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Class 207: Grow At-Home with Drogado del Gato, Pt. 7

Welcome to Finals, and we are at the end of our first growing season! We have our results and how we finished this cycle so everyone can find the same success with their homegrown. The rewards of all the hard work are here, but we now have the hurdle of finishing our cannabis. The time, effort, and money invested come down to the final steps in our home grow. We left off, watching our trichomes as they formed and went through the changes needed for us to know when to harvest our cannabis. The final weeks for Nightfire OG were quick, and relaxed in the sense that it simply changed to a lighter green during its final week and flush. Our indoor tent, in which we are cultivating Blood Diamond and Ace of Spades, saw us making the choice to push flowering time to further the development of our plants. The journey and results were amazing to say the least.

Final Weeks

The research and education you gain on your genetics will prove invaluable at every step of growing. For example, knowing the average flowering time of your strains will be a huge advantage when deciding when to start flush. The deciding factor will always be your senses with how the plant looks, smells, and feels when checking their health daily. I found that Blood Diamond and Ace of Spades have an average flowering time of 65 days, so I made a choice based upon their development and health to push longer. I am happy to report that this was the right choice as we saw the development of amazing colors, smells, and most importantly, trichomes. We are going to review each plant from Week 8 to Week 11, and we’ll cover the changes we saw in each.

Nightfire OG was our outdoor plant, and they were approaching completion in Week 8. The trichomes were the deciding factor in the choice to flush at Week 7 as it was feeling the Phoenix heat already. In the start of Week 7, Phoenix was already hitting highs of 80 degrees fahrenheit, which indicated that I needed to be watching the mostly clear trichomes. In my observation of an inner bud which had a mostly clear trichome grouping when first checked, had then turned almost entirely milky with a few amber heads over the course of two days that saw temperatures approach 90 degrees. This prompted the start of flush in Week 8 that went for 14 days into Week 10, during which Nightfire had no stress or major color changes. It maintained a healthy green with some slightly red edges in the last week but was relatively uneventful all the way to harvest.

Ace of Spades had a dramatic shift towards the end of its life cycle, and had some unique traits. The deep purple buds forming on the dark green branches were still not developed in structure and density in Week 7. In addition to the density of the buds, I also saw the buds still producing trichomes in early stages. It was the easiest choice of any of the plants to push this strain past Week 8. The result was a better yield, better trichome production, and some unique characteristics like smell or color. A common practice when cultivating purple strains is to drop the temperature to increase the intensity of color. I did this into Week 9 with the result being an almost black hue to the buds and a slow golden color turning to purple in the rest of the plant. This strain I took into Week 10 when I observed changes in the trichomes and decided to start flush. I ended up harvesting this strain in Week 11 after only a 7 day flush as opposed to a 14 day to see if there was any significant difference when smoked.

Finally, Blood Diamond, which had the most significant metamorphosis in its final weeks. At Week 7, I decided to push this strain because the trichomes were still young and clear over the whole plant. The choice to drop temperature also saw an effect on this plant bringing out the most fantastic reds, oranges, and purples over the remainder of Week 8. By Week 9 I was seeing the changes in trichomes to almost entirely milky with a few amber heads beginning to form over the buds, so I began the flush. In the 14 day flush to Week 11, our colors deepened and we saw some leaves start to finish their life cycle. I took the opportunity to trim these large or dying leaves to allow more light to the buds. In the end, smells of pastry and crunchberries wafted from this plant. The buds gained density and were simply covered in crystals that shined under the flash of a camera. The harvesting of this plant had me most excited to smoke because it really had become the gem of my efforts.

Drying Out

To dry my plants, I decided on a whole-plant hanging dry which I would convert an unused closet into a drying cabinet. I started by emptying the space and giving it a thorough cleaning. I then took some of the mylar sheeting to cover the interior walls and floor of the closet, securing the mylar with staples. I then put a simple desk fan aimed indirectly to circulate air, as well a humidifier to maintain a constant humidity. I dried my plants in an environment with an average temperature of 72 and a humidity kept at 60%. The amount of drying time and conditions will always change depending on your environment. My result was an average of six days to dry my plants to an acceptable point in which I could begin trimming the buds for curing.


