The Harvesting Stage
This is Part 8 of an 8-part series on becoming a Hydro Pro:
- Part 1 – How to Choose Your Indoor Growing Setup
- Part 2 – How to Germinate Your Seeds
- Part 3 – How to Transfer Your Plants
- Part 4 – Know Your Plant's Nutrient Needs
- Part 5 – The Vegetative Stage
- Part 6 – How to Clone your Plants
- Part 7 – The Flowering Stage
- Part 8 – [You are here] The Harvesting Stage
Today we are going to discuss the most exciting part of growing, the harvesting stage.
This is what it's all been building toward...
Since this is the last stage, this is also the most important. The result of your harvest will depend on how you handle your fruits and flowers.
We will be covering harvesting, manicuring, curing, drying, and storage.
So let's jump into it!
Tools that You’ll Need in Harvesting
- A suitable place to dry
- Trimming scissors
- Harvesting tables and trays
- Comfortable accommodations
- Environmental Control Devices, such as
- AC Units
Before we proceed, it is very important that you know your plant’s visible signs that they are ready for harvest. Being unaware of what these signs are put your plants at risk as you might cut fruits or flowers that are not yet ready for harvest. So take time to research and read!
Once you see your plants are ready for harvest, it is now time to get your scissors to cut those precious fruits and flowers.
There are three stages where you can manicure your plants:
To manicure, check your plants and determine which leaves are no longer useful. Before making the cuts, it is important to plan it. You’ll be hanging the cuts you made to a good old fashioned hanger so you must make sure they have a nice Y segment.
Once you made your cuts, you are now ready to hang your freshly snipped segments. Hang your segments evenly on the hanger and make sure your hanger is not too crowded with branches.
Sometimes during the drying process more leaves will emerge.
If you have a drying system, you can hang your segments in there to dry. Now if you do not have a dryer, you can definitely create a space for your plants to dry.
You just have to ensure they have an acceptable dying environment by using fans, ac units and/or dehumidifiers.
Now that your plants are hung, you can now proceed with curing.
Curing takes place after harvest and before drying.
Ideal Drying/Curing Environment
For an ideal drying or curing environment, you must ensure the following:
- Low or no light
- Temperature: 60F - 70F
- Humidity: 50%
During the first few days of drying, pigments become more apparent, adding color to your fruits and flowers. Flavor is also enhanced creating a more desirable taste.
It is very important to watch the temperature and humidity.
If you have excessive humidity, mold and rot may occur while low humidity will result in rapid drying thus ending the curing process prematurely.
High temperatures, on the other hand, can result in loss of color and undesirable odor.
The entire drying process will take 1 to 2 weeks, so be patient!
Drying your plants prematurely will definitely affect your fruit’s look and taste.
So how do you know your plants are done drying?
A good old snap test will do the trick.
If you are able to snap the stem in your hands, then you’ll know your plants are ready.
In storing your plants, it is best to use sealable glass, ceramic, or metal containers.
For long term storage, the product can be placed in a freezer.
And that concludes our final episode.
We hope you learned a lot, but if you ever feel lost just feel free to go back to our previous episodes!