Plants require the right conditions to thrive and survive, a good but unfortunate reason why we don’t find any palm trees here in Calgary. How do Alberta’s weather conditions stack up to efficiently produce quality hemp and yield premium fibers and CBD extracts?
With the right natural conditions, growing can be done with very little expense as hemp regenerates fast, and can withstand the outdoor, Southern Alberta climate.
What Are the Most Favorable Conditions for Naturally Grown Outdoor Hemp Crops?
Temperature plays a significant role in sprouting the seed; typically anything above 7 Celsius will foster growth, but the temperature must maintain this for the entirety of the four-month cycle to protect the
ground from freezing.
Healthy soil contains many elements that supply nutrition to cannabis sativa L plants. With proper levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and potassium, a plant can grow into its healthiest form.
The plant will draw water from the ground, mixed in with the elements in the soil, feeding the plant. Proper sunlight is directly related to the days length and season influencing the hemp crops’ growth stages.
Threats To a Hemp Crop in Alberta
Frost & Hailstorms
In Alberta the weather can change rapidly, but that doesn’t mean a surprise frost will render your plants lifeless. The biggest threat in Alberta tends to be spring hail storms, commonly referred to as “icemeggedons”.
Rainfall Wrecking Your pH Balance
A major threat to your crop will be surprise torrential rainfalls, but casual showers mixed with a little bit of humidity is required. The acidity levels (pH) of the soil must also be determined; hemp prefers to be within a range of 6-7 pH.
Hemp crops grown in Alberta tend to avoid many common diseases and pest outbreaks. Root-rot (stem-rot) is always a concern for rainy conditions and crops grown in lower elevations.
Now that we’ve outlined the conditions that a hemp plant needs to yield premium quality materials and medicines, you might be wondering where we sit here in Alberta since our weather can fluctuate so drastically. Frigid temperatures in the winter and an abundance of rainfall in the summer is not uncommon, as any Albertan would know.
Growing Hemp In Southern Alberta
Alberta typically sees average temperatures between 0 – 10 degrees Celsius during October and April, but each season brings its own personality and can change in length on a whim. During these months our days are much longer and bring a healthy amount of sunlight to our plants.
Focusing on Southern Alberta, April to August would allow you plant to grow without problems, yielding one crop per year.
Focusing in on the Calgary and surrounding area, which are considered a drier climate, and hemp can withstand dry climates.
Next using data provided by AESA and the Province’s agri-food industry, we can see the levels of nitrogen and organic compounds in the soil around the Calgary area are in good standing, however, phosphate, potassium and sulfur need to be maintained slightly, as with most crops being grown here.
We had the Extract Lab crew go out and get their hands dirty and test the soil’s pH around Calgary’s surrounding prairies; results came in at a healthy 7 PH Even with the arctic chill, we Albertans, at least Southern, will have a 4-month window to grow an adult plant ready for cultivation.
It should be known that the additional of artificial treatment and increasing our expenses we can produce higher yielding crops. Don’t forget your permits though!