you would a fish tank. By limiting the size of the pot, you will limit the size of the plant (like fish in a tank). You also need to factor in whether you are using living soil or synthetic fertilizers as that can also have a bearing on the pot size required. Most who were planted in smaller containers still ended up some bud, but they could have grown significantly more with a larger container. Some were also surprised by the size of the plant when planting directly in the ground and felt they needed to trim it to keep it out of view. Using a container to limit the size is also a good strategy for next year if you need to be more discreet.

The other common issue reported was mildew. If dealt with early and swiftly, these issues were manageable, but we did see a few crops that were destroyed in this year’s outdoor grow. One thing I did notice when seeing crops overtaken by mildew is there were often plant / strains that even in this environment did not have any issues. Keep note of these strains as they can help you in future years is you are in areas with a lot of moisture. And please don’t consume or share moldy buds. There are health risks and we would recommend destroying any moldy product.

Hopefully whether successful or not this year everyone who attempted had some fun and learned a few things. And those who were not successful hopefully have generous friends who were. Growing cannabis is a part of ending the stigma and developing a closer connection with the plants and world around you, so talking to friends about it, and helping those who may just be getting started is important. If we all do this there should be more good vibes and less pollen in the air next outdoor growing season. Now, if you haven’t already, get set up for your indoor growing until next spring.

David Kurth, President & CEO