Swami of Swami Select shares tips on how to get for ready harvesting cannabis outdoors.
Once the “girls” in the garden begin to cluster up to become flowers, it’s time to think about harvest. Up here in the Mendocino Highlands, that change in the plants usually starts at the end of July or in the first week of August, depending on the cultivar. In this article, we will review how to prepare cannabis plants for harvest time.
Adjusting Compost Tea
One of the first things to do when preparing cannabis plants for harvest is to alter the compost tea brew. We do this by decreasing the nitrogen containing ingredients and increasing the phosphorus containing ingredients to arrive at a 50/50 ratio for several feedings. Then, as the days go on, reduce the nitrogen factor even more and increase the phosphorus factor. More nitrogen is needed for vegetative growth and more phosphorus is needed for flowering or fruiting. The potassium needs are more or less constant throughout the plant’s life.
If there is a great deal of heat at the end of summer, keep supplying plenty of water through August. But in early September, it is good to cut back on the water, which along with the increasing nighttime hours, signals the plant to finish its growth and put the energy into the flowers and seeds.
It’s a time to be extra vigilant, because once the female plants notice that there are no longer any male plants in the garden, the drive to reproduce can cause hermaphrodite, or male branches to develop. These trans individuals need to be removed or cut off immediately because they could seed the whole garden. Vigilance extends to daily monitoring each plant for pests and pathogens right up until harvest. The threat of these plant enemies increases as it gets closer to cutting—some only reveal themselves on the mature plants.
Vanilla Frosting bud reaching for the sky. PHOTO Nikki Lastreto
Trellising is another major part of preparing cannabis plants for harvest. The branches are getting longer, and as the buds get bigger, the branches get heavier. Come a heavy dewfall, fog in the early morning, or even rain, the lower branches are at risk of breaking off. There are many methods of trellising, depending on the size of the plants, and each farmer has his or her preferred method.
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