Q&A with Jorge
When do I harvest? Everybody tells me to wait till it freezes, but I don’t know—maybe I should harvest sooner. I live in Tucson, AZ, and even though we are at a high elevation, it doesn’t freeze here until late October. What should I do?
Dear Desert Owl,
Harvest when the plants are ready to harvest; pay attention to what your plants tell you. Unless a very bad storm is coming that would blow them over and beat them with raindrops, or unless an impending freeze is at hand, harvest your plants when they’re ready. There are five distinct types of plants that are ready at five different times. Use the information below as a guideline.
For example, Hash Plant, Afghani, Hindu Kush, etc., finish in mid- to late August. The yield and potency are high, and so is the fragrance! When nurtured by an experienced grower, these strains are thick with resin. They grow best with lots of intense sunlight and water from below, not from above (i.e., rain). Use a 30x microscope to see if the resin glands are well-formed, with a knob on top of a small post. Harvest before half of the glands start to deteriorate, and keep an eye out for mold.
Early Pearl, Early Queen, Early Riser, Manitoba Poison and similar strains finish in early September at your latitude of 34Â°N. They are potent and yield a little better than the plants in the first group, and they’re all easy to grow.
Mighty Mite, Durban Poison and Jack Herer finish in mid- to late September. The yield and potency are very good, and the odor is not too intense. These strains grow a huge, dominant main cola with several large terminal buds on the main branches. You should also check these plants for peak ripeness with a 30x microscope.
Blueberry, White Widow, White Rhino, Super Silver Haze and Pure Power Plant tend to finish in mid- to late October. The yields and potency are very high! They don’t have an intense fragrance while growing, but that changes quickly when they are cut! Mold can be a problem with them.
Skunk #1, Northern Lights #5, Big Bud, and pure or nearly pure sativas finish from late October to early November. Sometimes sativas don’t finish at all if the weather cools too much and snow comes. Potency is superb in all of the plants in this category except for Big Bud. All of them grow tall—often to 15 feet—and are generally tolerant of cold.