Now that all the plants are well into flower, Denny is extra vigilante in the garden. When we last left off, Denny was surprised by the short growing season. He had begun feeding the plants flower food once a week instead of the nutrient regimen he used all summer.
Normally, he feeds them flower food for eight weeks, but with the growing season being so short, not all the plants got the full eight feedings. It’s important to stop feeding the plants at least a couple weeks before harvesting them so all the nutrients will be flushed from the plant.
To monitor how far along the buds are, Denny watches for the trichomes to change from clear to milky to amber or whatever color the darker trichomes will be. Also, the hairs on the flowers change from white to orange-ish. Denny likes to see at least ¼ of the trichomes darkened before he harvests the plant.
Fall means fall storms, and the plants are thick and top-heavy with flowers. Denny has all the plants in cages with nets to help stabilize the branches to withstand wind. So far, all he’s lost is the very tip of one branch. Sometimes after heavy rains, Denny uses a leaf blower like a giant hair dryer for the plants. The moisture can build up and lead to problems like bud rot and powdery mildew.
Fall means falling leaves and other tree debris, too. Denny goes over each plant by hand to clean off each branch. This job is easier on the days he uses the leave blower because it blows the debris off with the water, but either way the job must be done daily. Rotten fallen leaves can cause rotting and mildewing issues, too. Denny also looks for any yellow fan leaves that need to be removed before they become part of the fallen debris causing problems.
We had one Critical Jack that went into flower before the others and has already been harvested. She was one of the smaller plants and has already been dried and trimmed up. The buds are better after being cured – allowed to age for a certain amount of time – in a jar, but we’re excited about not spending money on medicine. Some of it is getting cured while we smoke lol!
Denny expects a few more will be ready very soon, while the others will be staggered over the next few weeks. We will be harvesting most of the rest in the wee hours of the morning when the plants are at the height of their cycle. Like last year, we’ll be sure to do a process post about at least one of those nights. We can’t wait!