While the price of cannabis is skyrocketing in the UK there is only one real way to take the power back, and that is to grow your own! And if you are going to go to the effort of growing, or you already are, why not checkout these top tips from some of the best growers in the UKCSC Collectives and award winning UK breeders.
Let’s take a look at what the experts have to say about tending Mary Jane.
Lollipop your plants.
Take off all the lower branching and growth so you get more bud up top and don’t end up with so much larf or popcorn nugs that are a nightmare to trim. Either draw an imaginary line or use a string from the tent poles as a guide, remove all the foliage below around 4 internodes from the top down to the bottom. Do this about a week before you flip into flower, but no later than 2 weeks into flower. You are trying to send all energy to the top so the later you leave it the more energy you are wasting when you come and remove it. Be on point and dial your garden in.
Give them an extra week.
If it says flower for 8 weeks, go for 9. If it says 9 weeks, go 10! Seed sellers know that commercial growers are looking for a quick finish crop so they can get a quicker financial turnaround. This is one of the reasons why there is so much mid-grade cannabis on the market, cheap genetics sold with poor growing advice for marketing purposes. Good seeds usually come with good advice so make sure you research and buy seeds from breeder companies, not brands that just resell seeds with new names. Join a forum and check out what people have to say before you buy.
Flush your medium for 21 days.
If you are using nutrients to feed your plant (rather than it growing in living soil) this applies to you. You’ll have buds that look even prettier, with more swollen bracts (more commonly referred to as a calyx). This gives the plant the opportunity to use as much of the food stored in its leaves before you harvest it, giving an even cleaner taste and smoother burn with whiter ash. Flushing solutions are not necessary, With Reverse Osmosis (RO) water you can achieve this in 14 days.
Make sure the Trichomes are mature.
This is another reason why the 21 day flush is good too. Buy a scope and take a look at what the colour of the glands are. If they are clear it is not ready. You are aiming for trichome glands that are milking up with some starting to turn amber. Medically, you want to aim for 30% amber, 70% milky to get a more even cannabinoid range. CBD takes slightly longer to mature than THC. And allowing your THC to go a little further allows you to have some CBN which is created from THC.
Dry your buds slowly.
A quick dry can be as bad for the end product as a bad flush, causing the ash to burn black or the chlorophyll to “lock” up and affect the final taste of the product. Drying your cannabis at 16-20 degrees is ideal. Hanging them upside down in the tent they were growing in with the carbon filter on is the most ideal setting, unless of course you have created a specific drying area. Some growers like to remove the fan leaves because they believe it affects the final taste, others leave them on because they say it protects the trichomes on the buds. This process can take between 7 and 21 days. You are looking for the moment in the process that the stems start to crack when they are bent. Anything before this is going to result in a harsher cure and smoke if it is being combusted. Never stick a heater or a fan on your herbs to dry them out. Good dank comes to those that wait, and if you have spent 9 or 10 weeks flowering it you really don’t want to ruin that hard work just to get it in you quicker.
For more information on the curing process, check our blog here.