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LIVING: Tips on growing industrial hemp

Washington — Hemp is a form of cannabis that is usually industrially produced. It is used to create a range of products.

Unlike common cannabis, which is harvested for its THC packed flowers or “buds”, hemp is harvested for its stems and seeds. The two types are grown in different ways.

Hemp, when grown on an industrial level, can be used to make bread, protein powder, granola and a number of other products. It can also be cooked with as oil or mixed into salad dressings.

So, despite the product being frowned upon and illegal in many places, hemp is a popular crop. If you’re looking to grow your own hemp, here are a few tips.

Ensure the Proper Climate

Hemp is a hardy plant that can usually do well in many climates. However, industrial hemp should not be grown indoors.

Its complex root systems are great at finding water, but it will also need frequent rainfall or watering to grow. Its soil should have a pH level of 6-7.5 (which is more towards the alkaline end of the spectrum) but has been known to grow in less than ideal soil. This is because they often know how to survive by aerating the soil in an attempt to make its quality better.

If you try to grow it indoors, you’ll find that it will cost you a lot more than it’s worth. Bear in mind that you’re supposed to grow industrial hemp on a more extensive scale for lower expenses.

Factor in Genetics

Because hemp is harvested for both seeds and stalks, certain strains of the plant are genetically bred to offer more of the sought after part. This is a factor you should consider. Ask yourself if you’re wanting to use the stalks, oils or seeds.

When purchasing hemp seeds, be sure to select an option that has been modified to produce more seeds or more stalk- depending on which you’re after. If you’re trying to extract CBD from your hemp, then go for American strains.

Plant Densely

Marijuana strains of cannabis are supposed to be grown as far apart as possible. Hemp, however, does heat when planted as close together as you can possibly place the seeds.

Your hemp field should look like a cornfield in terms of density.  Often, they are planted as close as 4 inches away from one another.

Feed Your Hemp more than enough to Survive

Hemp grows at an impressive rate, which requires tons of feeding. In general, you should make twice as much nutrients available to your plants as will actually be removed from the soil when it comes time to harvest.

As a rule of thumb, successful hemp harvests should be fed 80-100 pounds of nitrogen, 35-50 pounds of phosphate, and 52-70 pounds of potassium per acre. Industrial hemp farms can reap a lot of success if they’re managed properly and given adequate care. In particular, you’d need a lot of phosphorus and potassium in seed and flowering stages.

Harvest at the Right Time

You need to know the different ideal times to harvest your hemp. This can be challenging because hemp seeds ripen at different speeds and times. If you want to harvest the seed, hold off for another 4 to 6 weeks. At that point, at least 60% of the seed would have become ripe.

To get the best out of your crop, you need to harvest during at period where you would not lose too many seeds.

Hemp should be provided with adequate food, planted closely together, and be planted in a location with ideal conditions. Genetics should be considered when deciding what kind of hemp seeds to plant. Follow these tips to grow industrial hemp and you’ll be in the right direction.

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