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Harvesting, Drying, Curing and Storing

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The objective with harvesting is to do it when your plant is at its peak potency. You can harvest by colour of the hairs on the buds or the colour of the trichomes.


If going by colour of hairs harvest when 70% of hairs are brown.


Colour of trichomes is a more accurate method of determining harvest time. Trichomes are the resin stalks that look like tiny mushrooms. You will need a 30x magnifying glass or better to see trichomes. Trichomes will be clear, then milky, then amber. As they just start to turn amber the plant is at its peak potency. Here is a pic of some trichomes under a cheap $40 microscope. Trichome pic


Generally buds harvested earlier will give a more cerebral up high, while buds harvested later will give a heavier couchlock high. Every strain and peoples tastes are different, so its best to experiment with harvesting at different times to see what works best for you. Also you don't need to harvest your whole plant at once, if some buds are ready before others you can cut them and give the rest more time to finish.


You need to flush your plants for two weeks prior to harvest. This is simply feeding it with plain PH adjusted water to get all the chemicals out of the plant. Unflushed pot can taste bad and give you headaches. Exactly when to flush is something you learn from experience and depends on the strain and growing conditions. Generally flush when 30-40% of hairs are brown and by the time the flushing period is up the plant should be close to finished.


Some growers also believe that giving your plants 24 to 48 hours of darkness just prior to harvest helps increase the quality of the finished product.


To dry MJ hang the whole plant upside down in a dark, cool, well ventilated place, making sure there is air circulation around all the buds and they are not touching each other. Sometimes its easier to cut off all the branches and hang them individually. Whether you trim the leaf off your buds before or after drying is personal preference.


When stems snap when bent it is dry, should take about 2 weeks depending. At this point your buds can be smoked but their aroma, flavour, and smoothness will be greatly improved with curing. There are some links to posts on curing below.


You should store your buds in a dry, cool, dark area and in an airtight container. Heat and light will degrade potency and dampness will cause mould. You can also store in the fridge or freezer.


Related Topics:

How long, hairs turning red

Curing methods

Edited by pipeman
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