CBD is considered to be one of the most prospective crops in the Australian farming industry today, with its uses being abundant in not just the health and wellness sectors, but also stretching easily into other sectors such as beauty, skincare, textile, construction and even medical segments as well. This makes the CBD plant, or more precisely, hemp, one of the most lucrative crops to grow on your own.
Although it would require some real-life practice for sure, we are going to give you a crash course on how to grow your own CBD plants next.
Always Start with Quality Seeds
You can pretty much change everything else, but there’s nothing one can possibly do to improve the quality of their hemp garden if they have poor hemp seeds. There are complex genetic factors at play here, so always be sure to find cannabis seeds of the highest quality from an authentic Australian seller with at least some reputation to back them up.
Some of the factors as mentioned below will be key in deciding how productive that strain of seeds you just ordered would turn out to be for you:
- Height of the fully-grown plants, fibre percentage, fibre yield and grain yield
- Planting rate, flowering cycles and harvest cycles
- CBD content & THC content
Soil Quality and Type
Now that you have the right kind of seeds to work with, you should be looking to plant them in soil that has at least some, if not all of the following properties. Test the soil first to be sure of course.
- Loamy, aerated soil is what you should be looking for
- pH level should be anything between a 6 to a 7.5
- Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the three prime nutrients for cannabis plants
- Zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese and calcium are the essential trace elements for hemp growth
It should be noted that quality hemp seeds will grow in almost any soil (except extreme alkaline/acidic soils), but depending on how many of the above boxes you manage to check, the final quality and quantity of the yield will certainly differ.
Hemp needs a lot of sunlight to grow properly, which can either be an advantage, or a disadvantage, depending on where you are located. Consider 8-12 hours of sunlight to be ideal, wth preference towards the higher numbers.
In fact, to maximise the available sunlight on a yearly scale, try to plant your seeds as soon as winter passes over and the days are long and bright enough.
Hemp, or cannabis in general, needs lot of moisture to survive, and even more to thrive. Keep the following pointers in mind to take care of those needs properly:
- During the growth stage, soil moisture levels should be above 80% at all times
- While growing, CBD plants need 20-30 inches of rainfall at a minimum, or an equivalent supply via irrigation
- For reference, consider that over 120 gallons of water could be needed to see a yield that can produce 1kg of hemp fibre
Pest and Disease Prevention
Although some people may insist that hemp doesn’t need pesticides, the truth is that it can also get infected. Practising the 4-year crop rotation cycle should be able to prevent at least some of the diseases. Be wary of white or grey mould, root rot, mildew and smuts.
As for taking care of the pest insects and their larvae, try approved bio pesticides, instead of chemical products. Some of the common pests which attack cannabis strains would be aphids, cutworms, budworms, hemp borers, fungus gnats, spider mites and leaf miners.
Finally, all that is left is the harvest, which needs to be concluded for the year by mid autumn at the latest. Given that most hemp strains have a growth cycle of only 16 weeks, you should plan the early spring – mid autumn timeframe well in advance, for maximising yields and production rates.