Farmers across the nation are clamoring to get their hands on top-quality CBD seeds (hemp). The 2018 farm bill has legalized the cultivation of industrial hemp at the federal level, which means that anyone with the means and know-how can get into the CBD game. (PS Also check out our detailed article: which one should I buy: seeds or clones? here).
Whether you are planning on running a large-scale hemp going operation, or you simply want to plant your own hemp for your own personal use, you probably wonder when the best time to plant might be.
Hemp is very much a seasonal plant, if you are growing outside. Hemp is very particular about its ‘flowering’ state and goes through various photoperiods that are determined by light exposure, and seasonal conditions. Because of this, if you are planning on growing outside, you will need to be careful about when you plant your seeds.
Let’s take a look at the optimal conditions to plant your CBD seeds.
When Is the Right Time to Plant?
There really is no set date that is ideal for planting your hemp seeds. Ultimately, the weather and soil conditions will each dictate the ideal time frame to plant your seeds. You will need to measure the temperature of the soil at least 1 inch below the surface in order to determine if the soil is ready for planting the seeds.
After the last frost, you will want to wait until the soil has reached 50 degrees Fahrenheit just below the surface, ideally you will wait until the soil has maintained a steady temperature of 50 degrees or more for several days before planting your seeds.
Exactly what time of year this occurs, will most certainly depend on your location geographically. But generally, hemp prefers a warm and moist soil.
It will take roughly 24-48 hours for hemp seeds to begin the germination process, and only about 5-7 days for them to sprout. This means that you must be absolutely sure that the last frost has come and passed, to avoid the seedlings dying prematurely. Make sure to check your local farmer’s almanac online for a set date of the last frost in your area.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
When planting your seeds, you want to keep an eye on a few things prior to planting:
- The soil should be well aerated, and slightly alkaline – a healthy soil pH level is between 7-7.5, no less than 6.
- Plant the seeds between 3/4 – 1 1/4 inch deep. If you wish to grow the hemp for seeds, plant your seeds far apart with plenty of room to grow. If you are planning on using the hemp for fiber, plant them close together.
- Hemp seeds need plenty of moisture, especially during the first 6 weeks. Check the soil frequently, if the soil is not moist up to 2 inches down from the surface, water it.
Hemp is incredibly hearty in general. As far as crops go, it is one of the easiest to grow and keep healthy. However, it will require the proper conditions in order to yield the best results. Make sure that your soil is filled with the proper nutrients, well watered, and an acceptable temperature. The rest should take care of itself for the most part.