Fall is nearly here and that means harvest time for outdoor cannabis plants! When it comes to harvesting your buds, timing is everything. If you’ve got the patience, taking a little extra time with this step can increase your yield and maximize the amount of resin your flowers produce. Here are some tips to get you started.
Keep a very close eye on your flowers. If your goal is to maximize THC, then it’s important to take a close-up look at the buds with a lighted magnifier or jeweler’s loupe. Not only will this help you identify problems as soon as they arise, such as pests or mildew, it can tell you when it’s time to harvest your plants. Over time, you can watch the resinous crystals form as the plant gets closer to maturity. Your plants are harvest-ready once these crystals have fully formed, are covering the bud and go from clear to milky.
If you’re growing CBD-rich strains, you’ll want to wait longer to harvest. THC potency degrades over time, but CBD does not. So, by waiting for some of the THC to reduce, you’ll get a more potent CBD-rich result.
Flush your plants before harvesting. Using your magnifier or loupe, keep an eye on those resinous crystals! When approximately 10-15% of these glands begin to go from clear to cloudy, it’s time to start flushing out all the nutrients and other additives that can alter the pure taste of your cannabis. Use only filtered water in your regular watering sessions, taking care not to overwater. Flush for anywhere from four to eight days before harvesting.
Harvest at the peak time for your desired goal. To maximize THC content in your flowers, harvest when most of the resin glands have turned from clear to cloudy. To maximize your CBD content, wait until they change from milky white to amber.
Stagger your harvest. If you’re keeping a close eye on your cannabis plants, you’ve probably noticed that buds on top mature faster than the buds on the bottom. A lot of this has to do with the amount of light each area received as well as the balancing of nutrients throughout the plant. By harvesting the top buds first and waiting until the lower buds reach their peak potential, you can increase your yield significantly!