September and October are the best months of the year for reasons beyond Sunday football, all things pumpkin flavored, and cool, crisp nights. While the leaves of fall are changing colors, cannabis growers who planted in summer are gearing up for the big harvest. Those fat, sticky plants will finally be sent to the big house and meet the shears. Now for the big question. What are the top 5 strains to plant this summer? Before there can be a list, a few growing questions must be asked around conditions and plans.

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Have You Grown Before?

First things first – do you have any experience as a grower? Depending on your answer, the top 5 strains could theoretically be different. The same strains recommended for the beginner might not work for someone looking to grow cannabis plants with more of a challenge.  

Green cannabis plants growing indoors with a bushy, round structure that are in black pots Indoor growing provides more control on all the variables. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Complicated crosses that are not genetically stable will need extra love. When they are not genetically stable, they can be more susceptible to mold and more preventive measures will need to be accounted for. More than you think can go wrong while tending to these and it won’t be the easiest for new growers.  The best advice is getting your genetics, whether seed or clones, from a reputable breeder or cultivator. Read reviews from previous harvests from other growers. Another thing to think about is location.

Where will you be Growing?

If the answer is indoors, you will have a lot more control. Not only do you have control, but indoor grows provide protection that outdoor growing cannot. Think about it. Here in Colorado, springtime means freak wind or hailstorms.   Bad weather makes for sad plants, which make for sad people.

Cannabis plants growing outside with sun rays beaming down, green leaves and buds Sativas grow better outside with room to stretch. Photo credit: Shutterstock
However, the yield from an outdoor grow might have your jaw drop like the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park”. That Banana Kush might reach 16ft in the wild but won’t find much height past the ceiling of your tent, inside. It will be a lot more cleanup at the end but the yield might make you cry with happiness. The strains on this list can be grown indoor, outdoor, or in a greenhouse. The official recommendation is to grow indoors.  

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Are there Summer vs. Winter Strains?

No, there are no winter strains. There are, however, 3 subgroups of cannabis: sativa, indica, and ruderalis, which is bred into strains to create “autoflower.” Although the sativa and indica strains grew in warmer and sometimes extremely humid environments, the ruderalis evolved to grow in harsh environments with shorter flowering times to survive.

Bushy green cannabis colas growing diagonally Autoflowering plants turn around quick harvests. Photo credit: Shutterstock
Originating in colder environments such as northern China and Russia, ruderalis plants only had so much time. There was often not enough light or stretches without it. These plants adapted and could flower in 2-4 weeks vs. the typical 6-8.   They grew shorter and bushier with less flower yield but could handle the cold. Autoflowering strains can grow as late as September and October. Consider planting these in later summer, as they can handle those last couple weeks into the chillier nights. Don’t forget to  think about where you live and the average weather by those dates.

The Top 5 Strains to Plant This Summer

  1. GG #4

Formerly known as “Gorilla Glue #4”, this sativa-dominant strain is a personal favorite. Not only can it grow in as little as 8 weeks, the award-winning THC potency will knock consumers out. The mental effects come in fast and can have a person couch-locked for a bit.  

Image of a neon green nugget that has long orange hairs. GG4 is a great strain to have around for sore muscles or unwinding.
Why not grow GG4 at home this summer? This is the strain that will make those long days at work feel just fine at the end.  

  1. Strawberry Lemonade

Ahhh…nothing sweeter than lemonade on a hot, summer day. Although not the newest kid on the block, the sativa-dominant Strawberry Lemonade has won many awards including a High Times Medical Cannabis Cup for “Sativa Flower”. The cross is between Strawberry Cough and Lemon OG and will test for THC anywhere from 18-28%.   Cannabis consumers claim this strain tastes like berries and smokes sweet. It is perfect for summer because it has the perfect uplift for daytime activities.  However, there is a catch. This strain may grow way too tall if grown indoors. While it’s possible to low-stress train, try growing this strain outside if you are legally allowed to do so. It flowers between 56-63 days and may offer a monster yield of over 500 grams.

  1. Candyland  

Remember those summer nights when you’d hit the carnival? Possibly while stoned? Well, this sativa-dominant strain is the perfect treat for the ride. Flowering in as little as 8-9 weeks, Candyland loves being harvested outdoors in September, possibly breaking 3 pounds outside.  

Cannabis plant flowering outside that has a purple hue to it. Candyland will keep you uplifted for all your summer activities. Photo credit: Shutterstock
With 19% THC, it’ll be perfect for your summer grow!

  1. Purple Sunset #4 

Next up is a personal fav, Purple Sunset #4. The effects are great for late afternoon hangouts in summer. It can help users sleep by punching out anxiety, too. A cross between Purple Punch and Mandarin Sunset, this strain has one of the best aromas in all of cannabis, almost as if grape juice and orange juice had a sweet smelling baby. It is 60/40 indica leaning but won’t necessarily knock you out. The average THC is 21% and flowers in about 10 weeks.  

  1. Peach Ringz

What better way to end summer than harvesting some fruit? And by fruit, we mean Peach Ringz, with overwhelming sweetness and bits of sour flavors. As summer finds its close, this wonderful strain will bring an aroma to your grow that reminds you to slow down and enjoy that breeze outside.   They say the name of this one has a “Z” because that’s where the ride ends – straight to sleep. Can you imagine that? Smoking on some fine peach and relaxing out on the porch to wind down your evening? Mmhmm. Combining Eddy OG and Marionberry Kush in this cross, consumers will find this strain has about a 60/40 indica dominance. It tests low in CBD and around 19-20% THC. When growing, it is famed for its minty green color and will have plenty of frost after 55-60 days. It can break 80 inches in height if cared for and can give a 400 gram yield.  

Wrap Up

Growing with the seasons is always fun and selecting strains that are enjoyable to grow will make this summer one to remember. Make sure to schedule your flowering times accordingly for harvest! Maybe give an autoflower strain a go if you need a quick turn around, so you can bring your weed with you on your next planned camping trip to share with your friends!