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Simple Harvest and Cure (Step By Step)

  • by Rumpleforeskin
  • Jul 10 2009 07:04 AM
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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:04 AM

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I have been asked a number of times about harvesting and curing. I understand that there are as many ways to cure Marijuana as there are Marijuana strains. It seems that no two growers do it alike.

From harvest day to bong. Here is my method:

I can't tell you the exact time to chop your plant down. Some research can tell you how long to flower your strain for best results or you can check trichome color. Either way, you will have to do a bit of trial and error to find the very best day to chop the girls down.

At day 60 my White Widow shows a mixture of trichome colors. Most of them will be milky or amber, with a small percent of clear ones scattered about. Use a jeweler's loupe/magnifying glass of 20x magnification or more. A small pocket microscope can be bought at RadioShack:

Trichome_chart1.jpg



I have grown this strain long enough to know that day 60 gives the best flavor and effect.

Day 60. My single plant grow:
01910.jpg

0315.jpg

0275.jpg



Time to chop it down: Even if you can take the whole plant in one single cut, I would break it up into large sections. This is so it can get lots of air while drying (branches won't be touching).
I take one cola/branch at a time. It is very important to take your time and be gentle in every step of harvesting. It's a good idea to always be gentle with your weed at any stage. Manhandling your bud will cause the trichomes to break off (you don't want that).

Using a pair of FiskarsĀ® Softouch Micro-Tip Scissors, I take the first of many branches:
00141.jpg



Noticed I put on rubber gloves? Get a box of them at the drug store. They are a must have item. You will not get that sap off your hands for days no matter what you wash with.
00422.jpg

Tie some twist ties or line to the end:
00633.jpg

I like to hang the branch over a bucket or trash-can:
0285.jpg


0305.jpg


Pluck off all the sun leaves and any leaf that is big enough to pull off (without hurting the bud). They can be easily removed by snapping them off while pulling up or you can use scissors:
0322.jpg

01115.jpg

You don't have to get them all. Just get what you can and save the rest for your "Trim-Party".
Before:
0444.jpg

After:
0462.jpg

As you finish, stack them on a near by table:
0492.jpg




Dry Time:

Try and find a cool, dark, preferably ventilated space such as a closet, basement, or winter attic. I have no such space at my home, so I use the attic all year. It is dark and ventilated but not always cool. Works anyway.
Try and hang all the branches so they don't touch anything:
0586.jpg

0654.jpg

A small oscillating fan on low will help things along real nice:
0552.jpg

Place all the leaf in a few paper bags and place them in the same space as the hanging branches. Leave bag open.
0663.jpg



TRIM-PARTY!

Let them hang for three days (72 hours). After three days they my feel real dry or real damp. It does not matter.
Note: You might want to stir the bag of leaves after a day or so. They tend to be real wet.

Three days later. So sad the big bud is so small now:
00142.jpg

Let's get this party started. Lay out all your trim gear.
A trim tray (cookie sheet will work), rubber gloves, micro-tip scissors, large paper grocery bags, small brown lunch bags and a few razors (to clean the scissors). Music helps or someone to talk to. It becomes un-fun in 15 minutes (trust me).




Most the water has evaporated out of the branches.

Before:
0462.jpg

After:
01017.jpg



Time to manicure and finish your trimming.
This task takes some time and a whole lot of patients.
Take a branch and start at the bottom, cutting off all leaves and bud leaf tips. After your get all the big leaves off, pretend you are giving a slight trim to the whole bud. The very tips of the bud leaves will cause the smoke to be harsh, so just do a slight trim all around.
0474.jpg

Before:
0343.jpg

After:
0364.jpg


Now clip the buds off the main stem.


0655.jpg


Glad that's over:
0664.jpg




Brown Bag Um:

Get a few brown grocery bags and a pack of brown lunch bags. Shred the brown lunch bags (not confetti but strips). I bought a cheap shredder to make strips from the lunch bags:
0721.jpg


Now lay down a layer of bud at the bottom of the grocery bag (one bud thick):
0741.jpg


Place a layer of the bag strips over the top of your bud:
0771.jpg

Place another layer of bud on top of the strips:
0812.jpg

Keep making layers until the grocery bag is full. Your last layer should be strips:
0821.jpg


Place your grocery bags in a cool dry place for two days. Churn/mix the bud and strip layers gently and place back for another one or two days:
0881.jpg


Your bud may look over dry or a little crisp when done. Over dry is much much better then moist. The texture and smell will come back while curing in the jars.

Your bud is smoke-able but harsh until cured in jars. The longer it stays in the jar, the smoother the smoke and the stronger the smell.
I like the 32oz wide mouth Ball mason jars. They can be found at every grocery store, but next to impossible to locate the isle they are on. Look hard:
089.jpg

Don't pack the bud in the jar. Fill them up about 80% to 90%. You can get close to an ounce of small buds in a jar (could be wrong about this fact). Less if they are bigger bud:
096.jpg


1052.jpg



If the bud it a bit too long, don't squish it or bend it. Just cut it up:
0911.jpg

0921.jpg

After your jars are filled, take a break (you need it):
0972.jpg

Always store your jars in a cool, dark, and safe location. Light is bad for your weed.
Try to remember to open each jar twice a week for the first month. Leave it open for a few minutes and seal it back up. I don't always do this (I forget), but it makes a difference. It's also a good idea to check for mold while opening each one.

