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I've seen a few perpetual cab designs where the final product is dried in the cab while plants are still growing in other chambers. This would be ideal for my situation, but I'd like to discuss a few points before following through with my plans.
First, how much light is too much light while drying? I realize some people dry outside in sunlight, etc., but if I only use window screen to seperate my drying chamber from my veg chamber, can I expect 24/7 fluoro light to lower the quality?
Second, if air enters the drying chamber before the rest of the cab, is there any concern regarding humidity levels or the spread of disease? It seems like less humid, room temperature air should go through the drying chamber instead of more humid, 600W HPS-heated air.
Too much light is any amount that will noticeably degrade your final product. I speculate that 6-7 days of floro light won't hurt your potency levels, you should be fine.
You will of course increase the humidity by drying in the cab but that shouldn't be an issue for plants in veg, which prefer a higher humidity anyway. The spread of pests/disease is another matter, but if you are vegging and flowering in the same space it is inevitable, just try to avoid as many of them as you can and treat them as soon as they appear.
One more thing to look out for with drying in a ventilated cab is drying too quickly (smell/taste a bit "green") or too much (loss of all smell/taste). when I dry in my cab I run the fan for 20 min every 3 hours just to drop the humidity so the bud dries nice and slowly. I try to keep them hanging for at least 7 days before I put them into bags or jars.
Thanks, Dr.! I was also concerned about drying too quickly due to the fan, guess it slipped my mind. Putting it on a timer is a good idea. Hopefully my cab will stay cool enough to allow such a thing...
Potency isn't affected by light per se, moreso it's affected by high levels of UV light once the plant has matured/stopped living. I dried in my cabinet with my HPS running and the smoke was just as potent as the branches that got dried in another closet with no light.
Lastly, while you do want to keep a reasonable humidity in your drying area. Proper airflow is essential as nothing is shittier then waking up to find your buds covered in cobweb mold.