The best hemp growing environment will vary based on many different factors. Hemp is a resistant plant and can thrive in a variety of conditions. However, the quality of the final product will largely hinge on the quality of the environment in which it grows.
Different Types of Hemp Growing Environment
There are three primary growing environments for hemp: field-grown, greenhouses, and indoor growing rooms. When choosing the best hemp growing environment, farmers must consider the pros and cons of each option based on their particular needs.
Farmers have cultivated hemp outdoors for thousands of years. Growing hemp outdoors is a natural option for those with ample land and a knack for agricultural production. Farmers who grow hemp for fiber or grain are especially likely to grow hemp in fields.
The benefits of growing hemp in a field are pretty obvious. After all, light and space are abundant outdoors. Moreover, UV light contains a full spectrum of light colors, which is an important component of a successful flowering period. Farmers who grow on contaminated soil can also benefit from hemp’s phytoremediation qualities without compromising the quality of their outdoor grow. Outdoor growers also have a wider breadth of pest control at their disposal, including beneficial predators and companion planting options.
However, growing hemp outdoors is not all rainbows and daisies. When farmers cultivate hemp in fields, they leave their plants to the whim of the weather. They cannot plant too early and must track weather patterns closely so they can protect – or harvest – plants before inclement weather strikes. Outdoor hemp fields may also face more cumbersome security concerns or other legal restrictions based on location and regional hemp laws.
Those who grow hemp for CBD outdoors also risk potential pollination (and a subsequent drop in cannabinoid production) if neighboring hemp crops contain male plants. Regardless of the money invested in quality, feminized hemp genetics, if a neighbor within 10 miles grows male hemp plants, an entire outdoor female crop could become pollinated if the wind hits just right.
Farmers who wish to control their environment precisely often choose to grow hemp in greenhouses. Greenhouses are much more secure against large pests and nosey neighbors and are often more affordable than indoor operations in the long-run. Greenhouse grows help farmers save money on electricity and leave a smaller ecological footprint along the way.
However, as a photoperiod-dependent crop, hemp must receive the proper lighting schedule for each growth stage. As such, growing hemp in a greenhouse requires specific modifications to accommodate year-round farming. For example, farmers must equip greenhouses with blackout screens and supplemental lighting, and use precise timers to trigger them into action. Consequently, hemp greenhouses require a more substantial investment up-front and a keen understanding of hemp photoperiodism.
Also, note that growing hemp in a greenhouse may require specific (sometimes additional) licensing through local hemp regulation offices. Growers should consult their state’s hemp regulatory authority requirements before building a hemp greenhouse.
Indoor Grow Rooms
Many growers convert warehouses into fully-enclosed indoor growing facilities. Indoor grow rooms provide superior environmental control, thus reducing the need for additional security measures and pest control. Moreover, indoor grow facilities give farmers full control of lighting densities and schedules, thereby allowing them to develop denser, more potent hemp flowers than other growing environments allow.
Unfortunately, indoor growing environments come with a substantial start-up cost. These start-up fees may involve total refabrication of the area to accommodate all different stages of hemp growth. Indoor environments must also include massive HVAC systems to protect plants from excessive heat and moisture, in addition to carefully timed, full-spectrum lighting.
The start-up cost alone can be quite burdensome, let alone the electrical cost that necessary to maintain these precise conditions. To off-set these fees, some indoor growers also include a full solar set-up. Notably, the additional solar set-up can be quite costly up-front. However, with government incentives and affordable financing options, many solar systems pay themselves off quite quickly.
Final Thoughts About the Best Hemp Growing Environment
There are many facets to consider when deciding whether or not to join the hemp industry. For those interested in hemp farming, choosing the best environment for growing hemp is a crucial first step. When deciding the best hemp growing environment for your particular needs, carefully consider all of your options or contact us for advice. Don’t forget to check out our full selection of feminized hemp seeds when determining space and labor requirements to ensure that the seeds you buy will fit our environment nicely.
What kind of environment do you grow hemp? Tell us about your experience.