Guerrilla cultivation is the outdoor growing of cannabis in a hidden location. Guerilla grow is ideal for those who don’t have their own garden or the opportunity to grow indoors with lights, ventilation and all that entails.
A secret place in nature may therefore be your best – and perhaps only – opportunity to grow cannabis.
In this blog post we give you some useful tips for keeping a low profile with your secret garden. We also give you advice on how to find a good place for your plants – and how to protect them as best as possible.
CANNABIS GUERILLA GROW
Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight: In this blog post, we’ll be using the term cannabis throughout. We do this because cannabis is the parent strain from which other strains, such as skunk and hemp, derive.
So if you’re looking for a guide to guerrilla hemp growing or guerrilla skunk growing, you can easily use the principles from the guide below.
Read more about the difference between skunk and cannabis here.
PROS AND CONS OF GUERILLA GROW OF CANNABIS
One of the main advantages of guerrilla cannabis cultivation is that your plants are not on your private property, so the risk is minimal if they are discovered. There is nothing that can bring the plants back to you.
The main disadvantage is that it involves extra care work and challenges in terms of. to check up on them regularly.
Other significant drawbacks are that the plants can be discovered by random people who might steal or destroy the crops. Animals, including deer and insects, also have more or less free rein and can quickly kill your plants.
However, there are various things you can do to eliminate or reduce the risk. With a good, solid plan (and maybe a little luck), growing cannabis outdoors is both incredibly fun and rewarding – guerrilla-style!
1) FIND A GOOD PLACE OUTDOORS
The first and most important point is to find a suitable place to grow your plants. Of course, it must be discreet. The more discreet, the better the place.
Explore the area for suitable sites and look out for nature trails, footprints, litter and other signs of traffic in the vicinity. If it is full of rubbish, it is a clear sign that the place is visited by people and therefore not suitable for guerrilla growing.
Bear in mind that under the right circumstances cannabis plants can be smelled up to 10-15 metres away, so keep your distance from buildings, roads, paths etc.
Summer is the best time to explore potential sites, as it can be difficult to judge whether there is sufficient cover when vegetation has partially or completely run off out of season.
It is important that there are no street lamps or other artificial light sources that could disrupt the cannabis dark cycle at night. Cannabis plants, like humans, need a good night’s sleep. If they get light at night, it can stress them to such an extent that they become hermaphrodites and develop seeds instead of top shoots/flowers.
In addition to being discreet, the site should not be in shade, but should have plenty of sunlight every day. Plants in shade will not develop properly. In practice, it is often a compromise between having the plants hidden by surrounding vegetation and landscape, while getting the maximum number of sun hours per day.
It’s a huge advantage if you choose a place where there is easy and quick access to water. In any droughts/heatwaves, when plants need extra water, dragging water bucket after water bucket through shrubbery and thickets can be excruciatingly laborious. Besides being hard physical work, it also results in unnecessary traffic to and from the cultivation site, increasing the risk of detection. Wouldn’t you find it a bit suspicious if you saw someone walking back and forth with a 5-litre water can all the time?
It’s certainly a risk you need to consider for yourself whether it’s worth taking.
Therefore, the ideal place has access to water, such as a lake or stream nearby. This way you can significantly reduce traffic and towing. This makes the process easier for you and reduces the risk of being detected by others.
If your plants are near a water source, the soil may also always have enough moisture – even during droughts. This way you can avoid manual watering altogether. However, be aware that too much moisture in the soil can cause the roots to drown and rot. In addition, extreme rainfall can cause the lake or stream to overflow its banks, flooding and destroying the nursery. All these factors should therefore be included in your calculations.
If the soil is not rich in nutrients, it may be necessary to fertilise or otherwise improve the soil.
Fertiliser tablets/sticks that slowly dissolve when it rains are practical and unobtrusive in terms of. transport to the site. Alternatively, you can transport bags of good soil. However, this is somewhat labour-intensive and impractical, as you are likely to be on foot most of the way, and there is also a risk of attracting unwanted attention.
Tip: Once you’ve found a good spot, it can be tempting to sow all your seeds so you can get growing quickly. However, because guerrilla growing involves some risk, it may be a good idea not to plant all your plants in the same place. Instead, choose about three different places where you plant small groups of plants. That way, you won’t have wasted everything in case of an accident. It is more time-consuming, but also less risky.
2) PROTECTING YOUR PLANTS
When you grow your cannabis outdoors, there are many dangers for your plants, as they are usually completely unprotected from wind, weather and wildlife.
