Hemp Uses And Care: Learn How To Grow Hemp Seed
Hemp was once an important economic crop in the United States and elsewhere. The versatile plant had a host of uses but its relation to the vilified Cannabis plant caused many governments to ban the planting and sale of hemp. The primary method of propagation of the plant is hemp seed, which is also useful nutritionally and cosmetically. Growing hemp from seed requires a carefully prepared seed bed, plenty of nutrients, and plenty of space for these large and fast growing plants.
What is Hemp Seed?
Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of Cannabis. It has great potential as a grain and fiber material. There are approved varieties for planting depending upon where you live, so it is best to consult with your municipality to determine which, if any, varieties are permitted.
There are also species which are noted for best grain or fiber production, so selection will depend upon the purpose for the crop. Some tips on how to grow hemp seed will then send you on your way to a vibrant, rapid, and prolific crop.
Hemp seeds contains about 25 percent protein and over 30 percent fat, especially essential fatty acids which have been shown to promote optimal health. This makes them invaluable as animal fodder and in human consumption. Some studies even tout the seeds as reducing heart disease, minimizing PMS and menopausal symptoms, aiding digestion, and relieving the symptoms of common skin disorders.
Hemp seeds are also pressed to garner beneficial oils. Seeds are harvested when at least half the visible seed is brown. Seeds attain a cracked appearance as the outer layer dries. Hemp seed is heavily regulated and attaining viable seed within the confines of federal guidelines can be difficult in some areas.
Hemp fiber is a tough, durable product that can be made into textiles, paper, and construction materials. The oil from seed shows up in cosmetics, supplements, and more. Seeds are used in food, as animal fodder, and even beverages. The plant is considered to be useful in over 25,000 products in areas such as furniture, food, automotive, textiles, personal products, beverages, construction, and supplements.
More and more states and provinces are permitting growing hemp. It has been surmised that the plant could have global economic impact where governments allow the plant to be cropped.
How to Grow Hemp Seed
Be aware that many locations specifically forbid any hemp growing. In areas where it is permitted, you will likely need a license and adhere to a rigid set of rules unique to each locality. If you are lucky enough to be able to obtain licensing and certified seed, you will need to provide the crop with deeply tilled soil with a pH of 6 or higher.
Soils must be well draining but should also have enough organic matter to retain moisture as hemp is a high water crop. It requires 10 to 13 inches (25-33 cm.) of rainfall during the growth period.
Direct sow seed after all danger of frost has passed in soil temperatures a minimum of 42 degrees F. (6 C.). In optimum conditions, the seed can germinate in 24 to 48 hours, emerging in five to seven days. Within three to four weeks, the plant may be 12 inches (30 cm.) tall.
Due to the rapid growth and extreme vigor of hemp, few pests or diseases are of major concern.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for educational and gardening purposes only. Before planting hemp in your garden, it is always important to check if a plant is allowed in your particular area. Your local municipality or extension office can help with this.
Hemp is the non-psychoactive variety of Cannabis. It has great potential as a grain and fiber material. There are approved varieties for planting depending upon where you live. Learn more about hemp seed here.
How to germinate cannabis seeds
Germination is the process in which a new plant begins to grow from a seed. Also referred to as “popping,” germination is the very first step in starting your cannabis garden.
Cannabis seeds can be acquired from an array of sources and can vary in quality. For more info on how to buy marijuana seeds, check out our Guide to buying cannabis seeds.
When acquiring seeds, you want to make sure they are matured and that they appear dark brown with lighter accents and a hard feel. You don’t want a seed that feels fresh and looks green, which indicates that the seed hasn’t reached full maturity.
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Once you have your cannabis seeds, make sure you have the space necessary to allow your plants to grow and be healthy. Don’t pop seeds when you are unsure of your grow space, time availability, or intention with your garden.
Check out these additional resources for more info on cannabis seeds:
What’s the best way to germinate cannabis seeds?
Cannabis seeds require three things to germinate: water, heat, and air. Because of this, there are many methods to germinate your seeds. The most common and simplest method involves the use of paper towels saturated in water.
For this method you will need:
- Two clean plates
- Paper towels
Take four sheets of paper towels and soak them with distilled water. The sheets should be soaked but shouldn’t have excess water running off.
Take two of the paper towels and place them on a plate. Then, place the cannabis seeds at least an inch apart from each other and cover them with the remaining two sheets of water-soaked paper towels.
To create a dark, protected space, take another plate and flip it over to cover the seeds (like a dome).
Make sure the area they’re kept in is warm, somewhere between 70-90°F.
After these steps have been completed, it’s time to wait. You can check the paper towels to make sure they’re still saturated, and if they seem to be losing their moisture, you can apply more water to keep the seeds happy.
Some seeds germinate very rapidly while others can take several days. You know a seed has germinated once the seed splits and a single sprout appears.
This is the taproot, which will become the main stem of the plant, and seeing it is a sign of successful germination. It’s important to keep this area sterile, so don’t touch the seed or taproot as the seed begins to split.
Transplanting germinated cannabis seeds
Once you see the taproot, it’s time to transfer your germinated seed into its growing medium. Small 2-inch pots are a good place to start.
Fill the pots with loose, airy potting soil and poke a hole in the middle about a quarter-inch down using a pen or pencil.
To transfer the seed, use a pair of tweezers to gently pick it up, then drop the seed in the hole with the taproot facing down. Lightly cover it with soil.
Next, you’ll need to water the soil. Initially, use a spray bottle to provide moisture without over-saturating the soil. You want to give the seed water, but over-watering can suffocate and kill the delicate sprout.
Pay attention to the temperature and the moisture level of the soil to keep the seed happy, and within a week or so you should see a seedling begin to grow from the soil.
Germinating seeds doesn’t always go as planned. Some seeds will be duds. Others will be slow and take longer to sprout. But some will pop quickly and grow rapidly.
This is the beauty of seeds—often, you can tell which plants or genetics will thrive right from the get-go. This will help you determine which plants you want to take cuttings from for clones and which to breed with other strong plants to create a seed bank of your own.
Follow these simple steps on the best way to properly germinate your cannabis seeds, and find out how to transplant the seeds to soil after germination.