At present time, a lot of us cannabis growers, do not have large areas to grow our much appreciated cannabis plants. With this, growing cannabis in balconies is now more popular than ever, especially in urban environments.
If you are considering to enter the cannabis balcony growers club, here you have all the important information to help you achieve the best results with maximum discretion.
First of all you will have to assess the size of your balcony and, depending on the space available, it is time to calculate the number of plants and size of pots that you will need to assure that the development of your plants is the most beneficial and productive possible.
Autoflowering or Photoperiod-dependent?
Before deciding on a photoperiod-dependent or autoflowering strain you need to ask yourself this question: does my balcony get enough direct sunlight? It is very important to assess the orientation of the sunlight, as it could affect the development and production of your cannabis plants. It is advisable that your plants get at least 5 or 6 hours of direct sunlight during the morning or in the evening. If your balcony faces south, you are in luck! Your crop will receive natural light from morning to sunset. If your plants get the midday sun you should be careful because, depending on the area where you live, the sun may be very strong for your plants and you will have to protect them.
Balconies facing north or in the case of very low places located in narrow streets where the sun can never achieve the plants during the necessary hours, will make the cannabis plants grow weaker and unable to bloom and properly fatten their buds.
Another important variable to take in consideration is the environmental conditions to which our plants will be exposed. For example wind, heavy rains and humidity can affect and seriously damage our plants, damaging their branches, but also the appearance of pests, diseases, etc.
- Photoperiod-dependent strains: these plants need a specific photoperiod to bloom. In the case of cannabis, the photoperiod is between 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Keeping photoperiod-dependent plants with a photoperiod of vegetative growth will cause the plants to achieve a great height, which can be a problem when growing in balconies.
For this reason, with photoperiod-dependent strains in balconies it is very important to check if there is any light coming from the street, such as streetlights, neighbour lights, or any exterior light at all. If the plants do not have 12 hours of continuous darkness every day, they will not detect the photoperiod change and will not start their flowering stage.
If you live in humid areas where the danger of diseases and pests is always present and you are going to grow a photoperiod-dependent strain, we recommend you to evaluate our F1 Fast Version® strains, as they are ultra-fast flowering photoperiod-dependent plants, shortening the flowering time in one or two weeks when compared to their photoperiod-dependent parental.
- Autoflowering strains: This type of plants do not depend on the photoperiod to start flowering. They only depend on their age. Autoflowering strains are very fast that start flowering between two and four weeks after germination. They are usually harvested between two and three months after the germinating of the seeds.
The amount of light is the most important parameter to get a good yield with this type of plants. The more hours of sunshine they receive, the bigger they will grow and the higher their production will be.
They are an ideal choice for growers who do not have much space and want their plants to grow unnoticed, obtaining their harvest in a short time.
In addition you have The Red Family, our red-flowered autoflowering strains, with which your balcony will look even more beautiful.
Choosing the ideal cannabis strain for you
This is very important. You should have it very clear that depending on the cannabis strain that you decide to grow, growth itself, plant care and the development of the plants can vary a lot.
- Mainly indica strains: These strains tend to be smaller and more compact plants when compared to sativa strains. They are also faster.
This is why indicas are an excellent choice when we do not have much space, as the plants will not grow very large, allowing for stealthier grow operations and adapting better to what is normally needed in balcony crops.
Within the wide range of choices for indica strains that we have in the Sweet Seeds® genetic collection, we can recommend the following for their ease of growth and fast flowering:
- Mainly sativa strains: Unlike indica strains, when we talk about sativas we have to keep in mind that they are plants with a longer flowering time and a higher stature.
If you choose this type of strain, it is very important that you keep the growth of your plants under control, preventing the plants from growing too much, or else you may lose discretion. It is recommended to perform some técnica de cultivo such as FIM or apical pruning, Low Stress Training (LST), Main lining, ScrOg (Screen of Green), SOG (Sea of Green), etc, to control the height of the plants and, above all, to get a higher yield. It is advisable to have advanced cultivation knowledge to perform any type of cultivation technique.
