Though outdoor growing can seem complicated and hard to set up at first, growing outdoors will often save you time and money compared to growing indoors. Especially once you get a feel for the lay of the land and a few different strains, sowing and harvesting your buds can become an easy routine with very little maintenance needed during the grow. There's something powerful about the sun mixed with good soil, and outdoor buds can be some of the best smelling weed you'll encounter.
Outdoor growers often can't imagine growing any other way. What do you need to consider when choosing whether to grow marijuana indoors or outdoors? Indoor takes more work from you on a regular basis because there are more variables you must control, and more that you must personally provide to give your plants a good growing environment. On the other hand, there are fewer unexpected influences that can affect your plants indoors, especially compared to Mother Nature, so growing indoors is often more predictable. Indoor growing is often difficult for new growers as they learn the ropes, but seasoned growers are often able to grow plants in a breezy 20 minutes/week or less because they already know exactly what to do. Outdoors you may have to take more time initially to research and learn about your environment through trial and error. It's important to make sure you choose a compatible marijuana strain for your local weather while also picking the right place to plant your garden. For people in cold climates or who live in highly urban environments, growing outdoors would take much more effort than it's worth. For those who have easy access to a great grow spot, growing outdoors can be the perfect option that takes very little work to grow a whole lot of buds. Indoor is much more expensive, especially when you're first getting started.
It costs $500+ initially for most setups for 4-6 plants. When growing indoors, at the very least you will need to pay for grow lights and containers to grow your plants in. Most serious indoor growers also invest in a grow tent or convert a closet/wardrobe/cupboard into a suitable growing environment. Outdoor can be as cheap as getting seeds or clones and sticking them in the ground. In most cases, it will cost at least a bit more than that, especially for those who want to get high yields and dense buds, because you will also be paying for nutrients, soil, fencing and/or other supplies. Still, even serious outdoor growers get to skip on paying for grow lights or grow tents. Indoor gives you control over all the variables, which means a dedicated and serious grower can consistently produce a superior product. When you're growing indoors, great crops with frosty pristine buds and big yields are pretty much guaranteed once you control the important variables, no matter where you live. If you're only interested in growing the highest caliber marijuana, where you get to control every aspect of everything, you likely want to grow indoors. Outdoor can produce incredible buds, especially for those who happen to live in the right climate, who choose the perfect strain for their environment and who take good care of their plants. Yet when growing outdoors, Mother Nature is the real master over your garden. Outdoor buds often vary in dankitude as there are so many variables outside your control. Sometimes buds end up looking a bit "rough around the edges" and may contain pine needles, thistle prickles, dust, bugs, etc. Outdoor buds sometimes have to be harvested early for weather or security concerns, lowering the quality and potency of buds. That is why even an experienced and knowledgeable outdoor grower can occasionally lose a crop or grow an inferior product. Even if they do everything right, environmental factors outside their control such as deer/bears/birds/racoons, too much/not enough rain, thieves, bugs, cold spells, early winter, etc can lower the quality of outdoor buds. An indoor garden can be almost 100% secure with a light-tight grow area with a carbon filter to neutralize any smells. Yet if you don't take the time to properly hide/secure your garden and take care of odor, you may run into problems when friends or family come over. If you are worried about stealth and do get caught with plants indoors, there's not much you can do to deny that they belong to you since they're located in your home. Outdoor can also be stealthy, especially if your garden is out in the middle of nowhere or completely hidden from view. The least stealthy parts of outdoor growing will be going back and forth to your garden, and during harvest time when you will need to move several hefty bags of marijuana buds back to where you can trim, dry, and cure them. No matter which way you grow, remember the old adage for never getting discovered: "Don't tell, Don't smell, Don't sell." Maintenance. Indoor you have to personally control almost everything about the environment at all times. This means you're in charge of temperature, root pH, light, etc. When growing indoors, you also tend to need to do more plant training due to space restrictions.
All these factors can be overwhelming for the first time grower. However, for most indoor growers, as they get the hang of growing, the time and effort needed for maintenance tends to drop dramatically. Indoor growers are often closer to their gardens, so there is often less travel time to and from the plants. When growing indoors, you usually have faster grow times because you don't need to rely on natural light to tell your plants when to start flowering, and can opt for faster grow methods such as hydroponics (which can produce faster harvests than growing in soil). Outdoor would almost always need less maintenance because once you've found a good site to plant, you really only need to visit the site a few times a month to check on plants, possibly water or trim/train, and harvest. If you're growing outdoors in your back yard, you don't have to consider travel time, but for those who grow outdoors away from their homes, your maintenance will also include traveling to and from your plants.
Indoor can product big yields in the right conditions, but is somewhat limited by the size of your grow lights. If you only need a few ounces of bud each month (or less), indoor growing will be able to yield enough for you. When growing indoors, you can start a grow basically any time, which gives you the ability to harvest several times per year. Outdoor will often give you a lot more yield per harvest because you can grow huge "trees" of marijuana. The sun is a powerful grow light that allows plants to really build up in size.