Despite being one of the oldest cultivated plants known to man, hemp again became legal to grow in America about two years ago. The 2018 Farm Bill made it possible for states to legalize hemp farming, and hemp crops have been on the rise ever since. The resilience of the plant makes it an awesome outdoor crop, but growing hemp inside allows for year-long growing and often more than one harvest a year. Hard to beat that. With our tips below to growing hemp indoors, you’ll be up and running with your sheltered hemp plants in no time.
Planning your indoor growing space
With modern technology, greenhouses are easier to construct in less time. How much hemp you want to plant will determine the size and price of your greenhouse. There are a lot of options on the market for prefab models, or you can look into building one yourself. Carefully consider where you’ll want to build it, though. Nothing should block the sunlight into the greenhouse so you won’t have to supplement with a ton of artificial light. It’s certainly possible to grow inside a large space like a building or a warehouse too, as long as you have the right lighting system, capable of providing 100 percent of the light your plants need.
That brings us to equipment. Apart from the structure you plan to grow in, your initial investment in things like lights, fans, proper drainage and indoor climate regulation systems will be pretty important. Arguably indoor grow lights are the most important purchase for first time indoor growers. Especially for a plant like hemp, longer hours of light exposure in its growing stage makes a huge difference down the line. They will also need supplemental lighting if you are growing in a greenhouse.
What indoor grow lights to buy
What type of light you buy will really depend on your budget and your space. HID lights are the traditional, more economical option. However, LED lights are a good bet for beginners because they give off less heat. With less heat there’s less chance of scorching the plants. And, while LEDs cost more upfront, they consume much less energy. That means you’re spending less on utility bills down the line. HIDs are also much heavier than LEDs and need hanging from supports that will take up precious space.
Alternately, during a hemp plant’s flowering season, they only need about 12 hours of light a day. In a greenhouse, that may require blackout curtains depending on where you live. It may seem like a huge task to install blackout curtains, but less light exposure is important for proper development of the hemp buds. It’ll be well worth it when it comes time to harvest.
There are other factors to consider in your indoor grow space, too. Hemp, like all plants, need fresh supplies of carbon dioxide to thrive. You’ll want to make sure your greenhouse or indoor space has air intake and exhaust systems. Even simple fans and windows will do. While growers planting hemp in their closets can get away with tiny USB fans on clips, large indoor operations will need equipment capable of a lot more airflow.
What’s outside matters too
Keep in mind too, the outside climate still matters. Growing indoors allows for a lot of control, but you will need to regulate everything from humidity to temperature according to what’s happening outside. Hemp plants like a milder climate so you’ll need to adjust during heat waves and colder weather.
Watch out for humidity too. Anyone who’s stepped into a greenhouse before knows how humid they can be. While hemp can withstand some upper extremes of environmental factors, humidity is definitely something you’ll want to adjust if you can. Growing indoors means being able to create the optimal environment for your plants, after all.
Guidance throughout the process
Hemp is a fantastic choice for first time indoor growers. It’s resilient and the demand for hemp is rising all the time. From the obvious CBD and CBG to environmentally friendly bioplastics and building materials, there’s no shortage of need from the harvests of this amazing plant. At Arbor Vita8, we’re passionate about helping farmers interested in growing hemp. We provide support and guidance from the start of the process, all the way to harvest. Contact us today and let us know how we can help you get started.