The definition of budding comes from the book "Nice Dreads" by author Lonnice Brittenum Bonner. If you newbie-loc'ers don't have this book, get it!! I got it as a gift and it really helped but a lot of things into perspective for me.
"You may notice that some of your coils have little knots of hair in them, about the size of a small pea. This knot is more or less the nucleus of each lock; the hairs in your coils have begun to intertwine and interlace. Individual coils may seem puffy and lose their tightly coiled shape; this is part of the process and shouldn't be disturbed. What is important here is to keep the original scalp partings, to allow the spinning process to become established for each individual lock. Don't redivide your budding locks, twist them to death, or get to patting them down, trying to make your hair look "nice," because you'll just end up with a badly packed, busted-out do."
Buds are so funny looking to me and it's interesting to see them turn into a loc. They can come at any time. My buds came about within the first month of loc'ing. Some new loc'ers find buds within a week.
Because I am going from latching back to palm rolling again, my locs are magically budding again.
Pretty cool, uh? It's amazing to see buds transform and just as quickly at they come, they turn into locs. Woooooo!