Ripening is the most difficult phase. The buds need to ripen at this point in order to be harvested at the best possible moment. The buds are still getting bigger, but not as quickly as in the previous phase. The hairs are becoming more red and the resin balls are getting heavy, sticky and start to shine more and more. The smell is also getting stronger.
Since the buds are getting thicker, all flowers are growing against each other and real big, compact buds are forming. The smell is so strong in this phase that it could become a problem. If you don’t want your neighbors or visitors to smell anything, a carbon filter is the only solution. They’re easy to install and very effective.
You now need to give your plants a solution with a lot of phosphor and potassium. This helps to create compact and heavy buds and it promotes the production of THC.
Stop giving nutrients one week before harvesting to rinse the minerals out of the soil and your plants. Rinsing is very important if you want to have a quality end product. If your plants are overloaded with fertilizers, they become too strong to smoke and the taste will be negatively affected.
If you give your plants nothing but water during the last week, it will take all remnants of nutrients from the soil and the plant tissues. Don’t worry about a nutrient deficiency, because the plant has a sufficient buffer for a week.
You’ll also see that the bottom leaves are starting to turn yellow. This is because the plant will use all of its chlorophyll reserves at the end of its life. So all chlorophyll in the leaves is used as food, which is why they turn yellow. Don’t do anything to these leaves and only get rid of them when they come off very easily. The plant needs them as a food source.
- Light cycle: 12 hours of light – 12 hours of darkness
- Light color: Orange-red – HPS/span>
- Temperature: 70 – 77 degrees
- Humidity: 50%
- Fertilizer: 1.7 – 1.8
- pH: 6.0
The buds won’t grow as much anymore. They’ll grow a little bit, but this is the phase in which they’ll harden and get heavier. A lot of potassium is needed for this. If you aren’t giving your plants a booster yet, this is the right time to start. I’ve been giving them Booster by Flower Power for a week now, which is a quality booster you can use in addition to your basic flowering fertilizer. Fox Farm and Canna also have very good products.
The temperature and humidity are still right. The buds look healthy and the leaves still have a nice green color. As you know, the plant uses its leaves to catch sunlight and convert this to sugars. The more sugars a plant produces, the thicker and heavier your buds become. The quality of your marijuana also improves when more sugars are being produced.
Do you want to know more about photosynthesis and the special enzyme
Just see how nice and white those buds are starting to become because of all the resin that’s being produced. And once you taste the sharp flavour of this marijuana, you’ll understand why this type is called white widow. The buds look healthy and are developing well. More and more hairs are turning red and I think we’re right on schedule, which means we’ll be harvesting in little over a week.
The plants are watered 1/2 gallons of water per plant every other day, and they use all of it. This means the evaporation is going well and a lot of water and nutrients are transported through the plant. A properly functioning transportation system in the plant leads to a healthy, strong plant. Sugars from the leaves, water and nutrients from the roots and plant hormones from all cells must be transported to the places they’re needed.
Transportation in the plant takes place in xylems and phloems. Xylems transport water and nutrients. The water only moves from the bottom to the top. You can compare it to a straw; the leaves suck the water upwards through evaporation.
Phloems transport the sugars that are produced in the leaves to the other parts of the plant they’re needed. Phloems consist of living cells, so the transportation can take place in all directions through the sink and source principle. Read the complete part on Transportation inside a marijuana plant for more information.
This is looking so damn tasty. I’m expecting to harvest about 1.5 to 2 ounces per plant, so this amounts to over a pound of marijuana from 9 plants with 1 x 600 watt HPS. It’s not my all time best harvest, but I’m always satisfied with this amount. When I was growing for the coffee shops in Amsterdam, I always counted on a pound per 600 watt lamp. A grow room had between 10 and 20 lamps, and I received $3000 dollar per pound.
This resulted in nice amounts of money, but also many problems. A large plantation like this is hard to keep secret and in spite of the flexible policy for hobby growers and users in the Netherlands, professional growers can count on a hefty amount of community service if they get caught. Not that that’s a reason to not do it ;).
In those days I was much more concerned with the final weight than the smoking effects and the flavor. I dream about genetically modified plants that would yield ten times as much as normal. A bit like what Monsanto does with its corn and grains. Marijuana breeders cross plants with certain characteristics to create stronger plants with higher yields. But how great would it be to make some modifications at the DNA level. Read this article on DNA and genetic modification.
The buds continue to grow nicely and the temperature and humidity are perfect. This is the last time I’m giving nutrients to my plants, because there’s still enough in the soil and in the plant to get through the final week. If you harvest the plant when there’s still a lot of fertilizer present inside, the weed will have a very strong taste and the effect becomes a bit narcotic. Don’t be afraid of buds not developing properly during the final week. They keep producing THC, keep hardening and will continue to get heavier.
From now on you should only provide your plants with water with a pH of 6. In this way, the plant absorbs all nutrients that are present in the soil and you can possible reuse your soil for the next harvest. Make sure you measure it properly and if necessary, consider it an inert medium, so without any nutrients and minerals.
Here are some standard rules for harvesting marijuana. Make sure you know what to look out for and just post a picture on the forum if you have any doubts. And read the article on When to harvest marijuana plants.
Harvesting based on flowering time
Indica: 8 weeks
Sativa: 9 to 12 weeks
Autoflower: 10 weeks from seed to bud
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Harvesting based on pistils
50-70% brown – young, light weed
70-90% brown – ripe, heavy weed
90-100% brown – sharp, narcotic weed
Harvesting based on trichomes
Clear trichomes – wait a bit longer
Milky white trichomes – ready for harvest
Amber trichomes – overripe
These plants are almost ready to be harvested. The majority of the pistils are brown and the plant uses less and less water. The main bud still has many white hairs, but that’s because it keeps producing them. So also pay close attention to the larger side buds to decide the right moment of harvesting.
I sprayed one of the buds every day of the final week to see if bud rot would occur, and it did: the main bud is completely rotten. Bud rot is one of the most annoying fungi, because there’s little you can do once your plants are affected. And it always occurs towards the end of the harvest. So you have to act preventive by keeping a low humidity and by properly ventilating the area.
You can recognize bud rot by the brown leaves growing out of your buds. They come off very easily when you gently pull on them. This is because bud rot starts inside the bud, so the stem of the leaf is already rotten. Since it starts inside the bud, you won’t notice it until the plant is already contaminated.
Cut off all rotten parts and look closely between the flowers to see if the trunk is nice and green again. Always wear gloves and make sure you work in a very sterile fashion. Bud rot is highly contagious and you really don’t want to infect your other plants. Read the part Most common fungi for more information on bud rot and other fungi.
I’m going to harvest these plants today. They use little water and the leaves are starting to turn yellow. About 70% of the hairs are brown, which I think is exactly right for a white widow. Move on to the next section to see how you should harvest, dry and trim the plants. But first, check out this photo series on the development of the buds. Good luck harvesting!!!