Ready for harvest - but when to exactly

  • Thread starter d1pz9
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d1pz9

d1pz9

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Hi guys,

Let me introduce you to this Blue Cheese plant that has had quite of a life experience being my first grow ever.
It's now exactly 70 days into her flowering period and she's now been flushed 4 times during the last 2 weeks, and by now it is at 48 hours complete darkness in in quite chilly room.

I was wondering maybe I could get a constructive opinion in a brief period of time from someone on a few questions I'm dealing with atm:

Since I don't have a 50x lens I can't really examine the trichomes with much accuracy, but the pistils as you can see in the picture are not quite all the way orangey-brown yet. Those at the very top of the buds are white and fairly new and alive. All of the are yellowing in the same pace (except the big fan leaves), and they are healthy and still sturdy to the pull.

I'm now in doubt whether to harvest it in around 12-24 hours and let it dry as a whole for 2 weeks;
or
Let it die on it's own in the soil which is already dry, and the later, then after some time cut it and let it finish drying in a 60/60 environment.


What are the pros / cons to each method? Is there really a curing "head-start" if the plant is left in the dark and cold environment at the end of the flowering it would promote it to focus on extracting all of it's nutrients out of it's foliage to create as many trichomes as possible in a sort of defense?
But on the other hand, are there any experienced (and patient) growers who had the means to dry their plants while still in soil? Does it make the whole process longer? Are there any particulate benefits to doing that?

Hope this thread reaches some kind folks who are willing to set aside a minute or two to join in on this interesting topic
 
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Chad.Westport

Chad.Westport

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The hairs are a guide but the trichomes are the definitive answer. General rule of thumb - harvest when the trichomes on the bud (not the sugar leaf, it matures faster) are 10% clear, 80% milky and 10% amber. As you get a few harvests under your belt, you may develop your own preference for the ratios, but the above formula is widely accepted.

If you use your phone to take a close up photo, you can usually enlarge it and see the trichome heads. That method works for many.

I personally like to chop it down, remove the large fan leaves and then hand dry for 7-14 days in 60 degrees with 60% humidity and light airflow around the plants. Then I dry trim them and jar it. Burp it when needed and let it cure for a month or longer.

There isn't a short cut to curing, other than to get a good long (but not too wet, watch out for mold) hang dry to remove a lot of the chlorophyl or as people say, "the green / hay taste". Don't run your room over 80 degrees at the canopy level, you'll volatize some of the terpenes. When you jar them, don't leave much air space, don't pack it in, but don't leave dead air. These have all helped me maintain good taste / smell.

I've not heard of the drying in soil practice. The plant is still going to be functioning, so I don't really see that as a drying process.
 
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d1pz9

d1pz9

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Yeah, all of that is fine but my dilemma here is whether to chop it and hang-dry it whole or let it die on the stalk and hang dry it afterwards. Which method yields better results in terms of maximizing the terpenes and trichome production, or other benefits or downsides for either of them.

As far as when to harvest it, I'm trying to follow all those general guidelines but I will have to rely mostly on the pistils, because judging by the pictures I posted there still are quite a few them that are white, as far as my phone camera could zoom I was able to notice some amber trichomes on the sugar leaves but not on the buds quite yet. Keep in mind that it's now entering week 11 since it's been flipped to flower.

That's what's leading me to think that maybe letting it die and dry and on the stalk could possible enable it to ripen as much as possible, because either way I cannot get it back in the grow room to get more light exposure, my only option right now is to figure out when and how to harvest it, not whether it's actually ready or not.
 
Chad.Westport

Chad.Westport

554
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If you have 2 plants, do one each way. See for yourself which worked best in that situation. I recommend cutting and hanging it.
 
Chad.Westport

Chad.Westport

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That flower has a couple weeks to go in my opinion. When the white pistils mostly turn dark and die back then check trichomes.
Yeah, I'd agree it may have another week or two to go, but he says putting it back in light isn't an option for him.
 
Akabudz

Akabudz

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My penny's worth is 2 weeks plus needed still.
May be some where along the lines plant got stunted and held it back?
 
Akabudz

Akabudz

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At about same level as my grow, I'm 55 days in of. Flower and lost a week due to errors on my behalf
 
MHippie

MHippie

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MiMedGrower is right. You've got to wait until the pistils recede then check your trichs.

Leaving the plant on the stalk in the dirt to dry? Bad move. You are prone to rot, degraded thc, bad smoke. The only fast cure that I've used that works is with dry ice but I was smashing for rosin for a buddy with road rash and a banged up Hog lol. But I'm a patient old man who enjoys growing WAAAAAY too much and usually won't touch something that hasn't been in a jar for at least 60 days.
 
MIMedGrower

MIMedGrower

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MiMedGrower is right. You've got to wait until the pistils recede then check your trichs.

