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horn creek hemp team members planting with diy planter

Make Your Own DIY Hemp Planter

If you are getting into hemp farming this year, you are not alone.  Thousands of others are entering the market.  Those new farmers are creating demand for farm services and for equipment.  The more you can do yourself the better prepared you will be to thrive in this emerging market.

If you have not purchased a transplanter (and 75+ horse tractor) or reserved the services of such, you will be greatly challenged to find one in time for the coming growing season.

water wheel

We built our own DIY hemp planter both to save money and because we were not sure that we wanted to make that purchase.  Our planter cost $550 in materials and required several days to build.  If we did not already have water tanks we would have spent another $300.  Caution – welding is required.

Your DIY hemp planter will need to pass over the bed and drip tape; create a hole (optionally fill it with water); and position workers to insert seed starts into the prepped hole.  It will also need to carry water and a supply of starts.  We used a Kubota UTV as the power source.  Our set up with four people was able to plant 10,000 starts over a weekend.

We started with a basic 4′ x 8′ light-duty trailer.  Craigslist showed one nearby.  Perfect.  The first task was to create a water wheel.  The water wheel is a metal wheel that rolls along the ground with a single spike.

horn creek hemp team members planting with diy planter

The spike creates the planting hole.  We built the wheel such that each hole was automatically filled with a water/mycorrhizae solution.  Each time the hole is made, the wheel automatically fills it with about a quart of solution.

The planter could be built without the auto-fill feature.  One could simply have a worker perform that task manually.  But making it work is relatively easy and saves that third set of hands.

You will need a wheel with a spike to create the hole.  Do your calculation for plant spacing.  If you want 48″ spacing, divide 48″ by pi (3.14).  you will want a wheel with a diameter of 15.25″.  Be sure your wheel has weight and traction.  The wheel needs to roll evenly.  We found that adding angle iron worked reasonably well.

The axle should be hollow to allow water flow.  Spike should be roughly 6″ long.  Drill holes through the center of the axle so that water which is piped into the axle will keep the wheel filled.  A single hole at the base of the spike will allow a water fill upon each revolution. We attached a clamp fitting on the end.  The wheel assembly should be able to lift up for transitioning the planter between rows.

The seats can be easily purchased from a raft supplier.  Ours came off a 20- year old cataraft.  Here we calculate the height our planters want to be which is between 4-6″ above the soil catching on rocks – and drip tape – is a pain.  If in doubt go high.  The angle of the seats is important for comfort.  Swivel seats can resolve that issue, but footrests help a great deal.

Once complete, we added an umbrella stand and drink holders for decadence.

Water tanks rode in the Kubota and the trailer.  a simple hose with a shutoff connected to the water wheel axle.  Raising and lowering the assembly can be done by a third person on the trailer who preps start trays, moves hoses, and fixes the random issues that will present themselves.

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12 thoughts on “Make Your Own DIY Hemp Planter”

  1. just saw your website while investigating hemp drying ideas. Have a small organic farm, planning on growing 2 – 5 acres of hemp for CBD this year. Grew 100 plants last year to evaluate and turn into mother plants for 2020. Still need a small planter. Is your’s sold? Thanks Joe Irish

    1. Hi Joe. Apologies for not responding sooner. Hope you enjoy your grow this year. Ours is not sold. We still have it here at the farm.


  2. Do you still have the planters for sale? Also one question if i wanted to do 6’spacind from isle to isle and 5’ between plants would this work? Thanks

    1. The planter is available. Unfortunately the wheel would need to be remodeled. It would need to be 19″ diameter in order to give you 5′ between plants. I think 5′ could be a good distance. we are 4′ apart and 6′ rows. It gets too crowded in late summer.

    1. I am sorry – I cannot, as we no longer have the trailer. But I can explain. The axle is a galvanized pipe, with holes so water fills the wheel. The struts holding the axle are angle iron. The angle iron has bolts welded to it which slide through flanges welded to the trailer frame. Nuts secure the bolts in place. When in operation, operators in the planting seats can lift the wheel up into a standby position while the driver positions for a new row. You have to be able to put the wheel in this position for transport of the trailer and for maneuvering around the farm.

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