Recreational pot may be legal in four states and D.C. but in 20 other states around the nation, you have to prove a link to some medical marijuana dispensary to avoid arrest for cultivating the weed. For the most part, you can get away with planting marijuana for any purpose at all in Alaska, DC, Seattle, Colorado, and Oregon.

Pick a Remote Location

Outdoor cannabis growThe trouble is trekkers and the odd hunter who encounter your crop in forest glades and other open areas will very likely want to sample and harvest it wholesale for their recreational use. Since you probably won’t have a cabin in the woods like “Pa Butt”, it helps to camouflage your weed garden well so as to protect the time you’ve invested in clearing and planting in dispersed fashion and let the bushes get the most sunlight during the growing season.

Find the remotest glade or sun-drenched forest you can, away from clearly-trodden footpaths or obvious camping grounds. Tack small bills on saplings or tree trunks. When you return in two or three weeks and find the telltales still intact, you have a suitably remote site. Clear the undergrowth and start planting. The most convenient method is to use starter cubes or seedling plugs.

Hoist the Plants Out of Sight (and Inquisitive Noses)

In an “old-growth” forest, you might try hoisting your potted plants up the trees until their characteristic leaf pattern blends in with, say, pine needles or broad oak leaves. You could pretend you’re stringing up orchids so vegetarian animals can’t get at them and strip them bare. Paint the pots green so they blend in better with local coloring in the middle or upper forest canopies.

The Less They Smell, the Better

Avoid the really aromatic varieties like “Girl Scout Cookies” and the “Kush” variants. Since you will never get the abundant harvest you expect by hanging them up trees, you’ll have to settle for ground planting and camouflaging them with aromatic herbs and spices like mint (a prolific grower) and plant smelly herbs around like rosemary, lavender and lemongrass as a ground cover around your cannabis.

Disguise Works

Cannabis disguise
Most important tip for planting in the wild: avoid the temptation to plant in straight lines. You’re not planting the classical English red and white rose garden anyway. Instead, bring along your trusty Roto-rooter and plant your cubes and plugs helter-skelter. Run a false trail across brambles, over and under sprawling roots, as long as your beloved weed gets sunlight for half the day.

Procuring Ducksfoot is another way of disguising your grass plantation. The fan-like leaves look nothing like spindly marijuana bushes. They are closer to webbed ducks’ feet in appearance. Only the leaves around the buds are dead giveaways that a normal pot harvest is ready for picking.

Pruning for Proper Growth

You’ll want to prune your little babies at the vegetative stage of growth because cutting off the main stem stimulates branching and growth from side-shoots, eventually leading to a bushier plant. This makes your plantation look like shrubs instead of the pine saplings typical of neglected cannabis growing in the wild or your untended rooftop.

As your little plantation flourishes but before the important buds show up, prune the large fan-like leaves and collect them for later use.

Intercropping as Disguise

You could disguise what’s going on even further by planting tomatoes and strawberries as the climate suits. The ripening cycle of just 3-4 months for each crop keeps you busy during inspection visits to your weed farm. And if you’ve been planting them in ragged lines like your main weed crop, you could be picking and harvesting pretty much all year round. This gives your unsuspecting family delightful vitamins and desserts to boot.

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