“Going Dark” on plants prior to harvest

While rabbit trailing through the topics last night I came upon this excellent explanation of why to “go dark” prior to harvesting by @MDBuds.

When keeping plants in the dark for a few days prior to harvest…what environmental conditions should the plant be held in?

Last growing conditions?

Drying/Curing conditions?

Deep freeze?

St. Lucia Thursday afternoon?

Also, should you continue to use a fan to keep the humidity from building up within the canopy?

My current grow seems that each plant is a week or two behind the other making this dry/cure cycle a challenge. So logistically I am probably going to have to wet trim to cut drying time and get them into jars to cure then retool for the next harvest. Or else my wee drying tent won’t be able to pull it’s weight.


I give an extended dark time before harvesting, but normally 4-6 hrs. When the lights go out, I unplug them, then harvest at my convenience. Swami harvests outdoors pre-dawn so that the plants don’t change their activity mode from developing the trichomes.


@OhanaFarmer I do 60/60. 60f at 60% rh or as close as I can get. Same as my dry environment before I pull it up from the roots or chop and hang.

I like to leave it in the soil though at least a few days in the dark before hand so it can consume all of the stored nutrients and sugars and die naturally before I hang it.

There is debate on whether or not this increases potency or terpene levels, but it does consume the stored nutrients and sugars and makes for a better cure in my experience. Buds are ready sooner and usually have a smoother smoke.


@OhanaFarmer I forgot to mention that I do keep airflow going through the entire process. Always keep good airflow until cure.


harvested my plants, on my 2nd harvest, going on my 3rd, my piece of advice is to READ! you don’t have opinions of others etc. you choose your method & let it go, don’t depend on help as you would from a school, you have to read & go through trial & error

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MD don’t you flush? the very 1st time I listened to you , IT TASTED LIKE ST IT WAS LIKE YOU DRINKING THE FERTILIZER RIGHT OUT OF THE BOTTLE. you got to flush it 1st, I did on my 2nd harvest & tasted right, I didn’t have the s*t in the buds

@oldgrower I don’t flush in soil with organics. I don’t bottle feed either. If you’re using bottles or synthetics or doing hydro you should definitely flush.

I don’t recall ever speaking with you or telling you not to flush.

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Options for outside grow seem to be few:

  1. Move the whole plant inside=My garage would be quickly crowded and real HOT
  2. Cover the plant with a bag or box=Circulation and heat issues minimum

Any ideas for going dark or achieving the same results by another method?

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Chop in the morning is your best bet I believe. Curious to hear opinions though…

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@Monk outdoor you have limited options for this method if you don’t have a greenhouse or hoop houses on planters with blackout covers. If you have a large enough green house or hoop house it’s easy enough to run a fan to it and keep circulation going. I’ve even seen some home growers install exhaust fans on their green houses and hoop houses which is an excellent idea if you have the ingenuity and the money.

Outside of that cardboard boxes are the most common method outdoor. It’s really only effective with smaller plants and you do run into those circulation issues that you mentioned. Biggest plant I’ve seen someone pull the cardboard box method off with was a 6 footer with a huge industrial freezer box.

The best method without a greenhouse or hoop house is just plain water with no additives the last few weeks and to harvest on the full moon for the highest terpene and resin content and then just preserve everything as best as you can through dry and cure. The starches and nutrients will still break down but it will just take longer.


I may be able to move a couple plants inside, but the plain water method will be the best plan.
I fed with GO Bio thrive the last few years until some components became unavailable last year.
This year I am trying a weekly application of Pride Lands top dressing, veg or bloom depending on the plant. They also sell a ‘finisher’ (1-5-7) for the last 4 weeks before harvest…
So, try the finisher up to harvest and skip the flush, use finisher and flush a couple weeks or skip the finisher and flush a couple weeks when ready?
Pride Lands (Nature’s Pride) is new for me, does anyone have any experience with it?

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@Monk I’ve never used that brand so I can’t speak to its effectiveness but if it’s fully organic dry amendment it wouldn’t hurt. Fully organic amendments take time to break down so if you don’t over do it using the finisher might be a good option.

I usually just do plain water after my last feeding myself, but I’ve just been using the homegrown organic lines or worm castings and the build a soil craft blend. My last feeding is usually 2-4 weeks before harvest anyway so it’s all water the last few weeks.


No you don’t have to. MDBuds has saved me from making quite a few mistakes. Ya feel me

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