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hemp seed grow

Don’t sow any seeds until you’ve researched state and federal regulations. The 2018 Farm Bill contained provisions legalizing hemp production, but you still need a license to grow it. Plant in an inconspicuous location. Gilkison knows a farmer who lost much of his crop to thieves who, he suspects, were selling his hemp buds mixed with marijuana. “If you want something that’s going to yield good, put it on good ground,” he says. He prefers deep, humus-rich soil. Hemp seeds contain sex chromosomes that produce male and female plants. For CBD, you’ll want to keep only the more robust females. Either weed out the male seedlings or plant female-only clones.

How to Grow Hemp

By Malia Wollan

    Feb. 14, 2019

“Sooner or later, somebody is going to make a joke about you getting high,” says Brennan Gilkison, a 42-year-old hemp farmer in central Kentucky who has no interest in getting high. For centuries, American farmers grew hemp for fiber, oil and many other uses. George Washington cultivated it at Mount Vernon to mend fishing nets. Gilkison’s crop goes into products containing cannabidiol, or CBD. People still titter. Practice your explainer, which should go something like this: Marijuana and hemp are varieties of the same species of cannabis plant, but hemp contains less than 0.3 percent of the mind-altering tetrahydrocannabinols, or THC, and will not get you high. “You become an educator,” he says. (Third graders visit his farm on field trips.)

Don’t sow any seeds until you’ve researched state and federal regulations. The 2018 Farm Bill contained provisions legalizing hemp production, but you still need a license to grow it. Plant in an inconspicuous location. Gilkison knows a farmer who lost much of his crop to thieves who, he suspects, were selling his hemp buds mixed with marijuana. “If you want something that’s going to yield good, put it on good ground,” he says. He prefers deep, humus-rich soil. Hemp seeds contain sex chromosomes that produce male and female plants. For CBD, you’ll want to keep only the more robust females. Either weed out the male seedlings or plant female-only clones.

Put your seeds or starts in the ground in late spring and harvest in the fall. Weeds will be your biggest challenge. “We’ve weeded by hand, with machines, even with fire,” Gilkison says. Because, he says, he can’t use herbicides or pesticides on his hemp, Gilkison spends much of the growing season battling back pigweed, Johnson grass and crab grass. Prune the maturing plants to force them to produce more buds (some farmers use tobacco topping machines to mow the upper vegetation). Some growers in Kentucky have recently turned land over from tobacco to hemp. “Everywhere you look, it’s CBD this, CBD that,” Gilkison says. The money has been good, and a giddiness has taken hold, thanks to this plant that has been effectively prohibited since the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act. “It’s the first time in our lives that we’ve had a new crop and had to learn how to grow it,” he says.

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Hemp seed grow
Hemp is grown in temperate zones as an annual cultivated from seed and can reach a height of up to 5 metres (16 feet). Crops grow best in sandy loam with good drainage and require average monthly rainfall of at least 65 mm (2.5 inches) throughout the growing season. Crops cultivated for fibre are densely sowed and produce plants averaging 2–3 metres (6–10 feet) tall with almost no branching. Plants grown for oilseed are planted farther apart and are shorter and many-branched. In fibre production, maximum yield and quality are obtained by harvesting soon after the plants reach maturity, indicated by the full blossoms and freely shedding pollen of the male plants. Although sometimes pulled up by hand, plants are more often cut off about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the ground.

Hemp seed grow

Hemp, (Cannabis sativa), also called industrial hemp, plant of the family Cannabaceae cultivated for its fibre (bast fibre) or its edible seeds. Hemp is sometimes confused with the cannabis plants that serve as sources of the drug marijuana and the drug preparation hashish. Although all three products—hemp, marijuana, and hashish—contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that produces psychoactive effects in humans, the variety of cannabis cultivated for hemp has only small amounts of THC relative to that grown for the production of marijuana or hashish.

Physical description

The hemp plant is a stout, aromatic, erect annual herb. The slender canelike stalks are hollow except at the tip and base. The leaves are compound with palmate shape, and the flowers are small and greenish yellow. Seed-producing flowers form elongate, spikelike clusters growing on the pistillate, or female, plants. Pollen-producing flowers form many-branched clusters on staminate, or male, plants.

Cultivation and processing

Hemp originated in Central Asia. Hemp cultivation for fibre was recorded in China as early as 2800 bce and was practiced in the Mediterranean countries of Europe early in the Christian era, spreading throughout the rest of Europe during the Middle Ages. It was planted in Chile in the 1500s and a century later in North America.

Hemp is grown in temperate zones as an annual cultivated from seed and can reach a height of up to 5 metres (16 feet). Crops grow best in sandy loam with good drainage and require average monthly rainfall of at least 65 mm (2.5 inches) throughout the growing season. Crops cultivated for fibre are densely sowed and produce plants averaging 2–3 metres (6–10 feet) tall with almost no branching. Plants grown for oilseed are planted farther apart and are shorter and many-branched. In fibre production, maximum yield and quality are obtained by harvesting soon after the plants reach maturity, indicated by the full blossoms and freely shedding pollen of the male plants. Although sometimes pulled up by hand, plants are more often cut off about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the ground.

Fibres are obtained by subjecting the stalks to a series of operations—including retting, drying, and crushing—and a shaking process that completes separation from the woody portion, releasing the long, fairly straight fibre, or line. The fibre strands, usually over 1.8 metres (5.8 feet) long, are made of individual cylindrical cells with an irregular surface.

Products and uses

The fibre, longer and less flexible than flax, is usually yellowish, greenish, or a dark brown or gray and, because it is not easily bleached to sufficiently light shades, is rarely dyed. It is strong and durable and is used for cordage—e.g., twine, yarn, rope, cable, and string—and for artificial sponges and such coarse fabrics as sacking (burlap) and canvas. In Italy some hemp receives special processing, producing whitish colour and attractive lustre, and is used to make fabric similar to linen. Hemp fibre is also used to make bioplastics that can be recyclable and biodegradable, depending on the formulation.

The edible seeds contain about 30 percent oil and are a source of protein, fibre, and magnesium. Shelled hemp seeds, sometimes called hemp hearts, are sold as a health food and may be eaten raw; they are commonly sprinkled on salads or blended with fruit smoothies. Hemp seed milk is used as an alternative to dairy milk in drinks and recipes. The oil obtained from hemp seed can be used to make paints, varnishes, soaps, and edible oil with a low smoke point. Historically, the seed’s chief commercial use has been for caged-bird feed.

Other hemps

Although only the hemp plant yields true hemp, a number of other plant fibres are called “hemp.” These include Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum), Mauritius hemp (Furcraea foetida), and sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea).

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Melissa Petruzzello, Assistant Editor.