Harvest time; possibly the most exciting part of every cannabis grower’s life! It’s the time where you’ll be rewarded with all your efforts over the past weeks of cultivating and worrying about your precious crops. But harvesting marijuana plants is more than what it looks like. It’s about the right time and the right way to do it. We’ll take a look at how a Candy Cane autoflower harvest happens and how to make sure that you’ll get the most out of harvesting the best tasting weed.
What is Candy Kush Autoflower Strain?
The difference between other cannabis strains and the Candy Kush auto is that this strain is an auto-flowering Kush strain. It flowers fast in just 7 weeks and this happens without using any kind of special lighting.
Another impressive thing about Candy Kush auto plants is that these remain small despite reaching a mature age. Because of its handy size, you can grow several of these plants indoors, inside a small growing space without anyone suspecting.
And possibly the best thing about Candy Kush auto strain is that it will provide you with heavy yields. As long as you cultivate this in a good growing environment, you can guarantee healthy plants and good yields.
Harvesting Candy Kush Auto-flowering Plants
Harvesting auto cannabis strains like the Candy Kush auto strain makes use of the following techniques:
- The mature age of your plants
Since you are growing auto-flowering plants, expect that by the time that these are 7 weeks old, these will be ready for harvest. All auto-flowering cannabis strains will grow this fast but expect that other auto strains will bloom less than 7 weeks while some around 9 weeks or less.
- The smell of your buds
A good indicator that it’s time for harvest is the smell of your buds. Just like ripe fruit, cannabis buds will open to reveal a delicious, irresistible smell. However, the smell and the time of harvest are not enough to determine if the buds are ready for harvest or not. These are just supporting harvest signs.
- The appearance of the trichomes
Trichomes are the small, sticky, mushroom-like crystals that usually cover buds but may also grow along leaves and stems as well. Trichomes appear like clear crystals but as harvest time nears, these become cloudy. Another name for trichomes is resin glands.
Tip: invest in a good quality magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe. You’ll need this to correctly check the cloudiness of the trichomes.
- The color of the pistils
The thread or ribbon-like structures that protrude from the buds are called pistils. Usually, these are pale-colored but during harvest time, these structures start to develop intense colors. You will easily notice this change so don’t worry that you’ll miss this event.
How do you Know your Plants are Ready for Harvest?
To determine if your Candy Cane autoflowers are ready for harvest, you need to take note of these four factors.
- You have counted and you are on week seven of your plant’s growth. Your plants will soon flower and in just another more days it will be ready for harvest.
- You can now smell the delicious smell of Candy Cane plants: minty, sweet berry smell that you can smell once you crush the buds (but you don’t have to crush the buds! Just smell the buds closely).
- Pistils have changed color. You don’t need a magnifying glass or a jeweler’s loupe to check these out.
- When 60% to 70% of the hairs have darkened, you’ll get the highest THC content.
- When 70% to 90% have darkened then you’ll get a relaxing or calming strain. Harvesting at this time means the weed will have more anti-anxiety effects since THC has turned into a relaxing CBN compound.
However, this technique may not hold true for all cannabis strains. There are strains that continue to maintain their white pistils even long after the buds are ready for harvest. This is why you need to combine the pistil method with the trichomes method to get the best results.
- Trichomes have become cloudy. This is when your magnifying glass or loupe comes in handy.
- Very clear trichomes mean that the buds are NOT ready for harvest. If you cut now, you will affect the final yield.
- Half-clear or half-cloudy trichomes means that the buds are still developing in size and odor is just starting to develop. Harvest now and you’ll get a speedy high.
- Most of the trichomes have darkened means that this is the time when the buds contain the most intense high. Buds harvested today will have the most euphoria and has the best analgesic effects.
- Almost all the trichomes have changed into amber color means that the buds have developed a more relaxing high that will relieve anxiety and may result in a couch-locked effect.
Combine these and you’ll get the following general guidelines:
|Factors||Age of Plants||Smell/Odor||Pistils||Trichomes|
Low THC & CBN
|7 to 8 weeks||NO SMELL||Hairs are still white & sticking out straight||Crystal clear|
|READY||7 to 8 weeks||NO SMELL||Hairs are still white||Half clear/half cloudy|
With highest levels of THC
|7 to 8 weeks||SMELL PRESENT||50 to 70% of white hairs have become dark||Most are milky or cloudy|
Lower THC, higher CBN
|7 to 8 weeks||SMELL PRESENT||70 to 90% of white hairs have become dark||Cloudy to amber|
Important things to consider before you proceed with harvest
For harvest to succeed, the following should be kept in mind:
- Stop feeding your plants fertilizer or supplements at least a week or two before harvest time. Your plants won’t need this anymore since it has ceased growing. You must flush your soil with clean neutral pH water.
- Continue giving your plants strong light especially when you are growing indoors. Your plants still need light to make food. Your plants need water and sunlight to manufacture food to support their daily nutritional needs.
- Reduce humidity levels during the flowering stage. The buds of the Candy Cane auto strain will be small but dense. These are very susceptible to mold growth because moisture can accumulate inside the folds of the buds.
Use a digital hygrometer to accurately monitor the humidity levels inside your growing room. Use a dehumidifier, a machine that can monitor humidity and can correct humidity as well.
- Water your plants only when the soil is dry and not when it is moist or wet. This prevents the onslaught of a particular type of fungus that affects the roots.
Stop watering your plants a day or two before harvest. Your plants should be at least partially dry so that it won’t take long for these to remain in the drying area.
How to Harvest your Plants
Now that you know that your plants are ready to harvest, what do you do? First, decide if you want to harvest just the buds or you wish to harvest the entire plant. Since auto-flowering cannabis like the Candy Cane Autoflower is a small plant, it would be wise to cut down the entire plant for future use.
The man bud along with any miniature blooms along the side of the plant should be harvested separately. Place these in a basket or in a large, clean plastic container lined with newspaper. The newspaper will enhance drying which is the next step after harvesting.
Remove the entire plant using a sharp knife and then take this to your drying station where you can hang these out to dry. Dry these parts in a clean, dark, dry and quiet area of your home. Dry your buds naturally and avoid any rush. Your plants will get the best smell, aroma, and effects when you do this slowly.
There are ways to dry your buds and plant parts. The buds can be dried in a large native basket. Spread the buds, give each around an inch or two of space so that these can dry completely. For longer and branched plant parts, you can dry these more effectively by hanging this upside down. Use a clothes hanger to hang your clothes well.
Monitor the humidity inside your drying room. This should be maintained at very low levels to prevent moisture and molds.
After Drying your Buds
It will take a few days for your buds to be ready. To find out if your weed is ready to cure, hold a piece in your hand and feel if it is dry. Hold a bud and crush it, it should crush easily too.
After drying your buds, it has to be cured to get the best flavor as well. To cure your buds, place these inside a mason jar. Allow at least an inch of space on the top. It would take at least two to three months for your buds to reach their best flavor and aroma.
Your Candy Cane autoflower harvest will taste and smell better when you follow these harvesting, drying and curing tips.