You’ve waited all season and your cannabis plants have finally flowered. Now it’s time to harvest! But when is the best time to harvest your plants?
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Deciding When to Harvest
One of the most critical steps in ensuring a high-quality harvest is timing the harvest correctly. If you wait too long, your buds will be less potent and may even start to degrade. If you harvest too early, your plants will not have had enough time to fully mature, and you will not get the maximum yield from your plants.
Research the Strain
Most cannabis strains are ready for harvest between 60 and 70 days after planting. However, different strains have different ideal harvest times. Some indica strains can be ready as early as 55 days, while some sativa strains can take up to 80 days.
To find out when your particular strain is ready for harvest, the best thing to do is look it up online or ask other growers who have experience with that strain. Once you have a general idea, you can start checking your plants for specific signs that they are ready to harvest.
All cannabis plants produce trichomes, but the quantity and quality vary enormously between strains. Skunk varieties are especially noted for their large, potent trichomes. CBD-rich strains usually have fewer and less-potent trichomes. The accusingly bright white hairs (sometimes called “crystals”) that cover cannabis buds are actually called pistils. Pistils protect the developing flowers and eventually turn reddish, orange or brown as the plant matures.
The concentration of THC in cannabis trichomes is what determines how strong the effects of marijuana will be when ingested. These resinous glands can be seen with the naked eye, but a magnifying glass or microscope gives you a much better view of individual gland heads and lets you see how developed they are. You’ll know your plant is ready to harvest when the gland heads have swollen and turned from clear to cloudy white—but different strains mature at different rates, so look at your own plants to get an idea of when they’ll be ready.
The Harvest Process
The harvest process of cannabis plants is a crucial step in determining the quality of your final product. The timing of the harvest is very important, as is the method you use to dry and cure your buds. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about harvesting your cannabis plants.
Cutting Down the Plant
The final step in harvesting your cannabis plants is to cut them down. This may seem like a daunting task, but with a little patience and the right tools, it can be easily accomplished.
The first thing you will need to do is gather your materials. You will need a sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears, a clean bucket, and some string or twine. It is also helpful to have a partner to help you with this task.
Once you have gathered your materials, you will need to find a place to work. It is important to choose a place that is well-ventilated and free of any debris or dust. A garage or shed is often the best choice for this.
Once you have found a suitable location, you will need to prepare your plants for cutting. Start by trimming away any large fan leaves from the plant. These leaves can be saved for later use if desired. Next, cut the main stem of the plant about 6-12 inches from the soil line. Be sure to make clean cuts so that the plant can easily be removed from the soil without damaging the roots.
After the main stem has been cut, gently remove the plant from its pot or container. If the plant is large, it may be necessary to cut it into smaller pieces for easy removal. Once the plant is out of its pot, shake off any excess soil and roots from the base of the plant.
Now that your plant is out of its pot and ready for cutting, you will need to choose which branches to cut first. Start by cutting off any lower branches that are not producing many buds. These branches can be saved for later use if desired. Next, cut off any branches that are not uniform in size or shape. These branches can also be saved for later use if desired. Finally, cut off any branches that are damaged or diseased. These branches should be discarded and not used for anything else.
Once you have selected which branches to cut, it is time to start cutting! Begin by making a clean cut at an angle about ½ inch above a node (the point where leaves attach to the stem). Continue cutting around the entire plant until all desired branches have been removed.
After all desired branches have been removed from your cannabis plants, they are now ready for drying and curing!
Drying and Curing
After your cannabis plants have been harvested, it’s time to begin the drying and curing process. This is a crucial step in preserving your buds and ensuring that they will be potent and full of flavor.
The first step is to cut down the plants and remove any large fan leaves. You can then hang the branches upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place. A good ventilation system is essential to ensure that your buds are drying evenly.
Once the branches are dry, it’s time to trim the buds and remove any remaining leaves. The trimmed buds can then be placed in airtight jars or containers. It’s important to check on your buds regularly and remove any that show signs of mold or mildew.
Drying and curing usually takes about 2-3 weeks, but it can take longer depending on the humidity and temperature of your curing environment. Once your buds are completely dry and free of mold or mildew, they are ready to be enjoyed!