Grow Cannabis Outdoors in Gauteng successfully with this detailed guide. Get ready for your dankest highveld harvest yet.
Gauteng in South Africa offers one of the best growing climates in the world. Tons of summer sun and autumns that descend into low humidity offer a great ganja growing sweet spot. Knowing when to plant, what to plant and how to plant are some of the secrets to success. So let me show you the ropes on home growing the dankest dope.
Best time to plant cannabis in Gauteng
The below guide explains when to plant and why. To be blunt though, planting cannabis in Spring can be a fool’s game. Yes, plants will grow big and bushy with beautiful huge leaves. But you aren’t trying to only grow leaves. You are trying to successfully grow big buds oozing with trichomes and terpenes. The key word in the previous sentence is “successfully“.
It’s surprisingly easy to grow weed. That’s why it’s called weed. Achieving a successful outdoor harvest takes a bit more effort though. Thinking a few steps ahead and planning your outdoor grow will make all the difference. Being hasty and planting seeds at the first signs of Spring could waste a lot of time and cause vrot buds during flowering. Patiently waiting a couple more months to pop those pips full of potential will make all the difference.
When to plant cannabis in Gauteng
The temperatures, rains, hail and frost are what define when you can plant outdoors. The next thing to consider is the final size of the plants. Highveld conditions are very favorable for growing cannabis throughout Spring, Summer and Autumn. Some months are better than others, so here’s the best months to plant seeds during.
- Monster Plants (September/October) – Conditions will be dry with temperatures reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius. Plant seeds during spring if you would like to get the biggest possible plants. Some additional outdoor night lighting may however be needed to prevent them from going into flower to early. Clones would definitely need the additional lighting to prevent re-vegetative growth. A water supply is also essential as there is little to no rain at this time of year. To be blunt, this is technically the earliest time of the season when you can plant but it as far from the best time. As plants flowering outdoors in summer they will to survive thunderstorms, high humidity and hail. Maintaining 4 meter tall plants can be tough on the best of days. Pruning and plant supports will be essential to prevent toppling and branch splitting. So think twice before planting seeds as early as possible. Monster plants take a lot of work and could flower during the wettest part of summer.
- Big plants (November/December) – Conditions will be brief rains with temperatures frequently over 30 degrees Celsius. Plant seeds during early summer to get traditional sized plants. The consistent rains, sunny days and warm nights make for great vegetative growth conditions. Plants will grow like weeds and bush out vigorously. Depending on the genetics you can expect plants to grow between a very manageable 1.5 and 3 meters tall. So this is when the majority of outdoor Gauteng cannabis growers plant there seeds and clones. The favorable weather delivers excellent results although special care and preparation will be needed during flowering. Unexpectedly late rains can quickly cause crop damage or a complete loss.
- Medium Plants (January) – Conditions will be occasional rainy with 30 degree temperatures that both decrease into autumn.
This has become my favorite time to plant after nearly 20 years experience growing cannabis outdoors in Gauteng.
The summer rains and humidity are excellent for vegetative growth. While the lowering autumn temperatures and decreasing rain fall are equally excellent for flowering. Plants won’t be as big as those planted earlier in the season. So simply plant a few extra seeds to end up with more plants. The slightly smaller plants are a breeze to manage and harvest. Being patient and planting this late into summer is not for everyone, but I can assure you that it can be well worth the effort.
Size doesn’t matter
While it is certainly wonderful to brag about growing 2 kilogram plants, weight per plant is no longer the only way to judge your yield. It is arguably more productive to plant and measure your crop performance by square meter. 2 Or 3 smaller plants germinated in December will take up about the same space and half the height as that of 1 large plant that was germinated in September.
Heavy weather is one of the key risks of growing outdoors. All of your time, effort and bucks spent on that beautiful monster plant grow could go up in smoke within just a few days of consistently bad outdoor conditions. Even a brief 1 minute patch of late hail may quickly lay waste to your bounty of beautiful buds that were sooooo close to harvest. Just about as bad a result is harvesting kilos of cannabis only to realize when trimming that most of it contains mildew or bud rot. Thereby creating far more extra work by trying to separate the good from the bad.
One of my gardening philosophies is that something of something is better than nothing of nothing. Would you rather have 10% of 3 kilograms or 90% of 2 Kilograms? I have found season after season that growing smaller plants later is far more productive than growing huge plants early. The later autumn harvest greatly lowers the risk of weather issues. While the lower night time temperatures can add a touch of purple to the buds.
What cannabis can I plant in Gauteng?
It is legal for you to privately grow any strain of cannabis in South Africa. The choice is up to you weather your want a thick bushy Indica, tall fluffy Sativa, convenient Auto-flower or something somewhere in between.
Sativa genetics are the most forgiving as they thrive in local conditions and don’t easily suffer ailments. They are however tall plants with lower yields that typically flower deep into autumn. They are great if you have the space and patience, but they would not be my first choice.
Indica genetics are big yielders and flower earlier than Sativas. Plants are shorter and flowering times are quicker. They are well known for their potency and make an excellent choice for most growers. Planting early in the season could lead to mildew or bud rot issues during flowering. Proactive defoliation will go a long way to keeping plants happy and healthy.
Indica/Sativa Hybrid genetics offer a great blend of performance and results. Plants have been selectively bred to provide consistent growth and results that expresses the most desirable traits. Thereby creating a healthy balance of potent plants that meets the various demands of growers. This is my first choice due to easy availability and very wide selection of genetic options.
Auto-flower genetics are super convenient due to there smaller size and fast flowering times. They can be grown just about any time of year with varying results. I would not plant them at a time that would have them flowering during high humidity or consistent rains. Plant in January for best results.
Plant a bit more than you need
Life happens sometimes. Not matter whether it’s the weather, a pesky critter, random male or just plain too much love…. you may lose a plant or two. Having a some backup plants on the bench is a super easy way to keep your grow on track. I would not recommend planting them all at the same time as your main crop. Plant your back up seeds in bags or pots a few weeks after planting your main crop seeds. Then plant some seeds a few weeks later again. This will give you some backup plants in varying stages of growth. It may also allow you the opportunity to have staggered harvests or even a delightful winter grow.
Want to learn more about growing great ganja?
I have lots of excellent articles that will teach you all about successfully growing cannabis in South Africa. I cover everything for seed to stoned. You can read more here and follow me on Instagram for a look at my vibes.