Well, we got our first round of monsoon action at the farm recently. Our rain gauge registered an entire inch of rain last Thursday, and this is what a section of our trial garden looks like today:
The plants in the foreground of this photo are suffering tremendously in this low section of our trial garden. The grading on the south side of our garden isn't perfect, and there is evidence of standing water and low soil porosity. After just a few days of having wet feet, a few of the plants are dead.
This poor lady appears to be completely water logged, and it's safe to say that some strains of hemp don't like having wet feet. It partially came as a surprise to us because cannabis is commonly grown hydroponically, but it's evident that the roots of young plants require well draining soil and a field that is positively graded.
Not all strains reacted as dramatically though. Here are a few plants just a few feet away that weren't as affected. The plants are noticeably larger and have more developed root systems. They were planted weeks before monsoon season began and are far better equipped to handle large amounts of rain, wind, and standing water.
And the moral of this week's story-- get your plants in, and get them in early.
Hemp strains that are available on the market for farmers today have been selected and bred for indoor growing throughout the decades for as long as cannabis has been considered a black market plant. In more recent times, they haven't been bred to be able to withstand our harsh environment. Our trials continue in search for hemp strains that are best equipped for the arid Southwest.