Plant Hardiness Zone(s)
New Mexico has multiple plant hardiness zones across the state ranging from 4a to 8b and 9a in Colfax County. These hardiness conditions are largely due to the warm temperatures that are experienced in the region year round. Hemp plants grow more optimally in warmer soil and air temperatures.
The state falls in a South Temperate Thermal Zone which means that it experiences mild to hot temperatures. The climate is however dry which is not ideal for premium hemp flower cultivation which prefers higher humidity.
Length of Growing Season
Although warm temperatures are experienced year round, summer is the recommended growing season for hemp flower with planting occurring in early spring in the month of May. However, it is important to note that hemp will only reach full maturity when days are under 12 hours in length and planting should therefore occur as close to 110 days before the days get shorter in August. Harvesting should take place in August.
Average Annual Sunlight
New Mexico experiences 3,460 hours of sunlight per year which is more than sufficient to meet the sun-loving requirements of the hemp plant. However, direct sunlight in some areas may be too intense and irrigation will be necessary to ensure that soil conditions remain moist.
Average Annual Precipitation
The average annual rainfall for New Mexico is 13.9 inches but ranges in extremes from 10 inches on average in the desert regions and around 30 inches at elevation. Most rainfall occurs in the summer months characterized by quick thundershowers rather than extended rainfall. Irrigation in most parts of the state will be necessary to meet the 10 – 12 inches of seasonal rainfall requirements of hemp flower.
The average elevation in the state is 4,700 ft. In the dry arid climate, hemp flower is likely to fare better in the various mountain regions and valleys where higher rainfall can be expected and the climate is milder than the hot temperatures experienced on the plateaus and arroyos.
The average soil pH for New Mexico is between 6.5 and 8.4. However, the pH in the mountainous regions generally falls under 7 which is ideally suited to hemp flower which requires between 6 and 7 to grow optimally.
The soil composition in New Mexico varies greatly from sandy in the desert to shale in some mountainous regions. Compact clay soils are also found in the south and southeastern regions of the state. Hemp prefers loose or loomis soil and the fertile valleys are much better suited to the soil requirements of hemp flower allowing for the development of a long taproot to reach nutrients buried deep beneath the surface.
New pests that are generally invasive and pose a risk to crops include the Bagrada Bug and Spotted Wing Drosiphila. Common pests include the Boll Worm and Boll Weevil. Kissing bugs are also common in the region which can cause Chagas disease in humans. Hemp flower is specifically prone to aphids and mites and pest management is important to prevent these affecting the flowering heads of the plants. However, pesticides are not recommended after the plants have entered the flowering growth phase.
Obtaining A Hemp Flower Grower’s License In New Mexico
Under federal law, it is illegal to grow hemp flower anywhere in the United States without first obtaining a grower’s license from the appropriate regulatory body for the state in which the interested party intends to plant the crop. For information on the legal status of hemp in New Mexico, as well as a breakdown of the application process, click here. Read about hemp legality by state.