Well, It's about mid October and the big buds are 90% done. This is where it gets scary for us because the rains are coming. I HATE chopping my ladies down early, its sad. I like seeing a fully ripened bud... but with that comes risk of mold! I'm no expert but over the past three years of outdoor growing I've learned how to deal with rain/mold. My plants get lots of sunlight and wind (CA medicinal) and usually don't mold (even during heavy downpours) BUT if caterpillars eat through a stem/bud, its game over after it rains. This makes sense because once a caterpillar fully eats through a stem and cuts off the buds water supply, the bud dies and dries while on the plant. If you don't notice and it rains on the dead dry bud, it ROTS INSTANTLY! Here is what I'm talking about: You can see where the scissors are pointing, that the bud has died and started molding (upturned twisted leaves and ugly brownish bud). Simply pinch off this section and it literally falls apart. Nasty bud rot: Now here is where you can see the damage done by caterpillars: See how the stem is all gnawed up (and poop down below) Now, I simply dispose of the moldy buds and snip off the rest of the good bud to save and dry. If you keep a close eye (check every other day or every day) you can save A LOT of good bud and throw away moldy areas so the mold doesn't spread. If you fail to check every bud, you may very well lose half the plant (or more). So, now that I've removed as much dead bud as possible, I'm confident enough to leave them out in the upcoming rains to finish up (with an umbrella). I try not to stress about the rain because once the sun comes out, they dry within a few hours (YMMV). And plants LOVE rain. Hell, the past two years I didn't cover them at all during multiple days of heavy downpour last late October, buds soaked to the max. Once the sun came out, they fully dried with no issue. However, if the sun doesn't come out in force, it gets risky! This may be common knowledge but I figured I'd address my findings. If I had no caterpillars, I'm 99% sure I would have no mold issue (greenhouse next season should fix that).