Part 2- Regenerative Soil for Outdoor Grown Hemp
Soil prep for your hemp field
In our second part of this series on “regenerative soil” we will talk about prepping your outdoor soil in the field and what steps to take to get your ground ready to start the regenerative process.
There are a few different ways to prepare your soil, a lot depends on your area and what type of soil you have including what type of irrigation you have. For this discussion, we will use a basis 40-40-20 % sand, silt and clay soil, what some would call a perfect blend of soil, we all know this type of soil is far and few between but this is what we are trying to create in our fields.
Using the perfect blend of soil as a benchmark you can evaluate your own soil and adjust up or down based on what type of soil you have.
Your first step is to determine if you need to till your soil. You need to till your soil if you don’t have some type of cover crop already in place, With regenerative farming you will need to plant some type of cover crop that will aid in replenishing any deficiency’s your soil might have.
If you do need to till your ground, depending on what type of soil you have will dictate how much you want to work your ground. Over working your soil is not a good idea, it can break up the soil composition and lead to soil compaction. Soil compaction is the number one enemy of the hemp plant, hemp plants need to be grown in a well aerated firm soil not hard compacted soil.
So, for an example, lets take a new piece of ground or even a piece of ground that has been farmed let’s say for 8 years, but has never been worked in a way that was beneficial for growing hemp plants. Chances are both fields are compacted down to about 12 inches and both fields need to be ripped down to about 20 inches. The hemp plants biggest asset is its tap root, the tap root of a hemp plant can reach as far down as 6ft if the soil will allow it. The only way the tap root can grow down that far is ripping the soil to soften that hard layer.
At this point you want to decide how and what you’re going to grow. Is it direct seed in the ground or seedlings? Whichever of these methods you choose will dictate how you continue to prep your field.
Getting the soil just right for the hemp plant
Keep in mind this whole process of getting your soil just right will help to eliminate some of the stresses your hemp plant will endure during the growing season. And, put you as the grower in control of your plants and in return the plant will give you back some of the best CBD oil on the market.
On our next discussion, we will talk about the different ways of prepping your field for direct seed or planting seedlings and the benefits of both practices.