The popularity of hemp farming has exploded exponentially in the past few years. And the credit for such a surge goes to the 2018 Farm Act. As per the act, it is completely legal to cultivate hemp on both an independent and industrial scale.
This has led to more and more individuals trying their hands at growing CBD hemp seeds either indoors or in their backyard garden. Well, no matter what option you choose, without proper knowledge of how to grow and cultivate hemp, there is only so much you can do.
So, to help you in your journey, we have filled this blog with vital information that will go a long way to assist you in growing high-quality hemp. Let’s begin!
Treat the soil
The best thing about CBD hemp seeds is that they are both resilient and versatile. This means they are capable of thriving in a variety of climates. But, growing in an optimal climate can prove a little challenging as a beginner. To get started, it is best to treat the soil first.
- Start by breaking the soil to allow the air, water, and even nutrients to vitalize it. This is known as aerating. Perforate the top layer of the soil to mitigate potential soil compaction. If you are considering harvesting hemp in larger quantities, opt for crop rotation of plants to effectively reinvigorate and maintain the fertility of the soil.
- Testing the soil will help you determine whether or not the foundation for your crops is healthy. High levels of elemental sulfur, potassium sulfate, and even rock phosphate can damage the vitality of your hemp. It is best to test the soil in late autumn or early Spring to get the most accurate results.
- Never plant your hemp in a soil foundation that lacks proper drainage. This is because improper drainage will cause water to stand and result in pooling moisture. Your plant may be at severe risk of structural pitfalls due to pests and unwanted infections.
- You can pour a little water into a small hole and monitor how long it takes to drain. Anything over an hour is a sign of poor drainage. It is best to find a better patch.
Start planting the CBD hemp seeds.
Almost every farmer has a different approach to growing hemp seeds. So, one can never deem a particular process suggested by a professional wrong. However, it is best to start by late Spring for optimal results. Also, ensure that the depth, spacing, time, and even soil temperature are taken care of to end up producing healthy crops.
- The time after the final frost is usually considered the best time to plant the CBD hemp seeds, which is between May and June.
- Next, use a soil thermometer to determine the temperature. While planting the seeds, the temperature should be slightly above 50-degree F. If you notice consistency in the temperature for several days, get ready to plant your hemp seeds.
- You can grow each seed 5 to 6 inches apart. And based on the planting space’s dimension, plant the seeds in 15 to 13-inch rows. Keep the planting depth of about ½ to ¾ inches. Lastly, don’t forget to practice an appropriate watering regime. Ensure to deeply water your seeds promptly after sowing them to help initiate the germination process.
Tips for growing and maintaining the crop
During the growing process, water plays a key role. Therefore, following a proper watering schedule is important. Since water evaporation happens during the sunlight hours, it is best to water the seeds in the early morning or just around sunset once every week.
You should notice the seeds sprouting in 5 to 10 days or within a 2-week period. This is the period where your crop will require careful watering and adequate care from your end.
- It is best to water the plants up to 12 to 15 inches, roughly. And make sure to wait to water again only when you notice the soil is nearly depleted. This is because hemp loves warm and sunny weather. You can even stick your finger about half an inch into the soil to determine whether the soil is damp or dry. If you notice the soil is dry, water the crop for about an inch or two deep. Within 6 weeks, your hemp crop should become drought resistant.
- If you are worried about grassy weeds, try using pre-emergent herbicide to address the problem. Since hemp is known for growing around 12 inches vertically in a 2 to 4 weeks period, it is best to opt for suppression of unwanted weeds at the earliest to ensure your crops won’t get compromised.
- Now is also the time to introduce nitrogen-rich fertilizers to the soil to promote growth and maturity. It is best to spread the fertilizer on a hot and dry day to avoid any uneven spreading. And then, water immediately to ensure proper absorption of fertilizers into the soil.
Harvesting the crop
Once your hemp plants reach their full maturity, it might be the time to harvest them. Hemp plants result in two main utilities, namely, fibers and seeds. Harvesting these utilities have its own unique process.
- Harvesting seeds – Start harvesting seeds after 12 to 15 weeks of maturation. You will find them near the top of your crop and below the flower. Make sure that you check whether the seed is soft or hard and avoid harvesting until the majority of the seed pods turn hard. Use either a garden shear or sickle to cut the seed pods and collect the seeds using a bin or tarp. You can then use a bat to knock open the seeds loose in the tarp and perform winnowing to blow away unwanted debris.
- Harvesting fiber – Hemp fiber harvesting can be done between 4 to 8 weeks using a scythe. Cut the stalk a few centimeters above the ground. Keep in mind, the longer the hemp plants mature, the more durable their fiber will be. Opt for the process known as retting, in which the stalks are laid outside to dry for about 5 weeks. Once the stalk is fully retted, store them vertically in a cool, dry place. The moisture level should be 15% at this point. Lastly, use a decorticator to separate the hemp fibers.
For centuries, it has been proven that hemp has endless benefits. By legalizing the cultivation and production, the US government has only helped people experience the goodness of this wholesome crop.
Use our blog as a guide to ensure you make the most out of your CBD hemp seeds and successfully harvest top-quality crops in immense quantity.