Growing is a rewarding process, and the final stage of harvesting is not where it ends. Further, it depends on how you harvest your grow and later store and use the products. One of the final steps in growing is flushing your plants. No need to worry if you are not familiar with what it means! This article will discuss flushing in detail for the benefit of growers like you.
Flushing your plants is one of the final steps in the plant growth cycle. This is a critical phase because improper flushing can end in an unenjoyable final product with a poor taste, smell, and harsh smoke. Some growers overlook flushing altogether, which is worse since it leaves behind all the nutrients they consume with their flowers.
In this article, we will also cover some best practices so that you can learn how to flush plants the right way. Further, we can recommend you some of the best flushing agents available on the market. But first things first, let's start by talking about what flushing is and why it is necessary.
WHAT DOES 'FLUSHING THE PLANTS' MEAN?
Flushing your plants involves using plain water or a flushing agent to flush all the built-up nutrients. You will then stop feeding nutrients at all, and if you use a feeding package, you will adjust it accordingly.
Mostly, nutrient packages, like Fox Farm Soil Nutrient Package, include their own flushing agent, but some growers use just plain water to achieve the same effect. We will cover if one is better than the other and explain how you should go about flushing the plants.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO FLUSH YOUR PLANTS?
At the end of the growing cycle, you will likely see salt deposits on the walls of your plants' pots and sometimes even in the soil. This is when you need to flush them. During the final weeks of the flowering stage, you can start flushing the plants to push the last bit of the bud development and let the plant use its residual nutrients as well.
DO BUDS STILL GROW DURING FLUSHING?
The answer to this is YES. Further, you can see some of the best bud development during the flushing period since your plant will use the rest of the nutrients stored within. It believes it is starving and senses the end of its life. The bud fattens up in the flower's final weeks, and you will notice some more trichome production.
The plants also produce flavonoids and more terpenes during this period than during the rest of the cycle because they make their last efforts to pollinate.
According to some evidence, the plant no longer uses energy to absorb nutrients and spends its energy to push terpene production and bud flower development.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT FLUSH?
If you do not flush the plants, you will end up harvesting the flower with the residual salts inside it, which will later contribute to harsher smoke. This way, you will not even get the flower's true aroma and taste, even if you try drying and curing the buds properly.
HOW TO FLUSH PLANTS
Based on your growing methods, there are some slightly different protocols for flushing plants. Traditionally grown plants are flushed slightly longer than the ones grown hydroponically.
Pro-tip: No matter what growing method you follow, start flushing plants when you think they're ready for harvest. But how will you know if they are ready? Just use a magnifying glass and have a closer look at the trichomes. If 60% of them or more have turned from a translucent white to a milky white, you should know there are ready to be flushed.
However, they will still have some time to turn into the amber color that most growers look for while determining whether it is the right time to harvest or not.
HOW TO FLUSH SOIL AND COCO PLANTS
Every plant has different flushing requirements based on the nutrients you feed, environmental conditions, and the specific media.
One thing to know is that when growing in soil, you will have the longest flush period. You will see most of the experts recommending at least a week or two weeks of plain water or using flushing agents. Further, if your growing media has coco, then you will be fine with a week or even less. The reason is that coco does not hold nutrients to the same degree that soil mix does.
To make sure you flush your plants the right way, you must keep an eye on your plants' foliage throughout the process. Do not get alarmed if foliage turns yellow initially because it's completely normal. But when you see your buds turning yellow, then you must have overdone it, and probably the plant is starting to die. Now at that point in time, you will have to chop them down and jump to harvesting.
ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR FLUSHING YOUR PLANTS
Let's come back to the point of how important it is to flush your plants at just the right time. Well, it is, and the harvest window itself is petty narrow, and so is the flushing window.
If you flush ahead of time, you will end up reducing the nutrients during a critical time, leaving your plants with zero energy to finish flowering. On the other hand, waiting longer to harvest may also lead to a decrease in potency. The reason is that prolonged flushing may mean you are flushing when plants should already be in the chopping period.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FLUSHING AGENTS?
The never-ending debate on whether water does a better job at flushing as opposed to flushing agents is on the rise again. The answer to this is not if one thing is right and the other isn't. It's more about who you are and why you grow plants. For some hobby growers, the use of plain water is just fine. Commercial growers may have different needs.
If you're in the market getting a nutrient package, you may want to also grab a flushing agent while you're at it. The formula in those nutrients can eliminate residuals from the plants and also come with specialized chelates that garb onto any extra salts that lurk in the plants.
If you're a commercial grower who cultivates plants for sale, a flushing agent may be a necessity. Why? You cannot take the chance of leaving salts behind that compromise the overall plant quality or the smoke quality because your reputation is on the line.
Here are some flushing products on the market right now:
Botanicare Clearex is a leaching solution that is simply one of the best ways to eliminate the salt deposits in your soil. It is scientifically formulated and drenched in isotronic solution.
Some additional benefits of Clearex are:
- Gentle leakage without harming fine root hair
- Preventing wilting
- Increased flavor and yields
- Triggers the final reproductive phase for explosive bud and terpene development
General Hydroponics FloraKleen is another reputable product belonging to a well-trusted brand. It works in traditional soils and media as well as hydroponic systems.
Some of the benefits of this product are:
- Reduces plant stress
- Dissolves accumulated fertilizing salts
- Ultra-concentrated and low priced
- Safe for all systems and media
This unique flushing agent is amazing since it helps rinse additional fertilizer from the plant media and your plant. The product helps encourage water movement through the media and releases surface tension. It allows for optimal absorption of nutrients and moisture through the root system. All these built-up nutrient salts that you flush are later useful to the plant.
Now that you know why and how to flush plants, you can ensure the flowers come out clean, enjoyable, tasty, and most importantly, developed to their full potential. Here at GroIndoor.com, you can get all the necessary tools for flushing your plants and getting the best harvest!