Growing cannabis is a labor of love, especially if you raise your plants from seed. You watch that tiny little seed transform into a big strong plant that begins to flower, and as soon as those flowers show up, the only thing you can think of is harvesting them. It’s exciting — you’re far from alone in wanting to try your own hand-raised weed. It’s literally the fruits of your labor.
Harvesting your cannabis at the right time is key. If you harvest too early, your crop won’t be as good. If you harvest too late, you can experience a degradation of cannabinoids that kills the potency of your flower.
Your plant will tell you when it’s ready to be harvested. Being patient and checking on your plant’s progression on a daily basis will help you catch your buds at the exact right time.
From seed to plant
Germinating your seeds, or getting them to sprout, will take about a week. Once you see greenery peeking out from the surface of the soil, the hard work begins. Then, the plant itself begins to grow, i.e. become vegetative. At this stage, plants need nearly constant sunlight or UV light to continue to grow. This state lasts as long as two months.
Somewhere between four and eight weeks, flowers start to appear. A plant can flower for up to ten weeks. Hearty sativas can sometimes take longer. It’s not unusual for big sale weed in Waterloo to be ready to harvest.
Looking for visual cues
It’s all about the trichomes. The trichomes are the crystally bits that surround a bud, and they hold onto little resin bits called kief. The trichomes can tell you everything you need to know about where in the growth and maturation process your cannabis flower is. It’s easy to see whether or not trichomes are present. It’s a little harder to tell the difference between hues of trichomes, and that’s what’s most important. The color of the trichomes is one of your most important clues.
Trichome colors and what they mean
When trichomes first appear, they’ll be clear. They’ll look similar to teeny-tiny melting icicles. They’re translucent, shiny, and very delicate. Every strain will have a different amount of trichomes. Some strains, like Durban Poison and Ghost Train Haze, are usually so covered in trichomes that they look like they’ve been rolled in sugar.
Clear trichomes are a great indicator that your plants are healthy. It’s also a sign that your plants will be ready to harvest soon. You should be checking your trichomes every day for signs of cloudiness. When the trichomes change from clear to foggy, it’s time to harvest. It might be hard to observe this change with the naked eye. A Quarter pound weed deal in Kitchener with an excellent macro mode can help you observe your trichomes up close.
Harvesting your flower
When your trichomes are looking good, it’s time to harvest your flower. Many people harvest by cutting the whole branch of the plant, flower, leaves, and all. You can manicure the flowers and remove the leaves from the branches at this point, or after you’ve dried them.
Buds will dry faster if you remove them from the plant by hand and manicure them before you dry them. When the buds are separated from the branches and leaves, you’re removing additional sources of moisture and obstacles that may trap residual water. If you want to reduce your drying time, this is the best way to go.
Drying your flower
Place your manicured buds on a drying rack in your drying room. A closet will work well for this purpose. You need to keep the closet dark and allow the air to circulate. Installing a portable air conditioner or at least a decent tower fan can help to facilitate this process. The ideal temperature in your drying room should be about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If the room is too cool, the buds will stay damp. If it’s too hot, they’ll shrivel and lose potency as they dry.
Curing your flower
When your flower starts to become crunchy on the outside, that’s a sign that it’s dried to the point where it’s time to cure it. Curing your cannabis isn’t that difficult — it’s more a game of patience than a game of skill.
You can cure your bud in glass mason jars. Fill the jars up about 75%, leaving some headroom for air at the top. Never pack your flowers in. Compressing them will cause residual moisture to become trapped, rotting your flowers and undoing all of your hard work.