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When to Harvest?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Growing' started by bovine44, Sep 6, 2006.


    bovine44 Active Member

    I have only 8 plants with 6 females (lucky me) - however I don't know when to harvest them. I live in a cool coastal climate in California so the plants are not tall at all - maybe 2 1/2 feet at the most. However, there are several sticky, wonderfully scented buds on all of the female plants. How do I know when to harvest? Should I wait for a warm day? Morning? Evening?
    Widow Maker

    Widow Maker Well-Known Member

    What I have always heard is to cut them in the morning. Something about more thc or something. I dont know. So I cut mine right as the light comes on. Wait till 3/4ths of the hairs are red before you cut them down.

    So are you saying you have two males in your garden also? Thats not good at all.

    Sublime757 Well-Known Member

    yeah man destroy the males. do it soon before they completely screw up your females. and depending on your latitude you probably want to harvest between mid october and early november. and try to do it right as they are waking up from the night cycle. like widow said wait til at least 50%-75% of the hairs have turned red. or if you really want to get technical, get a trichome scope. or a jewelers eye piece works just fine. then look at the crystals on the buds. when they turns from clear, to 75% cloudy, its ready to harvest.

    JB_420 Active Member

    Just a question, do all plants have hair that turns red? i don't know b/c I had to pull my crop this year due to footprints leading in n out

    kamil Active Member

    yep it is classic,
    The colors of the hairs are only part of the cycle of the plants life. They change color by temperature and maturity at the end of their life cycle. The only true way to know when to harvest is to view the trichomes with a 10x to 30x microscope. Mature trichome looks like a golf ball sitting on golf tee, big and round on the top. The color is clear to cloudy. Cloudy is peak for that trichome. Because there are millions of trichomes you need to harvest on the average. They will continue to mature through the drying process for a day or more. Amber color is past prime for that trichome so you are just looking for an average.
    This may be a little more accurate in description.

    100% Clear is week quick head high and will not last long.

    100% Cloudy is heavy stone and will last longer (start of peak harvest)

    80%/20% Cloudy/Amber is pure peak harvest heaver head and couch lock stone will not last as long as 100% cloudy but is stronger. Anywhere in between is fine and up to you.

    Amber Trichomes are dead or dieing. If you pick at 100% amber then you have past prime and the quality of the effect is degraded.

    When you check them it's best to harvest on the average with in your field of view and by checking on several parts of the plant and not just one or two places.

    Chalcy Active Member

    I hope it's okay to add a question to this thread. The pistils on my plants are 50-75 percent red now but I've been waiting for the trichomes to turn from clear to cloudy. In fact I heard you should watch until you start seeing a few amber ones before you harvest.

    Problem is I'm still waiting and waiting and waiting. The trichomes on my plants are just staying clear as much as I can tell. It's been a week at least since the buds looked ready for harvest but the trichomes are telling a different story.

    Should I keep waiting? For how long? I never knew they'd take forever to change.

    Kamil that was good describing on the trichome colors and meaning.

    potroast Uses the Rollitup profile Staff Member

    Yeah, the color of the resin inside of the trichomes will turn opaque, or milky white. This is what makes the buds sparkle like sugar. And that is just the thing that many growers don't seem to be able to wait for.

    If you are indoors, you may not see any amber resin, I've seen that mostly when growing outdoors.

    That last week or two of ripening is the difference-maker between so-so-sensi and da-kine-sensi.

    HTH :mrgreen:

    Yogibowl22 Active Member

    Yes but what is the utter definition of a finished marijuana plant for optimal buds. I have to as a question as well becuase everybody seems to have a good idea at least of what they are doing. My females have been flowering for about 2 and half weeks the buds look pretty milky to me but I know they are not ready. I have had so many people try and tell me to let it go all the way to the first frost but from what you guys are saying by then it will have the amber colord thc sacs, I cant post a picture today because I dont have my camera with me but I will throw some on tommorow. Its kind of freaking me out because I was reading about nitrogen defeciences and how they affected the plant...that during late flowering it would look like nitrogen def. but it was normal. Im not that apt to cut them down anytime soon, but I also dont want to lose quality, but I figure the longer I wait I will have more quantity. I know none of this probably makes sense but Im just throwing out there for a little advice. Oh the Places You Will Go!!!!!
    Dan Nabis

    Dan Nabis Well-Known Member

    No matter what the strain it is usually a minimum of 8 weeks of budding time before you should think about harvesting. You don't want small, fluffy and light weighted buds. You want apples for buds and you'll see the big difference when they get that far along.

    I don't have a microscope and have yet to ever have one so I do the best I can on my own right now. I try to let the hair color changing tell me but some hairs turn orange and shrivel up while new white ones are growing.

    If you don't have a microscope then wait until the calyxes (sp?) are really full and plump with resin and the buds are looking crystally and frosty. I probably should go out and try to find a microscope because this is a critical time for your grow but I've done pretty well without using one through the few years that I have done this.

    Guitargirl24 Member

    My first time growing I sarted them inside and moved them outside in pot planters. Well I had 4 males and 2 females. I moved the males on the other side of my property no where near my females, But my question is can I still smoke the males? They have made seeds and the seeds have bloomed is it too late to harvest them if I can smoke them?:leaf:

    infidel420 Well-Known Member

    sorry guitar girl. those arent seeds the males are producing. those are pollen sacs and when they burst, there going to ruin your females. just kill all males now!!!

    macdwayn Active Member

    Just wondering if this bud looks ready !!!!!!!!!!!

    Attached Files:

    heady yeti

    heady yeti Member

    have harvested sativa and indica for best possible product. The best was a mix of just turning just turning cloudy and another that was 75% amber, granted it was mixed thru a bubble bag , the smoke was FINE to the FIN

    RRFN Member

    Hi Guys,

    I have this flowering super skunk in the 7th week after turning lights to 12/12.
    She struggled a bit with heat, it is a very small cabinet with 2 85 clfs just for her.
    I had to flower her after 6 weeks veg due to the height of the cabinet, just 28 inches. She is 12 inches high.
    Very small buds, as you can see in the pics. Lots of curled leaves covering lower buds, lots of white hairs inside though.

    When should i harvest? Still a lot to go?

    Please help.

    Thanks again.
    lf4.jpg lf3.jpg lf1.jpg lf2.jpg lf5.jpg

    cheese420 Member

    that plant is no where near close to harvest. i dont think them 2 85 watt cfl going to give u ne thing good in the end, ur plants r stretching an it also looks like u have sum nut. issues going on. ur not going to get much of them, but keep at it an it only gets better. i also flower my plant at 12" but i veg under a 4' 8 bulb t5, the i put the under 600watt HPS.

    cheese420 Member

    that was 4 RRFN ur buds macdwayn look like the ready to me but it kind of hard to tell from a pic.
    Richie Bud

    Richie Bud Active Member

    did you flush yet? put them into darkness for a few days 48 to 72 hours should do But it may take a little longer They will turn Milky on there own when they are ready some strains take longer then others The pistils are not a good way to judge when to harvest they give some clues. A hand held microscope will let you get a good look at the trichomes. They will turn in there own time. Don't chop them before they are in optimum ripeness You will regret it.

    perdidobandito Well-Known Member

    Get the males out ASAP if you haven't already. Ifte buds look done, they are probably done. You know, mostly red hairs, darkish buds, orange tone. If you think they are ready then the prob are..

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