It may therefore be a good idea to protect your nursery or individual plants with wire fencing (preferably green, so it blends in with nature) or chicken wire. This prevents animals such as deer, rodents, etc. from causing bite damage to your plants.
In some garden centres and online, you can also find various deterrents that work on deer, rabbits and mice.
Another trick that works best on hoofed game is to tie a fishing line at waist height around the access routes to your burrow. It is virtually invisible and can be used to advantage in relatively open areas where wire fencing is not an option. For example, when a deer hits the wire, it will be startled and run in the opposite direction. However, remember to take the fishing line down when you’re done with the spot, as birds and other creatures can get it wrapped around their legs or otherwise injured if it’s just left loose on the ground.
When inspecting plants, you should also check for insects and other small pests. Spraying with neem oil, which has a preventive effect and reduces the risk of infestation by aphids and spider mites, is beneficial. If there are many snails in the area, beer traps can also be a good small investment.
3) OTHER TIPS
Once you’ve found a good spot for guerrilla growing and you’ve made sure your plants are well protected, you’re well on your way. However, we have 5 extra tips that you can use to your advantage when growing guerrilla:
1) – If you use the same route to your growing site, it will quickly create natural paths. Bent grass, broken branches and footprints attract attention and make it more likely that your place will be discovered – mainly by humans, but in fact animals will also be attracted by these paths. So make sure you cover it up and “clean up” after yourself so it looks natural and pristine.
2) – Be prepared for the worst and have a credible story prepared in advance in case you are spotted on your way to or near your dig site. Also consider bringing props. For example, a camera or binoculars support the explanation that you are interested in birds and are on a bird walk.
3) – A so-called “game camera”, used by hunters, is a smart way to see if your place has been visited. They are easy to make “invisible”, are activated by movement and store the recordings on an SD card. From new, such a camera can easily cost 1000 crowns, but they are often for sale on DBA for a few hundred crowns. If there are signs of intruders, you can 100% determine whether you have been visited by animals or humans and act accordingly.
4) – Collection of rainwater close to the site using. a barrel and tarpaulin can be a good alternative if you don’t have water close by. The barrel can be buried in the ground so it doesn’t stick out, and the tarpaulin should of course be green or similar so it blends in with its surroundings and doesn’t attract attention.
5) – Killer snails usually like the same places as your plants – so be aware of them. They can be really hard on your plants, so you want to avoid them. Consider using slug poison around plants if you notice many slugs in the area.
4) The harvest
“Yes, they finally finished!”
It’s hard not to be impatient and rush to get the harvest in, literally, but it’s a critical point that should be carefully planned in advance.
The transport of the ripe, juicy top shoots, which at this stage give off the characteristic aroma at full hammer, is the most risky stage of the whole process. So now is the time to keep your tongue firmly in your mouth.
A good time to bring in the harvest is early in the morning, when there is least activity in the area. Late evening is a less good time, as you’re then struggling with a time horizon called sunset, where it’s difficult to orient yourself and you may have to stop work or use a torch, which creates unwanted attention.
During harvest, the plant’s scents are released from the open stems and burst crystals, and even a light summer breeze can carry these over considerable distances. It is therefore important to work quickly and to have all the details under control.
Quickly cut the plant into whole branches at a time and place them in a reasonably airtight plastic box. This allows the plant to be transported away, limits the odour and protects the top shoots from being destroyed in transit. These can then be transported home, where the actual manicuring/trimming can take place in peace and quiet (possibly with the windows closed, if you have neighbours nearby).
NB. Remember to clean up after yourself. Not only for nature’s sake, but also because you want to be sure that your secret cave won’t be discovered for the rest of the year. When autumn arrives, your otherwise hidden spot can turn out to be very visible, and abandoned pots and other growing equipment are a great give-away to any hunters, children and dog walkers who might be roaming the area for the rest of the year.
5) Good varieties for guerrilla cultivation
The chances of a successful guerrilla grow are increased by choosing the right cannabis strain. Good varieties are those that have high resistance to mould and pests, and/or remain low in height and, last but not least, are of course suitable for outdoor cultivation.
At the same time, it’s a good idea to use feminised cannabis seeds, as you probably won’t see your plants as often as if you were growing at home.
It can also be beneficial to use autoflowering varieties as they automatically flower when fully grown, which is usually after 3-4 weeks of growth. That way, you don’t have to wait all summer for crops, but you can harvest in just a few months.
The short growing period also means that autoflowering cannabis is much smaller in height, making it very suitable for guerrilla cultivation as it is easier to hide among other vegetation.
Below you can see our suggestions for good guerrilla strains, or you can see our full range of cannabis seeds here.