This time of year is exciting for those who have a Personal Production License (PPL) to grow their own flower. It’s the time when all your hard work will pay off and you get to harvest your beautiful and healthy plants! To help you prep for harvest season, we interviewed our Harvest Supervisor, Luke and Post-Harvest Manager Ryan and asked them to share some expert advice on the harvesting process. Additionally, they leave you with 7 pro tips on using our featured harvest tools!
Let’s read what they had to say…
When is a plant ready to harvest?
Luke: The plant will tell you when its ready for harvest. It starts by showing its trichomes, which will be a milky color with tones of amber when the plant is fully matured. I like to use the Verdes Loupe to focus in on a trichome head. The loupe magnifies everything and really homes in on the trichomes, which helps you harvest at the exact best time.
Pro tip #1 – Don’t harvest too early. If the trichomes are clear, it means the plant needs more time to mature. If you cut the plant too early, you risk losing its full terpene potential. It’s like picking and eating a fruit that’s not ripe.
What do I do once the plant is at optimal maturity?
Luke: Using your pruners, cut your plant’s branches into segments. We suggest cutting the branches into sizes that fit into your trimming bins. Having a bin that can catch the trimmings allows you to save those materials for making oils for edibles or topicals. Plus, the bins make it more convenient to carry materials when collecting the branches before moving into the trimming process.
Pro tip #2 – Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make sure you set aside enough time to process and trim what you’ve cut from the plant. If you only have time for one branch, then only cut one branch from the plant and leave the rest intact and in its protected environment.
Where should I trim?
Luke: Create a large, comfortable and clean space where you can spread out your harvest bins. The area needs to be free of dust and pet hair. Since your plant is sticky, it is prone to picking up airborne contaminants.
Pro-tip #3 – Trim your harvest in a well-lit area. This helps you navigate your trimming process by illuminating your plant and helps you spot any unwanted materials.
How many bins do I need?
Luke: We use 4 bins at a time – Bin 1 is for freshly pruned branches, bin 2 is for containing stems and fan leaves, bin 3 is for sugar leaves and bin 4 is for your first round of manicured buds.
Pro tip #4 – Don’t trim too close to the bud. Use your wet trimmers for cutting off fan leaves, sugar leaves and removing buds of the stems. But be sure to leave a ¼ inch halo of sugars leaves around the buds. This helps protect trichomes during the dry cure process and avoids cutting into the bud itself.
How do I dry the first round of manicured bud?
Ryan: We suggest hanging your bud or using a drying rack. Give your flower 3-5 days to dry. During this time you should expect to lose 75% of the flower’s total weight. Don’t worry, this is normal and happens everyone!
Pro-tip #5 – Dry your flower in a cool environment. We suggest temperatures close to 70-72 degrees.
What’s the best way to store my dried flower?
Ryan: We use wide mouth gallon jars. These jars create the optimal environment for healthy bacteria to consume undesirable minerals and sugars. This process helps maintain terpene strength which leaves your flower potent and flavorful.
Pro-tip #6 – Don’t forget to burp your jars. Open your jar and check your flower once a day for the first week for the curing process. This is called “burping”. It helps provide fresh oxygen to your flower and helps you gauge when it’s ready for long term storage.
What should I use for long term storage?
Ryan: You can use the wide mouth gallon jars. We suggest using Boveda packs if you feel your flower may be too dry. Another option for long term storage is vacuum sealed bags.
Pro-tip #7 – Keep your flower out of light. Avoid UV light from touching your cured flower. Light can damage the flower and make for a harsh smoking experience and decrease its terpene content.
We hope your harvest season is a fruitful and successful process! Be sure to stop by either Verdes location to prep for a simple harvesting experience.