Ice Cool® (SWS06), Psicodelicia®(SWS07), Sweet Cheese® (SWS19), Sweet Cheese Auto® (SWS33), Sweet Tai® (SWS03), Dark Devil Auto® (SWS38) are some examples of mostly sativa strains that we strongly recommend for your balcony.
- Hybrid strains: These strains are the result of the hybridization between indica and sativa plants. In this crossing, the characteristics of both types of plants are combined, originating cannabis plants with medium or short flowering time, when comparing with sativa strains of an intermediate size.
They are a very good option if you do not want plants that grow too much in height.
Advices for your balcony grow
- Use the right pots: If sun hits your plants directly, the temperature on the roots may reach to 40 ºC, which is quite harmful to them. To prevent it, you can use white pots and protect them from the direct sun, lowering the soil temperature.
The size of the pot is also very important, since there is a direct relationship between the size of the pot and the growth of the plant. If you want a discrete crop, you can choose to slightly reduce the size of the pot, controlling and limiting the growth of the plant.
- The pavement of your balcony: When growing on balconies there may be overheating of the floor, raising the temperature of the pots an inevitably heating the soil and roots. Therefore, if you have the pots at ground level, we recommend to wet the floor from time to time to lower the temperature.
Another way to prevent the high temperatures in balcony floors, is to place insulators between the soil and the pots, or raising the pots, when possible.
- Wind: If your balcony is usually a target for strong winds, you will have to hold the plants with stones, ropes or whatever you have at hand to protect them from getting damaged.
- Controlling the smells: This is another important aspect if you want to avoid that the neighbours get bothered by the smell of the plants. It is a difficult task, especially when we grow on a balcony, since we can not use carbon filters or ventilation systems. Therefore, placing aromatic plants such as lavender or basil around your balcony will allow you to visually disguise your crop while camouflaging the delicious aromas of our plants.
- Feminized seeds: Choose feminized seeds to save time and space, avoiding all the trouble of selecting male and female plants.
- Light control: As already mentioned before, it only affects photoperiod-dependent strains. It is important to control any light that the plant may get from the exterior that changes its photoperiod and blocks the natural growth process of the plant.
Pests and diseases
When growing outdoors, our plants will be continuously exposed to possible the attack of numerous pests. As we said on several occasions, the best attack is prevention. Therefore, it is advisable to perform biological preventive treatments with the intention of avoiding possible attacks.
A good option is to place aromatic plants around your cannabis plants. These, in addition to serving as ‘camouflage’, so that your cannabis plants go unnoticed, will also help as a pest repellent. Examples of aromatic plants:
- Chamomile: Due to its color, it attracts numerous insects such as wasps and ladybugs. In addition, it serves as an insecticide against aphids.
- Petunias: Effective against aphids, bed bugs and beetles.
- Marigolds: For most insects it is more attractive than our delicious cannabis plants. Repels aphids, whiteflies and bedbugs.
- Garlic: It is very effective to prevent and treat spider mite attacks, aphids, as well as other mites and worms. The garlic aroma works as an ecological repellent and insecticide.
- Basil: Besides attracting a lot of beneficial insects, it is effective against thrips, aphids and whiteflies.
- Rosemary and sage: Will keep away a lot of insects while they are also effective to repel caterpillars and whiteflies.
- Thyme: Good repellent for whiteflies.
- Lavender: This precious plant will keep moths, aphids and spiders away from your cannabis plants.
As you have read, lack of space is not a limitation for cannabis growing when you can use your balcony. You just need planning, organizing the available space and treating your plants with all the care they need for a successful cannabis growing.
And enjoy your harvest!!
Sweet Seeds S.L is not responsible for the misuse of the information contained in this article. Cultivation of cannabis may constitute a criminal offence or administrative misdemeanour; please refer to the legislation on cannabis in your place of residence. Sweet Seeds S.L. does not intend in any case to incite non-legal practices.