Which tools and supplies do I need?

Growing outdoors for beginners. In the last topics we addressed grow boxes, pots, nutrients, additives and loads of other things. It’s a good idea to summarize what you’re going to need for your first growing project.

Which tools and supplies do I need?

  • Seeds or cuttings. Obviously, you’re going to need the plant itself. You can buy seeds, recycle them from fruit or vegetables or ask for a cutting from someone who’s already growing.
  • Pots and trays. You germinate the seeds and let them grow in a seed tray inside a grow box. There are also cheaper DIY alternatives. If you’re not planning to grow in open ground, you’ll need reasonably large pots. You’ll have to transplant every once in a while as the plant grows in size.
  • Thermometer and hygrometer. It’s always a good idea to know how warm and humid it is.
  • Tools. A garden trowel, beaker and watering can are pretty useful to plant, mix nutrient solutions and water your plants. A spray bottle can also come in very handy.
  • Substrate. You’ll need a different soil for every phase of a plants’ life.

    • Young seedlings go in seeding and cutting soil.
    • Later on, plants will be transplanted to larger pots and finally (if you choose this method) into open soil. The pots will need to be filled with a substrate.
    • Improve the soil of your planting area with worm humus.

  • Base nutrition. Strictly speaking a plant needs nothing more than what nature can give it. You will get better results, however, if you add a fertilizer. A nutrition that is designed to work with the substrate is preferable.
  • Sticks and supports. Once a plant gets bigger later on in the year, it will start to hang. Support it with sticks or a rack, for example made of bamboo.


Do I need base nutrition?

Growing outdoors for beginners. Plants need certain elements to reach flowering. Three of these elements can be gotten from air and water: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. But apart from these, a plant needs other essential nutrients. An element is called essential if a plant cannot complete its life cycle without this element and no other element can take over its role. To supply your plants with these nutrient elements, you need an NPK plant fertilizer.

NPK nutrition

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the best known nutrients that plants require. But you’re not done with only these three elements because your plants need several others in order to grow and flower. Sure, they need less of each of these elements, but they’re still essential to  the end result of your harvest. Plagron’s base nutrients provide your plants with these minerals.

Secondary nutrients

  • Calcium. Helps with nutrient uptake and increases the stability of the cell wall.
  • Magnesium. This is a component of chlorophyll, it stimulates photosynthesis and the transportation of potassium.
  • Sulphur. Essential to the formation and transportation of proteins. It also catalyzes the production of chlorophyll and is good for the taste of your end product.


  • Iron. Helps with the production of chlorophyll, proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Molybdenum. Promotes the uptake of nutrients and transforms nitrates (nitrogen) into amino acids.
  • Copper. Important to carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Strengthens cells.
  • Zinc. Forms growth hormones like auxine and influences the production of chlorophyll.
  • Manganese. Promotes cell division (mitosis) and enhances the plants’ metabolism.
  • Boron. Important to the formation of the cell walls. It also assists in the regulation of water flow.
  • Silicon. One of the building blocks of cell walls.

What influence does nature have?

A plant has some basic needs: light, water, carbon dioxide, a nice temperature and humidity. By growing outdoors you get all these basics for free. This is awesome, but there’s a catch: you don’t control how much of these basics you get. Apart from that, your plant is also exposed to weather extremes.

Too much is always wrong

The weather doesn’t care about your cultivation plan. The climate in which your plants grow can’t be controlled. One day it will rain and the next the sun may shine. Your plants will adapt their growth to the situation. The rule of thumb is simple: too much of one thing is never good. Sunlight is essential, but if things are too hot and bright for a long time your plants will not be able to absorb nutrients as well. The plant will reduce leaf surfaces (shriveling) to cut down on moisture evaporation. This is a natural reaction of the plant to protect itself in an environment with no rain. On the other hand, too much rain falling and sinking into the soil will reduce the amount of oxygen. This may increase the chances of roots rotting and it will inhibit your plants’ growth.

How to protect your plants?