We can never wait the month that is recommended for jar curing. But it does get much better as time passes. After a month it is killer.

Best of luck,R

Edited by Rumpleforeskin, 15 March 2015 - 06:23 PM.

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:26 AM

Nice Guide Rumple!

I havent seen the paperbag/shredded paper used to dry before, but a mate uses a similar method with shoe boxs, layer of bud, layer of newspaper, layer of bud, layer of newspaper etc.....

What is your 'de-gassing' regime with the Jars? do you open once a week to release gass's or more/less often while theyre curing in the first month?

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 07:56 AM

I knew I forgot something. Thanks, I fixed the last part.
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Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:01 PM

good read lots of good info:hello:
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Posted 10 July 2009 - 02:09 PM

Just to add something on real quick, anyone who has harvested knows how sticky and resiny EVERYTHING gets. If you don't have gloves, after trimming rub some olive oil on your hands and the stickiness goes away immediately, try it!
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Posted 10 July 2009 - 04:29 PM

nearing my very first harvest, I have been looking for something like this, this deserves to be a sticky-none of the other threads go into this amount of detail, or even have pics.

Edited by growinbudz, 11 July 2009 - 12:55 AM.

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Posted 10 July 2009 - 11:03 PM

THis is awesome Rumple! I too am nearing a first harvest and couldn't find anything detailed with so many pic's!! Thanks a ton man!

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 12:11 AM

excellent man! thanks for doing this :)

i like that brown bag method. Do you notice that the ones at the bottom dry slower or faster than the ones at the top of the bag.. or is that why you add the shredded bags in with them?

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 03:12 AM

excellent man! thanks for doing this :)

i like that brown bag method. Do you notice that the ones at the bottom dry slower or faster than the ones at the top of the bag.. or is that why you add the shredded bags in with them?

Thanks Auguest. It does not seem to matter. I stir it after a day or two in the brown bag.

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 03:40 AM

To stir it do you just kind of shake the bags around to mix the strips and bud or do you kind of turn everything over lightly with your hands?
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Posted 11 July 2009 - 03:49 AM

Wow, this is awesome. I am nervous about trimming, so the before and after pics of the buds are unbelievably helpful. Thank you so much. :hello:
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Posted 11 July 2009 - 04:30 AM

To stir it do you just kind of shake the bags around to mix the strips and bud or do you kind of turn everything over lightly with your hands?



yeah this.. :)


when you say "stir" you mean at some point the shredded bag and bud get mixed up?

sorry man.. i'm a fucking newb.

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 06:00 AM

I ment using an industrial blender to mix it up real good:D. Just kidding. You can dump it out and restack it, or gently insert your hand in the bag and rotate the contents. Its a good idea to check it after two days anyway. Depending on the weather, it may be super dry at the two day mark and ready for jars. I tend to let it over dry a bit to be on the safe side. It comes back after you put it in the jar. Its best to leave it another day after the stir. Even a small amount of moisture can ruin the whole jar.
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Posted 11 July 2009 - 06:05 AM

im as fond of the shredded brown bag as the other folks, thats just brilliant.

so simple, and it achieves so much. Im going to have to incorporate it, or something similar.....Ive got some sheets of coffee-filter type paper that i think would be wonderful for this filler layer.

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 06:14 AM

Great guide, pictures are a nice touch and very well done. Should be harvesting in a month or so and I'll be checking on this thread frequently for pointers.

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 07:40 AM

Nice thread. Are all 13 of those jars from that one plant?!?!?

Spark a joint and enjoy,
HumCoToker

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 01:39 PM

I ment using an industrial blender to mix it up real good


i'm one of those guys who only reads the 1st sentences of posts.. now my buds are all mushed up. :D

thanks for the answers man.. makes perfect sense!

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 05:22 PM

Nice thread. Are all 13 of those jars from that one plant?!?!?

Spark a joint and enjoy,
HumCoToker



Yeah they are from a single plant. It is from my last harvest a week ago. My wife is already smoking it (a bit harsh at this point), She can't wait for the cure to set in.
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Posted 11 July 2009 - 05:28 PM

do you worry about loss of potency when the buds are being mixed around in the bag? seems like it would knock lots of trichomes off the bud.
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Posted 11 July 2009 - 05:40 PM

Yeah they are from a single plant. It is from my last harvest a week ago. My wife is already smoking it (a bit harsh at this point), She can't wait for the cure to set in.


Shit man. That's a lot of herb. Dried weight?

Spark a joint and enjoy,
HumCoToker


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