5 Tips for Harvesting a High-Quality Cannabis Crop
If you are growing marijuana or hemp for CBD, you’ve invested time, sweat, and maybe even a few tears into your grow season. Now that it’s time to harvest your crop, keep in mind that the next steps are crucial. For a high-quality yield, you must complete the drying and curing stages just right. Like all the other phases you endured during the cultivation process, your hard work will go to waste without the proper precautions.
Here are 5 tips to ensure you get the results you desire—as well as a prime product to sell at the maximum market value!
Choose the Trimming Method That Works for You
No matter how you cut it, trimming is a fundamental step after harvest
Many growers swear by dry trimming while others argue wet trimming is the only way to go. Both processes have their pros and cons, but it’s important to determine which method to choose before you dry your plants.
This manner of trimming occurs right after harvest. Trimming your plants before drying is known as a “wet trim” as the leaves are still wet during the cutting process. Although this method may leave you in a sticky situation, it is usually the easiest for novices. Wet trimming requires a lot of work, but it speeds up the drying time by reducing the amount of moisture in the foliage—not to mention the space required to dry it.
Hanging and drying your freshly harvested plants prior to pruning is called dry trimming. This method takes more time, space, and finesse to avoid damaging your plant, but it can benefit you and your crop. Dry trimming helps prevent excess terpene loss and minimizes the mess associated with sticky trichomes.
Regardless of the technique you choose, it’s important to find a method that works best for your scenario. And remember, you don’t actually have to trim the entire plant before or after drying it. Want to know more? Read about dry trimming and wet trimming here.
Avoid Direct Light Exposure in the Drying Process
A dark drying room means better flavor
Sun-dried tomatoes taste amazing; sun-dried cannabis…not so much. Just because you cut your plants doesn’t mean they die right away. Freshly cut cannabis plants are still full of chlorophyll and naturally try to convert light into energy. Once the leaves are no longer exposed to light and the roots stop absorbing water, that energy goes to the flowers for reproduction.
Keep in mind that any amount of sunlight that enters a drying room during this process degrades THC quality. If you want more flavor and high-quality yield, use a light deprivation technique that keeps your room completely dark until the plants are dry. Blackout covers like BOLD prevent light from entering drying rooms and drying greenhouses.
Moisture Matters: Invest in Quality Climate Control
Don’t let humidity control be the bane of your existence
Too much humidity and warm temperatures lead to mold. Dry conditions and low humidity create an appealing environment for spider mites. So what conditions are the ideal conditions? According to greencultured.co, ideal humidity in drying areas is between 45% – 55%, while the ideal air temperature is between 65 – 75° F (18 – 24° C).
Remember that humidity fluctuates naturally. These changes are often due to how much moisture content is in the plants and any changes in temperature.
Other factors can also affect the temperature in your drying room or greenhouse such as:
- Climate in your area
- Size of the drying room
- Drying method
Maintaining the perfect humidity and temperature levels doesn’t have to be difficult. Depending on your needs, various control systems like humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air conditioning and/or heaters can get your drying room to the ideal conditions in no time.
Provide Fresh Air Throughout the Room
Air circulation and proper ventilation promote a balanced environment
Keeping a constant flow of air around the room is a critical component of the drying process. Proper air circulation helps maintain ideal temperatures and humidity levels, and also decreases the chances of unwanted occurrences of mold and mildew. If you’re looking to reduce odors and keep the air clean, use a carbon filter.
While you’re drying your harvest, don’t forget to give your buds some space! Ensuring ample space and airflow between buds and branches allows the plants to dry faster. Just don’t let your plants dry too fast. If they do, the smoke will be bitter and unpleasant.
Good things come to those who wait
When it comes to producing a high-quality product and the results you desire, timing is everything.
- Don’t rush perfection: drying your plants too quickly compromises the quality of the product.
- Wait until your plants are ready: mixing freshly harvested plants in the same room as almost-dried plants can result in rehydration and an imbalance in humidity levels.
- Take time to smell the reefer: the average drying time is typically a minimum of two weeks. However, the guru of ganja, Ed Rosenthal suggests dedicating a month or two more. Waiting longer to cure the cannabis enhances the effects and the flavor of the plant.
There are many different techniques to drying and curing cannabis, just as there are numerous ways to use it. Americover specializes in premium greenhouse covers and grow room specialty plastic films. Contact us to request a catalog or learn more about creating the ultimate cultivation environment!