Understanding the growing cycle of hemp, which lasts between 14 to 32 weeks, can help hemp farmers improve their chances of making their crops profitable. Here are the different growing stages you need to know.
Planting the seed
The living life of a hemp plant begins, naturally, in the ground. A hemp farmer will prepare the soil, perform tests, and create a nutrient-rich, structurally stable environment for the healthy and viable seed.
The perfect growing environment for a healthy hemp seed must include at least eight hours of direct contact with the sun and proper watering to keep the soil moist while the seeds adapt.
During the vegetative growth phase, the hemp plant gains most of its mass, and it’s ready for the flowering period. In this stage, you can prune and train the plants to grow fully.
Hemp plants start to flower when the light cycle changes from 16 hours of light to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. Hemp farmers need to be mindful of this photoperiodic change when they choose to grow hemp plants in an indoor setting as they must manipulate the light to help the plant’s development.
Once it is ready for harvest, the hemp plant is shucked, dried, and stored for an additional potency testing. INX Laboratories, for example, uses Ultra High Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to measure cannabinoid potency, which is the preferred equipment for testing hemp flower.