Flat River Hemp Oil Farming with Experience – Getting Started
I. Purchasing Seeds
1. How long have they been around?
2. Are they certified through any state programs? (Not all states require certification to sell so if they are not certified itdoes not necessarily mean they are no good.)
3. Do they give any references?
4. Do they provide any general production models?
II. Feminized Seeds
-For high CBD or CBG production feminized seeds are recommended. You need to make sure the feminized seeds are stable and that they have been feminized over several seasons not just one. This will save money in the long run. I remember in 2017-2018 companies would boast 99% feminized and in reality it was closer to 75%. Feminization rates are calculated by the germination of at least 100 seeds at a time. There are two ways they can observe and record the feminization rate after germination 1. In lab tissue culture sample test. 2. In field trials. The number of true females, hermaphrodites and males are recorded through observation to calculate the feminization rates.
III. THC Regulations
-With current regulations strictly restricting THC to 0.3%, it is extremely important to buy from trusted sources that have multiple years of COA’s to prove the THC expression of the cultivar you are interested in is within legal limits. This may mean you have to turn down your good buddy Bubba who has been “collecting and storing” seeds for years for brands that have proven track records of providing genetics that meet federal and state regulations. If the THC goes over the limit, you will have to destroy the plant which could be a financial setback. Stay up to date with your states regulations by contacting your states’ department of agriculture. Here is the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018.
-Another important component to consider when picking the right genetics for you, is field space. Varieties of high CBD plants can vary in size significantly. Some cherry varieties grow around 4×4 and are shorter in height whereas a variety like boax can grow 8x8ft. I have seen over and over again plants nearly ruined because they are huge and were planted way too close together. This attracts more pests, makes cultivating and harvesting extremely difficult, greatly reduces air flow increasing risks for the destructive nature of mold and mildew to run wild.
V. Climate/Temperate Zone
-Your climate is a huge consideration when choosing which varieties to grow. It is highly recommended to grow varieties that have been proven to perform optimally in your area. Something to consider along with this is the cola or bud size formation. For example: If you farm in an area with a lot of rainfall, varieties that produce large, dense buds may be counterproductive and the rain could cause uncontrollable mold and mildew issues. Instead a variety that is large, branchy and produces smaller colas may be a better option. This variety will allow air flow and reduce risks of mold and mildew. This is also something to be aware of when harvesting. US plant hardiness zone map
VI. Grow Cycle
Growth Cycle is Important for Production Planning
VI. Starting Mothers Indoors
-Most of the time we will start our mothers indoor in November or December. This requires a humidity and temperature controlled area with grow lights. Read our Integrated Pest Management post for ideas on how to keep an indoor space pest free. In march you will then take cuttings or clones from the mothers and root them before transplanting in the field for a couple of weeks. This is a common horticulture practice.
VI. Natural and Organic Rooting Stimulants for Cloning
-Using an organic rooting mixture will take a bit longer than non-organic rooting hormone. Our recipe for organic rooting mixture includes; willowbark, honey and aloe.
Willowbark: The two main compounds in the bark of a willow tree are salicin and indolebutyric acid. Salicin’s chemical structure matches aspirin. Indolebutyric acid is a plant hormone that stimulates root growth. You can make willow tea by taking cuttings of growing tips of willow branches and soaking them in hot/warm water, you can obtain IBA hormone in high concentrations this way.
Honey: A natural antiseptic and anti fungal that will keep your cuttings healthy while growing roots. The honey will also thicken the solution and allow it to stick on the cutting. 1tsp/2 cups of solution, more may attract insects.
Aloe Vera Gel: You can get the gel directly from the leaves of an aloe plant. Aloe contains salicylic acid as well as many other helpful enzymes, minerals and amino acids that will aid in root formation.
-After dipping cutting in the organic rooting stimulant you can place directly in soil or utilise an aeroponic cloning machine. For outdoor production we have not noticed a difference in methods effecting the overall viability of the crop.