Can you harvest an auto in stages?

I have a WW Auto that seems to have some at the top ripening, some not.

trike1 trike2 trike3 trike4

Can I harvest an auto in stages without causing too much stress and slowing it down?
And does it look about right for harvesting

I thank you


From what I’ve learned, yes, you can harvest the top buds as they would most likely develop faster making light available to the lower buds which may not be as far along.

As far as being ready, I’m not that experienced to say. The last pic does seem to have amber trichomes. I’m sure you have read about harvesting and desired effects.

Final push! Let the drying/curing process begin! Good work!


I’ll tag a few ppl who might be able to explain what u want alot better then me lol @CoyoteCody @Cannabian @peachfuzz @AloysiusDevadanderAbercrombie

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Yes you can! Its done all the time! The plant will naturally try to mature the top most part of thenplant first. So if you are satisfied with the trichomes, harvest when ready. Some like to harvest mature tops and less mature bottoms for day and night smoke. However, be advised that terpines are produced near the end game. Early harvesting can leave you with less than optimal smelling and tasting Cannabis


What @Cannabian said.

Also, even if it does slow the rest down, that just means more time for more bud. :wink:


I had 16 Gorilla Glue autos outside got bud rot. Fortunately had all cloudy trichs. On a few of the plants lower buds just weren’t ready and also had no signs of rot. Still have 2 in the ground I took the main colas 3 weeks ago. The remainder are fatning up just fine.


Maybe you can help me out with this. It’s very ironic that this thread was posted, I am nearing harvest and was needing some info regarding this same thing. My question is…when harvesting in stages, how does your flushing come into play. I think I read on here from a moderator, that in soil you should flush until your runoff ppm is below 300. But since I’m only harvesting the top colas, and letting the others bottom ones go for longer. Will flushing deplete my soil of nutes and therefore make it a struggle for my remaining lower buds? Any and all tips are much appreciated… thanks👍

instead of doing a complete flush, why not just make a couple water only runs. Harvest what you want and fire the nutes back up after.

Thats pretty much what I have to do. Mine are in the ground not pots, so flushing to a certain ppm doesn’t work in my case.

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Thanks @Bow4Buck that’s kind of what I was thinking… but I’m just now sure how much longer the bottoms will go. I’m assuming (according to trichs) I would harvest the tops, then in about another 2-3 weeks the bottoms should be ready And if people recommended flushing for 2 weeks, that doesn’t give me much time to fire the nutes back up. But idk…I’m the one learning here, so maybe I’m “ASS”uming wrong. Lol. Appreciate all insight and help. Thanks guys…and gals😁

Im in DWC but I dont flush. I do lower the nutes as it gets close to harvest to encourage it to start using the nutes in the plant but allow it some to top that up. AND I have the top of my main cola in the oven to test because I cant wait!

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Also @Bow4Buck was is your definition of “complete flush”, versus water only for a couple times? To my knowledge I thought a “flush” was giving it nothing but ph water for about 2 weeks. For last ten days I’ve got it only ph clean water. Oh wait…I did one one time (before I knew I was going to harvest in stages) run a dose of the fox farm sledge hammer. Let the sledge hammer sit for about 30 mins and then clean water to wash away the sledge hammer. But other than that…her last 4 or 5 waterings have been nothing but clean water with little High Brix molasses. I water her last night and her runoff ppm was about 700. When I started to flush her she was at 1250. But now that I’m going to harvest in stages…I could sure use some guidance from growers that have crossed that bridge in front of me.

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Very interesting and fascinating debate here:

Talk about knowledge way over my head!!! :grimacing:

Enjoy! :call_me_hand:t3:

Guess I assumed you would use something like SH to flush. Even just a water flush, most recommend 3x the pot size. So for 5 gal pot 15 gallons. Either way, the idea is to let the plant use up the nutes before harvest and remove salt build up. Its just my opinion, have only been giving water I’d consider that a flush and harvest as you please. Next watering add nutes as the soil is probably lacking. As for the amount of time the remaining will take to further develop depends on wsy to many factors to come to a particular time frame. I have one plant where I took main cola and a few others leaving just the lower limbs. It has been 3 weeks and trichs still not ready. Yours could be sooner or later depends on genetics mostly I guess. Man that was a ramble, shouldn’t reply when I smoke. Did I even answer your question???:grin:

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Yes you did! Perfect. No worries…I rambled a lot too, always seems to be right after I medicate. lol. But thanks for being detailed and explaining. It’s kind of along the lines I was thinking…just needed a little reassurance. Sounds like you have to be right on top of things, watching trichs and only feeding when you still think you ha e another 2 weeks to go. Correct? And then start to flush the lower buds once I think it’s in the 2 week window? Thanks again . Stay safe and medicated :exploding_head::facepunch:

yeah i think you got it exactly. The only other thing you.may want to think about. Maybe not even starting nutes again. Hard for me to say as mine are in the ground and getting fed regardless. The thought being, depending on what you leave on the plant they will never be what you take at first. They are lesser bud sites. You want them to finish not grow main colas again.
I have to read back but I’m guessing the amber in those pics are not in the buds you want to leave right?

My upper buds are about 25% Amber. My lower buds aren’t showing any amber at all. Actually some still look quite clear, not even cloudy yet.

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Holy crap Batman. Lol. There talking some intense deep theories there. I made it about halfway then the thread and had to take a smoke break. My head hurts from trying to keep up with that. Does make me wish I would of paid more attention in high school plant science. Lol. Thanks for the thread @PP3121. Little bit over my head…but it’s still a good read. Apparently this guy is saying to feed all the way up to harvest. Very interesting point…at least of what I could follow. Definitely makes me think about my next step.


first of all, I think some folks use soil where soiless is more appropriate. Peat or coco is not soil, its essentially a hydroponic medium. You will be using salts in these mediums. Although, it is also possible to use organic ammendments, generally folks dont.
In real soil, which I use, you never flush ever! You dont want to deplete soil that will be used eternally. Instead we starve / withhold water and nutrient for the last week or so. Primarily because the plant is only using from the soil what it needs to finish up anyway. So I want to reduce water in my buds so I dont have loads to dry up.
If you are using salt based noots like FF trio, you should stop feeding for at least 10 days. The trichomes are already there in a staggered harvest, all you are really doing is giving them more time to ripen. If you need that time, simply water only as there will be noots still left in the medium. Hope this helps :pray:


@Cannabian. Thank ya sir. That helps a lot. She hasn’t got any nutes in last ten days. I think I’m goin to take the top colas off her in next couple days, then let the rest go. What’s your opinion on the 36 hour darkness before harvest ? I’ve even seen on here were some are suggesting pack it with ice while doing the darkness thing. What’s your opinion? But I guess if I harvesting in stages…I can’t really do the 36 hour of darkness since I’m letting the lower buds ripen longer. Or can I? Thanks for the insight …much appreciated.

Honestly… some are gonna frag me for saying this but… I cant really see any benefit to it? You are gonna cut it and hang it in the dark anyway? So ??? People do what they want, and I dont try and prove them wrong, maybe Im wrong?
My opinion is that metabolically I cant see a benefit, and I have yet to read a study about an actual control test that proves or disproves the practice, therefore its a nope for me. When Its time… its time. I put on the hood and pull the lever.