Growing outdoors can save you lots of money when it comes to lighting. Outdoor cannabis plants will use the greatest source of light, the sun, which is free!!!!! But keep in mind when growing outdoors the photoperiod tends to be much more gradual so it takes longer for the plants to fully bloom out during flowering. Some say this “longer harvest” is made up for in yield.
Another great benefit of growing outdoors is that you do not have to worry about changing your air supply regularly and constantly (unless greenhouse growing), as outdoors this occurs naturally with an abundance of fresh air being supplied to your plants all the time, again, for free!
Now let’s talk numbers. If you grow 10 plants indoors with a 400 watt metal halide grow light, each plant will yield about ½ to 1 ounce of marijuana. (Don’t worry, we have some tips later that will show you how to increase yield, but for now these are the average guidelines.) A single plant grown outdoors will yield around a pound (16 ounces) of marijuana, or sometimes even more!
But be warned, there are also many downsides to growing outdoors. You have no control over light cycles and must grow on the natural annual harvest cycle, you have absolutely no privacy and some areas require you to take privacy precautions in order to grow for medical use. Your plants are more susceptible to pests, both small and large. Trade winds outdoors means you have constant open ventilation which means your plants could be pollinated by wild pollen messing up your attempts to breed seed of a certain strain or to avoid seeding instead of budding & flowering. (This is where the female devotes all her energy into producing seeds, rather than large healthy buds!) You are also mostly limited to soil grows outdoors unless you have a greenhouse which is sort of a hybrid of indoor and outdoor growing “room”.
So remember that generally outdoors = massive yields, lower quality and limited strain selection due to lack of environmental control.
Indoors = lower yields, but much higher quality and choice.