1. What is the first and most important step in ensuring a successful hemp crop?

The most important step to becoming a successful hemp operation is selecting a growing methodology that ensures you have a fibrous root system. Propagation is critical to creating a fibrous root system, and it allows seeds and clones to grow quickly and produce secondary roots. Very young and actively growing root tips respond to air-root pruning by producing many secondary roots. Research has shown that roots should be air-pruned no more than 4 inches below the seed and on the sides of the pots as well. This pruning results when root tips are guided into openings in the container where the tip dehydrates and dies. The key to air-root-pruning is our container design.

2. Should hemp growers start from seeds or clones when using RootMaker products?

Seeds will add growing time prior to harvest. However, no one seed is alike, so you get more unique plants. Hemp growers would use the RootMaker 32-Cell Tray for seed starting. Plants grown from clones have the advantage of being uniform with drastically lower variability from plant to plant than seed. Either the RootMaker Injection Molded Container or RootTrapper II would be good choices to grow clones.

A fibrous root system is key in growing hemp.

Photos courtesy of RootMaker

3. After propagation, what comes next in hemp cultivation?

Plants held in smooth plastic pots often develop circling roots, which inhibit growth, complicate transplanting and limit yield. Many hemp growers use the RootTrapper II soft-sided fabric pots, which are laminated with a white coating down to the bottom 2 inches of the pot. Designed to eliminate circling roots and stimulate dense lateral-root branching, the root-tip trapping pots allow drainage at the unlaminated base, while the pot’s coating protects the root ball against rapid moisture loss.

4. What are the benefits of using the RootMaker growing system?

By utilizing the RootMaker system, growers produce a fibrous root system and a greater root tip surface area. Production time is decreased, and plants are more efficient. Growers new to container production eventually learn that all pots are not created equal.  It’s a lesson producers of mainstream container-grown horticultural crops have learned the hard way.

5. What are hemp companies saying about RootMaker?

“This entire product line is really quite geared towards hemp production because of [its] root pruning capabilities.” –Triangle Hemp, North Carolina

“RootMaker plastic air pruning propagation trays, which offer a graduated, multi-cell design, have all the features we need to eliminate potential root spiraling and other issues [with] hemp grown in traditional plastic pots.” –Hemptek, Oregon

“Nothing keeps our plants cooler, holds moisture, or builds a better root system than RootMaker.” –Tilth Farms, California

For more information, visit www.rootmaker.com.