Free Khalifa Mints seeds on orders over $150!

How To Know When It’s Time to Harvest Cannabis Outdoors

outdoor cannabis harvest

Cannabis harvest is the most exciting, and the most stressful phase of the entire outdoor cannabis growing experience. When cultivating cannabis outdoors, knowing when to harvest is an art and a science. However, getting the harvest date precisely perfect rewards you with maximum yields of the highest quality buds. Read on to know when it is ideal to harvest your outdoor grow, some expert tips and advice.

When to harvest cannabis cultivated outdoors

Outdoor cannabis is an annual plant that thrives throughout the growing season’s warm months. Cannabis outdoor seeds grown in early spring (about March or April) will be available to harvest by the end of the summer. The majority of outdoor cannabis plants should be ready around September or October. Nonetheless, seasons vary greatly depending on location. Cannabis producers in California, for example, may typically prolong their growing seasons until about November. If you’re growing cannabis outdoors, you should be familiar with your local environment and the ideal growing season duration. This will influence when your cannabis plants mature.

How to tell when your outdoor cannabis is ready to be harvested

The exact time it takes for your outdoor plants to mature might vary greatly. Fortunately, there are a few (relatively) simple techniques to determine when your outdoor cannabis plants have reached their optimum maturity.

When to harvest your outdoor cannabis according to pistil (hair) color

Many cannabis gardeners pay attention to the color of the pistils as well as the appearance of the trichomes. These are the hairs that grow from the buds. The pistils are usually white at first. When they begin to turn brown, it indicates that the plant is about to be harvested.

50% brown pistils

At this stage, your cannabis is nearing harvest, but with many pistils remaining white, farmers may have to wait a bit longer.

70% brown pistils

At this stage, the majority, but not all, pistils are brown. For many cannabis growers, this indicates a good harvest point.

80-90%+ brown pistils

For some gardeners, this is a mature cannabis harvest with stronger effects. Although some gardeners may consider such buds somewhat overripe, many others believe the extended bloom period is well worth the wait. One of the many benefits of cultivating your cannabis seeds is that you (rather than an unknown grower or dealer) can pick when to harvest the cannabis for optimal personal delight. Some cannabis consumers strongly prefer certain strains produced to the optimal ripeness.

100% brown pistils

Most producers consider a crop to be over-ripe if all pistils are brown; however, a few growers disagree. Try taking (and drying) buds at different maturity stages and comparing the high or effects from them the next time you cultivate some cannabis seeds. You might be shocked to discover that you have a distinct preference that determines your harvest dates for future cannabis harvests.

When to harvest your outdoor cannabis according to trichome appearance

Many growers will observe the color of the trichome resin glands as they progress from clear to hazy to amber. This method works well with autoflowers as well as classic photoperiod outdoor plants.

Cannabis trichomes
Trichomes are the biggest indicator that it’s time to harvest.

Many growers invest in a tiny magnifying glass (a jeweler’s loupe) to perform precise, close-up assessments of trichome appearance. A powerful digital microscope will also perform an excellent job of displaying trichome appearance.

Cloudy trichomes

Waiting till the clear trichomes turn cloudy/milky encourages your buds to gain more weight. It also increases cannabinoid concentration and resin coverage, resulting in stronger buds. Many cannabis gardeners like to harvest their plants while the trichomes are largely hazy. At this stage, you may observe that a few trichomes are becoming an amber color.

Amber or red trichomes

After a week or two, you will see that more and more of the trichomes have changed from cloudy/milky to amber or red. Some producers like to harvest at this time because they believe their cannabis has a more narcotic, hefty impact. Many people believe that a predominance of red trichomes indicates an overripe crop. Some producers, however, like it this way, such as medicinal cannabis farmers who seek a powerful body impact with good sleep-inducing properties.

Clear trichomes

Cannabis with transparent, colorless trichomes has a vibrant, uplifting, and energetic high. However, cannabinoid levels may not have peaked, and the buds may not have finished developing. Most outside producers prefer to wait a little longer since it results in larger yields and stronger cannabis.

When to harvest outdoor cannabis according to Sativa vs. Indica genetics

Knowing the cannabis genetics inherent in your strains can assist you in estimating the estimated harvest time. Much relies on your growing latitude and the precise meteorological conditions you encounter during your grow. However, Indica genetics tend to mature quicker than Sativa genotypes. Late blossoming in the northern hemisphere, Sativa types may be harvestable in late November. That is just too late for outdoor cultivation for northern European gardeners. Furthermore, knowing which outdoor strains or cold weather strains will thrive in your environment is one of the skills of an expert outdoor cannabis farmer.

