In order to grow the best quality medicine, you need to have an understanding of the techniques growers have been using for decades to dry their harvests. Nobody wants to put 3 plus months of effort and investment into a beautiful crop that will not burn or taste right due to poor drying technique. There is far too much at stake to rush the process or not research what methods work best for your precious flowers. Just like the cultivation process, there are many different ways to accomplish positive results. Whether you decide to whole plant dry, trim when you harvest, or some sort of combination, with the right technique the drying stage will go smoothly and you’ll be left with some top shelf buds that are ready to cure.
The method that has brought the most pleasing results to my harvests, is to trim each branch as you go before placing them on hangers. This is my favorite method because not only has it brought great results, but it makes the trimming process easier as leaves and stems are easier to remove when the plant is fresh. Once all the small leaves harden and dry up into the buds, it becomes very difficult to get stems without removing parts of the flowers as well. When you are dealing with large yields, trimming is enough work on its own so there is no reason to make the process more tedious then it has to be.
In the drying area your nipples should be hard because you’ll need a cool dark and well ventilated space. It is definitely important to have a fan circulating the air around the buds but you do not want to have the fan blowing directly on them. The buds will dry up much faster and have the potential of being too crispy and breaking up into dust when you grind it. In these environmental conditions the drying stage should take around 4-5 days. Another good way to verify that they are actually ready to begin curing is to break one of the branches. If it snaps clean then it’s already too dry and you left them hanging too long but if you break it and it fractures slightly without much resistance that’s the sweet spot. Getting it down inside the correct time frame is so key because curing too early leaves the possibility of molding out your due to trapped moisture. Taking them down too late will also make buds lose the sticky feel connoisseurs are looking for.
Timing and using your best judgement on buds appearance/feel is essential to maximizing your product’s potential. I don’t think people weigh the importance of the drying stage and treat it as a minimal stage in the cultivation process instead of a determining one. While the method of drying can change, the drying environment can not so don’t settle for using drying racks or not properly controlling/ventilating the designated drying space. I truly wonder how much of the lower shelf medicine available was actually grown professionally but ended up how it did due to poor processing techniques.
Sports have been an interest of mine my entire life. Mostly as a result of being encouraged to stay active from a young age. Competing athletically has always been very enjoyable for me and I was a part of numerous sports teams throughout high school including baseball, cross country, and basketball. Taking sports seriously and putting hours in every day to improve your skills is awesome and rewarding, but at the same time it can be too time consuming. Once high school ended, I gave up my athletic career to study business management and begin working to cover my financial responsibilities. It wasn’t until I was working my way through college I discovered disc golf, and I couldn’t believe I had never paid any attention to it before.
I was introduced from a coworker who had constantly been talking about how he recently got into frisbee golf and how it’s pretty much the most chill sport ever. The laid back pace was compared to regular golf but he said it’s superior because it requires much less patience and skill while being nearly as rewarding. He offered that we hit up one of the local courses sometime so I could see what it was all about. I didn’t have my own disc set at the time, so I took responsibility of supplying the weed for the day instead.
It didn’t take more then a few holes to get in a groove and expand my range with the disc. Everybody has played frisbee at some point in there life but the discs for disc golf are much smaller in diameter and heavier then traditional frisbees. After adjusting to the learning curve, I became addicted to the sport rather quickly. It’s just the perfect sport for smoking because it’s slow paced and there isn’t any running or strenuous activity, only some walking. In addition, most courses are secluded in the woods and are perfect for lighting up without drawing a bunch of attention. These courses were built with smokers in mind! Although you shouldn’t really have to hide your marijuana use from all the other stoners that are on the course doing the same thing.
I believe that playing disc golf is so enjoyable for me personally because it combines 3 of my favorite things in life into one activity. Being out in nature, smoking weed, and competing with friends are usually all separate activities. But to be able experience them all in one great activity is always something to look forward to. There is just this certain peaceful vibe that you can’t get out on the court or baseball diamond. It’s the simplicity of taking turns throwing a disc into the chained basket. There are no complex rules or thinking required, it’s just all throwing technique. When you have to focus on a million things, using marijuana isn’t always the best route. However with disc golf it’s the opposite and you might even find yourself forgetting the score. Nowadays I probably play disc golf more than I do any other sport. I never thought that being a part of the cannabis culture would result in me discovering a new favorite activity. It’s just one of the million things that I’ve realized go hand in hand with cannabis.
One of the many decisions that you will have to make as a cannabis cultivator is how exactly you want to use the available space at your disposal. If you have a bedroom or basement that can be transformed into a cultivation facility, should you purchase and put up a bunch of separate tents or just use the space as it is? I would like to say that it’s a straightforward answer and everyone should be using tents but like most things in life each option has it’s benefits.
To start off, lets go over why I have used grow tents in all of my medical marijuana grows. In my situation space has always been a constraint when it comes to producing the amount of plants that I would like to. If you only have one room that you can dedicate to your garden there is no reason why you shouldn’t be using tents unless you’re really short on cash for equipment. By adding tents you can have multiple stages of growth going on all contained and controlled separately. This is a huge advantage because if you have grown cannabis in the past you know it takes a minimum of 3 months for the entire process from plant to harvest. If you didn’t buy any tents and didn’t go through all the work of separating your room into a bunch of individual sections, your entire garden will be in the same growth stage. To trigger flowering requires that there is only 12 hours of light per day, so if you want to have different growth stages you have to block the light from entering the flowering area. In this business it’s all about the turnaround and if you can have another tent right behind your flowering one, there will be many more harvests in the same amount of time.
Tents are great for more then just separating the light cycles from the different areas of growth. They also make containing the scent of your buds much more manageable than an open room full of skunky scents. Adding a carbon filter to the air that is trapped inside will make it near impossible for uncleaned air to exit the tent. In addition, all tents that I have installed also have hanging poles on the top making it easy to hang fans, lights, and carbon filters without any extra equipment.
If tents are so great then why do so many people still opt to go with the open grow room? The most likely scenario where you would see rooms with no tents is in warehouses full of 5,000-10,000 plants. If you are going to be producing on a large scale then using tents is going to be a waste of resources and just more unnecessary costs that you don’t need. People that have multiple rooms can do the same separation I spoke of before, but on a much larger scale and without tents. Rooms can be climate controlled just as easy as a tent so that is not an issue either. When it comes to smell, the warehouse cultivation centers in recreational states don’t have to worry as much as most home growers with neighbors. Hanging all your equipment and keeping plants of different heights at the appropriate distance from lighting will just take some extra creative designing on your part but still makes much more sense than installing a bunch of separate tents.
For those that grow on a small to medium sized scale at home, I would highly suggest using tents to get the most money out of the same amount of time. There is no doubt in my mind that it’s possible to grow high quality buds without containing your grow inside tents, but at the end of the day you might just have less bud and a stinky house.