Sowing and Growth - Faster than any Weed

”There isn’t a plant more useful to man than this one, it is even more productive than corn,” it says in Marcandiers treatise of hemp (Traité du chanvre), which, back in the 18th century, was printed in many European countries. This excellent usefulness of hemp already begins during work in the fields, as no other plant demands less work than cannabis.


At a growth rate of up to 4 meters in 100 days a real jungle springs up.Bei einem Wachstum von bis zu 4 Metern entsteht ein regelrechter DschungelOnce the seed is in the ground – deep enough to protect it from its natural friends, the birds – for the next 100 days the hemp farmer can safely switch his attention to other work. Cannabis takes care of unwanted weeds all by itself and grows incredibly fast: In three months time the stalks shoot up to four meters high and their leaves overshadow every competitor for a place in the sun in a very short time. The plant´s strong smell keeps parasites at bay, therefore pesticides and herbicides are not needed. Apart from one very rare destructive plant, a field of hemp has no natural enemies – and consequently not many friends in the pesticide industries.

Due to its chemical-free cultivation and its outstanding anti-weed properties, hemp leaves an optimally prepared field to following plants, as the fine artilleries of its roots have penetrated and loosened the ground. The fact that ”a wheat or potato field where hemp was planted the year before yielded 10 % more harvest” was a rule-of- thumb for Italian farmers around the beginning of the 20th century. Even before the usage of its products, the hemp plant as an interim crop is an advantage for farming, and scientific experiments show that it can also purify soil exposed to heavy metal poisoning. Pollutants taken from the ground are deposited in the leaves only – which are recycled – but not in stems and fibres which can be processed.

As regards soil, cannabis has very few wants and grows on nearly any field, but to make full use of its growing potential and to get a good harvest, it needs fertile soil in addition to enough water. If hemp is cultivated for fibres, the seeds are sown only a few centimeters apart. Thus the plants grow long and leafless stems, develop leaves, and flower only at the top. If the purpose is the production of seed, the seeds are planted widely apart, allowing the plant to develop sprouts on all sides and form more flowers and seeds.

Approximately 25 sorts of hemp are approved for cultivation in the European Union, and cultivation is also sponsored within the fiber plant-subvention agreement. Because of their negligible content of THC, the flowers of these hemp species are unfit for the production of marihuana or hashish, but are highly productive when it comes to fibers.

In the cultivation for fiber production, about 50 kilograms of seed are needed per 2,5 acres of field. Twenty days after sowing, a dense green carpet has formed on the field. Within the next three months this grows to a formidable jungle. Thanks to water, sun, nitrogen and other nutriments in the soil, the amount of seed invested can be harvested a thousand-fold: The huge amount of approximately 50 tons.

In more southern latitudes, say in California or Kentucky, the plant grows so fast that it produces two harvests per annum.

Whoever enters the ‘green hell’ of a hemp field ripe for harvesting will easily understand why hemp has always been called the sacred plant of the goddesses of fertility – Cannabis is ‘the mother of green’.


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