Drying your plants is a crucial step when you harvest, and if skipped or poorly mishandled, you can ruin a plant that you’ve been growing for several months.
Drying racks are designed to dry out your flowers evenly and at a controlled rate. This improves and preserves flavor and aroma, greatly improving the overall quality. Best described as resembling a see-thru birdhouse, drying racks can be hung from the ceiling of your grow tent/room. The breathable mesh allows for optimal air circulation that will prevent mold from forming, which will ruin plant material and put all other material around it at risk.
They are easily collapsible for storing away when not in use, and while lightweight, they are incredibly durable and capable of holding several pounds at once.
Drying Rack vs. Hang Drying
Drying racks will dry plant material out faster than hanging. This is because you often remove the majority of the stem which holds a lot of water. This is perfect when you live in a humid climate and are at risk for mold developing and ruining your plants. If you live in an area where your humidity is 60% or higher, you need a drying rack (or a dehumidifier).
Drying racks are also great for small flowers that have little to no stem which makes hanging them difficult. At the same time, they are also fantastic for drying larger flowers that are more at risk for mold because they hold a significant amount of moisture.
Without a doubt the best reason to grab a drying rack is they condense a lot of space by allowing you to dry you plants horizontally. Hanging plants vertically is a fast way to fill up your grow room with just one plant, and if you’re harvesting multiple plants at once you simply may not have the space available to hang dry.
How to Choose a Drying Rack
First, you want to determine the size you need. A small drying rack that’s only 2-3’ tall will easily hold multiple pounds of weight and are a great option when harvesting only a few plants at a time. You can expect to see around 4 individual racks for drying with smaller drying racks while larger units commonly come with twice the amount.
Next, you will need to choose between enclosed, partially enclosed, or an open drying rack. Enclosed racks will offer an additional layer of protection from spillage, and you won’t have to worry about your fan blowing loose any plant material that you decided to hang.
As plants dry out, they lose a significant amount of water weight. This makes it easier for them to be blown away by a fan. So if you plan to use your drying rack for both vertical and horizontal drying, an enclosed or partially enclosed rack may be the route you want to go.
Getting the Most Out of Your Drying Rack
You want to dry for 5-10 days. Do not rush this process, as not only does it improve overall quality, it also sets you up for a successful curing process and long term-storage. It’s important to keep your room’s temperature around 70°F with your humidity around 50%.
Remember, the one potential negative of drying racks is you usually remove the stem to conserve space. For this reason, its important to make sure your temperature and humidity are correct.
Ways you can control your environment:
- Air Conditioner - Lowers both temperature and humidity
- Humidifier - Raises humidity
- Dehumidifier - Lower humidity
- Fans - Airflow will help to prevent mold developing
- Environmental controllers - These will monitor your temperature and humidity, and activate systems that control your environment e.g. a dehumidifier.
Hey, mistakes happen! If you end up drying out your plant material too fast, you can purchase humidiccant packs. These will help re-hydrate buds when you move on to the curing stage. It’s not the preferred method, but it’s better than doing nothing. If you can, it’s always a great idea to hang your drying rack in your grow tent. Temperature and humidity are much easier to control in grow tents, which is why they're the best way to grow.
Remember, successfully drying your plants will:
- Breaks down chlorophyll improving taste and removing grassy taste that disguise the true flavor.
- Preserves and promotes aroma
- Reduce chances of mold
- Sets you up for a successful cure