It’s 2019, and more than half of the United States is legally allowed to grow hemp and/or cannabis. While there is still plenty of regulatory debate among federal and state officials, the opportunity for farmers to turn a profit off the cultivation of hemp is clear.
There are several different indoor and outdoor options for growing hemp, each with its own benefits and limitations. Here, we’re breaking down why we recommend growing hemp in a greenhouse when it’s typically grown outdoors.
Not All Cannabis Is the Same
Before we dive into the greenhouse growing process, it is important to first understand the various types of cannabis plants, as different growing environments are conducive to different species.
Cannabis can be industrial, medicinal or recreational, depending on its chemical composition and how the plant is cultivated. Hemp grown for textiles and food, for example, is a different species from the cannabis grown for medicinal CBD oil or the THC-containing cannabis flower used for recreational purposes. In this article, PotNetwork explains why the cannabis plant is so misunderstood and outlines some of the key differences between industrial hemp and CBD-rich hemp.
Why Would You Grow Hemp Indoors?
Where you decide to grow your hemp really depends on the reason you are growing it. For example, growing hemp for grain and fiber is best accomplished in an outdoor, farm-like environment with industrial farming equipment. Trying to grow industrial hemp—at industrial-scale quantities—in a greenhouse isn’t going to be effective or profitable.
If you are growing hemp for the production of CBD, on the other hand, you may want to consider growing it in a greenhouse rather than outdoors. Greenhouses afford greater control and protection over your harvest, allowing you to maximize your grow in year-round conditions. Here are some of the main benefits of choosing a greenhouse for your growing environment:
Control Your Grow
With smart greenhouse technologies like greenhouse controllers, automated lighting systems and even robotics, growers are benefitting from reduced labor requirements and greater control over climate, temperature, irrigation, lighting and more. Check out some of the cutting-edge greenhouse remote monitoring systems available from Postscapes.
Extend the Life of Your Harvest
Like most outdoor plants, hemp is typically planted in the early spring and harvested in the early fall, with the growth cycle relying heavily on mother nature. With a greenhouse, you have the ability to extend the growing season by mimicking the ideal growing conditions, allowing you to produce greater yields for longer.
Keep Pests Out
As any grower knows, pests such as flea beetles, budworms, caterpillars and rodents are all-too-common and can destroy entire crops. While a greenhouse won’t eliminate unwanted visitors completely, they are a great line of defense against indoor pests like aphids and spider mites. Plus, you won’t have to worry about deer coming by and nibbling from your crops.
Protect Against Harsh Weather
The number one reason we recommend using a greenhouse is to protect your crops from varying weather conditions. In some cases, a temporary greenhouse can protect plants during the winter months and be taken down for the normal growing season. Besides safeguarding your hemp plants from hail damage, you can also prevent the ground inside the greenhouse from becoming overly saturated. In the summer, a greenhouse can help shield your plants from direct sunlight and keep the soil from drying out—just remember that proper ventilation is the key to any successful greenhouse grow.
Inspire Year-Round Growth with Light Deprivation
Light deprivation or “light dep” is used to mimic the lighting cycles of the growing season. When used in recreational cannabis cultivation, light deprivation has been known to reduce grow time and double harvests. As growers continue to learn by trial and error, light deprivation has the potential to be just as beneficial to growing hemp. To learn why darkness is important to cannabis plants, check out our recent blog post here.
Protect Your Harvest with Americover
Americover wants you to grow with confidence knowing that your greenhouse materials will provide the protection you need to get the most out of your harvest, which is why we strive to be your number one source for the highest quality cultivation and farming covers and liners. Our products support sustainable agriculture and horticulture growing techniques with UV protection and durability against rips and tears for extended product life. For more information on our selection of top-quality greenhouse covers and other horticulture solutions, or for recommendations regarding your specific project, contact us at 760-388-6294 today.