July is National Hemp Month! We are celebrating all month and we want to make sure that we have some information focused on celebrating our fabulous hemp farmers too. We’re proud to be Fresh from Florida Hemp Farmers and wanted to share some thoughts from Owner Glen Treadwell and Doctor Javier Garces on what Florida farmers should be thinking about for July.
First, if you are already started we know the unseasonable rainy, gray days have been a challenge (at least in our part of the state). We are rooting for you and wish you the best season. If you have not planted yet, don’t worry, it’s not too late.
Here at Treadwell Farms, we recommend Florida farmers plant in the field or greenhouse from July 12 – Aug 14 at approximately 2,500 plants per acre. This is later than what others are recommending, however, we feel that by planting at a later date (vs. May-June) we can avoid higher disease and pest pressure and the greater threat of severe weather, associated with Florida’s summer months. You may ask why we think differently than other farmers – basically we have done best in flowering and harvesting in the drier months. This might mean you have smaller plants but we have found you can manage risk better through the summer season. In 2020, this approach proved successful for us and our 10+ outdoor, shadehouse and greenhouse farmers. Of course, no one has a crystal ball, but in our 50+ years of growing in Central Florida we feel that is the best shot to avoid catastrophic humidity/rain when you are at peak flower. These plants should be harvested mid-late October.
In addition, we recommend not topping your plants so that the natural structure (more like a Christmas Tree) can handle Florida’s unpredictable summer weather. Happy plants can still reach up to 6’ height with a yield of 0.5-1 lbs. or more depending on the variety. We have trialed the varieties we offer as seedlings and rooted cuttings through the vegetative and flowering cycle in close connection with their breeders and have confidence in these genetics during our most challenging Florida season.
On another note, drying and curing of the crop is of the most critical importance once you have harvested. A high-quality crop can be ruined if these final steps are not done correctly. One of the biggest challenges we have seen amongst farmers is having sufficient space for drying, curing and storage so we always recommend that you spend as much time planning your harvest as your growing/production.
Begin thinking ahead while you are planning your July/August crop. Place your preorder for a late fall planting between September 27 – October 8 with larger liners, such as our 4” bonus liners. There are benefits to going back in for a quick turn crop utilizing your existing infrastructure. This way you have fresh, green product at times of the year that other states can’t. A late fall planting, should result in approximately a 4’ plant with yields of 0.25-0.5 lbs. per plant. Harvest will be between Thanksgiving and Christmas depending on where you are in the state. We have found that the plants are not cold hardy in Veg but can tolerate some cooler weather and even frost in Flower. For our location, we want to be finished by December 15th so that we avoid the potential of any freezes. You should always lean into your knowledge of your growing location to make decisions on timing based on your experience.
Now that you’ve got some ideas for the remainder of 2021, let us know how we can help. Call Christy at 352.771.2318 or email us at email@example.com and check back on social for other posts celebrating farmers through the month of July.
Want to know more about how Treadwell Farms is celebrating National Hemp Month? CLICK HERE to read how you can join us on the journey from seed to soul.