The war wages between indoor growers and outdoor growers. Indoor growers love the ability to control their gardens, but outdoor growers tend to argue that only Mother Nature gives you the best yields you’ll ever have. With all the advantages and disadvantages of both, you're probably asking which is the better of the two styles of growing? Well… we won’t say one is better than the other because we love and appreciate all styles of growing. But here are three big factors to consider when you’re deciding whether to transplant your clones into the ground outside or a hydroponic grow system inside. Feeding your plants
Your plants need water and nutrients to live, but how they get those nutrients can make all the difference to your plants and your budget. Outdoor plants utilize either a drip-style of irrigation or a watering system like sprinklers. While these are great ways of getting nutrient-rich water to your plants, it’s important to note how much that’s going to cost you. Drip systems that are run outdoors require lots of hoses and pumps to assure the water reaches as far as it needs to, and water has to have a way to drain so it doesn’t negatively affect your plants. While sprinklers can mimic the rain (something that plants love), there are two things to account for: how long you run your sprinklers, and where that water’s coming from. Too much or too little water to outdoor plants can cause stress. Moreover, you’ll want to make sure that the source of that water can be refilled and recycled, otherwise, you might start watering your plants with tap water which will throw their pH and PPM levels off. Indoor plants can be a lot easier to feed because instead of worrying about water entering the soil and outdoor environmental conditions, you know exactly where your water is, what’s in it, and how much you need to feed your plants. However, running an indoor irrigation system can prove more difficult to maintain than an outdoor system. Because you’re inside, heat and humidity will gather quickly. If you don’t clean your tanks or recycle water properly, your water reservoir can become breeding grounds for fungus and bacteria growth. When your plants become infected with a disease, you can bet your harvest will suffer, and the longer you let the problem persist the harder it’s going to be to fix the problem. It could be so bad that you have to scrap your whole grow because all of the plants that reservoir feeds will be fed infected water. Housing your plants
When we say “housing your plants,” we not only mean what surrounds your plants, but what they grow in. The buckets and grow bags you choose to use make all the difference between a healthy harvest and a struggling one. Indoor grows are housed either in an open room or a grow tent, which protects your plants from unpredictable weather conditions. The problem, though, is that when you have plants growing under lights indoors you’ll need the ability to control and time the amount of light and air in your grow space. This often means getting timers, controllers, extra fans, and extra filters which means more equipment and more energy used to run it all- that’s going to add up. Also, indoor plants are more susceptible to diseases such as root rot and root binding, which prevents nutrient uptake and will wipe out your crop quickly. Outdoor grows can be done in either the open air or in a greenhouse, which will give your plants full direct sunlight and is arguably one of the best sources for light. In the open air, plants are exposed to the elements, which can help strengthen your plant’s stems and make your plants more resilient. But unless you’re growing in a greenhouse you’re not going to be able to control the environment at all times. If the environment gives you too much heat or not enough airflow your plants will suffer. To that, you may also have an issue with controlling scents that attract unwanted pests (or neighbors), which can leave your plants vulnerable to attack. Pest/Infestation
Plant infestation is a worry to all gardens, and each style of growing has its own set of pests to deal with. With indoor grows, common pests include spider mites, whiteflies, and aphids. Ridding your grow of these pests can be time-consuming because you’ll need to treat the plants with neem oil (or your choice of pesticide) plant by plant. Outdoor growers face similar pests like gnats and other mites, but depending on where your plants are growing you may also face rodent infestations. These can be anything from rabbits to gophers, and even birds can be attracted to plants if you’re growing what they love. Preventing these types of pests will cost you some money: setting traps, using sound emitters to deter birds, and don’t forget when you catch anything there’s the cost of disposal. Outdoor pests can be a lot messier to deal with than indoor pests. So as you can see, there are many things to consider when deciding where you want to grow. A great way to think about it is asking yourself how much space you have to grow, and how much you're willing to maintain your grow. If you have a limited amount of space but you want more of an automated garden, you might find it better to grow indoors. If you have the means and the space to grow outdoors, you'll see stronger plants than indoor-grown ones if you're willing to look after them daily.