These days, there’s one crop that’s making serious waves for growers and producers all across the country, and one worth taking a serious look at if you haven’t already: hemp.
Long recognized as an efficient source of fiber, seeds, and natural oil, hemp—the non-psychoactive relative of cannabis—has recently enjoyed surging demand thanks to a booming market for hemp-derived products, including CBD, hemp oil, hemp textiles, and many other uses.
The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill opened up opportunities for American growers to add the plant to their crop rotations, and since then there has been a boom in interest toward growing hemp. But getting hemp plants up and growing is not quite as simple as scattering seeds and waiting for spring—and for many growers, a hemp propagation greenhouse can be a highly useful tool for growing large, reliable, and efficient hemp harvests.
Whether you’re just starting to look at hemp as a crop option or you’re looking for a way to improve your existing hemp cultivation practices, a properly-equipped hemp greenhouse can be a big help. Here’s a look at five of the most important factors to consider when building your hemp greenhouse, and how you can make sure your protected growing space is perfectly outfitted for long-term success.
1. A Reliable, Well-Built Structure that Meets All Building Codes for Snow and Wind Loads
The best hemp growing practices and advice in the world won’t mean much if your greenhouse structure itself can’t keep your crops safe from the elements.
That’s why it’s critical to make sure the greenhouse you’ve built for your hemp plants is designed to handle the worst of what the weather can throw at it.
A strong, well-built greenhouse should be able to withstand everything from blizzard-level snow loads to storm-force winds without buckling under the pressure. In most cases, this will be required to meet basic strength requirements when it comes time to secure compliance with local building codes.
Our Rimol Hemp propagation greenhouses are designed specifically with high snow and wind load protection in mind and built to make securing a building permit as easy as possible.
Our Highpoint Nor’easter hemp greenhouse, for example, features 2 ft. bow spacing to meet most snow and wind loads, with the option to add more structural components if needed for higher load requirements. The strength of the highpoint is further bolstered with a truss assembly with every set of bows, and a 6:12 roof pitch made of high-strength galvanized steel tubing allows snow to slide off easily, rather than building up.
Together, these design elements make our hemp cultivation greenhouses some of the strongest and best protected for today’s hemp growers, and allow us to provide stamped engineering plans with each greenhouse so you can obtain your building permit without running into unexpected problems.
2. A Top-Notch Environmental Controller
We know that bringing up hemp crops is a labor of love… but most hemp growers simply can’t spare the time to carefully watch their greenhouse(s) every hour of every day to make quick adjustments right when they’re needed.
That’s where a high-quality, reliable environmental controller can make a huge difference, allowing growers to keep a close watch on their plants (and make quick environmental adjustments) without having to physically monitor the growing area every hour of the day.
This is especially important when it comes to growing hemp, which can sometimes require highly-specified environmental conditions to achieve the desired harvest. An environmental controller like the Link4 iGrow 800—included in our hemp propagation greenhouse offerings—can offer easy automated control over every aspect of your greenhouse, from lighting to heat, humidity, and even energy usage.
The iGrow 800 monitors each environmental system individually, but can seamlessly connect all systems across your greenhouse (or multiple greenhouses) from one single pre-mounted, pre-wired, and pre-tested control panel. This allows growers to remotely monitor the exact conditions in all growing spaces, and to make quick adjustments from any computer or cell phone communicating with the environmental controller.
By utilizing a pre-wired, pre-tested, UL approved environmental controller, growers can save time and money with installation, even when upgrading from older and outdated controllers or thermostats.
3. Precise Heating & Cooling Systems
As every grower knows, the temperature can play a huge role in the health of your harvests: too cold, and your plants may not have the energy to reach their full potential; too warm, and they may suffer from heat stress or face increased risk from pests or disease.
Unfortunately, temperature and humidity can be some of the toughest factors to control, even in a covered growing environment—which is why it’s so critical to utilize precise heating and cooling systems in your hemp propagation greenhouse.
That’s why our hemp greenhouses are specifically outfitted for superior heating, cooling, and ventilation systems. When paired with a reliable environmental controller, these systems allow hemp growers to maintain close control over the exact temperature and humidity level in each hemp greenhouse.
