Mature marijuana flowers: Know When to Harvest
One of the single most difficult parts of growing marijuana is the maturation phase. In order to get the best harvest from your plants it has to be done when the plant is fully mature.
At this stage you notice that, while the calyces don’t grow so fast they are still prolific and increase their size instead of numbers. You will see that some of the calyces are showing red and the resin will start to shine. The resin balls will stay very heavy ad will be sticky.
The plant itself will continue in increase in size, thickening out. Because of this the mature marijuana flowers will grow very close to one another. At this stage they will start to form racemes that are compact and thick. The smell will be particularly strong, sometimes causing problems so it is best to install a carbon filter, preferably an active one.
You now need to wash the plants of minerals so stop adding fertilizer to the soil, rock wool, coconut fiber, or whatever other growing medium you are using. You must cease fertilizing 14 days before the flowering period ends. If your choice of medium is clay pellets, 7 days is sufficient, as this substrate is very easy to clean out. This method of rinsing is extremely important to obtain a high quality product. If you don’t rinse, the plant resin will be too heavy for smoking and the flavor will be substandard, and this is caused by too much fertilizer. Once you stop feeding your marijuana plants with fertilizer they will use whatever is left within the plant tissues.
Wash the substrate that you are using and allow water that has been demineralized to flow across it. Using demineralized water means that the plant is not getting any added nitrogen and will revert to consuming its own chlorophyll supplies. If you notice the leaves turning yellow during an earlier stage, this is why – there isn’t enough nitrogen to sustain the entire plant in a healthy manner. If there are no minerals for a marijuana plant to subsist on, it will consume the chlorophyll from older leaves and turn it into energy to feed young new shoots.
By the time the period of flowering peaks about 65% of the pistils will be red. Resin can be seen formed into balls and the tops of the flowers will be very sticky, heavy and tightly compact. They will also be heavily scented. As soon as you see yellow leaves you will know that the flower period has peaked and that it is time to start harvesting.
Throughout the final 14 days you will see some of the leaves go yellow; these can be safely removed but ONLY if they appear in the last 2 weeks. Anything earlier could indicate a lack of nitrogen. The leaves turn yellow I the final period so that they can divert energy into the flowers; removing the leaves while they are green will result in a smaller, poorer quality harvest.
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