Cannabis harvesting with light deprivation

Regular cannabis plants, unlike autoflowers, move from the vegetative to the flowering stage when their photoperiods are decreased. This happens naturally when summer transitions to fall, and there is less and less everyday sunlight. Cultivators may manipulate the photoperiods of their cannabis plants by adopting a technique known as light deprivation or light depping. This causes their plants to blossom early, potentially generating several harvests each season. Light depping is often accomplished by intentionally draping lightproof sheets over plants or greenhouses to decrease photoperiods. Indoor plants can benefit from light deprivation more readily by turning off the lights. As a result, if you use light deprivation, the best time to harvest will be identical to that of autoflowers. Light-dependent plants also have brief life cycles.

Cannabis harvesting tips

Among the best ways to establish when your cannabis crop is ready without having to invest in expensive equipment is too inspect the pistils or “hairs” using a magnifying glass. Pistils are cannabis plant’s reproductive organs and you should wait if they are white. You should aim for 50% or more of brown pistils to start harvesting. The heaviness and taste of the bud will increase as the percentage goes up.

Checking the cannabis trichomes is more accurate but necessitates better-magnifying gear, like a microscope or a loupe. It is hard for you to see these tiny, mushroom-like growths with the naked eye. Use the above named suitable device to see whether most of the originally white trichomes have darkened and bent over. You can expect high levels of cannabinoids when more than half of your plant has dark pistils.

Outdoors cannabis – Ready to harvest

Some outdoor cannabis farmers believe that growing their weed plants in direct sunlight provides the buds an extra “kick,” resulting in a more gratifying high. With minimal energy expenditures, growing cannabis outdoors is unquestionably less expensive. Finding an outdoor grow area and watching your cannabis seeds grow into robust, heavy-producing plants can also be a lot of pleasure. Enjoy your outdoor gardening in any way you choose, and best of luck!

Frequently asked questions about harvesting cannabis

If you’ve never grown cannabis outside, you should try it. Outdoor cannabis cultivation costs significantly less than indoor cannabis cultivation. You won’t need a grow light, and you won’t have to pay for electricity. If you are concerned about carbon impact, outdoor cultivation has several advantages. Even farmers in the far north and far south may cultivate autoflower seeds outdoors during the short summers.

Do environmental factors impact the cannabis grow season?

Growing and harvesting cannabis outdoors is very joyful and rewarding. Understanding your own climate’s advent of spring and fall/autumn is a good place to start. Environmental variables play a significant role in selecting the best strains for you. You must choose the ideal cannabis seeds for your specific needs and climate.

When is outdoor cannabis ready to harvest

Many outdoor cannabis farmers cultivate both autoflower and feminized photoperiod cannabis seeds. Even if stormy fall or autumn weather arrives early and affects the photoperiod cannabis harvest, farmers can typically rely on autoflower plants to finish on schedule.

Is there an optimal time to harvest your cannabis plants?

In a perfect environment, you will be aware of your personal preferences for early vs. late-harvested cannabis. And with a little practice, you’ll soon feel pretty competent in determining cannabis maturity based on trichome or pistil appearance. However, the knowledgeable outdoor cannabis farmer must also consider local weather trends and prepare beforehand. If winter storms are expected to arrive earlier than usual, harvesting your plants sooner rather than later makes sense. If you are still determining when winter will arrive, it may be worth planting autoflower seeds rather than depending solely on photoperiod outside strains.

What happens if the cannabis buds are harvested early?

If you cut your flowers before the right time, the quality of your cannabis buds will not be the same. You are reminded that harvesting a cannabis plant early means losing some of its potential, including its delicious taste and its impacts.

Picture of Janice Bernstein

Janice Bernstein

Janice has been on the cannabis scene for many years now, though she tends to keep to herself and might fly under the radar for many, even those well-versed in cannabis growing. Her writings on different methods of watering cannabis helped bring the use of reverse osmosis water to the forefront of cannabis gardening. About this Author

Our Experts

Get a Discount

Best Selling Cannabis Seeds

Here's 20% Off On Us!

We want to help you get your hands on the seeds you want, take 20% off your next purchase when you enter your email below!

Here's 20% OFF On Us!

We want to help you get your hands on the seeds you want, take 20% off your next purchase when you enter your email below!