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 Post subject: Western Montana Harvest Questions.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:39 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:18 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Missoula, Montana
This is my first time growing West of the Mississippi and have a monster crop of around 450 plants. It's been about a week since I started topping off the flowers on the Rustica and will top the Virginia and Burley today. I've heard people talk about waiting around four weeks after flowering before harvesting, but since the growing season is so long here should I let them keep going for awhile? Also, It's incredibly dry here with an average RH of about 12%-20% in the daytime, wondering about the best method for drying. I experimented last week by cutting two plants to hang under a shade tree, and it seems to be drying nice and slow, getting color (some leaves are really crinkly though). I also have the option of hanging in a big barn with a gravel floor and two sliding doors. Is low and slow the way to go? I would greatly appreciate any help, thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Western Montana Harvest Questions.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5539
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Yes.
Use the barn.
You will have more ability to control things in there.

IMO, you should let the plants tell you when they are ready for harvesting...

Good luck.
You have a LOT of work ahed of you!
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Western Montana Harvest Questions.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:18 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Missoula, Montana
I cut some of the bigger leaves off the bottoms of the plants today and hung bundles of eight; ten bundles on a line in the shade and ten in my garage (I hadn't seen your reply before I did this). Should I put a fan in the barn to help air-flow, or should I just keep the doors open on either end? Also, I've heard people mention wetting down the floor helps to regulate humidity (it's a gravel floor). Like I said, RH is still way too low and I'm worried about them drying green. Is there an ideal %RH for drying and would it be worth investing in a meter? Think I'm going to wait till the weather cools to harvest the rest I guess: I'm a terribly impatient person! Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Western Montana Harvest Questions.
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 10:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 5539
Location: central coast of Kalifornia
smokey, there's SO much involved here!!!

Wallyworld sells temp/humidity guages... cheep! and they work well enough...

in the barn, if it is too dry, you can make a tent out of painter's plastic and control the humidity inside that tent easier than the whole barn...

If humidity is too low, you won't need fans!!!

You really should read through a bunch of the curing threads to get the informtion you need.

You must have patience!

Flash cure is just about the only thing you can not recover from!

...it is not the WX that tells you when you must harvest... it is the maturity state of each leaf, if priming, which is advised when doing small scale growing... or the plant in general, if stalk harvesting... which I would only advise if you decide you have more than you can handle...

Best to read a bunch of threads!!! Loads of good information in them.
Best
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Western Montana Harvest Questions.
PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:05 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:51 pm
Posts: 1130
Location: near Blacksburg, VA
One possibility would be stalk-harvesting. Though not traditional for Virginia, it can be done with any variety. Wait until nearly all of the plant shows some yellowing, then cut the whole stalk, and hang in the shed. The moisture within the stalk will slow the drying of the leaves, and give you a little more of a margin against the low humidity.

White stem burleys are often nearly all yellow at harvest time.

Bob


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