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Curing Your Crop - Tips for Max Effectiveness

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Need to make sure your plant products are in good shape after harvests?

This is an area that, in our view, just doesn't get enough attention. Yes, it's important to grow things well, but they also need to be treated well after all that work is put in, and they've finally been harvested from your hydroponics garden.

Here are some master curing tips for making sure you do harvesting and storage the right way.

Harvest At the Right Time

Every plant is going to have detailed instructions for when to harvest. You can go by the condition of the fruits or buds, or by observable conditions of other parts of the plant, such as the reproductive organs. Either way, you want to go by these guidelines to get the best produce and figure out how to dry or cure products for long-term storage.

Flushing Out the System

In hydroponics, lots of growers like to flush the system and use only clean water to nurture plants for the last few days before harvest. This cleans out the plants system, and prevents some types of harsh for caustic tastes or smells from being present in harvested produce.

Combating Mold

Mold is one of the biggest problems in curing plants. The curing process is very specific -- plants have to slowly dehydrate, without being quick dried. Quick drying can produce different kinds of harsh chemical reactions in the plant that will lead to poor taste. But the problem with slow drying, again, is the potential for mold.

Keeping plants in an unlighted place can help, but another big trick is ventilation. You want just enough ventilation and humidity to serve plants, without allowing conditions that can potentially cause mold.

It's important to give plants the space they need to cure, and to observe them constantly. Any sign of mold may already be too late, but by carefully managing their storage during the curing process, you can get a better chance of coming out with a mold-free cured crop.

Cooling

The general recommendations for plants storage is to store them in a cool, dry dark place. Some growers use refrigeration or freezing to facilitate parts of the current process. A little trial and error will help you to determine if this is a technique that you want to use in processing your hydroponic produce.

 
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