In the case of planting hemp, the early bird DOES NOT getting the worm. We often talk to growers who plan to plant their hemp seed, seedlings, or clones as early as March. The idea behind this makes sense… “The earlier I plant, the bigger hemp plants I am going to grow!” 

However, this is not necessarily the case. Hemp grows and flowers all based around the sun (known as photoperiodism) and planting too early will lead to premature flowering and stunted growth. 

Each hemp variety has a different photo sensitivity… as in a different “trigger” point when the days are short enough to cause the plant to flower. This range typically ranges from 12 to 14.5 hours of daylight. 

Hemp Plants in May

Hemp plants growing in May

If you do a quick google search for your area, you will quickly find that in March and April, the days will likely be too short to plant full-term (photoperiod dependent) hemp (even if the weather is warm enough). If you are looking to plant hemp during these months, autoflower hemp seeds may be a better option for you. 

The ideal planting range for hemp seeds, seedlings, and clones is between May to mid July. When selecting your planting date, research your area for the last frost date and plan around that.

 If you are starting seed for seedlings, begin the germination process 3 to 4 weeks before you intend to transplant hemp seedlings. If you are purchasing hemp seedlings or hemp clones for a grower, work with the grower to ensure your timeline is well communicated and understood by both parties. 

Some growers opt for a later planting by choice, which can be a wise business decision. Planting later will ensure you are free from frost and could potentially decrease your field expense by having the plants in the ground for less time. This means less money spent on labor, fertilizer, pest prevention, and other expenses. However, since planting later will lead to overall smaller plants, it is advised to plant at a higher density to achieve a similar yield as an earlier hemp planting. 

So there you have it! If you have more questions feel free to email us at [email protected]. If you are looking for hemp seeds, seedlings, or clones and aren’t sure where to begin, make sure you take the Alterra Variety Quiz, which will help you discover the best hemp varieties for your unique business.