Our Highpoint Matterhorn hemp greenhouse, for example, comes outfitted with all cooling and ventilation equipment carefully sized to meet the exact needs of your greenhouse, utilizing high-efficiency, OSHA-compliant fans built to last long and provide 3 phases of ventilation for precise cooling through every growing season. Growers may also choose to implement evaporative cooling for that extra level of control in hot summer months.
Similarly, our hemp greenhouses come outfitted with superior Reznor heaters, providing all equipment and controls necessary to meet your maximum heat requirements across the entirety of your greenhouse growing space. This power vented heater requires no standing pilot flame and instead uses direct spark ignition on all heaters for extremely high-efficiency heating— ideal for growers in all Plant Hardiness Zones.
Heating and cooling are two parts of a complex, and highly-important hemp propagation process. By choosing a greenhouse designed for hemp cultivation from the start, growers can avoid many of the major headaches and pitfalls encountered by many first-time greenhouse hemp growers.
4. A Fully-Automated Light Deprivation System
As any experienced hemp or cannabis cultivator knows, light deprivation plays a huge role in the growing process. Whether you’re growing hemp optimized for CBD extraction or trying to maximize the size and speed of your hemp harvests—or both—an automated light deprivation system is a must-have to ensure complete control over the quality of your final product.
Many varieties of hemp rely on photoperiods to determine growth cycles and may require specific periods of light deprivation to achieve the desired plant size, terpene profile, or CBD level. That is why many hemp propagation greenhouses utilize light-proof coatings for specific time periods to mimic the maximize these photoperiods, rather than relying on the natural cycles of the sun and seasons.
But implementing and utilizing a manually-powered light deprivation system can require significant labor, and may be prone to light leaks or other inefficiencies that can dampen the effect on your hemp plants. That’s why an automated light deprivation system can often be the perfect choice for growers looking to maximize efficiency.
Our hemp and cannabis propagation greenhouses come outfitted with completely automated motorized light deprivation systems located right inside the greenhouse itself, complete with excellent perimeter seals to fit tightly and minimize light leaks. These automated systems—made of high-quality, flame retardant fabric and utilizing a slope-flat-slope design so lights and other equipment can be mounted without interference—are highly reliable and effective at blocking light during blackout periods. Additionally, a timed controller with the option for manual override makes controlling these photoperiods simple and efficient.
Hemp growers who still rely on manual light deprivation systems may be spending more time, energy, and labor on controlling photoperiods, and these systems may still suffer from light leaks and inefficient operation. An automated light deprivation system can provide your hemp plants with exactly the light levels they need for maximum productivity.
5. Energy-Efficient Grow Lights
As critical as it may be to prevent light from reaching your hemp plants during some photoperiods, at other times in the growing cycle it’s also important to make sure they do have plenty of light—and during the short winter months, this may mean adding supplemental lighting to your hemp propagation greenhouse.
Supplemental lighting, however, can sometimes represent a significant jump in energy usage across your hemp greenhouses, and that can turn into added costs for the same harvest. That’s why we encourage hemp growers to opt for reliable energy-efficient grow lights for hemp cultivation; that way, you can be sure your hemp plants are getting all the light they need without adding undue costs.
At Rimol, we can outfit your hemp propagation greenhouse with high-quality, high-efficiency grow lights designed to meet your lighting needs throughout your greenhouse, while keeping energy costs under control. These lights—especially when used in conjunction with an automated light deprivation system—can give a grower unmatched control over photoperiods and help put even more control in the grower’s hands.
We’ll Help Get Your Hemp Greenhouse Set Up For Success
Building a hemp propagation greenhouse is the first step on the road to success as a hemp cultivator, and can be the opening of a profitable revenue source for growers in all areas of the country. However, if not set up with the essentials of efficient hemp cultivation, a hemp greenhouse may not be able to yield the high-quality, reliable results many growers count on.
That’s why we specialize in helping hemp growers get set up with the right greenhouse—and the right environmental controls, heating, cooling, ventilation, and light control equipment—to ensure success from the very start.
If you’re interested in getting started with your hemp propagation greenhouse, or if you’re just interested in learning more about all we have to offer for hemp growers, our Rimol team members would love to help. We’ve been getting hemp growers set up for success for years, and you could be next—ready to get growing?