Medpot Minstrel: Hydroponics Medical Marijuana

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Harvesting Your Buds, Processing Them Properly

Last week was week 6 of the bloom cycle for my six ladies, time for the final round of nutrients and supplements.

My 72 Liter reservoir at moderately heavy feeding took 163.44 mL of Sensi Bloom A, the same amount of Sensi Bloom B, as well as 28.8 mL each of Mother Earth Super Tea Bloom, Grandma Enggy’s Humic Acid, and Grandma Enggy’s Fulvic Acid.

As a final vitamin shot I added 302.4 mL of B-52, and to prevent any last minute pathogens or pests, 10.08 mL of Barricade. I made sure to add this last ingredient the night before, to allow it to completely dissolve in my pre-mix tank.

30.24 grams of Carbo Load Powder came next. I used to use Carbo Load Liquid back in the days when I nourished my medpot plants with an organic regimen, but the powder is just as effective and less costly.

504 mL of SensiZym ensured that my baked clay pebbles would be cleaned by the living enzymes in this product, which munch on root debris in your grow medium.

This is beneficial since the debris get converted into a form that is easily absorbed by the roots, as well as because this process cleans your grow medium so thoroughly, that you’re ready for your next planting.

Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice were last added during week 2 of the bloom cycle, they are no longer required at this time. These root colonizers have done their work, aiding nutrient absorption and promoting root and plant growth.

Bud Blood and Big Bud Powder were added during weeks 1 and weeks 2, 3, and 4 respectively. Don’t make the mistake of adding either of them at this time. Overdrive is the only bloom enhancer that gets added during weeks 5 and 6 of bloom. This week I added 201.6 mL of this much heralded product.

I also added Sweet Leaf to my mix, in order to ensure a sweet tasting harvest. Some growers question the wisdom of adding both Carbo Load and Sweet Leaf, since they consider it redundant.

I, however, have nothing but praise for Sweet Leaf, which guarantees me and Claire the best tasting medicine possible. Carbo Load adds carbohydrates for growth, Sweet Leaf adds them for taste.

This is week 7 of bloom, so I’m flushing the entire six-bucket ebb and flow hydroponic system. The only thing I’m adding is 180 mL of Final Phase, which gets rid of any chemical taste or residue that might be left from either my basic fert or the additives.

I’m already checking my resin trichomes under a cheap microscope to see if they have become transparent. Once they turn brown, you’ve missed the optimum time for harvesting your medpot.

Some growers suggest harvesting from the top. I find this to be a useful suggestion, since the buds closest to my 600W High Pressure Sodium light fixture are the ones that mature the fastest.

Always use a sharp pair of scissors to cut your buds. It helps to disinfect them with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. You can also use Advanced Nutrients Wipe Out to clean your tools and working trays.

You must prepare a drying space for your buds, which must lose all their water content before they are ready to be cured.

My grow room is next to my home office in the basement of our house. I have a large closet opening from my office that is perfect for drying cannabis. I put a thermometer and a humidity meter in there, as well as a fan to help circulate the air.

I string a wire across the top to hang my bigger buds and for the smaller ones I use a window screen on a small table, propped up my four bricks, one in each corner. The bricks are to allow circulating air to get under the screen.

It’s best to dry your buds in total darkness, since daylight robs them of some of their potency.

Prior to drying, your buds should be manicured—that is, all the excess fan leaves should be removed with the sharp scissors. Some growers trim their buds lovingly, as if giving them a haircut.

I weigh my buds wet and then again when they’re dry, usually in seven to ten days. Buds lose up to 75 percent of their weight in the drying process. Once I had a bud that was too heavy and big to hang with a clothes pin, so I bought a lingerie bag (any netted bag will do) and hung it in that.

You should consider yourself fortunate if your buds are so big that a clothes pin will not hold them up on your drying wire.

Turn your buds frequently to face the fan and make sure that the humidity in the enclosed space is kept low. I open the door of the closet frequently, to let the wet air escape and dry air to enter.

In cold, wet weather I use a small, portable electric heater to keep the temperature in the room high enough to allow for drying.

You may test your buds for dryness by trying to bend them. If the stalk snaps, the drying process was successful. If it still bends, dry the bud some more.

Once the buds are completely dry, they are ready for curing. I prefer to use glass jars for this process, but you can always use metal coffee tins or Tupperware in a pinch.

Place the well-dried flowers in the container and store it in a cool, dark place. Open the lid every day and turn the buds, to make sure that the CO2 and other gases have a chance to escape.

Repeat this daily ritual for about two weeks and sample your medicine. When the smoke and taste are to your liking, your cannabis is cured.

If you keep your container away from light and heat, your medpot should have a long shelf-life. I keep my containers in our freezer with the lid tightly shut. If the lid is not on properly, moisture could get into your pot, causing problems such as mold and mildew and loss of potency.

Harvest is an exciting time for me and I look forward to it any day now.

posted by Wes @ 7:40 PM

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