Depending on the strain you have selected to grow, the harvest window will open 10-14 days before or after the end of your recipe. It’s really up to you to decide when to take it down. By now your pistils will be darkening to 50% and your buds filling out with the final weight push. Grab a 60x jewelers loupe and check out those trichomes.
What are the key criteria for determining when to harvest?
This is the week that I’m looking at my cannabis flowers on a daily basis, trying to judge if the time is right for me to cut it down and begin the harvest process. For me to make this decision, a couple things need to align.
- The pistils on the plant have turned orange/brown by over 75%
- The trichomes when viewed through a 60x loupe appear over 50% cloudy, with 20% being amber
- I am available in 3 days to place the cannabis into a glass jar. The drying recipe is very short, only 3 days and then the cannabis will need to be moved from the Grobo to the glass.
Keep an eye on water level!
As your plant continues to grow and ripen, it can be a very thirsty customer. We have been draining and filling the reservoir every 7 days now for weeks and you may notice that during your drains lately, not much is coming out. Keep an eye on your water levels for the last couple weeks of your grow. You can always top up after a couple days, the system will adjust the nutrient solution for you.
RH and storage
(From Royal Queen Seeds):
STORING BUDS FOR LONG PERIODS
For cannabis to remain potent for long periods of time, proper storage is an absolute must. Too dry and you chance reducing quality; too moist and you run the risk of mouldering. These two factors are very important. Make sure your prized nuggets are properly cured to begin with; that is the first step to successful long-term storage. Curing allows for a perfect internal humidity of the plant material. Extracting moisture content preserves quality and discourages mould.
There is no perfect way to store cannabis for long periods. Furthermore, the duration of storage depends on the habits of each individual consumer. In some cases, buds only need to be stored up to 8 weeks for those growing quick autoflowering crops. Or maybe the stash needs to last an entire year until next spring’s outdoor cultivation cycle.
CONDITIONS FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE
The ideal relative humidity (RH) range for storing cannabis is between 55-62%. This range inhibits mould growth, yet guarantees bud quality and resin integrity. A well-balanced moisture content in their immediate atmosphere will keep buds fluffy, aromatic, and potent for months.
With many foodstuffs that are stored long-term, you will see on the label ““Store in a cool, dark place.”” The same goes for cannabis. A cool, temperature-stable area away from light is perfect for storing cannabis long-term. Light degrades THC and warmth will cause mould.
Cannabis Jar Mason and preserving jars: Be sure they are the real deal, with durable rubber seals. Food safe integrity is what you need, not just a jar with good looks. Air is your enemy once buds are cured properly. Loosely fill the jar with well-cured nugs and fix the lid tight.
Commercial humidors: If you have the cash, a humidor is a fail-safe investment. Custom made for cannabis, these units keep the humidity perfectly stable every time.
Vaccum Seal Bags For CannabisVacuum seal bags 1: These are the food-preserving type. Depending on machine size, you can vac 50-1000g of cannabis. These bags take out all of the air, which is a big factor in limiting mould production. There is some loss in physical bud quality due to compression, but flavours and aromas remain intact. Weed will last almost indefinitely when cured right and vacuum sealed. Bags are often stored in the fridge or freezer for the very long-term.
Vaccum Seal Bags For Cannabis ClothesVacuum seal bags 2: These are the clothes-storing type, in which the air is extracted with a vacuum cleaner. These thicker bags have an air-tight zip seal. A vacuum cleaner can attach to a nozzle on the bag to suck air out and keep buds lasting longer and staying fresh. These larger bags are ideal for the seasonal grower. A real enthusiast will need to store kilos to last for twelve months. As will a medical patient making extractions. Like the aforementioned vacuum bags, these too can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Compression Cannabis HashCompression: Pressing buds into moulds until they become a hard, hash-like brick will store them indefinitely if they are properly wrapped. While the aesthetic of the flowers will be sacrificed, the weed itself will last forever! Simply slice chunks off when you need it. Some strains will fluff back out considerably and give you a nice surprise. Others remain solid and will need to be treated like hash.
When storing marijuana for the long-term, common sense is key:
Keep cool. Avoid the warmth. Keep away from pipes, the backs of heaters, hot water systems etc. Brothers and sisters in the tropics, we feel your pain.
Keep dark. Light degrades THC.
Be clean. If you are processing significant amounts of herb, you do not want to inoculate anything with spores you might accidentally bring in. Also, make sure jars and bags are clean.
