After spending up to 12 weeks intimately watering and tending to your plant’s every need, trimming the flowers after all that hard work is what that big pay day is all about.
There is nothing worse than when a flower has serious potential but the aroma and taste falls short of impressive.
Below are some tips on how to make sure your prized flowers are correctly flushed, trimmed, dried, cured, ensuring that all the waste material is wisely used later on.
Flushing Your Plants Correctly
Overzealous first time growers can learn the hard way that when it comes to biomass and correctly flushed cannabis, less is more in the garden when harvest time is near.
Flushing simply means using water as a solvent in the same way it is used when making a cup of coffee and dissolving the contents of the mug. With enough water, any remaining salts will break down into small enough pieces that the roots can eventually absorb what they need.
When a plant is multicoloured at the end of its life cycle, this is a sign of all deficiencies of micro and trace elements being naturally depleted. Every time rain water hits soil, nutrients are naturally leached out and the E.C will reduce. Once you know your plants are totally nutrient free, then you should wait for the medium to totally dry out and after 5 days of a total dry period, then you should harvest the plants in darkness, or at least away from intense lighting.
This is the preferred method for many old school growers, especially if the crop is small enough that enough care and attention can be administered to trim up every single nug to perfection.
You will not want to handle the buds above the stem. Instead, neatly twist the bud around the base of the stem between your thumb and finger. You want to refrain from touching the buds as much as you can and preserving all those perfect trichomes and terpenes.
Wet trimming can be an arduous task and quality control can dip as you begin to lose motivation after a full day of back breaking focus!
Once you have carefully trimmed your buds down, you can place them carefully in a dry net and leave in your drying room.
If you have a large commercial crop, then dry trimming or hanging your plants for 1 to 2 weeks is much easier and logistically smarter. A grower should remove the fan leaves at the very least before hanging wet cannabis plants This means that when the plants are finally dry trimmed, the smallest sugar leaf is kept behind and the buds are dry and ready to be stored away and labelled accordingly.
It is wise if you are dry trimming to have some type of tray underneath your flowers as you trim and handle them.
Drying Room Temperature
The room temperature of your drying room can make a huge difference. Some flowers can end up becoming totally ruined if they are speed dried or the humidity is not right. You will want to aim for 15 degrees Celsius and a room humidity of around 30%, with some moderate breeze that is not blowing directly at the flowers.
If you stand in your dry room and you feel the hairs stand up on your arms, then you know the drying room is just right. The idea is to dry your flowers to around 1/3 water content so by adjusting your relative humidity to 30%, over a 10 day to 2 week time frame, your flowers will be the most aromatic and high quality they can be.
How Many Days To Wait?
Patience is everything when it comes to drying your flowers. You will have spent around 10 weeks watching those stinking frosty buds swell up and display a variety of seasonal colours. Now you must wait.
A good tip here is to wait around 2 weeks, with the temperature of your drying room 15 degrees Celsius and 30% room humidity. This will ensure that your flowers will be completely ready to enjoy.
Avoid drying the flowers out quickly. As tempting as it can be, the wait is worth it.
Curing Those Buds
This is often a stage in the process that many new growers can get confused with.
Basically, curing your buds is the same procedure used to cure wine over time to increase the flavour and profile of the once fresh grapes.
This is basically what you are doing with your flowers in a sense. You will want to place them in an airtight jar and each day leave the lid open for around 10 minutes.
Saving Your Trim!
When you sit down and begin to trim your wet or dry flowers, you want to save some of the leaves as they contain trichomes.
Discard the fan leaves and stems as these are useless unless you are making oils or other products from your plant.
Collect all the sugar trim into a plastic bag or cardboard box.
This is also a great way to get an initial taster and feel of how the flowers will ingest.