Cannabis Hemp has a shedload of benefits ranging from medical to commercial, no wonder its take-up has increased thousandfold over the years. While its use as a medical product is quite popular, the plant is also a fascinating raw material for making over a whopping 20,000 products that include bioplastics, quality fibers, paper, ropes, non-dairy kinds of milk, et cetera.
With increased licensing, more and more people are now seeking to grow Hemp for various reasons, and that Sparks the question; “Can I grow Hemp in my backyard?” Read this article to answer that question and get to the bottom of what is important in the growth of this important plant in different locations.
So Can I Grow Hemp In My Backyard?
Yes, but that depends on your location. For example, the 2018 US Farm Bill legalized its cultivation federally, but each state has unique laws on the subject.
What Is Hemp?
Also known as Industrial Hemp, it is a variety of the famous Cannabis Sativa plant that is known for its industrial use. The plant sets itself apart from the other varieties of Cannabis by its level of the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component. Legally, it should have not more than 0.3 percent of THC. If it does, most governments will consider it as Marijuana, which is governed by a set of more sensitive laws.
Which Countries and States Allow The Growth Of Hemp?
More and more countries are nowadays starting to legalize the growth and use of Cannabis, with most of them acknowledging its industrial and medical significance. However, you need to understand that most of these countries do not license their growth to a personal scale.
For example, despite the 2018 US Farm Bill legalizing the plant’s cultivation Nationwide, it only specifies that the new bill favors the plant as an additional cash crop for the Agricultural Community. This bill also has no problem with growing the plant for research purposes.
There’s however no provision in the federal law that gives a green light to individual farmers to grow Hemp for whatever reason, and that’s where state laws come into play.
Out of the 50 US states, only 34 percent (17) of them allow personal cultivation to an extent, with some of them only allowing its growth as a medical plant. For example, eight of the states, including Washington, Arizona, Mexico, and Missouri, and four others only allow licensed individuals to cultivate Marijuana as a medical product.
Otherwise, a few others like Colorado and Massachusetts, among others, allow for its cultivation for whichever purpose as long as the farmer is fully compliant with the laid-down laws.
It’s important that you first familiarize yourself with your state’s laws for the plant’s cultivation to avoid getting at loggerheads with the law enforcers. Most states will only allow 3-6 plants per individual, which isn’t commercially effective.
We determined that in Colorado, you need to do a little paperwork before getting licensed. Some of the paperwork includes finding and presenting an offense-free conduct record of the past, alongside the GPS coordinates of the land that you’re planning to use for the activity. You must also specify the area of land that you’re planning to use.
Meanwhile, Other countries, apart from the United States, that cover Cannabis cultivation in their laws are Canada, India, North Korea, China, Russia, and Germany, just to mention a few.
Each of them has unique laws, reasons for cultivation, and other attributes that pertain to the plant’s cultivation. A simple Google check is enough for informing you whether or not your country is on the godsend list.
How To Grow, Care For, and Harvest Hemp Effectively
If you’re yearning to know how to cultivate and get the most out of Hemp, especially after getting a valid license from the concerned authorities, you have solid reasons to pore over this section more carefully. You’ll find out that the process is an intuitive one that doesn’t also demand a lot of physical energy from you.
Growing Hemp: The Favorable Conditions
Like any other plants, Hemp needs a specified set of temperature, humidity, acidity, and other favorable conditions optimum for its smooth and healthy growth, and maximum harvest. Below is a rundown of the most important ones, ranging from rainfall and temperature to soil and humidity needs.
The good news is that Hemp can always thrive in innumerable soil types, as long as they contain the most essential minerals for its survival. Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium should not lack from the list of primary minerals.
Please check that the underlying soil has a pH not less than six. Deep soil is preferable, too, because it gives room for firm root growth and development. Avoid poorly drained areas, as Hemp reacts negatively to the effects of a flood.
Hemp needs different temperatures at different stages of its life as you can expect of it and or any other plants. For example, it requires temperatures between 6°C and 8°C during germination and around 65°F during establishment.
Germination will often occur in one or two days, but you’ll be able to see the vegetation after five days to a week (if the other germination conditions are also fully met).
Sow too many seeds per square meter and see the lowest productivity; sow too little and experience the highest weed infestation rate. Depending on whether you’re cultivating it for seeds of fiber and the soil fertility, Hemp spacing will vary accordingly.
