We are not all so lucky as to live in an area with perfect growing conditions. Areas that have high winds can damage plants and take a toll on your yield. I'm not talking about the gentle breeze that plants need to ward off mold and pests, I'm talking like the gusts of wind swaying your plants more than a foot from left to right. Luckily this problem shouldn't leave you winded; there are ways to grow in an environment like that.
Wind easily damages cannabis plants by breaking branches, blowing off leaves, and wreak havoc on the plant's root structure. Winds also carries dust that erodes the waxy surface of the plant's leaves. This causes even more stress and affects plant transpiration. That means that it causes water to evaporate from the surface of a leaf faster than it can be replaced through the soil. When your marijuana plant is dried out it becomes more susceptible to damage and disease than when it it's hydrated. The wind not only causes erosion on the leaves but also on your precious buds. The trichomes on your buds are delicate and need to be protected from harsh weather.
Wind also dries out your plant
Many places with high winds tend to be dry and often experience droughts. Because the wind also dries out your plant, you need to consider the infrastructure of your growing area. You will need to make windbreaks and barriers and make sure that windy areas are well watered and mulched.
Reconsider the strain of cannabis you will grow
You may also need to reconsider the strain of cannabis you will grow. Some strains developed in tropical areas that were very humid. Growing a strain like that in a dry place may not give you the desired turn out. However, there are strains with an Afghan background, for example, that does better in dry, hot areas.
Create a windbreak
To keep your plants from being gone with the wind, you should create a windbreak to protect them. There are two ways to do this. You can plant shrub plants or large plants in a series of staggered rows sending wind flowing over your crop. This method requires you to have a quite a bit of space as the wind breaking plants will need to be angled in the right way to be effective.
Make your own fence
The other way to create a windbreak is to simply buy one. You can buy a shade cloth at most agriculture or greenhouse stores. You can buy the shade cloth alone and make your own fence if you're handy with that kind of thing. For your convenience they also come in different percentages of densities. For instance, if the wind is not very strong then opt for a 30% to 40% shade cloth. Depending on the wind force you can go up to 80% to 90% to protect your plants.
Height of your plants
The height of the shade cloth is entirely up to the height of your plants. It's a trial and error kind of thing. It simply needs to be high enough to keep your plants from swaying in the wind. Also take into account the expected height of your plant when it's harvesting time. The shade cloth fence will need to be a distance away from your plants, like 10-20 feet to prevent erosion.
The sides of the barrier
Another thing to keep in mind when putting up the wind barrier is that the wind will blow more strongly along the sides of the barrier. Think about water rushing along the sides of a rock in a stream. Make your barrier wide enough to cover all sides of your crop.
Don't wind up completely stopping the wind from giving your plants a fresh breeze. Stagnant air is often the culprit for mildew and whiteflies. If you are getting the idea that your plants are not getting enough fresh air after setting up a shade cloth then simply cut some holes in it to let the air in. To make the lifespan of your wind barrier last longer, dismantle it during the off season.
Keep in mind that a shade cloth will not only prevent wind, but create shade, hence "shade cloth" If your plants are getting too much shade due to the cloth then another option is corrugated plexiglass. Cut some holes in to make sure your plants get some air, but this should allow plenty of sunlight to your plants while blocking wind.
keep an extra eye on the hydration
You can finally wind down about your wind problem now that you know how to fix it. Remember to keep an extra eye on the hydration of your plants in windy areas. Water can be scarce and precious in hot and dry areas so by adding a wind barrier you are saving water and your plants.