Hemp is largely a field crop when grown for oil or fiber, but those who wish to turn out high-quality, smokable hemp flower will find producing in a greenhouse environment ideal.
Still, growing in a greenhouse can present some challenges with this complex crop. Growers used to producing cannabis in a warehouse environment may struggle in the greenhouse at first, and vice versa.
It’s the difference between plant support, which the greenhouse offers, versus full environmental control, which warehouse grows and vertical farming offer.
Here are a few tips we recommend keeping in mind when growing hemp in a greenhouse environment:
- Start small and simple. Hemp isn’t just a weed that can be planted and then forgotten about. This plant had caught many industrious farmers off hand with its finicky nature. Our current greenhouse grow is 1,500 square feet. Once we get a proper idea of what we are dealing with post-harvest on these plants, we plan on significantly building out our greenhouse operations for the next growing season.
- Adequate spacing and airflow are key to growing hemp in the greenhouse. Make sure plants have plenty of space, and they should be constantly moving from air current.
- Perform soil and water tests before setting fertilizer rates to avoid over or under fertilization.
- Generally, hemp is best suited to loose/well drained soils.
- Standard commercial greenhouse fertilizer that is water soluble is perfect for hemp.
- Avoid low-grade fertilizer with high salt content. It can cause stress and plants lock up and stop taking in nutrients.
- Continuous feeding through drip irrigation lines is the best way to water and fertilize.
Lastly, we are working on ways in which to automate many of these processes. Once these processes have been tested thoroughly, our goal is to be able to share them with other growers and help hemp become an accessible and profitable new agribusiness commodity for everyone.