It's that time of year when many outdoor farmers are getting excited about their harvest. There are a lot of factors to consider when making this decision. Almost all new growers tend to harvest early as a rule of thumb. Be patient but wise.
We are in northern Michigan where we see a lot of mildew and mold take out a seasons worth of work all too often. Don't be alarmed if you see some bud rot here and there this time of year. Carefully cut it out and place in a bag to remove it from the garden area.
Powdery mildew seems to be much more devastating. Watching these 2 things closely can be the main determining factor in when to harvest in some gardens. Preventing these things from happening by properly maintaining our plants via picking leaves and general maintenance is the key to making a real finish here in Michigan.
Keeping our plants healthy during the summer is how we prevent issues from taking us out. Keeping the brix levels up and maintaining that nice healthy green is essential. We also utilize some silica during weeks 2 through 4 of flowering to thicken up our cellular walls and make it harder for spores to take hold.
When do we harvest?
That depends on weather, plant health, and lastly plant maturity. Growing strains that kick into flowering early and finish quickly is a major part of being successful here as well. Plants are finished when the trichomes begin to turn amber in color, all the hairs are pulled back and the calyx are swelled.
Send us some pictures of your outdoor grow this year at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to share some of those photos on our website and send out some free seeds if we choose your photos.
The most important thing I've learned about growing outside in Michigan is to stay calm. In years past we got so upset about issues like mold and mildew that we likely did more damage than good. It's best to cut out what you see and that's it. Don't keep working on other plants after you handle mold and mildew. This is exactly how we spread these things. Stay calm and be smart.
The time to spray and prevent these issues has passsed. There is no great treatment after the fact. Stay calm. Be patient. Act smart.
Happy harvesting from "Uncle Pete". I hope to see those photos.