When people think of beloved weed holidays, they typically think of 4/20 or 7/10. But, for true cannabis connoisseurs, their minds go to the entire month of October early November as it is an entire month packed with good cannabis deals and the best sun-grown cannabis they can find.
Why is it called Croptober?
Coined "Croptober," the month of October to early November is when most outdoor (or sun-grown) cannabis in the Northern Hemisphere have reached their peak production and at the perfect maturity for harvest. While there are some anomalies when it comes to plant genetics, cannabis consumers and experts guesstimate that upwards to 85% of cannabis varieties are ready to harvest during this cycle, which is great considering Christmas is right around the corner!
What does croptober mean for outdoor cultivars?
This is a hectic and essential time of year for outdoor cannabis farmers as it is the time of year when all of their hard work pays off and they reap the rewards: it's harvest season! For these guys, it is the only harvest they have until the season rolls around the following year. But when it comes to cannabis, it's not harvested and put on the market immediately. Instead, once harvested, cannabis is ready to be dried, cured, and sold/processed. Outdoor farmers work long hours trimming, testing, manufacturing, and packaging their products to share the goodness of sustainable, outdoor cannabis.
Additionally, outdoor cultivars face their fair share of challenges. Because it is outdoor, they face a wide range of potential weather-related issues like mold wreaking their plants. Not to mention smoke from wildfires that are common during this season. Therefore, most smart cultivators grow a variety of strains to be ready to harvest at different times during croptober.
How do outdoor cultivars know when to harvest cannabis?
There are some visual cues that cultivators look for to know when their cannabis is ready to be cultivated. Here are a few:
Trichomes are the small resin glands on a flower, and their appearance helps signal if and when the flower is ready to harvest. For an ideal harvest, the trichomes, or most of them, should be while, and the others will be an amber color. If the trichomes are clear, however, it means the flower is not ready and should wait. Clear trichomes are a definitive sign that the flower hasn't reached its peak, and thus, the weed will not be aromatic, flavorful, or as potent as possible.
The changing of fan leaves color is another indicator if the plant is ready to harvest. In its flowering stages, nitrogen creates a green color in the leaves. Therefore, when it's time for harvest, these fan colors will turn yellow and begin to fall off the plan as the nitrogen decreases.
As the leaf color changes, they also tend to begin to curl and dry due to the lack of moisture cannabis plants take in as harvest approaches.
When half the pistils of the plant become shaded brown, the marijuana is ready for harvest.
What does croptober mean for indoor cultivars?
For indoor growers, this season isn't as exciting because their growing process is more controllable. A grower can change the climate and cultivate their flower at their season of choice, while outdoor cultivars have to hope nature is on their side. Even so, for indoor cannabis cultivators, this time of the year isn't the best. With so much flower hitting the market, indoor growers often have to reduce market prices to remain competitive.
What does croptober mean for consumers?
While Croptober is a busy month for outdoor growers, consumers benefit from the season as it is the time to buy premium and high-grade flower at a lower price. Why? Because the flower is grown in bulk, cannabis buds are sold at a lower wholesale price, allowing for a lower retail value. After the harvests occur, most retailers overflow with shelves full of fresh sun-grown cannabis for November and December.
How to shop for Croptober flower
If you're interested in giving some of the freshest, best flower you can buy, here's a quick trick: look at the packaging harvesting date. The goal is to purchase flower roughly two months after it has been harvested as it will be at its peak and best quality at that time.