Knowing how to harvest auto-flowering cannabis strains is what will make a tremendous difference in the potency of your green medication. However, in order to recognize precisely when the right time has come to cut down your autoflowering ladies, you absolutely need to keep a few crucial rules in mind.
Okay, enough sweet talk, bud-buddies! Let’s delve into the top expert recommendations for harvesting autoflowering marijuana varieties the right way.
#1 – How to Tell your Autoflowering Weed is Ready to Harvest?
Before even getting to the point of harvesting your green princesses, you have to make sure they are ripe enough. Thus, you can expect to indulge happily in the sweet rewards of your efforts as a cannabis gardener.
But with auto-flowering strains, there is literally no issue as sensitive as the harvesting point.
I use the term “sensitive” because, during the entire process of growing autos, your tasks are pretty simple. There’s no need of a particular photoperiod to trigger flowering; your crops can be ready to harvest in half the time most Sativa and Indica strains will allow you; and nonetheless, you have fewer concerns, regarding the growing space, thanks to auto-flowering cannabis strains’ compact size.
But when the time for harvest is just around the corner, you will have to observe your green beauties closely and carefully. Otherwise, there’s a huge probability you’d miss the right moment for cutting the delicious buds.
The major difference between harvesting “regular” cannabis plants (Sativa, Indica or hybrids) is that you can clearly tell when the buds are ripened by examining the color of the trichomes and pistils.
Usually, in order to understand if your cannabeauties are mature enough to be chopped down, you simply need a magnifying glass or tiny microscope.
You will notice the trichomes are changing their color from transparent through creamy, cloudy-huedto becoming amber in color. Meanwhile, the pistils will be turning brownish/reddish (depending on the strain’s specifics), and so you can know with certainty the right time for harvesting has come.
However, when it comes to autoflowering marijuana varieties, you cannot rely on monitoring the changes of color in the trichomes and pistils.
That’s because autos show different growth patterns, and thus, both the changes in the pistils and trichomes tend to be a deceiving sign for the buds’ maturation.
All in all, you can easily get confused by noticing most of the pistils turning brownish and thinking it’s high time for harvest (while it is actually NOT!).
Notice how all the pistils of this well-matured autoflowering variety are completely brownish; every single one, which is considered rather too much for harvesting “regular” marijuana strains]
So what’s your best move to know when it’s time to harvest autos?!
Keep a diary, buddies, and always take into consideration the growing schedule, provided by the retailer of your autoflowering cannabis seeds. And here’s the trickiest line you need to master – don’t just rely solely on the growing schedule!
That’s why you want to keep a diary. This way, you can see if the growth patterns of your green ladies follow the guidelines, which came along with the seeds.
It is often the case that your seeds’ growing schedule will state your plants will be ready to harvest in about 8 weeks.
But this is only common guidance; just imagine how many marijuana growers will read the same recommendations while all of these growers will live in a different climate zone, they will use a different type of soil, they will apply a different watering schedule, etc.
That means your plants will grow differently (and the buds will ripen at a different pace) than other growers’ plants coming from the very same seeds will.
In the best case scenario, when it comes to your very first autoflowering cannabis crops, you simply need to experiment.
For example, if you have at least 2 plants, just chop the first by following the guidelines. Then, for the second one, wait a bit more before cutting.
With my second autoflowering cannabis garden, I noticed that the buds I got after waiting for about 2 more weeks than the guidelines stated (that means skipping to chop the ladies on week 8 but, for example, on week 10 instead), I got much better results in terms of both potency and deliciousness.
Most experts in growing autos state that anything between 1-3 weeks of extra time for the autos’ buds to ripen works great.
Ultimately, taking care of plants is a delicate job. It’s definitely not a strict science. It takes some time, patience and observation – but isn’t this part of the fun?
#2 – Step-by-Step Tutorial How to Harvest Autoflowering Cannabis for Best Results
Apart from knowing when to harvest your autos, here’s a no-nonsense way on how to do this properly.
1 – Cut your ladies at night
It is during the night when marijuana plants store the sugars, needed to enhance both the flavor and potency of your crops. Moreover, it is in the dark hours when those sugars are straight into the yummy buds.
2 – Always use sharp and sterilized scissors
Aim for cutting your cannabeauties with one single stroke, utilizing a sharp and clean tool. However simple this rule might seem, it does make a huge difference in the final results you will get upon consumption.
3 – Immediately hang the chopped stalks upside down
By hanging your freshly chopped weed upside down, the remaining sugars in the stalk will make their way straight in the buds.
The Bottom Line
Finally, I’d like to encourage all of you, fellow marijuana connoisseurs, that you should not let yourself fall victim to the big fuss on your cannabis growing journey.
Keeping your positive attitude and an open mind is everything you need – the rest will simply take some time, as you will get more confident and calm after each harvest.
Even if you do harvest your emerald babes a bit earlier or later than needed – you can still get a decent potency of your green medication.