You’ve worked hard up until this point. You’ve planted seeds and grown them up into large, luscious plants. Or perhaps you started with clones, ran them through veg, and then flowered them to maturity. All along the way you’ve watered, inspected, pruned, trimmed, trained, trellised, and watched these plants grow.

Now it is time to harvest your plants, so that you can reap the fruits of your labor.

In addition to this series, we have prepared a long-form guide for you, as well. But if you are new to growing cannabis plants, start with this article, and continue through this series:

  1. The Cannabis Harvesting Process (below)
  2. When to Harvest your Plants
  3. How to Harvest your plants
  4. How to Optimally Dry your plants

What is the cannabis harvesting process?

In farming, harvesting is the process of gathering your crops after growing them all season long. Similarly, harvesting cannabis is the act of cutting down your plants so you can begin the process of drying and curing them.

The harvest process comes at the end of the plant’s life cycle, after it has grown to full maturity. At the time of harvest, your plant should be at its peak in terms of bud development. There is no more quality to squeeze out or size to be gained. The plant is ready.

What to do after harvesting cannabis plants: Hang in Dry Room

After you’ve cut your plants down, you need to take them to your drying space. Here, you will remove all of the moisture from your plants. This process will take a minimum of one to two weeks, and perhaps longer depending on your equipment, as well as the size of your dry space and how many plants you are drying at the same time.

There are different methods of drying plants.

  • Some choose to hang the entire plant upside down, and dry it like that, with all of the leaves and branches still attached.
  • Others will cut off branches and hang each individually.
  • And then some commercial operations will actually shuck the buds off the branch, trim them while wet, and then dry them on baking trays.

We utilize a “whole plant hang” at Smokey Okies headquarters in Oklahoma, though for large plants we may cut off larger branches (it still looks like a whole plant while hanging!).

What to do after your plants are dry: Trimming and Curing

After your plants are sufficiently dry, you can now start separating the buds from the stalks (this is called shucking) and you can then begin trimming those shucked buds. After you trim your buds, you can cure them for the ultimate smoking experience.

In this series of articles, we will cover these topics of drying your plants, then trimming them, and curing them to perfection. However, we are not there yet.

Our next article will cover the most frequently asked question within this topic, which is how to know when your plants are ready to be harvested.



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