Week 21:  HARVEST IS HERE!  Tips for trimming!
Strains in the tents:  Russian Doll, Sour Key OG, and Pineapple Express (scroll down for details by strain).

Grow method:  Indoor SCROG with LED.

LED Details:  2x California Lightworks 1100 + 2x California Lightworks 550 on our FLOWER 2 setting of 75: Red, 99 White, 99 Blue for 12 hours.

Gear we are using:  Pure Tents, California Lightworks 1100s and 550s LEDs and controller, Pure Pots (10 gallon), Promix HP, Dollar Store EZ Pods, Green House Powder Feed, BlueSky Organics Organic Reactor, Safer's End All miticide concentrate (plus water and a spray bottle), microscope, Secret Jardin Oscillating Fan, dehumidifier, Dry Rack XL, Bud Cutter Curved, Bud Cutter Straight.

HARVEST IS HERE!  Finally!  After my most challenging grow (with the unexpected mite issue and having to extend my veg an extra 4 weeks) I can get to the actual work:  Trimming!  I have a theory that if you enjoyed making friendship bracelets as a kid you will enjoy trimming.  It's fine for a couple hours, but this grow took me about 16 hours (of non-stop trimming) per tent.  I had my friend Pat help me out with trimming one day (he came and saved the day on my worst day), but otherwise I was on my own.  Here are my beginners tips for trimming:

You need:

Trimming scissors (I have a slight preference for the curved ones but will take whatever is closest to me)
A plate for trimmed bud
A plate for not yet trimmed bud
A freezer bag for trim
A trash bag on the floor in front of you to catch stems and trim that isn't worth saving
A dry rack
My goal with trimming is to remove as many leaves, the vains of leaves and stems as possible while saving quality trim for an extract.  Extra stems add extra bulk and ultimately mean your final dry weight yield will be skewed, and they are a waste of space in jars.  Extra leaves make the bud look like shaggy ditch weed once the buds dry out.

1) Cut down a bunch of branches of your harvest.  On each branch (if you grew SCROG like me) you are going to have the main cola (the top bud that got the most light) and then depending on how much your plant stretched, you will have a few more buds (not connected to the main cola) going down the branch until you hit the screen (then a bunch of undeveloped stuff under the canopy/screen).  If you didn't grow with a screen, the top, biggest, most central bud on each plant is the main cola and basically everything else is considered a side branch bud (even some of the tops--none will get as big as the main cola in the middle).  I like to clear the branches and break it down bud by bud.  So I mean I will cut all buds that are not connected to the main cola starting from the bottom.  If you don't pop these buds off now, and leave a stem in place, you will be left with buds that climb the stem like a staircase.  Extra stems mean extra storage issues (like they wont fit into jars).

2) The buds are going to shrink to 1/2 or 1/3 of the size that they are once they dry.  Don't waste time on buds that didn't fully form EVEN THOUGH they have trichomes on them.  These are buds located lower on branches or branches that got shaded out by the canopy. When these tiny buds dry they basically turn to dust.  The energy you expend trimming them will not be worth the bud you get after it dries.  Put these little nonsense buds into a freezer bag and make some hash or edibles with them later.  If you don't want to make hash or edibles just throw them out.  It's not worth it.  

2)  Remove any lingering fan leaves--these should pop off easily.  Your ultimate goal is going to remove as many of the leaf stalks as possible.  When the buds dry these will stick out like choppy sore thumbs if you don't remove them now (and I promise after you are done trimming you wont want to go back and retrim all your buds).

3)  I hold the base of the bud (that has as much of the tail stem removed as possible) and spin it around, quickly snipping as I go.  A more prudent hash producer would tell you to catch all the little leaves as well because they have plenty of trichomes, but that is too fussy for me.  Because I grew in the scrog I have a lot of under trim, and quite frankly no room in my freezer or time or patience to collect it all.  You are done when all the points of the buds are cut to soft edges and there is nothing shaggy sticking out.  It will take a couple hours, for sure.

Here are all the finished buds on the dry rack which I will keep there for a week before jarring (they should feel crispy and like you overdid it).  Buds will remain in jars for a month, and I will open the jars every day. PROTIP:  Add an USE AFTER date, which is a month after the day you jarred it.

Here is a 12 minute video of me (and the least messy part of my living room) chatting away while I go through a Russian Doll bud.

For a refresher, this is what everything looked like last week, before I cut all the tents down (scroll down more to see final yields and comments about trimming each):

Strain name:  Sour Key OG
Genetics:  Amnesia Haze X (Super Lemon Haze X OG Kush)
Flowering time:  8 weeks
Final Dry Yield:  717 grams
Level of difficulty:  Medium
Notes:  I had just so much variation with this strain which is fine---but I wanted to make sure that my trim was all kept separate.  Each plant in the tents smelled completely different, so I am going to have 4 different types of hash when I'm done too!  The Sour Key OG wasn't the most difficult to trim, but there was a lot of fake buds that looked like they would be impressive but ended up being airy and light.  The main colas were not quite as chonky as the Russian Doll but also were not as slim as the Pineapple Express.  Of the 3 strains they are the strongest smelling--by a lot!  I am excited to enjoy these at Christmas!

Strain name:  Pineapple Express
Genetics:  Big Bud X Hawaiian Skunk
Flowering time:  8 weeks
Final Dry Yield:  426 grams  
Level of difficulty:  Medium
Notes:  Pineapple Express was my lowest yielding strain overall, especially per square metre.  As I trimmed it I wanted to stab myself in the eyes with the quickly dulling scissors I was using.  There was SO MUCH TRIM!  I dedicated 3 days to this tent alone (where as the other tents were one day each) and ended up with 3 freezer bags full of fresh frozen trim that I will use later.  I fantasize about using Pineapple Express in a pineapple heavy recipe...like Pineapple Upside Down cake or something.  After the buds dried they were maybe 1/3 the size of the others in the tent.  One of my managers ALSO did these at the same time and was obviously disappointed with his yield as well.  I have had some bomb Pineapple Express BHO concentrate from a few sources, but I want to avoid blowing up my house as much as I can.  I'm sure it will be a good smoke but I am feeling pretty meh about growing this one again any time soon.
Strain name:  Russian Doll
Genetics:  Kuban Sativa x Northern Lights x AK-47
Flowering time:  8-9 weeks
Final Dry Yield:  669 grams
Level of difficulty:  Easy

Notes:  As you can see in the video of trimming above I did harvest baby arms (or at least equally-chubby-to-my-arms arms).  In the exact same amount of space that I had the Pineapple Express in, I managed to get an impressively sizable yield from the Russian Doll.  All the leaves snapped off easily during trim, and I sped through trimming this strain in about a day (which was a huge relief after the Pineapple Express, for real!).  Because these buds were so big and plentiful I got the best gram per m2 in this tent overall.  It might also because I have grown this strain a lot, and I am just super good now!

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