Cure properly. Long-term storage depends very much on properly cured weed. Curing is a primary skill to develop as a marijuana grower.
Use glass or glazed ceramic jars. Plastic can encourage sweating.
How to look at trichomes
"You will need to observe trichomes that have a mushroom-like head on them. Any trichomes that do not have this mushroom shaped head will not give clues as to the potency or harvest times. Once you have found these fungal-shaped trichomes, the following general rules should help you decide what stage of the harvest window your cannabis plant is, as well as offer an indication as to its potency:
Trichomes are completely clear – this indicates that your plant is not ready for harvest and its potency will be extremely low. In this situation, leave the plants and return to observe trichomes one or two days later.
Trichomes are cloudy, with some clear parts – This indicates the very beginning of your harvesting window. While it is perfectly accpetable to harvest your plants at this stage, to do so would be like eating a banana before it ripens; it is still nice but it doesn’t have the texture, flavour or aroma that you want it to. Potency will be fairly low and will offer a more energetic high than plants harvested at a later date.
Trichomes are very cloudy – This indicates the optimum harvesting time for most cannabis cultivators. Potency will be at its highest, especially THC count and pain-relieving effects will be at their most beneficial at this stage.
Trichomes have turned an amber colour – This indicates the very end of your harvest window. Harvesting your plants at this stage will still offer potency but will offer a “couch-lock” effect as opposed to an energetic buzz. This is also the perfect time for harvest if you are look for your plants to help you with anxiety and a general sense of calm."
What tools do I need for harvest?
What do you need to prepare for the end of your recipe and harvest time?
- A pair of spring loaded triming scissors. (Any scissors will work)
- The Grobo drying rack. Available online at www.grobo.io
A nice to have is a trimming tray with a micro screen in it to catch trichomes that fall through from all of the trimming you’ll be doing. You can collect your reward after a couple harvests!
How do you harvest a cannabis plant?
Once you have decided it’s time to harvest, your trichomes are milky and your pistils are orange, there are a couple simple steps.
- Cut each branch at the lowest bud site. Leave a little extra stem for your fingers to hold the stem while trimming.
- Once all branches are removed, you can pull the plant/roots/lid out of the Grobo, discard the plant (and coco pod too) The lid can be put aside for cleaning.
- Instal the drying rack in 3 levels
- Back to the branches, we begin by removing all of the fan leaves at the stem. Discard
- Now we can trim the sweet leaf onto a trim tray, piece of cardboard or even plastic map. We want to catch the sweet leaf we remove to use later.
- Hang the trimmed buds on the drying rack, upside down by tucking the lowest bud on the branch, over the wire.
- Make sure you have ended your grow on the app and selected the Dry Mode recipe.
In 3 days, you will be done! Ready to begin curing your buds in a glass jar. What weight did you achieve?
How do I dry my cannabis?
If you have harvested your plant, it’s time to end your grow and select the dry mode. This is easy to do.
- On the sidebar on the left, select Maintenance
- Underneath you will see End Grow
- Once pressed you will be asked to confirm your choice. Select Yes. You are ready to dry and then grow again!
- You will now see your homepage, with the prompt to ‘add a plant to start growing’
- Select ‘Drying Mode’
Congrats, you’ve done it!
Extending your grow
What happens if my plant isn’t ready to harvest before the end of my recipe you ask? We have good news. The Grobo will continue automatically following the recipe for as long as you wish after the recommended harvest date. This way you can rest assured you will be able to harvest at the time you choose and maximize the quality of your bud. End your grow on your time.
Congrats, you have avoided root rot, fought off bugs and amazed your friends. You are in the clear right? Well, almost. The last thing you need to be on the lookout for is powdery mildew. Powdery mildew spores can be transported to your plants on the wind, through air ventilation systems, from pets, and any other living thing that moves (including yourself). Until the surrounding environment is ideal, the spores from mildew will stay dormant, biding their time. You will know you have powdery mildew when you notice fuzzy, flour-like circular patches on your cannabis plants’ leaves. You might see leaves that look spotted, mottled, and wilting. The powdery mildew infection will quickly spread to surrounding leaves and will “eat” everything in its path.
Powdery mildew is quite recognizable, given its stark white in contrast with the green leaves, and it can be removed if you use proper treatment in a timely manner. The problem with powdery mildew is the spores - often you can’t even see them as they are spreading throughout the air, making them extremely difficult to avoid and combat. It often crops up when you are curing your cannabis. Remember to keep opening your jar twice a day for 20 min to fight powdery mildew.