  • Initially, you need to be sure that your seeds are comfortable being raised outdoors. This is especially important if you want to move the plants outside fairly early, around the middle of May. You need plants that can handle lower temperatures.
  • Once your plants are outside, you need to ensure they get enough water without being too wet or too dry. Preference for watering are different for each species and variety, so read the description when buying seeds.
  • Ensure your ground has good drainage and use soil improving products. These measures can make an excess of water reasonably controllable. The amount of sun is more difficult to control, especially when plants are fixed in open ground. Burnt pots can be relocated out of the sun. This has the added advantage that you can move your plants to a safe spot in case the weather turns bad, with hard rain, stormy wind or hail.

You can use a rain barrel to compensate for dry periods. By storing the water when it falls, you have a ready supply when it’s dry. Be aware that a rain barrel can be a breeding place for insects and microbes.


Basic definitions you need to know

Growing outdoors for beginners. Like every other hobby, growing plants has its own jargon. When you first start looking into growing methods, soil, pots and different types of nutrients, you get hit with a lot of terms. What is a substrate? Why does it have an EC value and what do these numbers mean to you? Below, we’ll give you the most important basic definitions.


The medium that you grow your plants in. This can be a soil or peat based substrate, but there are alternatives based on coconut fibers or clay pebbles. A beginning grower is generally will served by a pre-fertilized soil substrate. This means you don’t have to use nutrients in the first weeks and the soil structure is already good.


This abbreviation is made up of the elemental name for nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Plants need these elements to grow and flower, but they require them in different combinations and amounts throughout their lives.
That is why fertilizer products always show an NPK value. This gives you a picture of the combination of the nutrients. Extra phosphorus and potassium are always important during flowering.

EC value

The term ‘EC’ is short for electro conductivity. Water conducts electricity more effectively if there are more salts in the water. These salts, also known as electrolytes, are contained in basic plant nutrition. So EC value also expresses the concentration of nutrients in your nutrient solution. EC values are expressed in micro- or milli-Siemens per centimeter. You can measure this with an EC meter in water, but measuring the EC in the soil is more difficult. Soil retains part of the nutrients and you will have to perform an extraction of a sample. More on this method later. Every Plagron growing style has its’ own recommended EC values. You can find these in the Grow Schedules.

PH value

The pH value is used to express the acidity of soil or water. It’s an important value to be aware of, since each species of plant has a minimum of maximum acidity that it’s comfortable with. Soil can be acidic, pH neutral or chalky. The acidity of the soil is determined by the presence of chalk in the ground. Sandy and peaty soils are usually more acidic than clay, because there’s less chalk in them. The pH value is expressed in a rising scale, which runs from pH 1 to pH 14. PH 1 is extremely acidic and irritating and pH 7 is completely neutral. A pH value that’s too low will inhibit the nutrient uptake of the plant. Each element is optimally absorbed within a certain range of pH. Outside of that range, these nutrients will be taken up less effectively or not at all.

Grow phase

After it’s time as a seedling, this is the first life phase your plant goes through. If you cultivate indoors and ensure enough (artificial) light and good nutrition, the grow phase will only last a few weeks. Outdoors, this will take longer. During the grow phase, plants create more root branchings and most of the green parts that are above ground.

Flowering phase

Once the days get shorter and daylight hours lessen, plants will flower and form fruit. Essentially, this is a procreation mechanic. The shortening days mean that winter is coming and it’s time to create flowers and fruit so the next generation of plants can be spread. For you as a grower, it means a nice harvest!


Pros and cons of growing plants outside

Growing outdoors for beginners. The biggest advantage of growing outdoors is obvious: your plant gets free light and water. This has a drawback in itself, though, because you cannot control the light source (the sun) or the quantity of rainwater. There can be too much rain in a short time, and at other times it can be very hot and dry for a long time. Both situations are detrimental to your plants.

The good

  • Basic requirements of your plants are free.
  • Your project doesn’t take up space inside.
  • Soil structure in the garden is often reasonable to begin with.
  • You can plant in a bigger plant hole outdoors.

