​Harvest Hacks: Increase Cannabis Quality and Yield

​Harvest Hacks: Increase Cannabis Quality and Yield

As we head into harvest season, buds are nearing their fullest bloom. The endless hours of drying, trimming, and shaping the floral fruits of your labor will soon begin. Harvest season is a labor of love that every grower and their end-user fanbase looks forward to! Method Seven called on our community of accomplished cultivators to share some of their favorite hacks to help you make the most of your harvest.

Mendo Dope, music making marvels and so-called “growers of trees,” grow cannabis plants big enough to record an album in. According to seasoned cultivator and lead singer Old-E, Mendo Dope’s sunkissed buds are raised in a symbiotic ecosystem with a healthy array of native plants and predatory bugs that contribute to the plants’ happiness. Most of us know we can pick up a carton of ladybugs to battle mites, but providing a variety of native plants convinces these helpers to stick around and start breeding for long-term pest control. Here are Mendo Dope’s recommendations for growers in the emerald triangle:

Native Plants

  • Cleveland Sage
  • Penstemon
  • Poppies
  • Coriander
  • Clover
  • Vetch

Predatory Bugs

  • Praying Mantis
  • Lady Bugs
  • Green Lacewings
  • Nematodes
  • Californicus
  • Amblyseius Cucumeris

Old-E also uses a special seed sprout recipe that enhances plants’ ability to absorb nutrients. Popcorn seed sprouts contain cytokinin, which optimizes cell division, weight management, and branching, as well as increasing the number of bud sites. While this is a welcome treat at any time in a plant’s life cycle, Old-E recommends using popcorn seed sprout tea from flowering to harvest. Check out the recipe for this accessible, affordable, and organic nutrient booster below, plus a bonus veg stage recipe for your next round of starts.

Kevin Jodrey, who founded Humboldt's famous Wonderland Nursery, reminds us not to forget the age-old virtue of patience. The biggest mistake this Pulitzer prize winning author has seen during harvest season is a premature cut. Once buds start to look like flowers, they also start to look like another coveted green—cash. After months of tenderly caring for mothers, clones, and juvenile plants, impending harvest makes it harder to see budding flowers as part of a living organism. Jodrey notes that prematurely harvested buds are not only lacking overall weight, but also in solidity and wax development, leaving them less tolerant for the physical handling they’ll endure on their way to the end-user. “A well done crop has a high resistance to problems,” Jodrey says. Nurturing plants to full maturity will ensure that they hold up better in the end.

As to determining when it’s harvest time, practice makes perfect. Though many people focus on trichome color, maturation of the chemovar doesn’t always indicate maturation of the cultivar. Jodrey has learned to spot shifts in all aspects of the plant when it’s harvest time: leaves begin to yellow, scent shifts, and the plant swells, filling in. Growing the same strain year after year is the best way to learn the array of signals that indicate harvest time. “Desperation drives bad decisions,” Jodrey says. So stay focused and don’t pull the cake out of the oven too early!

Jenn Doe, High Times Cup winner, seconds the importance of patience. As an artisanal cultivator, Doe performs small acts of love through the final stages of processing a crop. She shuts off lights, water, and airflow for 48 hours prior to the big cut. Depriving a crop of the environment it’s accustomed to induces stress. Though this may sound counterintuitive, it activates plants’ protective measures—resins and terpenoids—which enhance smell, flavor, and even potency. Ogle Doe’s results and get access to #DoeTips on Instagram @JennDoe420.

Nichole West, cannabis entrepreneur, is known on Instagram as @harvest_honey. Her handle isn’t just superb alliteration; it goes back to her early roots in the cannabis industry. This harvest honey is also a logistics expert. She started with a small processing service, and is now consulting for some of the biggest names in the cannabis industry. Nichole shares her top five tips for wrapping up your harvest with fewer aches and pains:

  1. Give the girls space. Crowded buds won’t cure properly. Make sure every bud has plenty of room and gentle airflow to avoid mold or losing out on precious trichomes.
  2. Tools are key. Spend a few extra dollars for spring loaded scissors. Time will be saved and your hands will thank you.
  3. Set your staff up for success. No one works well with back pain. Comfortable seating not only keeps your trimmers happier and healthier, but boosts overall productivity. When your staff thrives, so does your business.
  4. Coconut oil. The best agent for removing stubborn resin from tables, scissors, and hands, coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial, non-toxic, and far more moisturizing than isopropyl alcohol.
  5. Stay organized. Keep extra trim-bins on hand for tidy workspaces and organized product. Nichole sticks to Harvest-More Trim-bins for their stackable and ergonomic design.

Happy harvesting! We’d love to see the fruits of your labor. Create a short video using the Catalyst Phone & Tablet Camera Filter to show us your HPS or blurple LED garden for a chance to win $500 CASH plus your choice of Method Seven glasses. Runner ups will win a $100 Method Seven Gift Certificate.

- Don’t forget to show the Catalyst in the video before clipping it over your phone or tablet.
- Entries accepted through September 30th.
- Video submissions must be less than 1 minute in length.

Tune in to @methodseven on Instagram LIVE October 2 to watch the crew from Growing Exposed announce the finalists.

Mendo Dope’s Popcorn Sprout Tea

Ideal from flower to harvest

  1. Add 1 Cup of popcorn kernels to a tray large enough to spread the kernels in one layer.
  2. Cover with water and soak overnight.
  3. Germinate 7-10 days, until sprouts are ½ in. long. This is when they're packed with the most enzymes to help break down nutrients. Add or remove water each day so they remain just covered.
  4. Blend sprouts in a blender, then add to 20 Gallons of water.
  5. Feed your plants! No flush is needed with this gentle and organic nutrient booster.

Mendo Dope’s Alfalfa Sprout Tea

Ideal during veg

  1. Add 1 Cup of alfalfa seeds to a tray large enough to spread the seeds in one layer.
  2. Cover with water and soak overnight.
  3. Germinate 3-5 days, until sprouts are ½ in. long. Add or remove water each day so they remain just covered.
  4. Blend sprouts in a blender, then add to 20 Gallons of water.
  5. Feed your plants! No flush is needed with this gentle and organic nutrient booster.