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Withholding water just before harvesting might seem like a counterproductive thing to do because it puts a world of stress on the plants.
Stressing out your plants at the right moment is actually a common thing amongst experienced growers because it can greatly improve the flower quality.
However, it is not that simple, knowing the perfect moment when to stop watering before harvest is critical.
In this article, we’ll be looking at the final two procedures growers take to make marijuana plants ready for harvest.
Here’s How to Estimate When To Stop Watering Before Harvest
Typically, growers stop watering 1-3 days before harvest time. This normally is done immediately after flushing the plant with clean water.
While 1-3 days is the average time for most cannabis plants to get stressed, some strains might need a bigger push and require up to a week of dryness to motivate the plants to transition into survival mode.
To exactly know when cannabis is ready to be stressed out before harvest is critical for great results.
To answer this question, we need to rewind time to the moment the plants reached maturity to start the detoxing procedure.
Detoxing your plants (or flushing) before harvest is one of the most effective ways to increase the overall quality of the harvest.
Flushing is an important part of the preparation process and it is also used as a time marker to know when to stop watering before harvest time.
Why is Flushing Important before harvest
Flushing is one out of two important tasks experienced growers perform when preparing cannabis for harvest.
The procedure removes unwanted nutrient buildup and makes smoking the flower much smoother and more flavorful.
But when it comes to flushing, timing is everything.
Flushing cannabis too early results in starving the plant from nutrition and will turn the leaves yellow. While the plant is not dying, starvation will contribute to a weaker yield.
Depending on your cannabis strain, you might want to calculate the flush to allow extra time for starving the plant from the water for the final days before harvest.
Flushing lasts for about 2 weeks and is timed to take place during the final 2 weeks of the flowering stage.
Properly flushing with clean water allows the plant to absorb any nutrients left in the soil until nothing is left.
Once all the nutrition from the soil is absorbed the plants start to use the built-up nutrients in their system till everything is depleted.
Once the water is flushed throughout the soil the overflow water will gather in the propagation trays.
Remember to remove the overflow water from the grow house because we don’t want the plants to absorb the nutrients again.
How to Flush cannabis plants
Step 1: Make sure to use water that has an acceptable pH range between 6.0 and 6.8.
Step2: Water the plants as usual but restrict all nutrients and supplements. Don’t overwater because it might cause the plant to lose too many nutrients and go into survival mode too soon.
Step3: Remove all overflow water from the trays to prevent a humidity spike and prevent the plant from absorbing the nutrients again.
How to know when cannabis is in the final two weeks of flowering?
When you place the cannabis underneath a magnifying glass you will notice little trichomes all over the buds and leaves in close proximity.
These trichomes look like tiny spikes and are responsible for the sticky feeling when touching fresh cannabis.
While these trichomes are still maturing they have a clear resin appearance until they start to ripen.
Once cannabis becomes ready for harvest, trichomes change color and get a milky or cloudy appearance.
Once these trichomes become change color, it signals the final weeks before harvest.
The moment you notice the color change is the most suited time to start flushing the plants.
When To Stop Watering Before Harvest: Closing Thoughts
Once the two-week flush has finished it is the best time to start starving the plant from water to increase THC production.
Depending on the strain, this process can take 3-5 days.
Starving the plants from water triggers the plant to go into survival mode to produce the flowers to give them the best chance possible for survival.
This process triggers the plant to focus all the growth energy on flower development and increases the overall THC level.