“The most reliable way to tell if your plant is ready to harvest is with a microscope or a good quality close-up photo,” Feuer says. “You want to look at the trichome heads to see when they go from clear to amber. The second way, if you only have the naked eye, is to see when 80 percent of the hairs have gone from white to red.”
Knowing what week your plant is on can save you the headache of taking educated guesses as to when your plant is ready to cut.
The telltale sign of harvest-ready weed is when the hairs of the plant, or pistils, have fully darkened and curled in. If your buds are looking thick and dense, but there are still some straight white pistils, it’s not time yet.
We spoke with Stoney Girl, who is affiliated with Portlandsterdam University, a premier cannabis training center. She verifies that it is crucial to harvest your buds on time. If you’re late, Stoney Girl says “the THC starts to degrade into CBN…[which leads to] a more sedative high.”
“Forty percent is the peak. At that time, you’ll get the peak of what your strain is producing,” she said.
The big problem with light deprivation? If you didn’t start this process three months ago, you’re out of luck.
“Naturally, your plants start flowering in August,” Feuer tells us. “But in Oregon, you want to use light deprivation to get your plants flowering early. This is a way to ensure that you beat the rains that come in late September.”
Harvesting at the right time is crucial when it comes to growing cannabis. If you harvest too early, you will have premature buds which leads to a poor product and a smaller yield. Harvest too late and the potency of your weed takes a steep decline or turns to rot.
Growing cannabis in northern Oregon can be tough, especially when it comes to harvest season. Portland’s climate is a mixed bag for outdoor growers. On one hand, we have hot dry summers. On the other hand, autumn comes on quickly and brings with it cold, damp days when the sun doesn’t stay out long enough to dry the dew off your plants, putting them at risk of mold. For the last three years, WW has grown cannabis on the roof of our office in our attempt to take full advantage of the 2015 legislation. This year has been tough. Long story short, we lost all plants that we started with.
Potlander Growing cannabis in northern Oregon can be tough, especially when it comes to harvest season. Portland’s climate is a mixed bag for outdoor growers. On one hand, we have hot dry
“This is where you get debate among experienced growers about what milky color is the perfect color of ripeness,” he said.
Inside vs. outside? Start outside. The initial investment is cheaper compared to an indoor set up and it will give growers a season to get familiar with the plant, said Bernstein.
“We are just trying to get people to a successful crop as oppose to something that maximizes yield,” he said. “We think most growers will be tickled pink that they can put some cannabis in their yard.”
Early harvests produce flowers that “don’t smoke as nice, they don’t taste as good,” he said. “They are typically a little harsh.”
What about rain? Whether you grow healthy plants with a decent crop depends largely on weather, said Bernstein. A couple of rainy days in early fall can lead to moldy flowers.
While growing is legal starting this week, buying plants is not. Only medical marijuana patients and caregivers can purchase starter plants from dispensaries. For now, people who want to grow backyard pot will have to rely on the generosity of friends who grow.
“To be more than two people removed from a marijuana grower in this city is hard,” said Bernstein, owner of Roots Garden Supply, a North Portland grow shop that serves cannabis growers.
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Want to grow your own marijuana? Here is how to get started in Oregon Starting Wednesday, there’s nothing to keep Oregonians from adding a cannabis plant or two – or even four – to their backyard