by Kathleen Clark
What is top shelf flower?
The answer probably depends on who you’re asking. You may have your own idea or definition of what top shelf flower consists of but amongst growers that term is not universal. Most growers, regardless of opinions or expectations will have their own definition. As a trimmer I’ve never considered flower that has extra leaf to be true top shelf.
True top shelf is the size, quality, lab results, and how it is trimmed combined into one definition. I’ve worked for growers who made us leave extra leaf on their “top shelf flower” because it had slight amounts of “sugar” (trichomes) or they bluntly stated they needed the extra weight for the sale. While other growers want their flower completely cleaned up and don’t want overly leafy flower attached to their name and what they represent. Smaller flower tends to fall solidly into the middle shelf range while tiny shake like nugs should be someone’s solid bottom shelf.
There is nothing wrong with the same plant producing all these tiers of flower. Not all parts of the plant can get equal amounts of light, but the whole plant overall can still be happy and healthy. Which brings me to my next point. Yellow plants aren’t happy or healthy at all. The plant literally tells you in its own terminology what it needs and if it needs help. Yellow plants are never at their healthiest which is why it is so important to pay attention to all your plants needs!! Don’t get so caught up in filling your room to max capacity that you can’t tend to each individual plant. It is so typical for industrial grows to have an entire room go bad when the problem typically starts with a single plant.