When growing the best Cannabis buds possible, there are a number of factors that a grower has to be conscious of. They are looks, aroma, density, bag appeal, potency and taste. True connoisseurs only care about lip licking flavours that overdose the palette with intense flavour. Below is better explained what flushing is, why it is important to flush plants and the benefits associated.
By Stoney Tark
What Exactly Does Flushing Do?
The easiest way to think about the flushing process is to think about water as a solvent. In the same way that a glass of water can dissolve salt or sugar, the idea of flushing plants is to reduce all undissolved salts that may have built up to a minimum. The plant's roots work on absorbing whatever nutrients remain until the E.C of your run off is minimal. The easiest way to do this is to test the run off using an E.C pen which will give you a reading of what undissolved salts will be left based on the electric conductivity of the runoff sample.
As well as cleansing the growing medium and roots of salts and toxins that may not have chance to be removed, feeding plants only plain water will push them to peak performance, whilst ensuring that the taste when smoked is as good as Amsterdam coffeeshop quality.
The Benefits Associated
- One main benefit of flushing Cannabis is the overall smoothness and terpene profile when smoking a dried flower. There is nothing worse than a flower that looks incredible, smells incredible but once smoked is harsh on the throat and causes an uncontrollable coughing sensation.
- Flushing plants will also have a direct affect on the way that a joint will burn after being lit. A well flushed flower will burn soft and smooth and need little encouragement to burn downwards evenly.
The colour of the ash will be a light grey almost white. This colour will indicate that the flowers you are smoking are totally clean of any chemicals or organic salts. An evenly burning joint with a fluffy soft ash is all part of the experience of smoking great bud.
Characteristics Of Badly Flushed Cannabis
Unfortunately not every grower can perfect a flush, especially when growing for a demanding market place such as California, Barcelona and Amsterdam. In these Cannabis hot spot cities, it is easy to come across flower that has not been flushed properly and not give the time it needed.
Some of those characteristics of badly flushed flowers are:
- A spicy, harsh taste that will burn the inside of your mouth, and most likely do the same when exhaling. The flavour will taste like you are smoking dried fan leaves and before you know it you will be thinking twice about smoking anymore.
- Lighting the joint will cause one side to burn more than another, and once the joint is lit, you will need to relight it every time as it will struggle to burn. This can be really frustrating and even more so when with a group of friends sharing a joint.
- The ash will be charcoal black and when tapping the end over an ashtray, may find the ember may fall out completely. You can actually inspect the ashtray after smoking the joint and see the ash in small clumps together.
When Is The Right Time To Flush?
Cannabis plants should be given at least 14 days of a water only period, before harvesting. Many growers are different and some choose 7,10, 14 and 21 days. It can also depend on what strain you are running, if you are growing organically or with chemicals, the type of water you are using and if beneficial microorganisms or enzymes are being used.
The concept of flushing is very simple and just involves you feeding the exact same volume of water to the plants as before, however their will be zero nutrient added. This allows any remaining undissolved salts to be washed out, or broken down and distributed to bacteria and fungi to recycle into ready to use food. It is also possible to use enzymes to break down organic plant matter, and incorporate aerobic bacteria groups.
Flushing With Organics
When growing with organics methods, it is debatable if flushing is even necessary. The main reason why is your growing medium consisted of compost and other hard foods, then over time the soil food web will have structured a system that allows the roots to access primary and trace elements at will.
It is mainly when using chemical based nutrients that flushing is a big concern, and this is down to comparison of data when monitoring E.C and T.D.S levels. Hydroponic growers using a recirculating system must be extremely careful and vigilant to how they handle the final few weeks of feeding, in comparison to an organic grower who is working with organic hard foods and water only.
Top Tips On Flushing Cannabis Plants
The pots that you grow your plants in can also play a major role in the amount of salt and toxins, dispersed out. One of the main benefits that farmers who work with felt pots over plastic notice, is how the felt allows the salts and toxins to escape easier. There seem to be visually less salt build up with fabric pots in comparison to standard plastic pots and also a great way to increase root mass through pruning.
Enzymes are an excellent way to speed up the flushing process, as they will break down food. Often used in hydroponics to keep roots bright white and pathogen free, combining different enzymes together from other brands will increase the different groups that will be active in the growing medium. Combining enzymes, with beneficial organisms is the best way to clean up the root zone, and decompose any remaining organic matter into carbon for the soil microbiology.
It is better to begin feeding only water to your garden with at least 14 days before harvesting. One trick that some growers do is to starve the plants of any feed for the final 5-7 days. This not only promotes the end of the life cycle, but also decreases the amount of moisture the plants will contain once hanging.