After months of intensive labor on your farm, your plants are heavy under the weight of ready-to-harvest buds. If you choose your seeds well, transplanted, applied the nutrients, pruned, and trained your herbs as required, harvesting marijuana in 2021 will be your best experience ever!
Harvesting cannabis is no different from harvesting other fruits. You may need to wait a while longer before chopping the buds down. The following are the signs to look out for:
- The pistils will turn reddish
- The steam will broaden and become tougher to carry the weight of the harvest
- The previously broad green leaves will turn yellow and seem to wither and seem to die.
You may decide to leave the buds for a little longer to improve the potency of cannabinoids. Like grapes, the more potent they’re the stronger and sweeter the alcohol.
A timely harvest is a primary requirement for the cannabis plant. Keep a record of your plants and note down when the herbs start flowering. With the approximate time in mind, you can estimate when your buds are ready for harvest.
Different strains will be ready for harvest at different times. Indica variety takes 8 weeks after flowering. On the other hand, Sativa varietytakes up to 24 weeks from seedling to budding stage.
Other tell-tales of ready-for-harvest-buds
Inspect the color and texture changes of your plants. Herbs that are ready for harvest have their hair turning brownish-orange or purplish depending on the variety planted.
Typically, harvest when at least 30% of your plants turn color. If you wait longer, the concentration, aroma, and flavor of your herbs start depreciating, giving you poor returns.
You can also observe the trichomes under a magnifying glass. If the color is clear the buds are immature. If they seem to turn amber, you’re almost losing your best harvest.
- A pair of rubber gloves
- A clean pair of shears
- A string for attaching branches before hanging
- A firmly secured clothesline where you’ll hand the branches to dry
How to handle the actual harvest
If the buds are small,chop to separate them from the stem. If the buds are multi-branched and big, separate each branch independently. Handle the flowers carefully to maintain the harvest.
Place the branches gently on a tray and take a string and bind the flowers to it. Then, hang the herbs on the clothing line with the flower hanging upside down. The room where you dry them should have sufficient air circulation and remain dark throughout.
Worthwhile harvesting takeaways
Start harvesting before the sun is too hot especially if your plants are outdoors.
If you’re a beginner, you may want to start harvesting buds at intermittent intervals. You can sample the difference in the buds and make better decisions in subsequent harvests.
Drying and curing cannabis
Drying and curing are two related processes. Drying involves placing the flowers on a rack to drain excess water gradually. On the other hand, curing refer to the proper storage of the dried flowers in airtight jars to retain flavor, aroma, and potency.