When is my cannabis plant ready for harvest
The most fulfilling part of growing your own cannabis is the harvest!
After all the hard work you’ve put in planting the seeds, nurturing and watering them, watching the plants grow and flower, tending to your plants’ every need and making sure they have the proper light whether indoors or outdoors, the time you’ve been waiting for has finally come! Not all strains mature at the same time, but they do give tell-tale signs that they are ready to be harvested; however, it is imperative that you be patient at this stage as you don’t want to harvest too quickly. One of the ways to tell that your plant is ready to harvest is to look at the calyxes. In the final stages, they will swell and ripen as more resin glands develop on the surface. This creates a mushroom-like cap commonly called the “bud.” Chemical changes are occurring in the THC development during this stage also. The pistils or little hairs that grow inside the calyxes will change color from white to red. The ratio of red to white will determine the type of high you will get, whether it’s a “head” high or a “stone.” As the harvest time gets closer, usually in the last couple of weeks, the pistils will change color from bright white to rust-colored orange or even brown. This signifies your plant is at the end of its cycle and is ready for harvest.
If this is your first harvest, we hope that you’ve laid your hands on as much information as possible so that your first yield will be a good one. Hopefully you’ve learned from any mistakes you made this time around. When time to plant comes again, you will be armed with the knowledge you need to make your harvest top notch. As they say, “Knowledge is Power” and the more knowledge you have about growing and harvesting cannabis the better. The key here and the biggest mistake made by novice growers is overfeeding and watering. If the plant turns yellow, there is no need to panic it’s actually a good sign no damage has been done. This shows you’ve done your homework and not overfed your plants. Also, there should be cracking buds visible on all of your plants. The fewer nutrients contained in the plant the smoother and more pleasurable the smoke.
HARVEST / WET TRIMMING
The most common method of harvesting is wet trimming. Wet trimming occurs as soon as the plants have ripened by cutting off the branches one at a time and removing the leaves around the buds. The leaves contain resin which is a sticky substance and care must be taken in the separation process. The leaves contain the majority of the THC and once separated from the buds are used to make hash or “skuff.” It is preferable to have a woman separate the buds from the leaves as their hands are smaller and they can navigate between the leaves and buds much easier than their male counterparts. When using shears, extra care should be taken as the plants are sticky from the THC containing resin. It is essential that you have more than one pair of shears for the separating as the blades can become gummed up from the resin. Breakage of your shears can occur if the hinge becomes impeded from the THC. Therefore, it is imperative you have a backup pair when performing wet trimming.
HARVEST / DRY TRIMMING
Dry trimming is done after cutting your plants and then letting them dry thoroughly before you begin to separate the buds from the leaves. This method requires that the branches be cut off and then placed in a drying room hanging upside down before the trimming is done. This method is used primarily when there are a large number of plants and time is of the essence when harvesting. Using the dry trimming method allows the THC to be shaken off more easily when the plants are moved. A considerable amount of THC is still present in both the leaves and the buds at this point. Dry trimming requires that you take the large plants and hang them upside down in a temperature controlled room to dry them thoroughly before harvesting the buds. Many times this method is used when growing a large number of smaller plants. It doesn’t matter the method, the end result is the same. Use your preferred method for the harvest.