It is getting to be harvest season soon and that means cannabis competition time for growers who compete at the Golden Tarp Awards and at the Emerald Cup. I get a lot of questions on competition strategies for the grower as I have judged at the Emerald Cup and helped to create the Golden Tarp Awards. Here are some tips for you…
- Cup winners are not always ultra rare hard to find cultivars. Cup winners are cultivars (cultivated varieties) that have been produced with attention to detail during the entire growing, trimming, and curing process. Common strains such as both blue dream and berry white have taken top 10 finishes at the emerald cup over 700 other varieties due to being premium examples. Almost always, well done commonly available varieties out compete exotic and rare but poorly grown varieties.
- Organic soil produces the best flavors. Period. All chemically produced cannabis, regardless of how visually attractive, leaves a distinctive taste that cannot be ignored in a competition. No chemically grown product has won an Emerald Cup or a Golden Tarp Award. Don’t become impatient at the end of the season and use some chemicals to boost production…you won’t get the flavor out of the product.
- Handle the flowers delicately the entire time its being grown, dried, and processed. The concentration of visible trichs affect the visual scores greatly. Hand trimming is the only way to achieve the desired finish. Machine trimmed product removes the outer visible trichs and diminishes the product. No machine trimmed product has ever won a Golden Tarp Award or an Emerald Cup.
- Keep temps under 80 degrees from harvest to putting in the jar. Over 80 degrees makes the volatile aromatic terpenes flare off and the smell is diminished reducing the quality of the experience. Volatile terps contribute more to smell than taste so the taste will remain to be good but the scent will be diminished.
- Don’t over fertilize your plants. Too much food can dominate the flavors of the variety itself in addition to causing health issues for the plants. More leafy vegetative growth doesn’t always equal more and better flower development for the competitor. More is not better when its a cup your after…
- Sulfur helps to drive terp production and general nutrient movement through out the plant. If you use it as epsom salt you get magnesium too. More mag lets us drop n levels to make nitrogen masking less prevalent.
- Most important tip: don’t forget to enjoy the process. The judging is always above the growers control. If the grower does what she/he is supposed to do then enjoy the feeling of creating world class cannabis and being able to let others see, smell, taste, and enjoy your flowers. Many cups have been won by the smallest of growers…
To enter this year, please follow the link and check out the Judging Rules as well. See you at The Tarp!!