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Harborside Harborside Academy Cannabis Cultivation Harborside’s Outdoor Cannabis Grow Guide: “Grow What You Know”

Harborside’s Outdoor Cannabis Grow Guide: “Grow What You Know”

Welcome to the world of outdoor cannabis cultivation! Harborside has put together this guide to help you understand the basics and get started on your journey.

Understanding Cannabis Genetics

Cannabis strains come in three main types: Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica. 

Here’s what you need to know:

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Sativa Strains


Flower for a longer time


Usually grow tall and thin


Produce smaller yields


Thrive in high temperatures

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Hybrid Strains


Flowering times vary


Show a wide range of growth patterns


Many of them yield high


Blended traits of Indica and Sativa

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Indica Strains


Flower for a shorter time


Usually grow short and bushy


Produce larger yields


Thrive in lower temperatures

Tools You’ll Need to Grow Cannabis

To grow cannabis, you’ll need some essential tools. Here’s a quick list:


We recommend soil blends from these three California companies:


Start with a pot that can hold 1-5 gallons of soil and has a saucer for drainage. Here are some types of pots you can use:

  • Air Pot: It prevents plants from becoming root-bound and is resistant to overwatering, but it needs watering more often.
  • Basic Pot (clay, plastic, etc.): You can find and make these easily.
  • Fabric or Smart Pot: It gives more oxygen to the roots, dries out faster, and is excellent at releasing heat.

Trellising Materials

Heavy cannabis buds can snap the branches holding them. You can prevent this and maximize space and light penetration with additional support. Wire caging, tomato netting, or bamboo stakes and garden ties are a few methods you can use.

Bamboo gardening stake Garden wire fence materials

Pruning Shears

You’ll need a good pair of pruning shears for everything from pruning lower leaves to manicuring your harvested cannabis. We recommend two popular brands:

Fiskars pruning shears Chikamasa Bonsai pruning shears

  • Fiskars: An industry standard for decades.
  • Chikamasa: Bonsai shears available in varying lengths and curvatures.

pH Measurements

Before feeding your plants, always check the pH of your water. The right pH creates an ideal climate for soil microorganisms and helps protect against disease. We recommend the test kit from General Hydroponics.

Beneficial Microbes

Healthy soil teems with millions of microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. Each plays a different part in development. Some growers use additives and amendments to promote growth or enhance aspects of a variety. Learn more at Blue Sky Organics.

Further Guidance on Growing

For more information on growing cannabis, check out these resources:

Local Gardening Supply

If you’re in the San Leandro, CA area, we recommend Hydro Garden Delight for your gardening supply needs.

Thank you for choosing Harborside. We’ve been helping growers like you since 2006.