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Harvest Time

Harvesting. The most exciting and long awaited moment in a gardener's grow calendar. The moment when one can stand up and say, "hey, yeah, I grew all of this on my own! I created something from nothing". The joys of harvesting can be likened to finally seeing results from one's hard labors. Just like the rest of the gardening process, the harvest must be taken care of properly, in order to ensure only the highest quality products.

One way to be sure to harvest only the best, is to include a week long "flushing cycle", or "flush". The purpose of this flushing cycle is to ensure that all mineral salts that have built up in the growing medium over the growing season are washed (or "flushed") away before harvest. Not flushing can negatively affect flavor and quality.

The time do this is during the last week before your scheduled harvest. During your last week, water your plants with three times the volume of the pot with plain water. This is meant flood out all of the extra nutrient salts. For example, if you are using 5 gallon pots, water with 15 gallons of water each time the plants need watering. If you are growing in 10 gallon pots, you need to flush with 30 gallons of water to wash some of the mineral salts out.

Purified water alone may not be enough to completely flush out the mineral salts and heavy metals built up in your growing medium and plant. It is highly recommended that you use a flushing agent as well, in order to maximize the flushing cycle. An excellent example of a flushing agent would be House & Garden's Drip Clean. This product is the king of flushing agents.

Application is simple - .4mL/Gallon with every feeding throughout the entire growth cycle. This product acts like a magnet for excess nutrient ions and keeps the mineral salts from building up during the entire growing season. At the end of the flowering stage, a much shorter flush is needed than if you had not used Drip Clean.
house and garden drip clean
botanicare clearex Alternatively, you can use Clearex from Boatnicare to flush your plants. Clearex only contains simple sugars, which is a perfect complement to plain water during your flushing stage. Sugars are not mineral salts and therefore, are ok to have in your water supply during the flushing stage. You can flush your plants with plain water and a sugar-based sweetener product, as long as there are little to no minerals in it.

Another important (and often over looked) aspect of harvesting is choosing the correct scissors. The titanium bladed scissors stay sharper, for longer, but the surgical stainless steel bladed scissors are a little cheaper. Curved tips or straight shears? What matters is whatever pair best fits your hand. Almost all scissor packages are not sealed. Don't be afraid to ask the sales associate if you can take them out of the package carefully to find the best fit for your hands. Also, do not be afraid to buy extra pairs of scissors. Sometimes the springs fall out, break, get lost, or maybe you have help trimming your harvests. Your partner needs a pair of scissors too.

Sunleaves Titanium Curved Tip Scissors
Dark Room Dryer Once your harvest is trimmed, it's time to preserve your crop. Depending on what you've grown, it may be something you want to dry. Check out the Secret Jardin DARKROOM 5 Layer Dryer. The 5 Layer Dryer makes quick work of drying your herbs so you can bag or jar them for future use. This dry rack can handle a pound a layer. That much capacity makes this dryer the best on the market!