A first-timer in the business of marijuana growing would most likely have several various questions about when and how to harvest the crops. Discussed below are some of the most important things you have to remember to ensure that your harvest is of high quality.
Check if the trichomes are already fully-developed. They should have an amber color. Use a microscope or a magnifying glass to be able to see this properly. Long-time growers take the amber color as a signal that their weed is ready for harvest.
The next three steps are flushing, drying, and curing, and they are going to be explained one by one as your read further.
It is possible that the crops have accumulated some excess nutrients and food reserves, like starches and sugars, so it is best to flush them all out. This method is called flushing. If not done, the buds will create an unpleasant smoke.
Harvesting the buds is best done when the sun is out, usually at night to keep their potency and high quality. The buds and roots will build up more sugars and starches if exposed to direct sunlight.
Cut the plants at the base, by the roots, and then proceed to the largest and heaviest branches. Look for a stable laundry line where you could hang all the harvest. This is the drying part of the process. This allows the harvest to be exposed to air which eliminates the risk of mold growth. Leave them as is for about one week, at about a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of 50%.
Never try to hasten the drying method by putting the buds under direct sunlight, in front of an electric fan, or inside a microwave. These quick-drying methods will just destroy your crops.
Now, we proceed to curing, a process done to enhance the flavor and texture of marijuana in a natural way. There are various ways to cure weed: air curing, flue curing, sweat curing, sun curing, and water curing. Whichever way you employ, expect that the buds’ moisture levels are evened out, from the center up until the outside.
The curing process allows the compound THC to become psychoactive. When it is done, the dried, cured buds are kept in airtight containers, making them collect moisture again. Do not forget to open the containers everyday to enable the circulation of fresh air into the container, and the used air out into the atmosphere.
A little more patience and work, and your buds are ready to be used! It is finally time for you to enjoy the product of your dedication and hard work.