It's important to open this conversation that this is exclusively an informational article and does not address the legality of growing hemp at the local, state, and federal levels. Please contact lawmakers at each level for more information on the rules and regulations on hemp cultivation in your area. With this in mind, here are 4 tips to help you get started growing hemp.
Hemp is an excellent agricultural crop. From the outset understanding, your goals are important. Are you harvesting stalks, flowers, or seeds? The genetics of a hemp seed determines the sex, germination rate, flowering time, THC levels, yield, and hardiness. You need to plant the right seeds for the environment you're growing the plants in.
Most farmers who are growing hemp are doing so with CBD extraction in mind. Carmaleonte or Fibranova strains from Italy are ideal for fiber production, used in food and clothing.
American strains are ideal for CBD extraction as they have the potential to yield up to 25% CBD. This is due to genomic research and selective breeding.
Regular seeds are relatively inexpensive. As a beginner, it's advised you start here until you have a better understanding of the plant's life cycle and can identify its specific needs.
Once your regular plants are thriving, it may be time to consider feminized seeds. There is less need to identify the gender of these plants, unlike regular seeds. While hermaphroditism does happen, most plants are female, uniform, and simple.
If you are growing in a confined space, auto-flowering plants might be the right choice for you. Their seeds produce small, fast-maturing plants.
You can also start your adventure with clones. Taking a cutting from a plant will produce another plant with the same genetics if properly cared for.
It's common to assume that hemp can grow anywhere. However just because it can doesn't mean that hemp with thrive in any conditions. Whether you're planting indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse, drainage, low weed pressure, and the right nutrients are crucial.
A soil test is a crucial step in understanding how to best prepare your soil for growing the highest quality hemp. A crop consultant takes soil samples, performs tests, and can determine the condition of your soil and its nutrient needs. Keep in mind that any soil additives used will dissipate within 2 years and will affect soil composition. The best time to test your soil is a few weeks before planting.
With a good grasp of the condition of your soil, you may need to fill nutritional gaps with fertilizer. Balancing pH and increasing soil nitrogen content aren't uncommon.
How you apply fertilizer is crucial as well. Fertilizer applied directly to a plant could burn the plant. It's best to apply fertilizer to the side of the seed row. This could encourage weed growth, so it's important to research the best methods for your plants.
There are many factors that contribute to the successful planting of hemp outdoors. You need to strategically plan your outdoor production to maximize the existing environment you're planting in. For a successful crop, diminishing the chance of frost, coordinating day length to your strains flowering response time, and planting before rain need to be taken into consideration.
Virtual resources are available online. You can find a date with low frost potential and a length of the day that is above their strain-specific flowering time. This is the best time to plant your hemp. Hemp seeds need proper drainage. Too much water can delay germination and increase seed mortality.
Hemp seeds should be planted in a firm seedbed at about 1/2 inch. The density of your seeds depends on your planned end-use.
Grain or seed hemp is planted at 25-35 lbs. per acre. This allows for a thicker stalk to grow, which is necessary to hold up the weight of the heavier plants. Producing hemp for fiber, crops prefer 40-60 lbs. per acre. This forces plants to grow thinner stalks and have more vertical growth.
Hemp grown for CBD ideally has plenty of room for big bushy crops. 1,000-2,000 plants per acre. Less than 1 lbs. per acre if planting outdoors.
It takes thorough research, planning, and execution to grow high-quality hemp. Put our tips to the test. For more information on industrial hemp, check out our blog, here.