When is the best time to harvest your medicinal plants?
To see if it’s the ideal time for harvesting, you will need to watch the resin develop in buds and leaves. The trichomes that show the maturity of the plant. We recommend that you buy a magnifying glass, as this can be quite difficult to see with the naked eye! You should look closely at the trichomes. At the beginning of the cycle, they are just balls, called basal trichomes. As the plant matures, more elongated trichomes appear, with a lollipop or mushroom shape. When the process progresses, the trichomes take on a translucent milky white color, followed by amber.
About this, we have some considerations:
- There are growers who prefer to harvest when 80% of the trichomes are in a more milky white and 20% transparent - and few amber trichomes. This is the lightest hash guys.
- As people who want a hash with darker and also oily coloring, the harvest is done when there is a higher percentage of amber trichomes (super ripe).
- Meanwhile, others believe it is best to harvest when they are 70% milky white and 30% amber.
- It is important to remember that each person can have a preference - the important thing is not to harvest when immature trichomes are dominat, which is when most are still transparent.
Some other tips for deciding the ideal time to harvest are to confirm that resin production has peaked; that the flowers have stopped growing; and that the secondary leaves started to lose color and most of the main leaves fell. The other sign is that the trichomes are in the color you like most!
What materials are needed to harvest?
We recommend that you wear very comfortable clothes - since, depending on the amount of plants you will have to harvest, it can be a long process. Prepare your space to hang and dry your medicinal plants: it should, ideally, be well ventilated. If possible, use a dehumidifier to make sure that they dry properly. In addition, you will need:
- Scissors suitable for trimming and pruning;
- Powder-free latex gloves;
- Thin line (like the one used to hang clothes);
- Hang tags.
Is everything organized? Time to finally harvest your incredible buds. To do that, do this:
Cut at the base, one plant at a time. You can harvest the plant or whole branches - to do this, we recommend removing the larger leaves first. With the bulkier material out of the way, it will be much easier to separate the buds. You can remove the large leaves before cutting the plant, so that it remains upright and is easier, or after cutting it, as you prefer!
Time to trim
There are two methods of cutting (trimming) your medicinal plants: you can do this with it dry or wet. We prefer to do it dry - when wet, it gets more perforated than we like. Some growers don't even feel like trimming, and leave the flower untouched and leafy until it's time to smoke.
- Dry trimming
In this method, after removing the large leaves, you need to hang the plants upside down and let them dry for a week. After seven days, when most of the moisture has disappeared from the buds, and the leaves around you are dry and brittle, prune very carefully so that the floral material does not fall. Both with this type of cut and with humidity, you can leave aside the small leaves covered with trichomes - you can use them to make extractions or hashish.
Dry cutting is advisable if the humidity level in the drying room is low, or if you have a dehumidifier that can be easily adjusted. To have a high quality final product, temperatures must be kept between 18 and 23ºC, and the humidity must be between 55 and 65%.
If you are going to make hash, which we talk about a lot, it is worth trimming with the dry leaf and keeping all this product. The way you will trim (whether the plant is clean or not) will also influence the quality of your hash! Remember: the quality of hash depends on the quality of the medicinal plants used to make it.
- Trim wet plants
Wear latex gloves to prevent the resin from sticking to your hands, and start with care. Try not to crush the buds in the process - be kind to them to avoid damaging the trichomes! When cutting the larger leaves, try to reach the base of the petiole (the stem that holds the flower), and cut the small leaves that grow around the bud so that the end result is as clean as possible.
The wet cut favors the circulation of air in the plant material, which is particularly advantageous if the humidity level in the drying room is very high. If so, you can use a dehumidifier to help maintain the right temperature (18-23ºC) and humidity (55-65%), but keep in mind that these devices can be difficult to use. Another advantage of wet cutting is that it avoids the risk of fungal diseases.
Here are three best leaf trimming machines, let's have a look.
ECO Farm 16 / 19 Inch Leaf Bowl Trimmer With Sharp Stainless Steel Blades
- ECO Farm 16/19 inch leaf bowl trimmer will cut twigs, remove leafs, and preserve buds from a variety of plants.
- Design with a transparent plastic cover with high transparency, easy to observe the cutting situation.
- Replaceable blades: The blades of the bowl trimmer can be replaced. When you trim dry and wet plants, you can replace the corresponding cutting blades to provide a better cutting effect.
- Removable handle for convenient storage, also removable grille for easy service.
- Stainless steel bottom bowl, easy to install the cut leaves, easy to clean.
- High effiency and save time: Advanced metal wheels can increase the cutting speed of the blade and save time. Save the finishing time after use, and can trim excess leaves and branches on various plants and flowers.
- Use the power of 30 rubber strips in a unit to quickly sweep the plants to prevent adhesion and damage to the plants.
ECO Farm 18 Inch Automatic Leaf Bud Trimmer Machine 3 Speed Adjust
ECO Farm 18 inch leaf trimmer is equipped with a maintenance-free motor, sharp stainless steel (triple) blades, whichprovides unsurpassed trim quality and greater yields without the mess. Automatic output when finished; equipped with clean environmental handle bags, helping to reduce cleanup and any mess, leaves no trash around. Easy fold-out design for convenient transport or storage.
Been used for separating producing excess leaves and cutting twigs from a variety of plants and flowers. With just a few electric drives, small leaves will be blown into the gear box by inside fan for easy disposing.
Three different speeds to suit your different needs. The machine is tiltable to 180-degrees for easy clean up and the collecting hatch can be opened while the machine is running for non-stop use. The handled bags also help to catch and hold the leaves and petals.
ECO Farm 18 inch 3 Speed Electric Table Leaf Trimmer Automatic Trim Machine
- ECO Farm 18 inch leaf trimmer with extra-sharp blade make clean quality cuts, but it also will minimize the damage done to the plants.
- Quickly disassembled for easy transportation.
- Three Speeds will allow you to determine the exact speed in order to have the perfect result.
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