As a pothead who has friends who are hippies, I know quite a bit about cannabis horticulture. Most of the time, the friends of mine who have grown marijuana did so by keeping a little plant in their closet while giving it light via a lamp.
That being said, I live in a major metropolitan area and most of my friends live in cramped apartments in a rough side of town. However, I have met people in passing that were able to grow weed in their private gardens without getting caught by neighbors or police.
Ever wonder how they do it? I did, too. So, I asked them how they kept it discreet. This is what they told me to tell you on how to grow weed in your garden.
Before we begin, it's important to talk about the legality of it all.
It's out of my desire to be a responsible writer that I feel I need to talk about the law before I tell you how to grow weed in your garden. I've seen people do stupid things like this in New York City—and it's resulted in my friends getting raided and locked up for years.
Most states consider the cultivation of cannabis to be illegal. If you want to try growing weed, you will have to look up local laws. Should it be illegal in your area, you need to realize that you're doing it at your own risk.
When you have the plant inside your home, it's way easier to hide any evidence of wrongdoing. You also are more capable of turning away police who show up without a warrant. Outdoor growing operations don't allow for this. All someone has to do is look outside your house and see the plant.
It only takes one nosy neighbor, or one bitter ex, to call the cops and get you into major trouble. It is a risk if you live in an area where marijuana is still illegal. You need to remember this when you choose to grow cannabis outdoors—and if you don't want to risk it, don't do it.
Okay, disclaimer over. Let's talk about how to grow weed in your garden now.
First off, make a point to check if it's even feasible.
Even if you do want to grow marijuana outdoors, there are certain moments where you have to concede it's not realistic to do so. The following moments are definitely times when you need to realize it's not a good idea:
- Take a look at the soil quality. If you literally live on top of sand, your chances of being able to grow weed with ease are shot.
- Take a look at the size of your garden. A large garden makes it easy to hide a plant in plain sight. If you can't see your neighbors, it's even easier to get a cannabis plant growing without too much worry. Super small gardens that are on the high rise balconies of apartments, on the other hand, are a great way to get arrested. Be realistic, here, and remember that cops are always looking to get their next arrest.
- Then, take a look at your neighbors. Nosy neighbors and neighbors that have been trying to get you in trouble with the local HOA are major no-no's for would-be growers.
If you think that you have the conditions you need in order to maintain a certain level of discretion, then by all means, it's time to learn how to grow weed in your garden.
Choose the right plant to start with.
There are two ways to really grow weed discretely.
If your garden is rather small and filled with bushes, then you will probably want to look into a ruderalis strain of cannabis. This is because ruderalis only grows up to two feet in height. As a result, it's way easier to just disguise it as a shrub next to a bunch of trees.
Larger gardens or gardens where there may be a lot of sharp noses may be good for outdoor sativa growing. Sativa plants can grow up to 25 feet in height, but they also don't smell as strongly as indica plants do.
Indica smells strong and also grows tall. Overall, it's not a good choice for outdoor growing unless you've got acres to yourself. If you have that much space, you don't really need to read too much about how to grow weed in your garden since you probably have a farm.
Plant your seeds in the ground, not in a pot.
This should go without saying, but it's a good idea to plant your seeds in the ground rather than a pot. If you're growing cannabis in your garden, having it in a pot or a planter is pretty incriminating if you actually get caught with it.
Location in your garden is also pretty important. Putting your plant close to your garden's fence is clearly a bad idea. Having it randomly growing in the middle of a flat lawn in your garden is also a bad idea, because it is too darned obvious.
Remember—cops use helicopters to scope out crime. If your pot plant is totally out in the open, you're putting yourself at risk for arrest. That being said, your plant will need at least eight hours of light per day to get as much THC as possible.
Most people will overlook a plant that's growing up against a tree, planted near a bunch of bushes, or planted around a bunch of flowers. After all, plants growing there would make sense. If you have a backyard that opens into forests (and you don't have neighbors), then that's a good option as well.
That being said, you should also remember where you plant your seeds. If you forget where you planted them, then every single guide on how to grow weed in your garden will do you no good.
Go full incognito by making sure plants that look like marijuana are nearby.
One of the things you might not realize when you first hear how to grow weed in your garden is how powerful marijuana can smell. This is often the thing that tips people off the most—and gets growers in the most trouble.
To really disguise the look of marijuana and keep it from getting noticed by police, you also should look into growing planted distractions that look fairly similar to cannabis. Some good options include cassava, cranberry hibiscuses, and coral plants.
Along with having plants that look similar to cannabis nearby, you should also make a point to grow plants that tend to have a strong smell that can distract noses from the smell of weed. Good options might include pine trees, lemongrass, lilacs, lavender, or rosemary.
Install a tall fence—like, as tall as possible.
Tall fences are a good way to get privacy and to keep prying eyes away from what you're doing in your garden. Most people will not think twice of a house with a tall fence, simply because everyone knows someone who is a bit kooky when it comes to privacy.
Trim it, prune it, maintain it.
Every single guide telling you how to grow weed in your garden will emphasize the importance of pruning your plant—and for good reason.
If you're going to grow sativa or indica, the best tip for growing weed outdoors you can hear is to trim it. By pruning it down to a smaller size, you're keeping things discreet enough for most people to pass it by without notice.
After all, it's a lot easier to hide a plant that's smaller in size and stature. Pruning it the right way can also encourage the growth of "side shoots" and give the plant a bushier look.
This, too, aids in helping you keep things discrete. People typically assume that marijuana plants have a certain shape. Deviating from that will make people overlook it. Not many people will assume a shrub, bush, or "bonsai tree" would be marijuana.
Obviously, you also might want to trim buds as they grow, since those tend to be dead giveaways when it comes to the kind of plant you're growing. Besides, wouldn't you want to smoke the goods you worked so hard to grow?
Make as little hubbub as possible.
Unlike large scale growing operations or indoor growing operations, people will expect to see someone working on their garden to have soil, fertilizer, and other products sitting around the garden. So, you won't have to worry about hiding your gardening gear in garbage bags. In terms of growing evidence, it's way easier to pass off an outdoor growing option as regular gardening to cops. That's one of the biggest perks of having an outdoor plant!
That being said, a lot of people who have gotten caught growing marijuana in their gardens were caught because they boast about it to others. Or worse, they tell others how to grow weed and show them their stash.
Don't tell people where you get the pot—not even if they are your best friends. You never know who will end up throwing you under the bus if police end up shaking them down. You also never know who may try to blackmail you for a big portion of harvest using that knowledge.
Lastly, don't grow more than one plant.
Generally speaking, trying to grow a bunch of marijuana plants is a downright foolish idea. A single plant is risky enough—assuming that you're growing weed in an area where it's illegal.
If you live in an area where marijuana is illegal, then you should limit yourself to a single plant. The more plants you grow, the more of a risk you run for being caught with cannabis. Don't get greedy, otherwise you'll be telling others how to grow weed in your garden from prison.