Leaving the plant on the stalk in the dirt to dry? Bad move. You are prone to rot, degraded thc, bad smoke. The only fast cure that I've used that works is with dry ice but I was smashing for rosin for a buddy with road rash and a banged up Hog lol. But I'm a patient old man who enjoys growing WAAAAAY too much and usually won't touch something that hasn't been in a jar for at least 60 days.



I think once we grow a while and have plenty of weed we become more patient and experienced and keep plants healthier and flower them to a true finish so they are as potent and complex as possible.
 
MHippie

MHippie

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I think once we grow a while and have plenty of weed we become more patient and experienced and keep plants healthier and flower them to a true finish so they are as potent and complex as possible.
Yep yep. It's easy to sit on my high horse when there are gallon jugs cured laying around :))))
 
d1pz9

d1pz9

6
1
This is what I was hoping to hear from you guys, I was just really confused about it getting into week 11 and still looking not quite there yet. I'm not sure what could've held it back, it all looked quite normal although my other plants got a spider mite infestation that wreaked havoc in my grow room, hence why I'm unable to get it back under the light again.

I was thinking that maybe she's a few days off off it's final form but 2 weeks is seriously early harvest, I might have to strategize somehow here.
But how much actually will it hurt the plant to harvest it now? I understand I'm leaving quite some potency on the table, maybe some taste and smell but considering the risk I'd be taking to mix it in the same room with 4 other infected plants, what's really worth doing here?

Hypothetically if I get it back under the light now, since it's been flushed and hasn't gotten any water in over a week and nutrients in close to 3 weeks, how am I supposed to approach that? Just one or two more waterings with no nutrients? It seems like the plant's already deep into pulling nutrients off the leaves so there probably aren't enough left to support a 2 week ripening (just my guess).

In terms of the harvesting method, I've consumed tons of content from all kinds of growers before even germinating my first seed, and I'm pretty positive I've came up to some who swear by the fact that when you leave the plant with no nutrients over the final two weeks before harvest, and keep an 8-10 degree C difference in day/night temps, the plant already starts to cure itself by pulling the remaining nutrients from the soil and then from it's foliage and stems. So by the time it's been hang dried for 2 weeks the curing process is 90% done and the final thing to do is to just cure the buds in jars not so that they can degrade the leftover chlorophyll but just so that all of the buds get to an even level of internal humidity so that the smaller ones aren't drying faster.
But that's just my accumulated knowledge so far, that's why I was looking to gather some other opinions and hear some other experiences.

Oneclear take away here is that I surely won't be leaving it to dry on the stalk, I only thought of that as an option because in my mind it made sense that the plant would ripen the buds with it's final energy even with no exposure to light, so that those remaining white pistils will wilt and go brown before I chop it for the final hang-dry in a few days time.

Thank you guys for the responses, the plant has now been 72 hours in complete darkness and I've still no clue what I'm going to do now 😅
 
RR1

RR1

225
63
Yeah, all of that is fine but my dilemma here is whether to chop it and hang-dry it whole or let it die on the stalk and hang dry it afterwards. Which method yields better results in terms of maximizing the terpenes and trichome production, or other benefits or downsides for either of them.

As far as when to harvest it, I'm trying to follow all those general guidelines but I will have to rely mostly on the pistils, because judging by the pictures I posted there still are quite a few them that are white, as far as my phone camera could zoom I was able to notice some amber trichomes on the sugar leaves but not on the buds quite yet. Keep in mind that it's now entering week 11 since it's been flipped to flower.

That's what's leading me to think that maybe letting it die and dry and on the stalk could possible enable it to ripen as much as possible, because either way I cannot get it back in the grow room to get more light exposure, my only option right now is to figure out when and how to harvest it, not whether it's actually ready or not.
If you let it die on the stalk, the plant will have moved too far, IMO. Take a bud off, dry for a few days, throw it in a vaporizer. Taste won't be great, but the high will tell you a lot. Sell some bud, buy a 30x loupe or so. Problem solved for next time.
RR1
 
d1pz9

d1pz9

6
1
Alright so after a lot of time spent analyzing the buds this morning with my phone camera, this was the best shot I could take of the trichomes and there's no way of knowing whether the "cap" is starting to turn amber just off of this. The guess is that they probably aren't due to the number of white pistils but on most of the buds over 70% of the pistils are orange/brown, only the ones that just recently grew are the ones that are clear/white. Most of the white ones are on the top of the buds on the part that's elongated (those appeared in the last week).

As I said above, I have some weird infestations on my other 4 plants in my grow room and I wouldn't want to be taking any chances just to give it a few days worth of light which I don't even know if it'll do anything since the plant's out of nutrients, water and light for a while now.

I think I'll be doing my first harvest later on today, so if you guys have any tips at this point to share, that would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

If what you guys believe is right, that she needs a week or two more, what do you think the "damage" will be from harvesting it early? Less THC? Shorter lasting high? Energetic, anxiety-provoking head high? Or maybe something else.

Thanks everyone for the help!
 
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