With fall just around the corner in our 2019 outdoor grow season, we thought we would write a post about harvest. Harvest can be confusing to beginner growers, and is when the ideal time to harvest our marijuana cultivation is?
The scary cutting of the marijuana plants
Well, today I will explain the factors that you should understand to know when we have to cut our plants that we have cared so much for and want to smoke.
Each grower has their processes. Some growers like to cut their plants at different times to adjust to taste. There are some general parameters that you can all follow to make sure that we harvest at the optimum time.
The main rules to know when is the right moment to harvest are the following: The state of maturity of the pistils and state of maturity of the small trichomes.
Each genetic strain has a specific time of growth. The producer of the seeds will always provide a general idea of the time that each one requires for flowering. It is important to keep in mind the times provided are for “flowering only.” Of all the criteria, this is the least accurate since many factors intervene in the development of marijuana. Depending on the climatic conditions and the quality of the crop, if it is exterior or interior, the plants will mature in a more or less precise way the times marked by the seed bank.
Conclusion: the time that the seed bank tells us will serve as an orientation, but it will not be the determining factor for harvesting our plants.
State of maturity of the pistils of the bud
The next factor that we will take into account since it is an excellent natural indicator of the state of maturation of our plants. In the last stage of flowering, the pistils (hairs) of the buds begin to transform, going from being white to being brown. This transformation tells us that the plant is reaching the end of its cycle.
When we can see that more than half of the pistils have turned brown, it is because the fattening stage of the bud has ended. From this moment on, the only thing that will happen is that the heart will continue to mature (but not grow) and all its cannabinoids.
When more than half of the pistols have turned brown, you will have ample time before they become 100% brow. Once the pistols have converted 100%, the weed plant is at full maturity. At this point, your TCH will turn to CBN and the potency of your bud will diminish.
This type of indicator is reliable, but can also mislead us. The pistils of the buds can turn brown due to a very dry or excessive wind. It can also happen because of a period of drought. This should not happen to you if you take good care of your girls.
State of maturity of the trichomes of the buds
Finally, we have the most decisive and determining factor that is the state maturity of the weed trichomes. The active elements in weed (THC, CBD, CBN) found in the heads of trichomes. It will be the point where we will focus closely to decide when we want to cut.
Ripening of milky amber trichomes
In the early and immature stages of the trichomes, the heads have not fully formed, and they are transparent. As the trichomes mature, they change their colour, becoming milder to end up being amber if we let them develop fully.
If the trichomes have a milky colour, the harvest will have a more psychoactive effect. If on the contrary, they already present an amber colour, we will obtain more sedative and narcotic effects.
That said, each grower chooses at what point of maturity he wants to make his harvest. If you have very little experience growing, cut your plants when you see that all the trichomes have acquired that milky colour. Also, some of them (2 or 3%) will already have an amber colour. Following this primary rule will get to ensure normal maturation, you will not go through, and you will not fall short.
For the observations of the trichomes, you should help you with a magnifying glass that has at least ten magnifications, although the ideal thing is to do it with one of between 50 and 100.
We can give you one last piece of advice, which is choosing the lowest humidity moment of the day to cut your plants. You will be able to help them lose water.
You can cut the whole plant or branches. We prefer branches it makes the trimming (cut the large leaves or without resin that we do not want) of the large leaves easier. Once the trimming is complete, you only have to hang it in a dark place to prevent the rays of the sun from degrading the trichomes and ventilation to avoid the appearance of fungi.
When should you harvest your weed plants hang the cuttings for 1 – 2 weeks. You test that the drying process is over when you can hear a snapping sound when braking a small branch. When you can hear the snap, get some gloves and a clean area and begin snipping buds into mason jars. This will be the start of the curing process found in another article. The curing process is the start of another 30 days minimum before you can smoke your hard work.