Making sure your soil is the right soil for the job is key to success when it comes to growing any crop. It’s no different when it comes to hemp. It grows best in sandy loam soil which is lucky for us, our farm is located on an ancient lakebed that has created the perfect environment for growing hemp.
But what exactly is loam soil and why is it always the soil of choice when it comes to growing hemp?
“Hemp can be grown anywhere.”
This has become the commonly accepted idea with hemp farming.
The truth is though, that’s not the case. While hemp is a hardy plant and can deal with a lot of adversity, there are always going to be circumstances the lead to an unsuccessful crop.
So it’s all about providing the best environment for the hemp to grow in, and it starts with the soil.
The soil is where the plant is getting all of the nutrients and what it needs to grow and thrive. Hemp does need the right soil to really see it be a successful crop.
That’s where loam soil comes in. This is like the holy grail of soil because it is a perfect balance.
The idea behind it is finding the right balance for the soil to work the best. It combines the 3 major components that make up soil in sand, silt, and clay, and creates a balance benefiting the plants growing in it.
The ideal loam soil will contain less than 52% sand, 28%-50% silt, and 7%-20% clay. This is also soil that’s nutrient-rich and has a pH of about 6.0-7.5.
All of these factors contribute to the right balance for hemp plants. It’s able to hold plenty of water but also drains well and allows adequate aeration for the plant’s roots.
A successful hemp crop takes a bit of coordination to produce plants with high CBD content. And the methods for growing plants for CBD differs from growing for seeds or fiber.
The region where our farm is located is perfect for growing hemp. We are lucky enough to be located in beautiful Southern Oregon. And our farm is located in what used to be an ancient lake bed making the loamy soil perfect for our hemp plants. This creates a soil environment that’s very deep and well-drained.
And we do our part to make sure the soil is in the best possible shape to grow our crops on.
We do this by never using pesticides and taking a biodynamic approach to our farm to make sure everything we do is in the best interest of our plants. Whitney is our plant whisperer. She works tirelessly to make sure our plants are getting exactly what they need from the soil.
And our emphasis on sustainability helps to keep our soil in great shape so we can grow healthy plants year after year.
We realize the soil is the foundation of everything we do here on the farm. It’s the most important aspect for us in making sure we can cultivate and harvest a great crop.
This is not to say one cannot grow quality hemp flower in other types of soil. Clay soils hold water better, but one risks root rot and other fungal conditions. Sandy soil also works very well as a medium that drains water.
However, neither clay nor sand encourage soil health. We often see a sharp drop in plant health after year one. Sand and clay can serve as mediums to which one can add nutrients. But to truly build a healthy soil ecosystem, a sandy loam is the quintessential starter.