by Nebula Haze
Cannabis buds can come in all shapes and sizes! Although variety is the spice of life, it can make it a little confusing to know when to harvest your buds based on how your plants look. But if you harvest when buds are ready you’ll get the best yields and potency, so it’s a good idea to try to harvest as the right time if you can!
We have a full harvest tutorial, but this article is mostly just a picture gallery 🙂
When buds first appear on your plant they look like little round puffs of hair. Each bud is made up of many white hairs (“pistils”) that stick straight out.
Baby buds (budlets) look like a ball of white hairs. These buds have many weeks to go!
Still Not Ready
As the plant buds get closer to harvest, they thicken and those white pistils start to darken and curl in. You’ll notice your buds are slowly getting thicker and more dense. However if you still have a lot of straight white pistils, like this bud, you know you still have a few weeks to go.
Ready to Harvest
You’re in the harvest window when most of the pistils have darkened and curled in. This bud is now ready to harvest!
Continue reading Ready to Harvest Guide
- Start with Top-Shelf Genetics – get the effects and appearance you want! Your grow skill makes a huge difference, but a plant can’t overcome its genes! If you want buds that are potent, dense, sparkly or purple/pink, you need the right genetics.
- Give Your Cannabis Lots of Light! – this increases yields, density and potency
- Nutrients & Supplements – learn about smell enhancers, bloom boosters and bulk builders!
- Better Taste, Better Smell – learn other techniques to increase terpene content so buds taste and smell better
- Manipulate Temperature & Humidity in the flowering stage to increase resin production (“glitter” and stickiness), bring out colors like pink or purple & prevent smells from burning away
- Great Air Flow Around Every Cola – you can gain surprising increases in the size and density of your buds by making sure that every cola gets lots of direct light and good air flow from the beginning to the end of the flowering stage. Cannabis is wind-pollinated in the wild and so more energy is put into buds that have been exposed to a breeze from when they first started forming.
- Master the Basics of Growing – especially harvesting, trimming and drying/curing! Although a lot of growers don’t pay as much attention to what happens to plants after harvest as during the grow itself, these 3 post-harvest factors determine almost 50% of your final bud appearance. Properly drying/curing also intensifies smell and increases bud potency!
Bonus: Is CO2 Worth the Trouble?
Continue reading 7 Tips to Improve Cannabis Bud Quality
Why Do Growers Dry and “Cure” Cannabis Buds?
Your buds are ready for harvest, yet your job as a grower is not quite over yet. You still need to put your newly harvested buds through the cannabis curing process.
(When do I harvest?)
In order to ensure the best quality for your freshly harvested buds, you must prepare your buds with a process known as curing, which involves drying your buds slowly in a controlled environment, then keeping buds in glass jars over the course of a few weeks to let certain natural plant processes occur.
Full Drying & Curing Tutorial – Step-By-Step
Growers cure marijuana buds because they will not achieve their peak potency and quality if they’re uncured. If you started with great genetics and you’ve taken care of your marijuana plants properly during their life, then curing is what makes the difference between “just okay” and trophy-worthy buds.
Continue reading Drying and Curing Cannabis
by Nebula Haze
This is a super condensed version of this tutorial! You may also enjoy our marijuana life timeline or complete beginner’s guide. The following tutorial is very basic, but if you follow just these steps you will get to harvest!
Step 1: Choose Your Place to Grow
Indoors or outdoors? A spare room? A closet? Learn more about different places to grow indoors. One simple way to get started is to put your plant inside a cheap grow tent.
I personally think grow tents are a cheap (under $100) and easy way to set up the perfect grow environment, but there are lots of great places to grow!
Continue reading Simple Grow Guide
by Sirius Fourside
Many growing methods seem like common sense once you’re actually aware of them. For example, low stress training seems like an obvious thing to do once you understand that exposing more of the plant to light makes for more buds.
This week, we’re revisiting a topic that many newer growers may be unaware of: The Perpetual Harvest. The idea of the Perpetual Harvest is very simple in nature, so it might not seem like much. But it’s one of the best methods of ensuring a steady supply of cannabis when you need it.
What is The Perpetual Harvest?
The Perpetual Harvest is a technique in which growers utilize multiple grow tents/areas to ensure that there are always plants in both the flowering stage and in the vegetative stage.
Continue reading The Perpetual Harvest
“I need to harvest as soon as possible. What’s the fastest growth method? What can I do to speed up the time to harvest?”
Learn More: Why are my cannabis buds taking so long to mature?
How to Speed Up Harvest Time
Many of our readers write in to ask about speeding up the time to harvest.
So, how long does it actually take to grow marijuana?
Short Answer: From Day 1 of your marijuana plant’s life to a smokable harvest, you are looking at a window ranging between 3 and 7+ months!
Many factors will affect the total time, but the average grow takes 3-4 months. Learn more about the marijuana growth timeline.
Long Answer: These factors have the greatest impact on total time to harvest:
- Plant strain – strain has the largest impact on growing time.
- Desired yields – do you want to grow a few grams, a few ounces, or a few pounds?
- Growing method – differing grow methods/setups can add or subtract a few weeks or even months!
Continue reading How To Get To Harvest Faster
What is the Point of Flushing Before Harvest? (Leaching Extra Nutrients Out of Buds)
Flushing is free and easy technique that may improve the quality and smoothness of your cannabis buds beforeharvest. Sounds good, right? Of course it does! But growers must also be careful with flushing before harvest because if you do it too early you can actually hurt your quality (and reduce your yields)!
The process of flushing involves giving your plants just plain water with no nutrients for a period of time before harvest. For growers who normally give water to their plants with nutrients in it, you would water your plants as normal with the same type of water you normally use, but you don’t add any nutrients. Depending on the setup, growers usually flush their plants this way for a few days up to about 2 weeks.
Note: You still need to pH the water during the flush, because too high or too low pH can cause your plant to absorb extra aluminum and salt out of the water!
Continue reading Flushing Cannabis before Harvest
When should I harvest the buds from my cannabis plant? That is the eternal question…
I’m sure the answer we’re all thinking is “Not soon enough!”
Unfortunately for us impatient growers, harvesting at the right time is just as important as how you grow the plant. Harvest too soon and you lose potency and cannabis yields; too late and you can end up making a batch of sleep medicine.
You only need 3 things to determine the best marijuana harvest time:
- The knowledge of when to harvest – You get that today!
- Eyes for visual inspection – You’ve probably had these for a while!
- A magnifying tool – Makes the glittery, resin-filled trichomes on your buds easier to see; although not 100% necessary, this lets you time your harvest perfectly to get the exact effects you’re looking for
When it comes to magnifying tools for growing, there are a few options: Continue reading When to Harvest