Learn when to harvest your cannabis crop in this blog post. Find out when to look for the trichomes , when to harvest based on the plant’s maturity, and more.
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Cannabis plants are annuals, meaning that they complete their life cycle in one growing season. This contrasts with biennials, like carrots, which take two years to complete their life cycle.
The length of the growing season depends on the latitude where the cannabis is being grown. In the northern hemisphere, the longest days occur around June 21st, while the shortest days occur around December 21st. In the southern hemisphere, these dates are reversed.
Cannabis plants flower in response to changes in the length of daylight. When the days become shorter and the nights longer, cannabis plants begin to flower. The amount of time it takes for a cannabis plant to flower depends on the variety of plant, with some varieties taking as little as eight weeks and others taking much longer.
Once flowering has begun, it is important to monitor the progress of your crop closely. The flowers of female cannabis plants are called buds and it is these buds that contain high levels of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. The THC content of buds increases as they mature, so it is important to harvest them at just the right time. If you harvest too early, you will not get as much THC; if you harvest too late, the THC will start to degrade into CBN.
Harvesting your crop is a delicate process and there are a few things you need to take into account:
-The maturity of your plants
-The size and density of your buds
-The weather forecast
The flowering stage
The flowering stage is when the cannabis plant grows its flowers (buds). This is the moment when THC levels peak in the plant. At this point, you will want to start paying close attention to your plants. Check them every day to get a feel for how quickly they are developing. You will know it is time to harvest when the buds are dense and have stopped growing. The trichomes (the tiny crystals on the buds that look like hairs) will also be milky white or amber in color.
The ripening stage
The final stage of cannabis plant growth is called ripening or finishing. This is when the buds swell and emit a stronger smell. The leaves also begin to turn yellow or brown, and the stems become thinner. You’ll know your plants are ready to harvest when about 60-70% of the pistils have darkened and curled inward.
You can begin harvesting your crop when the majority of the pistils have darkened, but if you wait too long, the THC will start to degrade and convert into CBN. This process is accelerated by heat, light, and oxygen, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and harvest a bit earlier rather than later.
To determine if your plants are ready, use a jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass to get a close look at the trichomes (the tiny crystals that cover the buds). If they’re beginning to turn from clear to amber, it’s time to harvest. You can also use a digital microscope for an even closer look.
The harvesting stage
The Harvesting stage is when you finally get to reap the rewards of all your hard work! But before you get too excited, there are a few things you need to know in order to ensure a successful harvest.
The most important thing to remember is that timing is everything. Knowing when to harvest your crop will make all the difference in the quality of your final product.
Cannabis plants usually take between 8-11 weeks to fully mature, but this can vary depending on the strain. Indica strains tend to mature faster than sativas, so if you’re growing a hybrid, keep an eye on the indica genetic line.
As your plants near maturity, you’ll start to see the pistils (the little hairs on the buds) darken and curl inward. This is called “pistil recurve” and it’s one of the most reliable indicators that harvest time is getting close.
Another clue that harvest time is near is when the trichomes (the tiny crystals on the buds) start to turn from clear to milky white or amber in color. You can check this by using a jeweler’s loupe or other magnifying tool.
Once you’ve determined that it’s time to harvest, there are a few different ways you can go about it. The most important thing is to be gentle with your plants so as not to damage the buds.
One popular method is called “flushing,” which involves stopping all nutrients and watering only with plain water for 2-3 weeks before harvest. This helps clear any built-up fertilizer salts from the plants so they don’t end up in your final product.
Another method is called “topping,” which involves removing the largest leaves from the plants a week or two before harvest. This helps expose more of the buds to light, which speeds up ripening . . . Topping also makes it easier to trim your plants later on.
Once you’ve harvested your crop, it’s time to dry and cure your buds so they’re ready for storage and consumption. But that’s another story for another day!
Drying and curing your cannabis
After you have harvested your cannabis plants, it is time to dry and cure the buds. Drying and curing is a process that can take several weeks, but it is important to do it correctly in order to preserve the quality and potency of your weed.
The first step is to cut down the plants and hang them upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place. You will want to keep the humidity level around 60% and the temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on your plants daily, and trim away any leaves or stems that are starting to rot.
Once the plants are completely dry, you can begin the curing process. Curing helps to improve the taste of your weed and make it smoother on your throat and lungs. To cure your weed, put it in airtight jars or containers and store them in a cool, dark place. Check on your weed every few days, opening the jars to let fresh air in. After 2-4 weeks, your weed should be cured and ready to smoke!