HEY-THERE, HIGH-THERE, HO-THERE, good peeps of Earth, heh heh. In today’s edition of letters to Rev I am going to talk about increasing the smells and flavors in your final product, along with how to use a darkness cycle at the end of flowering, correctly. So, buckle up amigos, we gots a lot of ground to cover here … spark ‘em if you got ‘em … and away we go!
LETTERS TO REV:
Hi Rev, I have been growing indoors now for a couple of years and I still can’t seem to get any really stinky smells or strong flavors. Sometimes they even smell like hay. Can you help a brother out? I have been trying to finish them lately with 3 days of pure darkness at the end because I heard that helps? Thank you. –Donkey
Howdy, Donkey; there are actually many reasons this can be true, resulting in buds that lack any real smells or flavors compared to other buds. The “hay” smell is easy brother, you are simply not letting them hang dry for long enough and sealing them up too soon. Most people have a tendency to seal up their cannabis too soon if they are not veteran growers. The easiest way to judge this is simple, just bend a medium thick stem of the hanging plant, or hanging branches, and if it doesn’t SNAP, it’s not ready to be sealed up yet. Mine take about 3 weeks to reach the proper dryness levels in about 75-degree F. temps days and 65 at night, in about 50% RH (relative humidity). Your mileage may vary, so just use the snapping stem method and you will no longer have that “hay” smell messing up your bud’s appeal.
I recommend always hanging your plants in areas that are darker—dim lighting max—that also have good air movement and air exchange; never aim fans directly at plants. Basically, the same environment humans are comfy with works well for drying plants in. You want to avoid a situation where your plants dry too fast, under 2 weeks, as this will not allow them to fully develop their smells and flavors—in my experience.
Cannabis varieties/genotypes that lack smell and flavor, genetically, like the old White Rhino, are fairly rare. So, this is likely not your problem here.
Perhaps the worst culprits here, are products that use synthetic chemicals to grow your cannabis, and those that boast flavor and smell enhancements. You could grow Thai-weeds and Hashplant using these methods and they will all smell and taste basically the same, at least all have a strong commonality in these areas, and in reality (all-naturally grown) they shouldn’t be even close. Of course, mold/fungi will always take away from flavors and smells, as will any parasitic mini-bastards on your plants once an ‘infestation’ level has been reached.
I always let my plants get a little thirsty right before harvest time and in need of watering and I find this is a nice tweak that adds a bit to flavors and smells.
Even liquid organic fertilizers can impart the same kind of commonality regarding flavors and smells, when they use large ratios of organic acids to chelate (force feed) your plants. I have personally seen/smelled/sampled a crop where the grower used some organic fertilizers high in organic acids in flowering, along with some liquid fish fertilizer, and it did in fact, have distinctive fishy smells and flavors to it. Just FYI there my friends.
Enhancing Smells and Flavors Naturally
Sulfur is a key element when it comes to flavors and smells. Big caution should be taken whenever adding any sulfur to your regiment, and a really cool way to do this is by using a top dressing of bird or bat guano about 2 weeks into flowering; one with balanced NPK numbers like 9-6-2 or whatever. The N and P should be fairly close, and the K will always be lower in these guanos so no worries.
If you are building your own soil and recycling it the TLO (True Living Organics) way, then your soil will already have what it needs for your plants to finish super stinky and tasty; mine always do, unless I Bozo it up myself somehow, which happens occasionally.
Epsom salt is another addition you can use when bubbling teas for your plants; or, can be added directly to water for your plants, and always used in very small amounts. Epsom salt is just magnesium and sulfur; two elements your plants will love to have during later flowering especially. About halfway through flowering you can add about 1/8th of a teaspoon of Epsom salts per 2 gallons of water and use on your plants. Make sure the water is bottled spring water, or well water not over 100 PPM but not under 40 PPM; do not use distilled, rain, or reverse osmosis filtered water here.
The Darkness Cycle
I used to use this long ago when I was a hydro-cropper, and I have since used it a few times here and there, and it always adds a couple subtle perks. The downside is that you need to go 10 days past harvest date in 24 hours of darkness with zero light. Less than 10 days won’t make any real impact in my experience. Here’s a couple of important things, during this 10 days of darkness, you need to maintain air flow and air exchange and keep temperatures in the mid to high 70’s F. Humidity should be right around 60% and a little higher is fine. Make sure you have ZERO light during this time. These environmental specs should allow your plants to go for these 10 days without needing any watering, just make sure you water them just before going dark.
The perks are enhanced smells and flavors—especially flavors—and most genetics will get that sort of grape-like background flavor that most purple buds have; and, will also be noticeably smoother to smoke as well. Some genetics—like real deal Durban Poison—will take on some awesome coloring traits, and in the case of the DP it came out with bright pink pistils and lime green buds, which was stunning looking, trust me.
Well, that’s it for today. If you all have any questions you want to throw at me just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and you might see your question here in an upcoming edition of Letters to Rev. Take care now everyone, keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down; until next time, Revski out.