Sowing of seed, and establishment of seedlings can start in September, in areas where frost occurs and as soon as August in frost free areas. For practical reasons, we recommend the use of 128 cavity seedling trays for larger field plantings. For smaller plantings, individual 500ml-1L containers are suitable. A light pre watering of the soil media is advisable before seeds are planted. Do not bury seeds too deeply in the germination media as this will hamper speedy germination. A sowing depth of 3-5mm is recommended. Water soil gently with the use of a soft water breaker so that seeds are not washed too deeply into the soil media. For smaller plantings, individual seeds can be covered with a clear plastic cup. This will help to maintain a high humidity environment around the germinating seed, negating the use for frequent waterings which can disturb the germinating seedling. The cup should be removed once the first leaves become visible. For larger plantings, the use of a humidity dome over the seedling tray is advisable for the above reasons. Germination takes place in 4-7 days, after which the dome or covering is removed.
Once the seedling has emerged, the soil media should be allowed to dry slightly between waterings. A light watering once a day is advised.
Keep temperatures for the germinating seeds around 18-22C. Growing seedlings with too much moisture or too dark an environment will lead them to stretch, become leggy and topple over.
2 Weeks after germination, start fertilizing with a suitable fertilizer at a rate of 1 Mmol/cm or use Savanna Hemp Starter Blend Fertilizer at a rate of 10ml/5L of water.
It is recommended that seedlings are grown for 3-4 weeks before transplanting into their final position in the field, or into a larger container.
Field or Container Transplant:
Transplanting of seedlings into their final position should start around the beginning of October for Southern African Regions.Transplants in Southern Africa can still be done up to Mid January, but plants will have less time to grow vegetatively before flowering is induced, leading to smaller yields. In short, transplanting at the beginning of October will ensure ample time for the seedlings to reach a decent size, before the onset of flowering, increasing the chances of substantial yields.
Before transplanting a seedling, make sure your soil is loose to a depth of at least 750mm. The addition of some balanced and well aged compost into the planting hole or site is advisable. Adding phosphate in the form of a ¼ cup of bone meal to each planting hole is recommended.
Constricting root growth will lead to reduced yields. The best way to ensure a root zone free of physical constraints is by using a container, filled with a quality growing medium. We recommend Savanna Hemp Premium Grow Medium with added amendments.
For long flowering strains (More than 4 months growing cycle) it is advised to plant into a larger container, such as Savanna Hemp 120L Grow Bag. For quick flowering strains, the use of our 40L growbags or a similar sized container is advised. To ensure proper drainage, it is advised to add loose gravel to a depth of about 5cm to the bottom of the container. This will prevent a compaction layer from forming over time, hampering drainage through the bottom of your container.
For larger field plantings, it is advised that a dressing of mulch is added around the base of plants. The use of poly-plastic ground cover mulches are advised for larger industrial plantings. The aim of this is to reduce evaporation of much needed moisture from the soil, to keep the root zone cooler and lastly to prevent the germination and growth of annual and broadleaf weed species.