The journey has ended. The time has come. After 9 quick weeks, the buds came, flowers blossomed, and SmokeeeJ cut, dried, and cured the flowers just in time for 4/20. Throughout this grow, there were trials and tribulations, successes and opportunities to make adjustments; however, we ended up with a bountiful harvest that will be enjoyed by many.
During these weeks, we watch the buds stop growing up and fill out. Using a synthetic nutrient line means that you have to add the correct amount of Phosphorus and Potassium in order to help the buds bulk to to finish at the end watering.
I was having an issue with PH since week 3 so the buds did not fill out as much as I would have liked. Just a note, I am using Phoenix water that has sat out to remove any chlorine. This water is very hard.
The trichomes are dripping off the buds and the smell of the growing cannabis buds are noxious and almost intoxicating. During the finishing phase, I watch the trichomes to see when there are about 5-10% amber trichomes. When I start to see those ambers, I know it’s time to chop.
Arizona is not known for its humid conditions so unless you plan on using a humidifier or some other way of moistening the air, you will want to use the leaves on the buses to retain moisture longer. In preparation for harvesting, I trim up all of the big fan leaves off of the stem. Next, I turn off the lights for 24 hours. The only thing I wish that I had done this grow was buy a small, portable A/C so that I could drop the temps for the final weeks.
After trimming all of the big fan leaves off, I simply cut off a branch and hung it in the closet. I block out all of the light and do not check on the buds for 3 days. On the 4th day, I start checking on the buds daily. When you dry your cannabis on the stem, you will want to bend the stems to see if they are dry enough to trim and cure. We made it to the 5th day when I bent a stem and felt that soft snap that told me that the bud was dry enough to cure, but not too dry. You do not want the stem to snap. You want to bend the stem and hear a light pop.
When the bud is ready, cut it off the stem and trim off any excess sugar leaves. Place the buds into a jar or curing bag to finish the process.
Curing takes anywhere from 10-14 days, but I like to let my cannabis cure for a few months. The terpene profile and consistency of the dried flower changes as the cure continues. While curing, ensure that you burp the jar or bag (open it up and close it) every day. Also, keep your jars in a cool, dark place.
After allowing the flower to cure for 7 days, the terpenes ooze out of the jar and the flavor is there. The flavors are delicious both in smell, raw taste, and smoked flavor. Being a super easy grow to start up and maintain, there are better ways to do everything that I did during this process, but my intention was to show the easiest way to make cannabis flowers potent and delicious. We accomplished both of those things.
For this next grow, we will be running 4 plants under two lights! Mars Hydro was nice enough to just send me out a light to try so we will be flowering two plants under a TSW2000 and 2 plants under a Volt VL-1 (the same light from the previous grow).
Growing Medium: I will be using ONLY Fox Farm Ocean Forest for the plants in this new grow. Last time, I used a 50/50 mix of soil/coco.
Pots: 5 gallon Smart Pots fabric pots
Nutrients: I am going to switch to a nutrient tea instead of the traditional synthetic nutrients! Stay TUNED!