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How to tell when to harvest if you don't have a loupe, or Don't rely solely on trichomes

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
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We've all seen them, the threads asking, "Is she done yet?" or "Is she ready?" The vast majority of farmers are well familiar with using trichomes as the gauge for figuring out when to harvest their crop. Hopefully the newbies have gone through the two DJ Short threads posted up in this forum by Texas Kid. While everyone's at it, read this quick primer to help round out the harvest window picture for you.

Those who've got enough grows with enough strains under their belts are going to know that not all strains' trichomes will change color in the 'usual' manner, and in fact some strains trichomes will never change color until after harvesting. I've run strains on which the trichomes never got cloudy, they went from clear to amber, and I've run strains with purple trichomes that never got cloudy or amber.

And so, to that end, I'm doing another one of my threads to discuss what other metrics can be used to tell when a lady should be harvested.


Don't rely solely on trichomes for harvesting.

1: Pistils. Is she throwing out tons of new pistils, or is she just popping a few whities here and there, mostly at the tops of the buds, with an overall red appearance? If still popping out a lot of new pistils, she may have a little longer to go just yet.

2: Buds. Are they still growing noticeably, or does it seem they've stopped growing? If still growing noticeably, the plant has more time left to go. Don't shortchange yourself by getting impatient for the chop!

3: Appearance. Does the plant have an autumnal appearance? Especially once the major fan leaves begin yellowing, then you know you're nearing that finish line. This may be a more or less reliable metric depending on how you feed. Many folks continue pushing N long into flower, possibly all the way through, depending on their fertilizing regimen, and that can cause the plants to retain an overall bright green coloration. That makes this metric a little less reliable if taken on its own.

4: Water/fertilizer consumption. If it's still taking in a lot of water, it's still transpiring actively, which would suggest it's still growing actively. If it's still 'eating' as it was during the earlier phases of flower, then again, she likely still has some time. If it seems to have stopped drinking and eating, as some put it, then it's likely done.​

Now, add these other metrics to trichomes and you'll know when your girls are done and how you want to handle them. :)
 
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It's about time someone questioned the authority of this piece of "common knowledge".
Who better than seamaiden.
Trichome color is not exactly a myth, but I suspect it's more a function of temps and light intensity.
Trichome ambering looks to me like simple organic oxidation.
Check out my signature.
I'm about to quit brewing tea, and the only common thread in my multi soil head to head are the microbes in Down To Earth compost and worm castings.
These are both preliminary results, but they both fly in the face of common cartoons questioning what the plant wants.
 

caregiverken

Fear Not!
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Excellent post/thread Seamaiden

It's about time someone questioned the authority of this piece of "common knowledge".
Who better than seamaiden.
Trichome color is not exactly a myth, but I suspect it's more a function of temps and light intensity.
Trichome ambering looks to me like simple organic oxidation.
.
From what ive read, Amber trichomes are "overripe"
Mostly cloudy and fat is what im shooting for..
I dont always get the "fade" in my beds
I mostly use the "new Pistils" and the "is it still growing?"as my gage
edit to add;
47 days..and waiting a tiny bit longer.:)
fpogsourlitedep47days.JPG


It cant posably be done in 47 days...could it?
 
Last edited:
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both those the same strains, Ken? 47 days! Im droolin, whats the weight lookin like? giving up weight at all for quickness on those?

But, to the topic at hand, I am kinda like what Ken said, the term ripe to me means it's mostly done growing and looks like its plump and heavy. And certain strains I can tell by squeezing the flowers, that last real push rocks em up and you can feel it.
 
1,086
163
No, Sun G. The 1st pic is FPOG x Sour B :)
the 2nd is Train Wreck X SB
I think the sour bubble is making them finish quick
and the heat of the summer and tarps too.
Im happy with the yield :)
when I click on the sour bubble here where its for sale it doesnt tell me shit about it...how do I find out the genetics?? Or at least a sales pitch for the strain, maybe I am missing a more info button somewhere?

edit: ok, when I click on buy now it tells me more about it, but when u click the pic it just shows you the same pic, still not a lot of info but it looks great
 

caregiverken

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when I click on the sour bubble here where its for sale it doesnt tell me shit about it...how do I find out the genetics?? Or at least a sales pitch for the strain, maybe I am missing a more info button somewhere?

edit: ok, when I click on buy now it tells me more about it, but when u click the pic it just shows you the same pic, still not a lot of info but it looks great
https://www.thcfarmer.com/community/threads/bog-seeds-catalog-2013-14.59406/#post-1136136
Sour Bubble info and pics
https://www.thcfarmer.com/community/threads/bog-seeds-catalog-2013-14.59406/page-2#post-1136461

lots of fast finishers in Bogs line up
 
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Another gage that I use is the trichomes starting to bend and look somewhat like a candy cane. I totally agree on the trichomes color....my Purple Jones turns rusty before done and Chem 4 will frustrate the shit out of you waiting and waiting....
Good thread as usual Sea.
 

