So you get to the end of bloom phase and the work’s just beginning!
You can do everything right up the moment of harvesting buds, but if the harvesting, drying and curing are wrong, you lose some of what you worked so hard to grow.
We talked before about knowing WHEN to harvest your marijuana.
It’s all about the resin glands, with you examining them with a magnifier to see when they’ve reached their peak and are starting to decline.
Today we’re talking about the best techniques for harvesting buds.
Start by knowing that your resin glands are like eggshells containing THC. Handle with care. You’re a THC farmer.
Sure there are other cannabinoids and unique compounds also important in your buds, but what’s in your resin glands is where the gold mine is, and the gold is THC.
If you handle your marijuana crop wrong at any time during bloom or after, you break resin glands.
The THC is then exposed to air, and it degrades to uselessness.
In all harvesting procedures, treat your buds with respect. Treat ‘em like they’re fragile, because they are.
Never harvest after your buds have been rained on or foliar-sprayed.
If you’re an outdoor grower and you have to take your marijuana down in the rain, as soon as possible get it out of bags, hanging up to dry, in a place with lots of air circulation and for the first 24-48 hours, very low humidity (below 50%).
Shake the branches gently and get as much of that water out of there as possible.
You do this so you avoid gray mold.
Be sure to carefully monitor your marijuana crop as you do drying and curing, so you don’t over-dry your buds.
Look at your marijuana crop closely before you decide how to harvest, paying attention to bud spacing, leaf ratio and other factors that will influence how you manicure the cannabis crop.
If you have marijuana plants with solid wall to wall buds from top to bottom and very few leaves sticking out of the buds, you can manicure on the plant, then cut the main stalk and hang the whole plant to dry.
If you have a high leaf to calyx ratio, or your plants are too big to cut whole and hang whole, you may want to harvest individual branches.
Take a while before you decide to manicure on your cannabis plant, off the plant, or a combination of both.
Harvesting is hard on the fingers, wrists, and hands, so if you analyze your harvesting situation ahead of time, you’ll save yourself some pain.
Trim close to the bud to get rid of all leaves that aren’t totally coated with resin glands.
Make your buds tight and clean, just like you like them.
Wear gloves while you trim, or you’ll end up with a transdermal high, skin irritation, eye irritation.
Clean your scissors so you save the gooey glands building up on them, otherwise known as scissors hash.
This can be almost as good as bubblehash.
Have a receptacle to save all “excess” leaves, trim and other debris so you can make bubblehash or dry sift.
Have magnifier lighting, strong overall harvest room lighting, and odor-cleansed room venting as you harvest.
Keep your doors locked and your ears open for sounds of intruders or unexpected visitors of any kind.
Keep pets, children, debris, dust, dirt, and cigarettes away when you’re harvesting buds.
Use professional harvesting gear such as sharp scissors that are clean and have never been used for anything but marijuana.
Some people like machine bud trimmers.
I’m not a big fan of them because they handle the buds too roughly.
However if you’re a large-scale commercial grower, you may have to use something like what you see in this video…
Don’t hire or use other people to help you harvest unless you absolutely have to.
I’ve heard dozens of stories about “harvest helpers” ripping off or narking the grower.
As with all security problems, most marijuana rip-offs or busts start when someone knows you’re growing, and they use it against you.
The rule is: the less people who know you grow, the better it is for you.
As soon as you cut your whole stalk or branches, have a clean, aerated, dry, safe, temperature-controlled dark place to hang your buds in.
I’ll spend the next how to grow marijuana article lining out the ideal environment and infrastructure that you want your buds to dry, cure, and store in so you get the most aroma, taste, value and THC out of them.