The Great Debate Pt. 2: Outdoor vs Greenhouse

In the previous post we briefly discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both the indoor and outdoor method. For numerous reasons, barring a nuclear winter or global shortage of electricity of course, this debate will continue to rage well into the future as both methods have their armies of supporters. However, there is a third way that combines the best of both worlds: the greenhouse.

            The ancient Romans were some of the first people to grow plants in the sun during the day only to be taken indoors for warmth at night. The concept of the modern greenhouse dates back to the 19th century when French botanist Charles Lucien Bonaparte built the first modern greenhouse in Holland to grow medicinal tropical plants. The French came up with orangeries to keep their oranges from freezing and soon after the method was used for other plants. Since this method was found to be cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and practical, it quickly spread to other parts of the world.

            These days greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes and some even have fully automated HVAC systems. Much like the indoor growing method, greenhouses give the grower the additional benefit of control. Whether sunny or overcast, the greenhouse will continue to absorbs the sun’s rays and provide heat to plants inside, making it possible to grow plants in the winter with relative ease. Should the climate turn extremely cold to the point where sunlight is rendered ineffective as far as providing heat is concerned, it is still possible to use artificial heating systems to maintain an acceptable temperature for your plants.

Another hack that has been developed for the cannabis industry is light deprivation or ‘light dep’. It wasn’t until the concept of photoperiodism was discovered that this was made possible. Since cannabis doesn’t begin to flower until it reaches a light period of 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness, outdoor farmers are at the mercy of the seasons. With light dep however, the grower himself can decide exactly when to induce flowering in his plants, making the growing season much shorter. This may seem like a disadvantage at first, but with this method you can also have several harvests throughout the year. Many light dep growers also use supplementary lighting for periods when there is very little sunlight, such as the dead of winter.

            Despite the advantages that modern greenhouses offer, you will always have your outdoor purists, however this doesn’t mean that they are behind the times or end up with an inferior product. Quite the contrary, some of the finest, cup-winning varieties are exclusively outdoor-grown. Some growers even employ the sun, moon AND stars to produce highly prized varieties. To such traditionalists, the outdoor method is superior as it removes any barriers between plant and nature, thereby giving you medicine as nature originally intended. However, as mentioned in the previous post, outdoor growers are subject to the whims of mother nature, and unless you are doing labor-intensive manual light deprivation, you are only going to get one harvest if all goes to plan. The end result of organic, sun-grown cannabis on the other hand is truly something to behold. The decision as to which method to choose thereby depends on the grower’s patience but also his wallet and his labor.


As a sungrown variety we recommend our Chimeran Blue and Hydra Kush.

For greenhouses we recommend our Dragonaut Cookies and Komodo Glue.