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Hemp planted in rows.

Outdoor Hemp Cultivation Checklist

  1. Prepare Your Field
    • Obtain Soil Tests (Multiple Recommended per field).  Soil tests let you know what is available and what is lacking in your soil.  Nutrients, minerals and pH need to reach certain levels for a healthy crop.  Especially for cannabis, you need information on heavy metal presence.
      Soil samples can be sent for testing to your local agricultural extension office at your state’s land grant university. Soil information databases can also be found on their website.
    • Amend soil 1-2 weeks prior to planting (If applicable)
    • Raised Beds: Ensure Plastic mulch is layered and holes evenly spaced for transplanting.
      This method is helpful for increased drainage and weed control
    • Field transplant: ensure ground is free of weeds and holes are evenly spaced
      Weeds can outcompete young plants for resources
  2. Irrigation
    • Drip Line/Drip tape: Ideal for raised beds (emitters should be spaced evenly, in line with holes for transplanting)
    • Overhead irrigation: should be tested to ensure proper coverage of field
    • Mix nutrients and test prior to irrigation
    • Monitor irrigation Weekly
      Animals may chew through drip tape
  3. Light/ Daylength
    • Vegetative Cycle (5-7 weeks) Daylength should exceed 14 hours of sunlight
    • Flowering Cycle (8-10 weeks) Daylength should NOT exceed ~12 hours of sunlight
    • Check the daylength of the area you are growing (so you can adjust your planting date to for adequate vegetative growth before flower initiation)
  4. Spacing
    • Spacing depends on variety
      General rule of thumb is 4-6 ft spacing between plants
  5. Cultivation
    • Clones: Should be hardened off/acclimatized prior to transplanting
      Allow at least 2 hours of full sun exposure 1-2 times daily, Do this for 5-7 days, gradually increasing sun exposure. Be sure to irrigate frequently.
    • Seeds: Directly sow seeds into field, cover with thin soil layer
      This will increase germination percentage and keep the seed from drying out
    • Pinch or Remove tip of plant to promote lateral branching (if applicable)
    • Monitor pest and pathogens in the field (Scout Weekly)
    • Plan your harvest and testing schedule