When to Plant

Timing your seeding date correctly can make or break a successful industrial hemp crop. Farmers will have to make decisions about when to plant well before the season starts, so you’re on the right track if you’re reading this in January and not July.

Planting for industrial hemp should occur after the risk of hard freezes has passed, so shoot to plant after the average last frost date in your area. The National Gardening Association has a frost calculator that is a useful tool for estimating your zip code’s final frost. Hemp can be planted before corn and will take well in soil above 46F. Be careful not to plant before a heavy storm, hemp is particularly sensitive to wash-outs and heavy rain in the first 3-4 weeks of growth. Hemp is a strong plant once established but requires about 3-4 weeks to establish itself. In most cases, the final weeks of May to the first week of June are ideal for seeding.

Hemp is a short-day plant, which means that it will only begin to flower once days are around 12 hours in length. Male plants will mature sooner than females, around the 3rd to 4th week of July. Females will reach full maturity near the 3rd or 4th week of September. These maturity estimates and planting dates vary by climate. The closer to the equator your field, the longer your cannabis can grow before flowering, as days will be longer further into the growing season.