Born and raised in the Emerald Triangle, single source cultivator and hash maker, specializing in selecting and growing for optimum resin quality, with 3 decades experience in outdoor, light dep and indoor cultivation.
There are many different methods and techniques used in the cultivation of cannabis. Environmental factors, nutrition, water quality, light intensity, medium selection (soil, coco, rockwool, etc), pest management all play a roll in the health and wellbeing of your plants. When starting your garden having a plan and setting a schedule will help achieve the desired outcome.
Are you planning on growing the biggest, densest nugs possible? Are you after killer bag appeal? Do you intend to wash your harvest and produce world class resin? If hash and rosin are your ultimate goal, the cultivation techniques differ versus flower production.
Cultivating for resin employs some different methods when compared to growing for the most possible flower weight. While you could easily just grow for maximum flower yields and wash your crop into hash, there are techniques that can be applied to create cleaner, easier to wash resin and more consistent trichome head size. I’ll discuss some of the things I’ve learned over the years that have helped me refine the cultivation process with hash and rosin as the end result.
Whether you choose to grow outdoor, greenhouse (light dep, mixed light) or indoor everything the plant experiences effects the final outcome of the resin. Outdoor grown in the full sun at a windy location will have much darker resin than those same plants behind a wind break with filtered sunlight. Intense sunlight will make the cell wall of the trichome heads tuff and more amber opposed to trichomes that have been protected from intense light, which will have a lighter color and meltier resin due to the more supple cell wall of the heads.
That’s why in most cases the south facing side of an outdoor plant will produce darker resin compared to the shady side or inner parts of the plant. One of the issues to be concerned about with full term plants is the possibility of contamination from the environment. Growing outside puts you at the mercy of mother nature, rain, smoke, dust, dirt, bird shit, and bug dicks all have the possibility to end up in your rosin.
Growing in a greenhouse is going to give you much more control over the environment and more consistent resin production. Protection from the wind and rain are going to create a clearer looking resin as a result of less overall bruising of the trichomes, the rougher you are with the plants increases the amount of bruised or broken heads affecting color and yields. I prefer an 80-85% light transmission greenhouse film, it provides just enough shade to keep the trichomes from getting sunburned.
Pay attention to light intensity in the greenhouse, certain areas will produce significantly better resin than others, small pockets or areas on the north side or directly behind an end wall depending on the orientation of your greenhouse. Many styles and options are available for greenhouse set up, from the basic PVC hoop all the way to fully climate controlled and automated blackout tarps with lights and fans very similar to an indoor setup, which will allow you to grow year round.
Indoor cultivation gives you ultimate control over every aspect of the process from start to finish. Light intensity, temperature, humidity, wind intensity can all be dialed in to optimal levels, creating a consistent environment every day of the plants life. I like my rooms to be 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit and 40% humidity.
A key to cultivating more consistent trichome size is increasing the surface area that’s exposed to the light. Encouraging the plants to stretch a little more than you would when growing for flower will encourage longer inter nodal spacing, exposing more of the inner parts of the buds to light, which in turn creates larger heads compared to the ones found deep inside huge dense nugs.
My goal when growing for flower weight is to limit the amount of stretch during the transitional period in weeks 1-3, creating shorter plants with compact buds, growing the most weight possible without much concern for the size of the trichome heads since everything will be dried and smoked as flower. The growing technique changes when cultivating specifically for resin, the bag appeal factor and the size of the buds becomes less of a priority, focusing more on the trichome than the actual bio mass of the plant. Allowing the plants to stretch more during the transition from veg to bloom will increase spacing between the bud sites, elongating the flowers and letting more light penetrate the nooks and crannies of the buds, resulting in larger head sizes that fall in the 160u-70u range and much less of the often lower quality 40 micron range.
Many methods can be used to increase bud site spacing, raising the temperature during the first couple weeks will encourage the plants to stretch a little more. If you’re using HPS or CMH lighting raising your lights up from the canopy will encourage more growth in the early stages of bloom, I prefer 32 inches above the canopy for growing hash opposed to roughly 24 inches when cultivating flower. This increased height of the lights will also produce a lighter colored resin when compared to resin grown closer to the fixtures.
Whichever method you choose when it comes to resin cultivation, prioritizing trichome production over flower weight and keeping detailed notes of the process will have you producing the same amount or more hash per square foot without the need for excessive bio mass. There are thousands of ways to get the desired results, don’t be afraid to experiment with the process and find what works best for your individual needs, have fun with it and tailor your growing style to the environment and tools available. Part of what makes this community so special is the sharing of information, compare notes with other growers and hashers, gather information and always try and improve the process no matter how small the detail.
With the increase in technology and skills I can’t wait to see how the hash community evolves in the next five to ten years, always pushing the boundaries of what this amazing plant is capable of. Get out there and crack some seeds or plant some clones and cultivate your own resin, there is no greater feeling in the world than smoking hash that you grew from start to finish, the gratification is unmatched!
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