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
23,629
638
It was a Chem that I first learned that trichomes don't always follow the progression they're "supposed" to! Then a few years later I grew out a gal with deep purple trichomes that never got cloudy, and suddenly it was the middle of October and I didn't have a choice, she was a-goin'.
It's about time someone questioned the authority of this piece of "common knowledge".
Who better than seamaiden.
Trichome color is not exactly a myth, but I suspect it's more a function of temps and light intensity.
Trichome ambering looks to me like simple organic oxidation.
Check out my signature.
I'm about to quit brewing tea, and the only common thread in my multi soil head to head are the microbes in Down To Earth compost and worm castings.
These are both preliminary results, but they both fly in the face of common cartoons questioning what the plant wants.
I won't call it a myth, but using it as the only method to gauge when to pull a plant is simply inaccurate and a poor method, in my experience. Also, I can tell everyone that, just as Blaze has said, trichomes amber up once the cannabis begins to age/cure in any event. If it's a year old, you're gonna find nothing but amber.



Damn it! @caregiverken !! You Photoshopped those, didn't ya? :p Pretty ladybuds. :D
 

caregiverken

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Damn it! @caregiverken !! You Photoshopped those, didn't ya? :p Pretty ladybuds. :D
:) I use Gimp..lol Just to size and crop. Thanks Sea :)
Those are almost done.

I want to add another way to tell it time to harvest,
Its time to harvest when you see bud rot:depressed:


I was lucky not to get any PM with my latest lite deps (biowar helped to no doubt)
But I found a tiny bit of bud rot on two different plants this morning :(
The thumb sized middle buds snapped right off. and I didnt see any more bad buds
And I dont wanna...So, Im Harvesting :)
 
2,673
263
:) I use Gimp..lol Just to size and crop. Thanks Sea :)
Those are almost done.

I want to add another way to tell it time to harvest,
Its time to harvest when you see bud rot:depressed:


I was lucky not to get any PM with my latest lite deps (biowar helped to no doubt)
But I found a tiny bit of bud rot on two different plants this morning :(
The thumb sized middle buds snapped right off. and I didnt see any more bad buds
And I dont wanna...So, Im Harvesting :)
Nice looking buds there ken. I never get PM any more, years now, since I started using biowar. Love the stuff and am sad to see some on here attack the product.
 
518
143
Right on point sea!!!

I never use the trichome thing to gage end.
SOME strains will never get ambers,but the key
is to have them full of energy at the end stage!
the right kind of energy,not nitrogen,but its very
hard to gage this with every strain being different.

SO,i look to see the fullness of bud,amount of red hairs and how many whities are still poppin......
outdoor commercial you must harvest a bit early,
avoiding rot if possible since thay loose their guard against molds at the 3/4 mark budding.

A seeded crop will get you plenty red trichomes!
making a beautiful hash this way too....

CHEMDOG D,is a strain that should get amber,gold
atleast...
Afghans are this way!

Compost and organics give a better chance of amber at harvest assuming the energy lasts to the end with a good long flush of rain water is best!!!

THESE DAYS,amber trichomes are a hard to find thing as the old sativas with colored blood helped..
in the hybrids,had 1 that would totally get RED resins and was the most potent weed i ever grew!!

i find it harder an harder these days to ripen weed?
it is their blood we are loosing.......
natural settings,taken from their origins to different conditions and constantly breeding HIGH thc sugar plants.
Just my thoughts?
Keep trying to find a way folks,but not all will amber and you only need 5% amber anyhow!!!
peace,LG
 
I grow 100% organically and I never flush my ladies.
Good to know this! I also grow 100% organic and was just wondering about that today, because two of my plants are now looking like they want to come out and I don't have time to flush them. So that settles it, I'm going to harvest the two tomorrow.
Thanks Seamaiden again! :p

:eek: A note about ambering trichomes--they turn amber after a long enough cure in any event. :)[/quote]
 
:) I use Gimp..lol Just to size and crop. Thanks Sea :)
Those are almost done.

I want to add another way to tell it time to harvest,
Its time to harvest when you see bud rot:depressed:

I was lucky not to get any PM with my latest lite deps (biowar helped to no doubt)
But I found a tiny bit of bud rot on two different plants this morning :(
The thumb sized middle buds snapped right off. and I didnt see any more bad buds
And I dont wanna...So, Im Harvesting :)
Funny, I had the same thing happen to me with my Sour Diesel, a couple of those small buds just snapped off! I had done LST and pulled back the dominant branches to give the small ones a chance, but I feel it's not worth it, those 'thumb-sized middle buds' are very weak and don't grow as vigorous as the main few branches, yet hog the light. Next time I'm going to do less restricting of the main branches, at least on the Sour diesel —it's going really yellow now, even the small leaves, but the buds are big. It's stopped drinking and so has the Blue Dream. They are coming out tomorrow. The other two are still very thirsty...
 

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