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Croptober Problems: Harvest Special Pt. 3

Croptober Problems: Harvest Special Pt. 3

Croptober is here! Which means harvest time, and harvest problems.

If you’re in a more arid, dry climate right now, your harvest is probably going off without a hitch. The same can’t be said for the East coast growers out there.

With the extremely rainy hurricane season that hit the east coast this year, growers, especially those in the Southeast, are feeling it.

Croptober harvest problems

October has always been the prime time for harvest, with the natural transition into fall pushing plants into their flower stage just in time for harvest. While those who grow indoors do not have to worry about the changing seasons since they can regulate their environment and grow year round, outdoor growers aren’t as fortunate.

Some can’t afford to grow indoors, others prefer outdoors, and some don’t have any other option than to grow outdoor. This puts the grower at the mercy of nature, and she hasn’t been too kind to growers in the east this year.

Not just the weather

If you thought it was just the weather impacting farmer’s harvests, think again. On the opposite side of the country, it’s a little too dry.

You may have noticed from the 400,000 acres of scorched earth in Northern California that there have been some fires. When fires destroy thousands of acres of land, they also destroy the homes of thousands of wildlife. Especially squirrels.

The impact of the forest fires in California have displaced thousands of squirrels, pushing them south into the Emerald Triangle. I’m sure you can see where this is going.

The refugee squirrel problem

Forced from their homes and into the hills of the Emerald Triangle, squirrels have become an unwelcome guest on many cannabis farms. While non-violent toward the farmers, the same can’t be said of the squirrels and their relationship with cannabis plants.

Crawling all over the plants, eating the stalks and breaking off branches of plants are just some of the problems caused by the new squirrel migrant crisis. It’s too soon to say the total impact this event will have, but many farmers are already reporting ruined harvests due to the rodents.

Harvest Special Pt 3

Hear all about the savage squirrels, the drenched east coast and more on this week’s Harvest Special! Join Chip on Lookout Mountain in Georgia as he talks harvest tips, problems, and solutions.

Listen to the episode right here on The Real Dirt, or listen on the go on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher and more.

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Curing Cannabis: Harvest Special Pt. 2

Curing Cannabis: Harvest Special Pt. 2

When it comes to curing cannabis, you want to do it right. Not doing it right can ruin your entire harvest.

You’re done harvesting cannabis from your grow. Now it’s time to cure it.

Room size, temperature, humidity, air flow…these are all things that you need to consider when it comes to curing cannabis. Too much humidity and your plants won’t dry properly. Not enough humidity and you’ll dry your plants out faster than you want.

Curing cannabis right

It really is a science. People have moved on from the old plywood sheds that they would use to dry their cannabis. Now, people get full-blown steel buildings with full, regulated setups for curing cannabis. This way can be better, if done right.

A benefit of the classic drying shed that was outside with some plywood walls was it’s interaction with the environment. It acted as a self-regulator, changing humidity and temperature with the outside conditions. Unless there was a more rainy season, this would usually result in perfectly cured cannabis.

Modernized curing

With new, modernized curing facilities, it becomes the job of the grower to regulate that indoor environment. This is where the essentials come in, such as having fans, ventilation and temperature control.

Your method of curing cannabis also depends on how you want to trim it. Some people like to “green trim”, or trimming cannabis fresh when it is still wet. Others will only trim dry, as it is easier and many think it is more effective at maintaining potency when the bud had more time to cure.

The bottom line

One of the most important factors of curing cannabis that people overlook is storage. The best way to store your cannabis for curing is in storage bins. Some plastic bags will leave an odor on your cannabis if left in the bag too long from the plastic chemicals.

Once you have your cannabis contained, it is important to monitor it regular, burping the container to prevent the buds from flattening each other out. In a regulated indoor environment, this will be curing easy.

Here more about curing and trimming on this week’s Real Dirt Harvest Special!

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Trimming Cannabis: 3 ways to trim

Trimming Cannabis: 3 ways to trim

It’s a big debate among growers and trimmers alike. When it comes to trimming cannabis, is there a best way?

In short, yes. Trimming cannabis does not need to be a difficult process, and it can be very hands off. However, it can also be the opposite.

When it comes time to trim up your cannabis, there’s a couple things to consider. The biggest factor is how much you actually need to trim. Knowing this will help you figure out if it is something you can even do by yourself. From full hands-on to minimal effort, here are three of the most common way of trimming cannabis.

