A bud that died or has been infected by mold will also develop brown hairs. You can start harvesting when 80% of the hairs are brown. If most of the buds have brown hairs but a couple of the lower buds still have white hairs, you can still start harvesting. In order to try out the different highs, you can also harvest in phased intervals.
In the last two weeks, the buds will mainly mature and grow no more in size. The white trichomes (small resin-secreting stalks/hairs) on the buds will now slowly turn brown.
Now the harvest is getting closer, it’s time to remove the leaves around the buds and the bigger leaves that contain THC. This can also be done later on, but if you do it now, you save time and more light will fall on the lower buds, which allows them to grow a bit more at the last moment. You can dry these leaves to make kief, hash, hash oil or ice hash from it.
Because blooming plants need more phosphorus and potassium, you can give them PK 13/14 as an additional stimulant for their growth and flowering. It will make the buds harder and more compact. You can also administer additional products such as blooming stimulators, blooming boosters, and enzymes. If you are a beginning grower, these products are probably superfluous because they are only of use if everything went well during the growth period. There’s a fair chance that you will have made some mistakes if you are a beginning grower. If you are an experienced grower, these products will enhance your harvest.
Because there are still a lot of nutrients in the medium (the precise amount depends on the medium you used) and because the leaves also contain a fair amount of nutrients, you can stop administering them in the last 1.5 to 2 weeks (depending on the medium you use). Depending on the cannabis strain you grow and the climate of the growing area, the maturing takes some time to complete.
If you have discovered mold in a bud, it is as good as lost. Once 80% of the hairs have turned brown, it’s time to prepare for the harvest. You can influence the type of high you get from smoking your cannabis by harvesting the buds a bit sooner or later. The longer you wait, the stronger the ‘stone’ of the cannabis will be. If you harvest a bit sooner, you get more of a ‘high’ effect. The harvesting time, therefore, depends on your personal preference.
Try to make sure that the humidity stays below 50% in the last few weeks of the flowering period. If the humidity is too high, this can lead to stone hard buds, which might develop mold in the last weeks of their growth phase.
In the last two weeks, the buds will mainly mature and grow no more in size. The white trichomes (small resin-secreting stalks/hairs) on the buds will now slowly turn brown. Once 80% of the hairs have turned brown, it’s time to prepare for the harvest. You can influence the type of high you get from smoking your cannabis by harvesting the buds a bit sooner or later. The longer you wait, the stronger the ‘stone’ of the cannabis will be. If you harvest a bit sooner, you get more of a ‘high’ effect. The harvesting time therefore depends on your personal preference.
At the end of flowering, there may still be plenty of nutrients left in the growing medium and leaves. To prevent harsh tastes and unsavoury chemicals making their way into your stash, you can simply stop feeding any nutrients in the last 1.5–2 weeks of flowering. If you are growing hydroponically, you shouldn’t stop feeding until the last five days as they will be growing in water only. But when you are growing in pots with soil or coco, there can be lots of nutrients left that we want the plants to use up.
Your selection of cannabis seeds could be guided by their required flowering time, as well as other factors such as their taste or effect. If you prefer a more “up” high rather than a heavy body stone, you will likely want a sativa-dominant cross that takes a little longer to bloom, typically between 8–12 weeks. Even so, do not forget that every plant is unique. There can always be early-blooming, medium-long-blooming, and late-blooming individuals in your cannabis garden, even from the same strain and the same seeds.
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One way to get an idea of when to harvest is by inspecting the pistils. Once around 80% have moved from white to brown, it’s likely that your weed is ready for the chop. keep in mind, however, that other factors can influence the browning of pistils, so if you desire more accuracy, consider the trichome test. Checking the trichomes is the most surefire way to know when it’s time to harvest.
For the flowering stage, you should aim for a relative humidity of around 40–55%. The easiest way to achieve this, without getting an air humidifier, is to attach a dimmer switch to your exhaust fans. With a dimmer, you can vary the speed of the air extraction and therefore influence the climate in your grow room. Moreover, an exhaust without a dimmer always operates at full speed even if it isn’t needed. This will not only waste electricity, but also creates more noise than necessary.
With these basic products, you will be able to grow yourself a great harvest. If plants are healthy, then you can apply a number of additional products like a bloom stimulator and/or boosters and enzymes. If your plants are struggling, however, it doesn’t make much sense to add these often-expensive products as they can only help as long as everything else is going smoothly. As newcomers tend to make mistakes, these products will in all likelihood be overkill and are not really necessary.
As your cannabis is flowering, these trichomes change colour, moving from crystal clear to milky-white, and then finally to an amber colour. If the tiny “mushroom” heads are all still crystal clear, then there is still a ways to go. By the time most of the trichomes have turned a milky white colour, your cannabis should be just about ready. But know that when you choose to harvest can also affect the resulting high. Harvesting when trichomes are mostly milky, with just a few amber heads, usually results in more of an “upper high”. Wait for more amber heads to appear, and the effect will become more sedative. Many cultivators choose to harvest when around 15% of the trichomes have turned amber and the rest are milky-white.
If you have 10 plants, then it will take you about two months and two weeks. In other words, it will take you longer to get the same yield. Commercial growers in particular find it important to get to harvest in the shortest time possible. That is why they often cram 20 plants in a square metre and only give them 1–3 days for veg, depending on the medium they are using. This way, they can harvest every two months if they use a strain that does the business in 8 weeks. In general, plants with more of a sativa influence take longer to bloom than those dominated by indica genes.
Learn all you need to know about the final weeks of the cannabis flowering stage, including ideal climatic conditions, how to know when to harvest, and more.