I left off News Joint Grow Journal 13 with the development of growing buds on my plants throughout the flowering stage. A chop date was quickly approaching.
I started my flush during the middle of the seventh week. My next step? Looking at the trichomes for a better assessment of when to deliver the last watering and when to chop. Out of the two decades as a reporter, surprisingly I’d never obtained a loupe. Instead, I purchased a microscope camera for journal entry photos.
I zoomed in close every few days at my five plants (Steve’s Dream Queen, Amnesia Lemon, Blood Diamond OG, Prayer Pupil, and Swabi Pakistani 3). The first set of photos showed that the trichomes were still relatively clear and had several days to go before ripe. As the days moved forward, creaminess filled the trichomes. A few more days and I saw the first amber colored on the bulbous part of the trichome.
One of the most interesting parts of this grow journal has been when a consensus on “how to” does not exist in the growing community. When to chop seemed to be one of those growing techniques that differed from grower to grower.
Our sponsor Homegrown Cannabis Co.’s in-house expert grower Kyle Kushman offered this advice, “When about 5-to-10 percent of those trichomes have reached the amber color, you’ve reach perfect ripening, and that’s when it’s time to harvest.”
Other experts and tutorial sites suggested anywhere from 20-40% amber trichomes, and a couple recommended 50%, especially if I wanted more indica effects to the final product.
Of course, as mentioned in Grow Journal 10: Kushman’s Chiropractics, I am a fanboy of Kyle Kushman and have used his growing techniques as a baseline for my first grow. Kushman’s tailored growing advice for News Joint Grow Journal has been one of the greatest benefits to my first grow and our partnership with Homegrown Cannabis Co.
The entire grow has brought on a crippling anticipation for a final product. Watching the ripening trichomes caused the most anxiety and anticipation during the entire grow process. August 3, I flushed the five plants for the last time.
Two days later, I chopped the Blood Diamond OG and the Steve’s Dream Queen. For better light coverage, I repositioned the other three plants in the tent. August 7, I chopped the Prayer Pupil and the Amnesia Lemon. I moved the Swabi Pakistani 3 into the middle of the tent.
The SP3’s trichomes, and overall development, seemed to be about a week behind the other four plants. As mentioned in Grow Journal 12, I had lost control of the SP3’s stretch during the flowering stage. The SP3 had developed dying leaves on the buds, and the trichomes were not ripening along with the other plants. I figured I had to be patient for a ten-week sativa to ripen and that I caused the brown leaves because I had stopped the nutrients it needed too soon.
But as with my experience with baseball, poker, and life in general, just when I developed a little unwarranted cockiness about my first grow, I was humbled to discover why the SP3’s development changed for the worst during those last few days.
As mentioned from the Grow Journal 1, I wanted this grow journal to be honest. I wanted to show the good and the bad. Fortunately, I have been able to write about good aspects in the grow journals. The next grow journal, though, will discuss the bad. Stay tuned for Grow Journal 15 to find out about the most heartbreaking setback of my entire grow journal.
Click here for earlier entries of News Joint Grow Journal. A Prairie State of Mind.