Drying is not the last step in finishing your cannabis as you will always want to cure your cannabis. Curing develops the terpenes in your flower and results in the best smells as well as tastes coming out. Before I cure, I like to check my drying as well as get an initial profile of the flower by rolling a joint; if the joint stays lit, your cannabis is ready to cure. I pay attention to smells, tastes, and the overall feel of the buds as they start so I can compare at the end of my curing process. To cure, I buy some 24oz mason jars that I load to the top with my trimmed buds, which are then sealed with the cap. I will give the jar a daily shake and open the lid to burp any remaining gases while storing them in a cool, dark place for up to 14 days. My first finished strain, Nightfire OG cured for about 10 days before I saw a dramatic increase in smell, flavor, and bud density. The length of the cure will depend greatly on the traits of the buds being cured, but a good way to gauge is when opening the jar you smell candy, it’s ready!

Harvest Report

The first grow cycle has completed, and we wait to try the fruits of labor after cure. I can say with all honesty it has been amazing to cultivate again, but it is a lot of time, effort, and learning. In gaining experience, the goal always becomes to do better and learn from everything done. That said, there were mistakes as much as there was success, and for every solution came a problem that required research. I know my gear now, including LEDs, of which it was my first time using. The nutrients, biostimulants, and additives that I’ve used are now familiar to me, and I understand their limits. Finally, I understand my environment which I am growing in, as well as the challenges it will bring. I am very happy with my end results and I felt a brief overview was needed to add some context to Class 207.

Final Stats

Nightfire OG

  1. Height: 32 inches

  2. Harvest Weight: 3lbs

  3. Dry Weight: .75lbs

  4. Total Yield: 1.5oz

  5. Origin: Bag Seed

  6. Germination time: 3 days

  7. Vegetative time: 8 weeks

  8. Flowering time: 8 weeks

  9. Flush: 2 weeks

  10. Pros: Resilient in flower, bud structure

  11. Cons: Difficult to start, sensitive in veg

  12. Difficulty: Hard

  13. Smells: Citrus and Sneakers

  14. Effects: Happy, creative, forgetful, relaxed

Ace of Spades

  1. Height: 30 inches

  2. Harvest Weight: 1.14lbs

  3. Dry Weight: .5lbs

  4. Total Yield: 2.5oz

  5. Origin: SmokeeeJ/Subcool

  6. Germination time: 5 days

  7. Vegetative time: 6 weeks

  8. Flowering time: 9 weeks

  9. Flush: 1 week

  10. Pros: Strong in Veg, bud development

  11. Cons: Prone to Shock, sensitive to transplant

  12. Difficulty: Intermediate

  13. Smells: Sweet and Earthy

  14. Effects: sleepy, relaxed

Blood Diamond

  1. Height: 28 inches

  2. Harvest Weight: 1.14lbs

  3. Dry Weight: .5lbs

  4. Total Yield: 2 oz

  5. Origin: SmokeeeJ/Swamp Donkey Seeds

  6. Germination time: 4 days

  7. Vegetative time: 8 weeks

  8. Flowering time: 9 weeks

  9. Flush: 2 weeks

  10. Pros: Overall health, bud development

  11. Cons: Copper Deficiency

  12. Difficulty: Hard

  13. Smells: Berries and Pastry

  14. Effects: Mood, Creative, Relaxed, Dreamy

The passing of Proposition 207 has opened the opportunity to cultivate at home in Arizona and the Cannabis Cactus wants to help you succeed. If you haven’t downloaded the Cannabis Cactus App yet, do so and join the conversation or review past issues to learn more about home cultivation. A huge thank you to @smokeeej for his grow experience, and the results of his grow, which we will continue to improve, sharing our results with each other, as well as with all our readers. Much of this project would not be possible without Sea of Green Tempe, Agromar Seaweed Solutions, and the combined work of the Cannabis Cactus Staff which I give a great many thanks. We will be back with our Class 207 Honors students, and our next adventures into home cultivation. I have my 12 strains locked in, and some new seeds to pop on our next germination cycle. Stay Tuned!

See the whole cultivation series to keep reading and learning.

Adrian Ryan was born in New Mexico and attended school since elementary in Arizona, his time growing up split between the two states. He hopes to work towards recreational cannabis, enjoys reading, writing, film, music, and also writing music.



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