The bad

  • Less control over temperature and amounts of water and light.
  • Plants can be damaged by extreme weather situations or insects.
  • Some of these problems can be helped by cultivating in pots. But pots will limit the maximum size your plant will reach.


Start now and grow legendary!

Growing and achieving your goals means falling, getting back up and challenging yourself. Whatever you come across along the way, you can rely on us. Whenever you need us, we will be there. We will give you the help and support you need to grow legendary. 

24/7 support

We will do our best to give you the support you need. All day, every day. It doesn’t matter if your goal is to achieve the highest yield, to grow fully organic or to get the best smell and taste of your end products. Our Grow Experts are widely experienced in growing and have broad knowledge of plants. You’ll always get advice tailored to your situation. Reach them at our Servicedesk or through social messenger. Would you rather get advice in person? We’ll be at several tradeshows this year. You can recognize the Plagron crew by their white shirts and green hoodies. 

How we’ll make sure that you get the support you need

Our complete team of experts is ready to give you the full support you need. We’ve got different departments ready to take care of all your needs. Our Research and Development team maintains the high product quality that you’ve come to expect from us. Besides performing quality control, they optimize existing products and create new products for all kinds of growers. Our Supply Chain team takes care of the production and shipment of your products. This hard working team is ready to do whatever it takes to make our products available to you. To ensure these shipments pass the borders, our Registrations office takes care of correct certificates and papers. Last but not least our Grow Experts will give you full support on all your grow issues. 

Become a grow legend

Need help with growing the best strain, creating the perfect nutrient solution or harvesting the fattest crop? We listen to your needs, so you can achieve legendary results and become a grow legend. Need more support or got any suggestions? Get in touch with us and share your ideas! 

Don’t forget to share your legendary results on your social channels with #growlegendary !


What is 420?

Happy 420! You all know the term, but do you also know where it comes from? Time for a little history lesson!

There’s a lot of confusion about how the term 420 originated. Let’s take a look at some of the fake stories first. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the real one soon enough!

Funny but untrue

One of the most common misconceptions is that it’s the police code for marijuana. It’s actually the code for murder in some states! 420 is also not the birthday (or date of death) of Bob Marley, not the number of chemical compounds in cannabis, and not the best day of the year to plant your cannabis plants.

One farfetched story states that Bob Dylan’s 1966 Rainy Day Woman #12 and 35, in which he famously states that “everybody must get stoned” is the origin of the term. After all, 12 times 35 equals 420! Creative, but unfortunately not true. And lastly, one of our favourites: 4:20 PM is teatime in the Netherlands. As a Dutch company, you can trust us when we tell you there’s definitely no such thing!

The real story

The real story of how the term 420 began is that of a treasure hunt. In 1971 in San Rafael, California, five high schoolers calling themselves the Waldos set out to find a fabled unattended guerrilla grow. Each day, they would meet at 4:20 PM under a statue of Louis Pasteur. 4:20 Louis soon became their code word for the treasure hunt. “Louis” eventually got dropped (and the guerrilla grow was never found), but the catchphrase 420 stuck around and quickly became a term to describe all things weed-related.

One of the Waldos eventually ended up as a roadie for the Grateful Dead, the pot-friendly jamrockers. The band’s fans quickly picked up on the term, spreading it across the globe. Then, in 1991, High Times magazine started coining the term. Within a couple of years, they had helped spread the phrase worldwide, creating a catchphrase for marijuana users everywhere.

A global phenomenon

Slowly, the catchphrase also found its way into pop culture. This is why, for instance, most clocks in Pulp Fiction (and all Lost in Translation) are set to 4:20 and why the scoreboard in Fast Times at Ridgemont High reads 42-0. There’s also a Family Guy episode called 420, in which the characters attempt to legalize marijuana. Speaking of legalization:, the bill to legalize marijuana in California was called Bill 420. And finally, in the most 420 thing to ever happen, Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson recorded a song in Amsterdam on 4/20/2009. The title? Roll me up and smoke me (When I’m gone).

Please always obey your local laws and regulations. We do not endorse illegal activities.


Terra Grow and Terra Bloom: even better in 2023! 