A seeding rate of 280-400 viable seeds for each square meter is enough for fiber production. Obviously, more seeds will rhyme with better soil fertility, excellent temperature, adequate nutrients, and optimum humidity, and vice versa. For see production, you’ll need a lower seeding rate of 35-45 lbs/acre.
Hemp needs more water during germination. But as the plant gets older, it can survive under less (compared to during germination) rainfall. The crop often survives perfectly in areas with rainfall up to 600mm per year, but you may need to supplement this by watering it during germination.
Time of Seeding
The wonted myth that has people sowing Hemp on specific calendar dates is indeed misleading. Sowing should instead be based on the conditions of the weather and soil. Start monitoring your soil and weather (for optimum states as mentioned above) three weeks prior to corn. When optimum conditions stabilize, it’s time for sowing.
Growing Hemp: The Propagation Materials
You have two options for Hemp propagation with regard to Hemp cultivation; vegetative clones and seeds. Whichever one you choose shall depend on what you need.
For example, if you need to keep up with the genetic combination of your previous plants for one reason or another, you better go for clones. However, you must be ready to help them fight off a few diseases inherited from the host, as well as environmental challenges (due to low defense) among other adversities.
Most people use Hemp seeds instead of clones because they’re more promising in terms of yield quality and quantity. Hemp grown from seeds often start their life from “scratch,” meaning they’re devoid of any inherited diseases or faulty traits.
However, they also have downsides. Firstly, you must always purchase them at significant costs, unlike clones that are available for free from your backyard. Likewise, seeds often take longer before harvesting than clones.
Growing Hemp: Males And Females
It helps to know that Hemp’s productivity for quality fibers, seeds, flowers — and a few other products — can depend on its sex. For example, if you’re growing Cannabis for its flowers, you better go for feminized seeds. Such will always germinate into female-only plants that often remain unfertilized, with scads of flowers on them.
Conversely, those growing Hemp for fiber can harvest from both male and female plants. They only need to plant “normal” seeds as they’re sold in local stores. Such seeds will grow into male and female Cannabis plants in an almost-equal proportionality.
For seeds, pollination has to occur between the flowering plants. Meaning, your backyard should have both male and female plants.
Taking Care Of Hemp: Results-driven Hacks
Watering During Early Stages:
Every other plant needs much water to facilitate root development in its early life stages. Cannabis is no exception. However, you may not need to water it if there’s adequate rainfall. When the plant grows up, it may not need much water because of the resistance it has already developed.
The major nutrients required by Hemp for maximum yield are Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. However, there’s a trap; you got to watch the plant’s growth stage for the right quantity, not nutrients.
For example, adding fertilizer to Cannabis in its germination stage isn’t advisable. During the vegetative growth stage, however, you need to give it more nitrogen than Phosphorus and Potassium.
Common plant diseases can also attack Cannabis. Among them are Rootworms, Leaf Spot, Blister Beetles, you mention them. How you deal with them boils down to personal preference, but we prefer organic farming as a way of preventing most of the diseases.
Finally, the harvesting season will dawn, and you shall harvest your Hemp flowers, seeds, roots, fiber, or any other products. So how exactly do I go about it? I hear you ask.
In about six weeks after flowering, Hemp seeds are always likely ready for harvest. Timing is essential here because ripe seeds will always shatter and fall off. So take care not to harvest too late, neither too early. After harvest, transport your seeds to a cool and dry place where you’ll store them.
Harvesting hemp fiber is the easiest of all. It mostly happens after between 90 and 100 days. However, it’s mostly applicable to individuals with large farms because of the economic value. Maneuvering the process by hand may be quite tedious, especially when the farm is large.
Luckily, there are handy machines like the Discbine to that effect. If you have a small farm, you can do it by hand and save on costs involved with a machine.
Growing Hemp for its flowers means growing it for cannabinoids. Consequently, you’ll want it to contain the highest levels of CBD at the time of harvest. There are many ways of determining the level of CBD in your Hemp flowers, so don’t hesitate to use the most accurate one.
Also, feel free to invite an expert to help you do the estimation. Harvesting by hand is the best bet here because of the delicate flowers.
The Bottom Line
The million-dollar question on whether or not you can grow Hemp in your backyard is fully answered here. You realize that various governments have different takes on even the main reason for growth; medical and or commercial.
Therefore, if you’re seeking to cultivate Hemp for whichever reason, you’re going to ensure that you fully peruse the section of your state/country’s law that governs it. You don’t want to be a victim of a felony, do you?