Growing Hemp: Indoor vs Outdoor vs Greenhouse

Growing Hemp: Indoor vs Outdoor vs Greenhouse

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When it comes to growing hemp, there really are a lot of options. Should you grow indoors? Outdoors? Do you need a greenhouse? Sometimes the decision is simple, and sometimes there seem to be multiple options to consider. Growing hemp is an undertaking that requires some advance preparation. It’s best to know a bit about each growing method to make the decision that’s right for you. Lucky for you, we know a thing or two about growing!

Some might think one method of growing is better than another, but what it really comes down to is personal preference plus your individual circumstances. There are three ways to cultivate hemp: indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse. Each method has its own benefits, drawbacks, and requirements.

Hemp Indoor Growing

Indoor growing is, well…when you grow inside. It’s usually a closed room that has been optimized for growing with artificial light and ventilation. The reason for growing hemp in a closed environment is that it allows you to control almost everything that goes into the plant. Plus, you can grow year-round. Hemp seeds are typically optimized for a specific purpose and, similarly, you can optimize your plants environment for this purpose. 

Indoor plants are less prone to mold, mildew, and pests due to the closed environment. This is obviously a plus. However, you must be diligent about monitoring CO2 levels to eliminate the chance of CO2 poisoning. Another caveat is that artificial light can’t completely mimic that of the sun, which could affect the terpene and cannabinoid profile of the bud.

Hemp Outdoor Growing

One of the biggest advantages to growing hemp outdoors is the quality of the final product. Natural sunlight allows plants to more fully express their genetic potential. In terms of smokable flower varieties, this means dense buds with rich, diverse terpene and cannabinoid profiles. 

Outdoor growing start-up costs are far less than that of indoor or greenhouse growing, as there’s no need to invest in additional materials like lights, fans, or tarps.

But, sometimes Mother Nature might not be so kind. There’s really no way you can control the climate or the weather, so you may be limited to certain growing seasons depending on your locale. You also don’t have much control over the presence of pests when growing and cultivating hemp outdoors. They can be dealt with, though, by keeping a close eye on your plants and with an effective integrative pest management system.

Hemp Greenhouse Growing

A greenhouse is technically indoors, but it’s not the same as indoor growing. The main difference is that greenhouses allow in natural sunlight rather than requiring artificial light. Some hemp growers might be limited to certain seasons in a similar fashion as with outdoor growing, but the inside of a greenhouse is typically 30° F warmer than the air outside, so it can potentially extend your growing season. And it’s far more sustainable than artificial lights. 

Just like us, hemp plants can be sensitive to UV rays. By growing them in a greenhouse, you’re basically giving them a bit of sunblock. They still get everything they need but they’re protected from potential harm. Some growers even like to use light deprivation, commonly an indoor method, to trick their plants into flowering faster. 

The one major disadvantage to greenhouse growing is the cost. Greenhouses can be quite expensive, especially if you’re planning to grow hemp on a large scale. That being said, greenhouses give you the best of both worlds: a rich terpene profile as a result of natural sun and the ability to control almost every growth factor.

If you don’t want to make a large initial investment, outdoor is the ideal option. However, outdoor growing does require a bit more skill, as your plants are exposed to the elements. For those who want total control, greenhouses are a great option. Hemp does prefer temperatures between 70 -80° F, so this might not be the best option for those with colder, darker seasons. Indoor is optimal for anyone who wants to grow year-round even if the weather won’t permit.

Take Your Hemp Growing to the Next Level

Although you can find success with every method, they might not all be right for you. Some things to consider when choosing a hemp growing method are your experience level, where you live, and how much you want to invest initially. These three factors seem to narrow things down quite a bit. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, but it’s really up to you to determine how each of these factors affects you and your plants. 

Looking to make money in the hemp industry but unsure of where to start? At Blue Forest Farms, our team of experts are here to help. Offering contracted grow solutions, our team has the infrastructure, experience, and expertise necessary to make your dream a reality. Take your growing operation to the next level in a scalable, honest, transparent way. Partner with the best.