Farmer’s Trim

trimming cannabis the farmer way

A pretty rare sight to see these days, you won’t usually see bud with a farmer’s trim on dispensary shelves. The name farmer’s trim comes from farmers enjoying the fruits of their labor without much of the processing that goes in before it is actually sold.

A grower that does farmer’s trims may just snip off the bigger, more noticeable leaves on the bud, without going after every little leaf that sticks off the bud. This gives the nug a more natural look. Proponents will argue that a little more leaf on your bud means it could still have some of that extra THC found in the leaves.

Others will say it’s just lazy trimming, and the “extra” THC is negligible compared to a better looking trim job. Usually, more experienced growers and smokers won’t mind a farmer’s trim.

Hand Trim

trimming cannabis by hand is best

The farmer’s trim with more effort. Trimming cannabis by hand is the preferred technique by boutique and more small-scale growers as it lets the trimmer shape the bud how they like, while taking care to avoid damaging the bud itself.

However, a bad hand-trim job can ruin the look of a nug, so it’s important to know what you’re doing, or hire someone who does.

A lot of people prefer hand trim for the “handmade” aspect. It’s good to know that the product you are smoking was meticulously looked at and trimmed to look its best just for you. Other people don’t care so much about that, and want their cannabis to look as generic and “presentable” as possible. They probably machine trim.

Machine Trim

trimming cannabis with a machine is lazy and you should avoid it

Now, there isn’t anything¬†wrong with trimming cannabis with a machine. Just like there isn’t anything wrong with using a machine to scoop up crops in a large agricultural plot. Sometimes, there is just too much cannabis to be able to efficiently trim it all by hand.

There are plenty of different trim machines that utilize different degrees of blade sharpness, rotation speed and more to get as close to a hand-trimmed look as possible. However, any seasoned cannabis consumer will easily be able to distinguish real, hand-trimmed cannabis from something that was just dropped in a machine.

Just because you may have a ton of product and not enough hands, doesn’t mean you can’t get more. A lot of people will get a machine just to save them the trouble, when they could also hire some extra hands for harvest. There is a migration of people who move into popular cannabis growing areas solely to work as a trimmer during harvest season.

Finding these people is as easy as a Craigslist ad. With just a few extra, hard-working hands, you will be shocked at how much more you can accomplish.

No matter how you decide to trim your cannabis, the most important thing is that you pay attention the process. Don’t cut too close with the scissors, don’t leave your nugs in the machine too long, don’t run the trimmer too fast.

Hear some more trim and harvest tips on The Real Dirt Harvest Special! Just click here!

Harvesting Cannabis: Harvest Special Pt. 1

Harvesting Cannabis: Harvest Special Pt. 1

It’s that time. The time all growers anticipate. Harvest season is here, and it’s time to get ready! The Real Dirt knows all too well what goes into a successful harvest, and when it comes to harvesting cannabis, The Real Dirt knows best.

Chip has personally helped hundreds of growers across the country manage their grows and harvests, and he’s the go to source for any grower serious about harvesting cannabis. You might still be in the tail-end of flower, but it’s never too early to get prepared for harvest.

Harvesting cannabis

If you aren’t prepared when the time to harvest comes around, you’re going to be in trouble. Using the same gunked up scissors from last harvest is a rookie mistake, but one that even an experienced grower may forget. After all, when you’re in the garden twelve hours a day, there isn’t much time to run to the store.

Because of this, many growers who have large quantities, especially commercial growers, will enlist the help of for-hire trimmers. This can be very helpful, but only if you vet your candidates well.

Trim migration

In places like Northern California where millions of pounds of cannabis are grown, hiring trimmers is a necessity. However, the population in Northern California is pretty small, so most of the trimmers are outsourced.

The great migration of trimmers starts at the beginning of harvest season, as thousands of people migrate to these areas to look for trim jobs. While there may be plenty of applicants, they aren’t all going to do good work.

You’ll get the lazy stoners that just want to get baked and work slow, other will try to steal your cannabis on the side, and more. That’s why it is so important to know your trimmers, and keep an eye on them.

Chip has seen them all, and in the first episode of The Real Dirt Harvest Specials, he talks trim tips, and the business of trimming. Hear the full episode here, or listen on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

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