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Added 14 Feb/2011
OPTIMAL Temperature for drying is 20C and 50-55% humidity in the dark for approximately 7 days, NEXT place in a airtight container overnight, in the dark
NEXT place in a cartoon box or paper bag for a day, in the dark
IF dry place in a jar in the fridge,
IF still wet keep it in a paper bag until dry.
In general terms the plants should be ready after 8 weeks of bloom. You can tell they are getting ready when the majority of white hair on the buds starts to change colour (usually grey, sometimes red or purple). When around 80% of hair changes colour the plants are ready to be harvested.
Important thing to remember is that 1 week or 2 weeks before harvest, (around week 6 or 7) you should decrease nutrients in your water down to 25% of recommended dosage. This will leach out the remaining nutrients in the soil and thus provide you with a clean smoke. You can tell that your pot is NOT leached if after drying the bud completely it does not want to burn easily. You still get high and all... but the sweet taste of cannabis is gone.....
IMPORTANT NOTE FROM MARK: I need to change the Grow Guide a little bit. Watering with plain water is NOT as good as watering with water + 25% nutrient mix...... This means that every time you water your plants you have to add al least 10% and at most 25% of nutrients....and of course more when they need it..... This will actually leach out the old nutrients better then watering just with plain water and also prevent nutrient lock.... sometimes when you water with plain water (i.e. 0% nutrients) the plants "think" there is a problem with nutrients supply and they try to retain as much nutrients as possible... the stem becomes dark and the leafs look burnt or drooping or .. just unhealthy.... To prevent this from happening you can always add a little bit of nutrients to your water and prevent nutrient lock in a first place..... If you see on this Grow Guide that I talk about plain water, you must change that to water + 25% nutrient mix..... this also applies to the end week of the bloom cycle when for the last week or two you "leach" out the nutrients before harvest.... "leaching" also means adding 10% to 25% of nutrients.....
Trichomes and Harvest Time
You can see them with the naked eye, but they only appear as "white crystals". In order to tell if the plant is ready for harvest, You need a 10x or 30x loop or magnifying glass. This is the best way to describe them.
With your 10x or 30x loop , On an immature plant, the trichomes will appear as clear or translucent structures . Some of the trichomes will appear as a ball, some appear as a stalk, and some appear as a stalk with a ball on top. (click on the pictures to enlarge them).
It is time to harvest when the trichomes lose their transparency and become cloudy or opaque.
Harvesting Your Crop, written by MRSB
Your ladies are ready to be harvested! All your work and dedication is about to pay off!
Before you harvest it is a good idea to leech your plants.
Run clear water through the plants until it is also clear when it runs out of the bottom of the pot. This does not have to be done all at once but should be completed BEFORE you harvest the plants so that the plant has a chance to feed on nothing but clear water for a day or two. This step removes all nutrient from the soil and �cleans� it out of the plant. It will enhance the taste of your final product.
When to Harvest
For a new grower this is a daunting question.
The new grower can get caught between wanting to taste what they�ve grown and wanting to get their ladies as sweet and resinous as possible.
When the buds and surrounding leaves become �sticky� and you can see the hairs changing colour (the colour will vary depending on the strain you are growing) the plant is ready.
If you look at the plant with a magnifier (or take a digital photo) you will be able to see trichomes on the plant. They look like itsey bitsy crystals. As long as they are mostly clear the plant is within the harvest envelope.
If it�s your first crop it is ok to take buds from the top or middle of the plant, dry them and have a taste!
Conventional wisdom says that if you harvest shortly after noticing the some of the hairs changing colour the resulting high will be more �cerebral� whereas if you harvest later the high will be �hazier�. This is a matter of personal taste/preference but is worth testing.
There are a number of approaches to how to harvest your ladies.
Most sources agree that it is best to plan to harvest just after the lights go out. At the end of a complete day the resins
There are a number of methods you can use to harvest and cure your plants. They all require the harvested ladies to be in a cool dark place.
DO NOT DRY IT IN THE SUN � DO NOT DRY IT IN THE OVEN!
Cut the main stem, hang the plant and let it dry in a dark place. This takes a fair amount of time as you are waiting for the stems to dry out as well as the buds,
Cut stems off the plant and hang them to dry. Without the stem the plant will dry a lot faster
Cut the stems off the plant, �manicure� the buds and hang to dry
Cut the buds off the stems, manicure them and put them on a screen to dry.
Manicuring your crop:
Note: If you intend to �manicure� your buds it is best to do so while the foliage is fresh as you will rupture fewer resin glands.
Trimming away extraneous foliage will certainly make your buds look impressive. You also get to �play� with your plants and get your fingers are sticky and stinky. If you plan to manicure you crop please bear in mind that although it is a lot of fun, it is also time consuming.
The �discards� from manicuring are what a lot of people use for baking.