Are you beginning your cannabis growing journey or want to learn more about the cultivation and trimming process? You’ve come to the right place because this guide breaks down some of the most common cannabis trimming mistakes that hemp growers make before and after harvest that you should avoid.
Topping Too Early
Topping is when a cannabis grower cuts off the main stalk of a hemp plant so that it can grow bushier by producing two main stems instead of just one. It produces greater yields and healthier plants, but only when done correctly.
The timing of topping is crucial, and a common trimming mistake cannabis growers make is getting a little too eager and topping before the plant is mature enough, slowing or even stunting its growth. Ideally, the plant should have at least three nodes before a grower starts topping to ensure it’s at a healthy age.
Pro tip: If you’re new to topping and are worried you may damage the plant, start by only cutting off the tip of the top, as there’s less chance of stunting the plant’s growth.
Topping Too Late
The flip to topping too early is waiting too long to cut. Topping too late can also damage the health and growth of hemp in its vital stages of development.
You should aim to top your cannabis after they’ve developed between four and five nodes. Some growers top at just three nodes, but if it’s your first time, it’s better to be on the safe side. Once hemp has this number of nodes, it is reliably mature but has not developed a significant structure and is ripe for topping.
Breaking Dry Trichomes
As every cannabis grower knows, there are two options for trimming after harvest—dry or wet trimming. Dry trimming is often more difficult than wet trimming because it involves handling much more brittle and fragile buds.
When dry trimming by hand, the chief concern is that the trichomes—the tiny, hairlike appendages on buds that produce most of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes—may get damaged and affect the quality of the hemp. This problem is most common in hand trimming, especially for new trimmers, as it takes experience to handle these fragile, dry buds properly.
Time-Consuming Hand Trimming
There are also two options for hemp growers regarding how to trim. They can opt to trim by hand or with the help of automated machines. It used to be that everyone trimmed by hand, but with the growth of recreational cannabis, growers have to produce bigger yields and make their operations more efficient.
As much as some prefer the human touch of hand trimming, there’s no doubt that trimming with an automated hemp trimmer is more efficient and reduces mistakes. A bud trimmer can perform wet or dry trimming, and growers can adjust the cycle times so that each batch is cared for based on its specific needs.