Our Terra Grow and Terra Bloom are ready for the future! We’ve updated their recipe based on new insights from our R&D department. With this new version, your plants will show even better results!

Empowering you is our main goal, which is why we’re constantly looking to improve our products and service. That’s why from now on, we’re adding the trace elements in Terra Grow and Bloom in chelated form. There’s a number of advantages to this. Firstly, chelated elements are better absorbable by your plants. They’re also less dependent on the pH value, so growing becomes easier for you. Finally, chelates are very mobile within plants. This means deficiencies are less likely to occur, since nutrients will reach affected areas quicker. 

Another thing we’ve changed is the ratio of trace elements. Based on theoretical and practical research, we’ve updated the exact composition of Terra Grow and Terra Bloom to help prevent deficiencies and to optimize photosynthesis. 

You can find the new version of Terra Grow and Bloom online and in your local shop right now. Still got an open bottle? Don’t worry, it also gets the job done just fine! 


Soft water? Use CalMag Pro!

We have created Plagron CalMag Pro for the grower who wants to give extra calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) to his plants.


Why would you want Plagron CalMag Pro?

Calcium and magnesium are two of the essential elements that play an important role in cell production and in the process of photosynthesis (converting carbon dioxide and water into glucose). This photosynthesis process is vital for your plant. Magnesium is a building block for chlorophyll, which is an elemental part of this process. The addition of calcium strengthens cell walls, improves root development and nutrient absorption. It increases your plant’s overall resistance. This makes Plagron CalMag Pro of added value.

When do you use Plagron CalMag Pro?

Water does not have the same concentration of minerals all over the world. When your water is low in calcium and magnesium, it could also be called soft water. Hard water, on the other hand, contains a lot of calcium and magnesium. In the case of soft water, CalMag Pro is a highly desirable supplement to your nutrition. If you grow with rainwater or RO (Reverse Osmosis) water/reverse osmosis water (demineralised water from a filter system), chances are that the calcium and magnesium ratio is too low as well. Plagron CalMag Pro to the rescue! Last but not least, CalMag Pro can be used when growing under LED light to compensate for the reduced calcium absorption this entails.

Under what growing conditions can you use Plagron CalMag Pro?

  • CalMag Pro can be used on all substrates.
  • CalMag Pro can be used for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.
  • CalMag Pro is compatible with all growing schedules.
  • CalMag Pro is suitable for both the grow and flowering phase.
  • CalMag Pro can be used with any watering system.


Clean products with the RHP and CU certification

We value quality. Because it’s easy to say this, we like to actually provide proof of this as well. That’s why many of our products are certified in some way. We work with different certifications to measure our quality standard.

RHP certification

Since 1963, RHP has been the European knowledge center for substrates. With their own RHP quality mark, RHP guarantees clean, safe and qualitative products. If you use a RHP-certified quality mark, you care for an optimal start of your grow. Because with substrates with the RHP-quality mark, you are always assured of a certain quality.

What do we mean by quality in this case?

Think of degree of water absorption, air content, pH- and EC-value and present nutrients. Besides, with RHP certified substrates you have more certainty that your substrate is clean and can be applied safely, without risks for your grow. The RHP quality mark analyzes the complete route a substrate travels for you, from raw material to processing to delivery of the final product.

CU certification

Organic farming is a trend that is gaining popularity in society nowadays. Organic farming involves cultivation that respects the natural life cycle and minimizes human impact on the environment. The Control Union Certifications foundation (part of the Control Union World Group) monitors on a global scale whether products may be classified as organic.

What does CU-certified stand for?  

A product certified by Control Union Certifications, doesn’t contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In genetically modified crops, the crop’s DNA has been modified, using genes with positive properties from for example bacteria or plants. This can give plants special properties. Think of potatoes that are resistant to the potato disease phytophthora, tomatoes that have a longer shelf life, and corn that is more resistant to caterpillar pests. The Control Union Certifications Foundation inspects and certifies the entire chain of a product. When they determine that all requirements have been met, and thus no GMOs have been used, they issue the CU certificate. This guarantees that the product you’re eventually holding is organic.