Some people simply do not have the possibility to grow indoors or have a garden that is suitable to host cannabis plants. Guerrilla growing is here to save the day. This article teaches you the pros and cons behind going rogue, as well as how to keep your plants as hidden as possible.
Guerrilla growing, put simply, is the act of cultivating in a public or private (not recommended), natural space, away from your home and hidden from anyone that might stumble upon it. Growers have set up their operations in all sorts of places; between fields of corn, in openings deep in the forest, or even on the side of the road.
The biggest challenge behind guerrilla growing is someone finding your plants. This isn't completely unavoidable but one can still do a good job of making it as hard as possible. Setting up a guerrilla grow isn't easy if you're trying to get decent yields, so you have to be willing to go the extra mile to give your plants the right care and protection.
It certainly sends a positive message.
Guerrilla growing is not always performed in the same way. Some people guerrilla grow just for the sake of spreading the cannabis seed across the land. If this is the case, then the guerrilla grower is likely scattering regular or hemp seeds and not caring as much about their outcome.
Before we get started, it is important to know the risks that come with guerrilla growing. Depending on where you live and how many plants you grow, the penalty for cultivating this way will be different. That is not to say you will get caught, but there is always a possibility.
However, successfully completing a guerrilla grow is a satisfying experience that can yield a ton of weed if it is managed correctly. If you manage to finish the cycle without someone or some animal ruining it for you, you'll be tip-toeing your way away from that secret spot with a grin on your face.
|Pros Of Guerrilla Growing
|Cons of Guerilla Growing
Most strains suited to the outdoors can be grown in a guerrilla set up, although we recommend choosing short, fast-flowering strains like Indicas or Autoflowers. The more compact you can make your grow, the less chance there is of it being seen. On top of that, you'll be able to move on more quickly than if you were to grow a Sativa that needs 14-15 weeks to flower.
We recommend strains that are mold and pest resistant, handle the cold and grow well without too much feeding or maintenance, as you won't be there a lot of the time to check on them. It might also be an idea to choose genetics that don't have a super strong smell.
Finding the ideal spot starts by exploring the area to see what your best options are. Unless you have a car it is unlikely you will want to set it up miles from your house or place of stay. Obviously, with a car things become much easier in terms of getting to and from your guerrilla grow, and you have the benefit of being able to carry materials quickly and efficiently.
If you don't have a vehicle guerrilla growing is a challenge. The more often you can visit the grow, the better, so find a place that isn't ridiculously far away and somewhere you feel you can visit regularly without hassle.
Finding Guerrilla Grow spots:
Cannabis drinks a lot of water and depending on where you live, it might not rain enough in the summer for your plants to be getting the right amount. This takes a bit of planning and another reason for choosing appropriate strains. Plants that are not heavy drinkers are ideal.
As for watering your plants, you need to water them at least once or twice a week if it is not raining often. If possible, choose a spot close to a water source as you will have much easier access to water in case you do need it. You could even set up a small water collection system, so you have some available already when you do visit the grow (if it has rained).
We can also add polymers to the soil to improve water retention and release. This way plants are less likely to experience a drought if they do not receive water for extended periods of time.
Considering we are trying to hide our plants it might be easy to find places hidden amongst tall trees or buildings. However good some spots may seem, it's extremely important to think about how much light your plants are going to be getting. Not only do they need plenty of light to yield decent harvests, without enough of it the plants may stretch like crazy, increasing the chance of giving your position away.
Tip: Try to aim for at least 8-12 hours of direct sunlight.
You can either plant directly into the ground (after some treatment), or in pots. However, pots are not ideal for guerrilla growing for a few reasons.
We suggest digging out a hole in your chosen spot and adding a premade soil, coco and perlite mix. Mix in some polymers and some organic nutrients. Cover it with a protective layer such as mulch or straw to provide added heat and moisture retention.
Keeping the grow as hidden as possible should be a top priority. That means you need to be conscious of people as well as animals and other pests. That's every time you visit the grow. Remember to protect yourself before the plants, but also try to make the effort to give your plant a safe environment to live in.
Discretion - Don't be obvious and conceal your activity by not carrying materials that could raise suspicion. It helps to look like you're there for another reason, so take your dog or put on your biking gear and cycle there. Finding different ways to go to and from the grow is advised. Finally, it's best not to tell anyone what you're doing.
Protection - You might choose to wear gloves or take a spare shirt with you so you don't stink of weed on the way back. Regarding the plants, consider putting up a low fence with chicken wire to prevent wild animals and other pests destroying your efforts. Add some natural repellents around to deter insects.
Camouflage - Ideally, your plants should already be well camouflaged in your chosen spot. Blending your cannabis in with the surroundings can be achieved using vegetation you find lying around. Work out what angles your grow could potentially be viewed or accessed from and build up some kind of natural barrier.
Reducing the amount of time the plants are at risk means you're more likely to get a successful harvest. For example, you could germinate the seeds at home to give them a head start in a safe space before exposing them to the harsh, wild, outdoor environment.
Guerrilla grow harvest (Pineapple Express - Fast Buds) by Notherngrowers from GrowDiaries.
Guerrilla growing generally comes with a high risk and we are not suggesting you go out and do it. However, we understand the reasons behind some people choosing to grow this way, so all we can say is to be smart, consider whether it's a good idea and take extra precaution if you do chose to start. Best of luck!
Global patterns of domestic cannabis cultivation: Sample characteristics and patterns of growing across eleven countries. International Journal of Drug Policy. - Potter, Gary & Barratt, Monica & Malm, Aili & Bouchard, Martin & Blok, Thomas & Christensen, Anne-Sofie & Decorte, Tom & Frank, Vibeke & Hakkarainen, Pekka & Klein, Axel & Lenton, Simon & Perälä, Jussi & Werse, Bernd & Wouters, M.. (2016).
On Guerrilla Gardening: A Handbook For Gardening Without Boundaries. Bloomsbury. - Reynolds, R. (2008)
Pot size matters. - Poorter, Hendrik. (2012).
This article was updated November 2020.