Welcome to the most exciting stage of your grow — the harvest.
Hopefully, you’ve taken notes from the ripening video, observed the trichomes, and cross-referenced your flowering time. Now, it’s time to cut down your plants and hang them to dry. Here’s what you need to do during the last few weeks before harvest.
Defoliate, but not completely. If you haven’t already, remove the large water leaves from the plant. These leaves are attached to the branches and the main stem, not to the buds. By defoliating, that is, snipping every leaf attached to the stem, you’ll give the lower buds more direct light, allowing them to mature.
Keep a few of the bigger leaves as indicators. They’ll alert you to any problems with the plant.
Stop foliar feeding. This is the time you must stop spraying your plants. Foliar application of any kind can entice molds, and you don’t want any residual chemicals on or around the buds.
Flush out excess nutes. The process of flushing your plants before harvest is a must, especially when using chemical fertilizers. This means gradually cutting out the nutrients during the final few weeks. With bottled nutes, your feed chart should follow a similar timetable to the following:
- Week 5 or 6 of flowering – Stop feeding nitrogen
- 3 weeks from harvest – Eliminate all micronutrients, including Cal-Mag, and cut your bloom phosphorus to half strength.
- 2 weeks from harvest – Feed only water and enzymes to break down the leftover nutrients.
- Last week before harvest – Only feed pH’d water. If you’ve been using Super Soil, your plants have been getting plain water all along, but you can finish them with a dose of enzymes and/or microbial tea.
- 1 to 2 days before harvest – Stop watering without letting your plants completely dry. You don’t want to harvest a wilted plant.
Set up a drying space. The last thing to do is prepare your drying room. It could be a closet or the tent you grew in. Whatever space you decide on, it must sustain these conditions throughout, for the flowers to dry slowly:
- Dark environment
- Temperature around 68 to 70º Fahrenheit (20 to 21º Celsius)
- RH level around 50 to 60%
You can use a dehumidifier but as passively as possible. Use the appliance to remove the excess humidity from the air without drawing moisture from the plant. The same goes for fans. You want some air circulation but never aim the fans directly at the plants. You don’t want them blow-dried.
Chop the cannabis down. Now everything is ready, it’s time to cut down the plants. It is best to cut down and dry the whole plant. Cutting them into smaller pieces makes everything dry too rapidly to deliver the best smoke. The plants can lightly touch each other when you hang them, as they’ll soon shrink. You want to hang them for 7 to 10 days, two weeks at the most. This will provide optimal smokability.
And there you have it — harvesting 101.
In Episode 14, We’ll show you how to cure your weed, making it deliciously smokable.
See you soon!