This winter was long and cold. And it was very snowy, so I have been looking forward to spring more than any other year I can remember. The winter is nice for planning, but the time for doing is much more exciting.
So far this spring, I have gotten up three small greenhouses. These greenhouses are small (10 feet by 20 feet) and inexpensive. Each greenhouse has approximately $300 worth of materials in them. And, each one was put up in a less than an afternoon by two people. A new helper, Sam, has been out at the farm a bunch and has assisted on two of the greenhouses. Hopefully, I will put up between 5-7 more greenhouses this spring.
The first three greenhouses are needed right away for the plants that I started a couple months ago and for all the seedlings I started and have rapidly growing. Right now I have over 2000 seeds started- more than enough to keep me busy.
I have generally had good luck at getting seedlings up and growing, but this spring I had relearn a unfortunate lesson. I had some seedlings that were just coming up after being planted about 4 days prior, and the day seemed fairly nice. Instead of putting them under indoor lights for a couple of days, I put 8 flats of seeds outside. While I was running errands in town, the wind picked up significantly and when I got back home the winds had killed over half the seedlings in 8 flats. A fairly expensive mistake, but at least I have a lot of extra seeds. I don’t plan on making this mistake again, but I will admit, I did the same thing last year and should have known better. Cannabis seedlings get leggy fast, and their stems are week and can break and die easily in cold windy conditions.
This year, I decided to try to grow a larger variety of seeds than I did last year. It will be fun to see some new genetics growing and to get to know some new plants.
Strains I am growing this year include:
Oregon CBD Seeds- Elektra, Suver Haze, and Lifter
Industrial Seeds- Umpqua and Rouge
Eugenius- Remission, Bleugenius, and Afternoon Delight
Boring Hemp Company- T2
And, I am looking at getting between 1-4 varieties of clones I can find space in my gardens and in my budget. I have talked a little with Grohub Farm, Cream City Wellness, and Benjamin Grant. Each company has some good choices, but clones are around $4-6 and have some significant disadvantages in addition to the costs. Diseases and pests from other people’s gardens can arrive in my garden when using clones. Also, clones don’t always have the vigor of seed grown plants, and the root systems tend to be shallower. A shallow root system can cause a plant to tip over when they are heavy with flower in the fall and there are high winds.
The reason I am growing so many varieties is that I am hoping to get people a little bit more excited about my company and to retail more of the strains on my website, wisconsinhempflower.com . It isn’t easy to stand out in hemp right now, so I hope to offer more variety of high quality strains than other vendors.
And, as part of my plans of generating a little more excitement, I have decided to do a small scale light deprivation system using small plants and small greenhouses in order to have some flower available well before this fall. By decreasing the amount of light the plants receive, the plants will begin flowering and finish flowering in the summer as long as they are receiving less than 14 hours a day of light.
In the next month, there is a lot of things to do to get the fields ready for transplanting. Compost is on its way, and the spreading will begin soon. Lime also needs to get spread to add calcium and magnesium and “sweeten the soil” by increasing the ph. After these are spread both the compost and the lime will be lightly tilled into the soil. After that, a small amount of additional compost will be added to the surface. Then, the fields will be ready for planting! Hard to believe that in about a month things will be ready for all my seedlings!
Farm April 11th