Should I leave the plant intact for a while, or take branches off?

A question from a fellow grower:

Thank you for all of the info and the awesome grow bible. It’s helped me greatly so far into my first grow. First ever growing anything I might add. I think everything is Godwin very well so far. I am into the beginning of week 6 of flower of my banana sour diesel seeds my friend gave me. Since this is a sativa dominant strain, I did run into a height problem early in my flowering, but tying down branches, and unfortunately cutting one of my mains that got burnt, everything is budding nicely, and from what I can tell is looking great.

I am most interested in information regarding curing and harvesting once they are in their prime. I am planning on pulling them once they’re ready, but I am a little fuzzy on what to do with them once I pull them. First thing once I pull the plants, I will take the remaining leaves off all branches, though there aren’t a ton left. A family member who has more experience than I do instructed me to take off most of the leaves about a week ago, this was against my better judgement, but so far they seem to still be doing good.

Should I leave the plant intact for awhile before clipping branches to hang to dry, or should I take branches off immediately. Once I’m at the stage of drying clipped branches full of buds, would it be beneficial to put an electric heater in the grow tent to aid in drying.

You need to get a magnifying glass here is one.

http://www.amazon.com/60x-100x-Magnifying-Handheld-Magnifier-Microscope/dp/B00A0HGFAW

And remember you shouldn’t of not have listened to your friends but like live and learn…lol
This link will help you with your harvest.

Wll

By the way don’t put a heater in the tent with your bud. You want it completely dark and somewhat cool say around 70 75 humidity 45. 50% a slow dry.

Will

Do you mean cutting the plant down at the main “trunk” and hanging and drying the whole thing as one, or cutting individual branches off and then drying those?

It doesn’t really matter. What ever works best in your situation and works best for you. The whole point is merely slowing the drying process. I’ve even seen many people cut and trim the individual nuggets right away, but then they slow dry these nuggets in closed containers and watch the humidity in them closely, as not to dry too quickly nor let the “air” moisture in the container get too high and lead to mold.

The main reason some people cut the entire plant down and hang it upside down, is a lot of moisture is contained in the “trunk”, and it will go to and through the rest of the plant, as the moisture slowly transpires out through the rest of the plant, not much differently as it would normally while it was still alive. In fact, much of the plant is still alive, as long as it has enough moisture to continue certain biological functions, which is also part of the reason for the slow dry/cure. This is also why you don’t want it too cold, as if it is too cold, again, biological function will slow or cease.

Much of the point of keeping them in the dark and slowing them from drying out, is to get the green chlorophyll to breakdown and “go away” or at least it becomes something else that is not as harsh to smoke, and in the best case scenario, it becomes something actually desirable to smoke, THC. The living cells in the plant tissues will continue to “process” the chlorophyll stored in its tissues and some will be broken down into sugars and contribute to the rest of the biological process that can even contribute to producing THC and adding slightly to the potency of your bud.

Allowing this to happen in complete darkness does two things, one – light can degrade THC, and two – certain biological processes are desired, but not the continued production of chlorophyll, which if light is present, it would certainly cause some cellular activity to produce chlorophyll.

And even after the plant’s biological functions have completely ceased, chlorophyll and sugars are continued to be broken down into more desirable compounds by certain desired microbes, and as long as the environment doesn’t get too moist. If it does get too humid other microbes like mold and fungi can grow out of control and ruin your bud. As with many things, it can be a love hate relationship with these microbes, lol.

Happy Growing,

MacG