Indoor Cultivation vs. Outdoor Cultivation and the Perpetual Harvest

Posted by Thomas King on 10th Oct 2019

Indoor Cultivation vs. Outdoor Cultivation and the Perpetual Harvest

One of the first decisions that any gardener makes before planting is deciding the location of their grow. Many factors contribute to determining the location of your garden. Most plants that can be grown outdoors also do quite well indoors and can prove to be profitable to the grower and the agriculture market alike. Factors such as light, noise, and odor pollution, as well as proper licensing, zoning and documentation are all things to keep in mind before selecting your location. It is imperative that all these factors be taken into account, as well as consideration for neighbors and other growers around you, before starting a build-out of your garden. We will be discussing some of the benefits and drawbacks of both modalities to help you decide which style is best for your personal needs.

Outdoor Cultivation

Outdoor growing is the primordial technique from which all gardeners draw their basic practices from. In nature, plants predominately grow outside, and when we make the shift from outdoor to indoor growing, we use these ideas to replicate nature on a smaller, more controllable indoor scale.
One of the biggest benefits of outdoor growing is the use of natural sunlight. Although there are several types of indoor lighting in a variety of temperatures, colors and wavelengths, there is no substitute for natural sunlight with regards to spectrum and intensity. In addition, natural sunlight is completely free to run making outdoor grows considerably cheaper to run versus indoor utilities. Because of the unrestricted light source of the sun and the often larger area used for outdoor growing, outdoor plants can grow multiple times the size of their indoor counterparts, thus leading to a significantly larger yield. Outdoor gardening utilizing natural sunlight and air often works better when using organic nutrients and amended soils to allow the plants to uptake necessary nutrients as needed.

One of the biggest drawbacks of outdoor growing is the lack of security and the lack of control of environmental factors. Outdoor plants are left exposed to the elements, and with Mother Nature being the fickle mistress that she is, it is often much more difficult to control the temperature, humidity, air and water quality, as well as human or pest infestation of outdoor plants. With more exposure, pests, mold, disease and pollen are serious threats to outdoor plants and require more focus and attention to prevent exposure to these detriments, as well as the natural elements that occur outside. Many growers choose to utilize a greenhouse to protect their outdoor plants, allowing the grower to gain better control of their garden environment. Outdoor plants also rely on the Earth’s natural photoperiod ( the amount of daylight hours vs. the amount of night time hours per 24-hour cycle) to produce flowers, thus limiting the amount of annual outdoor harvests per year.

Indoor Cultivation

It is because of the lack of environmental control, security and limited number of harvests that many gardeners choose to grow indoors, often in a hydroponic (soilless) medium. Indoor growing allows the user complete and total control over their grow environment, essentially being able to ‘dial-in’ their grow space to perfectly suit their plant’s needs. More control over the grow environment will often lead to a much higher quality product. Although the limited space of an indoor garden can also limit the size of the plant and decrease the overall yield, using artificial High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting with customizable bulb spectrum will allow the user to harvest several times per year. This is not as easily achieved with outdoor growing, unless utilizing supplemental lighting in a greenhouse. Complete control of the grow room means complete control of harvest time. Many growers use a technique called “Perpetual Harvest” which essentially means “constantly harvesting.” When the oldest, ripest plant(s) is/are cut down and harvested from flower, another ‘replacement’ plant is moved into the previous plants place, preventing any lapse in harvest or gaps in transplant. Indoor growing is also optimal for year-round gardening, as the plants are protected from the harsh cold of winter or intense heat of the summer which prevents many growers from producing outdoors during these times. Growing indoors will not only allow you to play the role of your own “Mother Nature” but also protects you from many of the dangers and detriments that affect outdoor plants.

Whatever your gardening technique or plant’s needs, the kind and knowledgeable folks here at CoMo Grow Supply are here to help you make the most out of your personal or commercial garden.

Give us a call today to set up a custom class for yourself or your group!