Happenings Around the Farm: The Germination Process
As we approach the end of the winter season, Innovative Extracts prepares for another season of hemp cultivation. A few things around the farm are happening in order to ensure a successful hemp growing season. Improvements in infrastructure have kept us busy these last couple months, specifically the addition to our high tunnel population. These high tunnels play an important role for germination of our hemp crop in the early months of spring. The high tunnels provide favorable climate conditions for the seedlings to thrive in while shielding them from the environmental conditions traditionally faced when starting seedlings outdoors.
Hemp seed germination
The germination process is a crucial part for a successful crop; it requires specific temperature, soil moisture, and light conditions to remain constant throughout the entire germination process. Newly planted hemp seeds can take anywhere from 24 hours to 14 days for germination, depending on genetics and abiotic factors. Small-cell plug trays are filled with soil, and then seeds are planted at a specific depth, in order for the cotyledons to have minimal resistance when developing. A cannabis plant then enters seedling stage once its cotyledons emerge and actively begin photosynthesis and transpiration.
The Seedling Phase
After the hemp seeds have germinated in plug trays within a separate, individual growth chamber, the seedlings are moved to the high tunnels for early vegetative growth. The plants grow as seedlings for about 2-3 weeks after germination. During this time, the young hemp plants are kept in an area of the high tunnel with the most direct sun. Once adequate growth has occurred, and environmental conditions are favorable, we harden off the plants over the course of a few days, which prepares them for full outdoor conditions. Plants are then transplanted into our rich organic fields for their vegetative and flowering phases.
Our high tunnel operation allows us to start our plants without the need for supplemental lighting, typically at 16 hours a day. This in turn allows us to save on growing costs, resulting in lower overall costs and greater savings for the consumer. Most importantly, the high tunnels allow us to start our seasonal hemp plants “in house,” ensuring the product never leaves our sight from seed all the way to sale. This is important because here at Innovative Extracts, we do everything naturally organic with very limited agricultural intensification. We take extra care when handling our hemp plants, when both growing and processing, in order to ensure that only the highest quality CBD products reach the consumer at the end of the pipeline.