The word ‘Solstice‘ derives from the Latin term meaning ‘sun stood still‘, as in the winter and summer the sun appears to rise and set in practically the same place. Summer is one of the four seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn) and the seasons are affected by a change in the Earth’s rotational axis.
The two significant points in the rotational axis are the shortest day (least daylight hours and longest moonlight hours) known as the Winter Solstice, celebrated on December 21, and the longest day (when the Earth points towards the Sun and so gives people in the northern hemisphere maximum daylight light hours and shortest moonlight hours) known as the Summer Solstice and celebrated on June 21.
This time, June 21, is now often referred to as ‘Midsummer’. To most it is remembered as the time of the year when the distance of the Sun from the equator is at its greatest distance. For others though it is a time to celebrate the achievement of man under the guidance and protection of ‘Mother Earth’ Marijuana plants contain an internal clock that allows them to determine the best time to begin flowering. Usually this occurs when the daylight hours decrease.
If plants are placed outside too long before June 21 as the hours of light increase the plants will continue to produce vegetative growth until around June 21 when the daylight hours are longest. However because the decrease is gradual the plants will continue to grow and won’t start the flowering process until about August. In many parts of Canada and the US plants will not be able to fully finish flowering as the days get colder in October and November.
It is best to put strong young plants outdoors on June 21 or even better to start them indoors for a few weeks under 24 hours light (18 minimum) When these plants are placed outside they will sense the sudden decrease in light hours and this will force them to flower.
The plants will start to flower and as the hours get even shorter in July and August the plants will have plenty of time to produce lots of mature buds! In fact you can plant up till September, as long as the plants are 6 weeks old when put outside!
*Note to visitors South of the Equator (Australia) Dec 22 is your longest day!*