We generally recommend keeping things simple. At least on your first grow or two. After that, go ahead and start experimenting with some of the millions of tips you find online. One of the most common tips is to withhold water in the last few days before harvest. Unlike many, this trick does have a positive effect. The big question is: when to stop watering before harvest. The advice you see varies greatly. There is a reason for this. We’ll get into that and everything else you need to know about withholding water prior to harvest.
When To Stop Watering Before Harvest
To get the best yield, some growers say you should stop watering your plants about 3 days before you plan to start harvesting the buds. Others swear they stop a week before harvest. The idea is to withhold water so the plants have a stress reaction like they do when a drought may be coming. They divert all their resources to reproduction, which results in bigger fatter buds.
How long before harvest is ultimately up to you and may be unique to your situation. The ideal amount of time differs from one plant to the next. Overall, 3 days to a week seems to be the accepted wisdom.
Why Does Withholding Water Before Harvest Work?
There is a natural response in cannabis and many other flowering plants, where the plant will divert all its resources to the flower when it senses stress coming.
This is a form of plant parenting, and it is hard coded into their genetic code. When cannabis is stressed, and already in the reproduction phase (flowering), it will put all its effort into saving the buds.
Withholding water for a period before harvest is a severe form of stress to put on a plant that is used to getting watered regularly, and it produces a severe response.
Growers all agree that this tactic of stressing the plants by holding back the water makes a big difference in the size and density of the final bud harvest.
Depending on your strain of plants, you may need to adjust the drought period from between 3 days to a week. Each strain is a little different and has different requirements, but a week is a safe bet for all of them.
When To Stop Watering Before Harvest: Final Thoughts
The reason you see such varied answers regarding when to stop watering your weed plants before harvest is that the ideal time differs, depending on the strain and a few other factors.
That’s why we recommend keeping it somewhere in the rang of 3 days to 1 week for your first grow, and then adjusting from there. It will take you a few grows to get it perfect.
Of course, this assumes you are growing the same genetics each time. Either way, if you keep it in this range, you may not hit the exact perfect spot, but you will still see a marked increase in yield quality and quantity.