When to harvest autos? Your leaves will tell you.

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leeold7

Auto Warrior
Oct 14, 2011
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One of the most frequently asked questions is how do I know when my autos are ready to pick? The convention wisdom from growing photo period plants was to watch for color change in the trichomes, or crystals. For an uplifting high, harvest when the trichomes are all cloudy, for more of a stone, wait till a percentage have turned amber. Sound advice, for photos. But autos are a little different. While some strains have shown amber trics, many do not.

So how do I know when they are ready? I watch the the fan leaves. Over the past several years of growing autos I started taking samples at various stages of growth to evaluate the high. I tend to prefer my smoke with a little stone so began to leave them longer than the 8-9 weeks that are advertised. I find that around 11-12 weeks the plants are ripe for me. I also began to see a correlation between the color of the fan leaves, the color of the trics and the high/stone quality of the smoke at the various sample intervals. It seemed that the greener the fan leaves, the more clear trics the buds had. As the fan leaves started to yellow and die off, the trics became less clear and more milky. By the time that all the fan leaves had died off and the bud leaves were starting to yellow, I got the quality of smoke I wanted. At that time most of the trics were now milky with no, or only a few, clear ones. Here are some examples:

View attachment 46420View attachment 46421View attachment 46418View attachment 46419

I've found this to be a very reliable method. It takes about 3 weeks for the fan leaves to die off. During that time the buds will continue to fatten up as the plant uses the energy stored in the fan leaves. So when I see my leaves start to yellow, I wait a week, then begin flushing them. Two weeks later they will be well flushed and read to harvest.

Of course there will be other factors such as genetics, lighting, nutrients, pot size, etc. that will effect how long a plant takes. But as a general guide for when to pick, just watch your leaves.
Can I ask a stupid question?

Yellow leaves

Want to delete?
 
R

Rose

Guest
One of the most frequently asked questions is how do I know when my autos are ready to pick? The convention wisdom from growing photo period plants was to watch for color change in the trichomes, or crystals. For an uplifting high, harvest when the trichomes are all cloudy, for more of a stone, wait till a percentage have turned amber. Sound advice, for photos. But autos are a little different. While some strains have shown amber trics, many do not.

So how do I know when they are ready? I watch the the fan leaves. Over the past several years of growing autos I started taking samples at various stages of growth to evaluate the high. I tend to prefer my smoke with a little stone so began to leave them longer than the 8-9 weeks that are advertised. I find that around 11-12 weeks the plants are ripe for me. I also began to see a correlation between the color of the fan leaves, the color of the trics and the high/stone quality of the smoke at the various sample intervals. It seemed that the greener the fan leaves, the more clear trics the buds had. As the fan leaves started to yellow and die off, the trics became less clear and more milky. By the time that all the fan leaves had died off and the bud leaves were starting to yellow, I got the quality of smoke I wanted. At that time most of the trics were now milky with no, or only a few, clear ones. Here are some examples:

View attachment 46420View attachment 46421View attachment 46418View attachment 46419

I've found this to be a very reliable method. It takes about 3 weeks for the fan leaves to die off. During that time the buds will continue to fatten up as the plant uses the energy stored in the fan leaves. So when I see my leaves start to yellow, I wait a week, then begin flushing them. Two weeks later they will be well flushed and read to harvest.

Of course there will be other factors such as genetics, lighting, nutrients, pot size, etc. that will effect how long a plant takes. But as a general guide for when to pick, just watch your leaves.
This should be a Sticky in my opinion, well said, Muddy :) Got an Ultraviolet going at the moment and am going to push it for as long as possible - she's pretty green still for her age which must be around 70 days by now (listed as 72-75 days). There are some auto strains that yellow all at once from one evening to the other, and others that transform into yellow over time but yeah, I agree with you, and keep them going for longer than I used to. This is the UV 9 days agoP1080659a.JPG
 

GoAuto6

Galactic Travler
Jun 5, 2011
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Terrestrial Bean House
hey muddy hows it going...I was wondering if a guy had run a strong nutriant program will that extend the time it takes for the leaves to yellow... im at 73 days and just now starting to see the leaves show some fading....so in short if my cream armel doest yellow by 12 weeks should i just keep waiting till they do. Thank you oh ya i started phed water only at day 70
 

Muddy

Proud deplorable!
Jan 7, 2011
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Outside with the dogs.
Currently Smoking
OG Kush, Deep Cheese, Key Lime
A healthy plant will go a bit longer and show yellowed leaves later on. If you're seeing them start to yellow at 10 weeks it's likely your plants could go 13 weeks. Once yellowing starts it will continue. I think yours will be showing a lot of yellow at 12 weeks.

hey muddy hows it going...I was wondering if a guy had run a strong nutriant program will that extend the time it takes for the leaves to yellow... im at 73 days and just now starting to see the leaves show some fading....so in short if my cream armel doest yellow by 12 weeks should i just keep waiting till they do. Thank you oh ya i started phed water only at day 70
 

Muddy

Proud deplorable!
Jan 7, 2011
8,674
1,662
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Outside with the dogs.
Currently Smoking
OG Kush, Deep Cheese, Key Lime
I understand you must use a translator.

I think your question is about removing yellow leaves.

Only remove when they are brown and dry.

Yellow leaves before harvest

The delete?

Thank
 
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dingo

Auto Warrior
Feb 6, 2012
776
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in the bush behind you
Not to remove fan leaves, why?
Is it because of stress of pruning plant or less leaf area for photo synthesis?
 
B

bonequicha

Guest
they are simply a natural notification sign that the plant is done, and the energy from the leaves goes back into the buds. the buds are better and heavier if you wait.