They say patience is a virtue. Unfortunately, when it comes to many growers, it’s a virtue they struggle to find in anticipation of harvesting their cannabis plants. The question of when to harvest cannabis comes down to perfect timing—don’t they also say timing is everything in life and in love? Surely in cannabis, as well. In today’s blog, we’ll provide some tips and tricks to make sure that you time your cannabis harvest just right to ensure the highest yield and quality.
When to Harvest Cannabis – Start With Flushing
If you’re relatively new to growing your own bud, it may sound counterintuitive to consider flushing your cannabis plants. Where do you flush it? Down a toilet? Down the drain? Let’s take a close look at what flushing actually is, and why it is needed in harvesting cannabis. Regardless of whether your cannabis has grown in soil or in a hydroponic medium, plants can actually deal with a fair amount of buildup from nutrient residues or salts. Lots of people who are experienced growers choose to flush their plants about every ten days or so just using plain water to help get rid of this buildup.
The Flushing Process
You should run clean, fresh water through your plant’s system to fix nutrient lockout, or to prevent it from happening in the first place. The ideal time to flush your marijuana plant before harvesting is three to seven days before you plan to harvest the buds. If your plants are in the soil, you’ll want to use rain or another form of clean water (potentially adding a flushing agent, like Cleanex) through the system. On the flip side, if your cannabis is growing in a hydro system, simply run clean water through the system for the last several days before you harvest.
Preserving as Many Nutrients as Possible
You might be asking yourself when to harvest cannabis for the best possible results. This could mean the highest yield, the most pungent aroma, and certainly the most nutrient-dense flower possible. When your cannabis plants get fed, they store some of the nutrients that you’ve given them in order to use them later on. But, if you keep feeding your plant without giving it a chance to use up its reserves, those nutrients stick around in the cannabis plant’s stems, buds, and leaves. If what you’re providing your marijuana plant, nutrient-wise, isn’t perfectly balanced for its’ personal needs, the plant might deal with a condition that’s called “nutrient lockout.” If your cannabis plant becomes overwhelmed by a nutrient lockout, it actually means that it isn’t able to use any of its minerals or nutrients. You’ll be able to tell if this is a problem that you have on your hands by closely paying attention to deficiency symptoms.
When to Harvest Cannabis – Cutting Your Plant
Before getting into the nitty-gritty cutting of the marijuana plant, we recommend that you remove the larger fan leaves first. It’s easiest to do this while your plant is still in an upright position. Though it might be tempting to also cut off some of the smaller leaves at the same time, it can actually have benefits to leave those on during the cutting and the drying process. Why? Because these leaves actually cause the buds to dry more slowly, while preserving their potency and their taste. Buds dry best if you do them in sections, rather than hanging an entire plant and calling it a day. It even makes a difference if you hang each branch separately and don’t let them touch each other throughout the drying process. And, always remember to handle your branches with great care—if you are too rough with them, trichomes can fall off which is not a great outcome after all of your hard growing work!
When to Harvest Cannabis for the Best-Tasting Weed
The timing of when to harvest cannabis can have a direct impact on your flower’s taste, smell, and effects. The method by which you dry your freshly harvested cannabis can have a huge impact on its taste. Dry and cure the plant improperly, and you could damage the cannabis’s terpenes, leaving you with tasteless, hay-like marijuana. Abide by these three general rules to ensure that your cannabis dries in an ideal manner:
- Dry it slowly, even if you are tempted to speed things along. This will ensure that you get the best smell, flavor, and weight from your cannabis.
- Enable good air circulation. You want to avoid the growth of things like fungus and mold, which can actually ruin the entire bud if they take hold.
- Allow two to four weeks to cure. This will ensure that your buds are as tasty as possible.
Trimming Your Cannabis Plants
Get out a pair of very sharp (and sterilized!) scissors once your weed is dry. Personal preference will dictate exactly how you want your buds to look, trimming wise, but a word to the wise—don’t throw your trimmings into the garbage bin once you’re done. If you have any interest in edibles, you may want to save these precious scraps for some tasty delights later on.
Now You Know When to Harvest Cannabis Plants for Optimal Results
Prepare some clean glass jars, or, in their absence, plastic bags or bins, and store all of the individual buds within them. During the first couple of weeks that you’ve got your buds stored in the jars, make sure to open them up twice a day to give them some fresh air for a few minutes. In addition to being kind, this will also remove any remaining moisture, and your buds are now ready to go! Congratulations on a job well done, now that you’ve successfully harvested your marijuana buds. Feel free to check out Growers Choice Seeds for incredible cannabis seed offerings and lots more helpful tips and tricks for growing your own supply. Hopefully, now that we’ve reached the end of today’s blog, you’ve learned when to harvest cannabis for the best possible results. What is your favorite part of the harvesting process?
Written By Kim Thompson
Along with being an award-winning creative and literary writer, Kim works as a freelance copywriter, editor, and proofreader both domestically and internationally.
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