Hooray! You’ve made it to harvest time!
Now clear your schedule and get ready to work.
Harvest is the most labor intensive part of the process regarding time investment. You may want to call some friends over for hanging or trimming parties to help you out. You really don’t want all your work ruined at this final stage!
Fortunately, the steps involved in these time-consuming weeks are not many.
1. WHEN TO HARVEST
Look at the pretty colors!
What you are looking for to understand when your plants are ready to harvest is a change in color of the fan leaves and the trichomes.
Frist, you will see the fan leaves start to change color, much like leaves in autumn. The specific color you are looking for will depend on the strain you are growing. Some will turn red, others will turn a golden-yellow, and some will turn a rich purple. If you aren’t sure, look up your strain online to find out what color you should be seeing from your fan leaves.
Second, you will see the trichomes turning amber. This is hard to see with the naked eye, so a jeweler’s loupe helps out a lot here.
Trichomes form almost like moss, with stalks supporting little round heads. Throughout most of the flowering process, the trichomes will be clear, or later on a sort of milky clear. What you are waiting for is a nice amber honey color to start showing on the round tops. You don’t want to wait for all of them to turn; but when you see that transition taking hold, that’s when you want to harvest.
2. CHOP AND HANG
Turn them over and let them dry.
When the time is right, you want to chop of the plant below the first branches, turn the plant upside down, and hang it.
There are many different schools of thought of best methods for hanging. The internet is rife with growers of all experience levels touting their way as the best. Some hang the whole plant, others cut each branch and hang them individually. I like hanging the whole plant because it gives you the most forgivable drying time. Find what works best for you.
The most important thing to remember when drying is the humidity. If you are using one of our grow kits, the AC Infinity system comes with a monitor that lets you adjust the humidity. Whatever your drying environment, make sure you can monitor and adjust the humidity carefully.
A good humidity level is around 55-58%. You may find that your plants like it better if you give them a couple percentages lower on the first day, or that they need a couple percentages higher toward the end to get them ready for curing.
This again is an area of much debate variant views. However, if you look online, you will find that by and large, few people will stray far from the 55-58% humidity range. Experience will be your best friend in this arena.
3. THE CURE
Just keep trimming, just keep trimming…
When you feel the outside of your buds getting dry, which usually takes about 3-5 days (depending on your strain and hanging method), it’s now time to start jarring and curing.
I highly recommend you research this step, especially if it’s you’re first harvest. There are so many different ways to go about this, but there are definitely some things to keep in mind no matter how you go about it.
Don’t leave your plants hanging too long! This is something that is too easy to do. There’s a window of just a few days where your plants are dry enough to trim, but not so dry they are crispy and losing potency. If you are moving your plants from hanging to trim to jar, you want to be diligent!
Trimming takes time. It’s a process that some people love and some people hate. However you feel about it, it’s a necessary step that must be tended to. So sit down with a few good movies each night and trim those buds! Keep at it!
Once you have all your buds in jars, you’ll want to store them in a cool, dark place. Every day or two you can come along and burp the jars by opening the lids and resealing them. Keep the jars stored like this for about ten days or until they have cured to the dryness and density you desire.
Once you’re there, there’s nothing left but to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors!
Wow. What a journey! You’ve taken those tiny little seeds and turned them into healthy green starts, which became verdant plants then produced awesome buds that you dried and trimmed and cured.
Congratulations! You are a grower of high caliber, well on your way to becoming a master!