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Fresh Saver: The Best Cure for Drying & Storing Your Hydroponic Crops

Dry your goods properly for maximum enjoyment and market value. Dry your goods properly for maximum enjoyment and market value.

 

It’s a question every grower must face: What is the best way to dry and preserve your crop to retain the sweet smell and taste, even months after harvest? I have some easy advice that will keep you smiling long after your babies have bloomed.

The first step in this process is manicuring and drying. To begin, you’ll want to trim and manicure your plants before either hanging them upside down on a line to dry or laying them out on a drying rack.

Check the containers over the next few days to make sure there’s no internal condensation caused by any remaining moisture in your product.

While your plants are drying, make sure you take into consideration airflow, temperature and humidity. Ideal humidity is 50-60 percent. If your humidity is too high, you risk the chance of mold. If it’s too low, your product will dry out. Keep your temperature between 64°F and 68°F. Drying usually takes about three to six days. Keep your product in a cool, dark room during this process and check on it daily.

After the drying process, you’ll be ready to store and cure your product. Trim any extra leaves, then store the valuable flowers in an airtight container. Air is not your friend at this point in the curing process; it will degrade the overall smell, taste and potency of your product.

I suggest using mason jars, which you can find at almost any supermarket. Target also sells 3-gallon glass containers in the baking section. And there are custom products designed specifically for curing and storing your product. Freshstor makes a wide variety of airtight storage containers specifically designed for hydroponic crops. Although some people like to use Ziploc bags, I do not recommend them because they tend to break down your product and are not truly airtight.

Fill your jar with as much product as will fit — the less air in the jar, the better. But be careful not to crush your product. Check the containers over the next few days to make sure there’s no internal condensation caused by any remaining moisture in your product. Store your container in a cool, dark place (like a closet). Some growers even use a refrigerator, but note that you must have an absolutely airtight container, otherwise moisture from the fridge will get in and mold will soon follow. Now just sit back and wait. A month is a good time period, but the longer your product sits, the better it gets in terms of taste, smell and potency.

Curing is the best way to preserve your crop and is also important if you’re looking to achieve the highest quality. Hopefully these little tidbits will inspire you after your next harvest. Until next time, grow big or go home!

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If mint is the stuff you want to dry, check out this video.
Last modified on Thursday, 17 January 2013 21:54

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