How and When to Flush Marijuana Plants
Flushing the marijuana plants before harvest can make all the difference in the best bud, or horrible hash. This small task is simple and super easy to do. Just add water! Be very careful, as the timing of the flush can play a critical role in this process.
You have finally finished your grow, ending up with a beautiful plant covered in tremendous bud, now dried, cured and ready to go – yet something is not quite right. You can hardly get the stuff to burn, and when you take a hit, it feels like a mule kicked your lungs as you end up coughing for your life! The taste is harsh and disappointing. If this is a situation you have experienced, chances are your plants were not flushed properly before harvest.
This less than pleasant smoke is caused by nutrients and minerals used during growth still be present in the plant, altering the way it burns. Flushing removes these remaining nutrients, improving the quality of the experience. Fortunately, flushing your cannabis is an effortless and easy task, and will have you producing smooth and delightful bud in no time.
WHAT IS FLUSHING?
The act of flushing a plant is using plain water to actively remove any nutrients in the soil. A large amount of water is passed through the soil and drained away on a regular basis. Any minerals and nutrients present in the soil are washed away over time by the water, leaving the soil clean.
Why would you want to strip away all the minerals from the soil? Isn't this hurting your harvest? It actually helps your harvest a significant way. When the nutrients are removed from the soil, it forces your cannabis plant to use up any remaining nutrients still present in the plant. It is a lot like the human body. We take in a lot of food and, what we do not use is turned into fat. In extreme situations where food is scarce, the body relies on this stored fat for energy.
As flushing forces cannabis to use up any remaining nutrients left in the plant, none should remain to taint the use of the harvest bud. However, if done to early, it can leave your plant unhealthy, so timing is key.
THE BEST TIME TO FLUSH YOUR CANNABIS
Flushing is usually commenced two weeks before harvest. If the plant has an eight-week flowering period, the flushing will need to take place six weeks after the start of the flowering stage. It is best to take a close look at the trichomes on your plant to assess when your cannabis is likely to be ready for harvest. If the tiny trichomes are just beginning to turn from clear, to a cloudy and milky colour, this could be a good indication that the plant can begin flushing. It should be timed so that the majority of trichomes will have fully changed to the desired colour for harvest after two weeks – this gets easier with experience, so stick with it!
Flushing can also be a good way to reset the soil while a plant is in the vegetative state. Sometime, growers will accidently overfeed their cannabis, causing the tips of the leaves to begin changing colour and shriveling. This is called “nutrient burn”. Flushing the soil can remove the excess nutrients, helping avert the problem. However, it is a drastic measure at this phase of growth, so be sure that the problem is nutrient burn, and not something else first.
HOW TO PROPERLY FLUSH CANNABIS
Flushing your cannabis plants is a straight forward process. Whenever you would normally feed, you flush instead. Untreated tap water is all you need to use for flushing, just be sure to make sure the pH is at a safe level for cannabis. Most well water contains a healthy pH level and will not need treatment, but if it is necessary for you to add treatment to adjust the pH of your flushing water, feel free to do so. The pH adjustments will be the only thing you will need to be concerned about.
Flood the soil with as much fresh water as it can hold. Leave this for a few minutes to allow all of the nutrients to be picked up, the flood the soil again to flush it all away from the plant. If you are indoors using pots, notice the colour of the water that is draining from the bottom of the pot. It will be stained and look dirty. This is where a TDS (total dissolved solids) meter will come in handy. If you were to collect and measure the TDS of the “drained off” water, it would be around the measurement of 1300ppm, which is pretty high. It is important to keep flushing the plant until this number drops to a level of 50ppm, or at least until it is close to matching the TDS of the fresh water that you are using to flush with. The colour of the draining water will lighten up and appear to be cleaner. You want to get as much of the dissolved minerals away from the plant as you can.
THE OUTCOME OF FLUSHING YOUR CANNABIS
After the bud is harvested, take the extra time to cure the bud to its highest potential. A proper cure will cut back even further on that harsh edge, removing aspects like excess chlorophyll. You will be amazed at the difference this small effort can do to your product. All of your hard work will show in that first inhale of that silky smooth smoke that hits the back of your throat as soft as honey. This is nature at its smoothest. You can increase the quality of your cannabis by just adding water!