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The gizmo functions best, according to the makers, with fresh - therefore wet - material. Hans from Glawill says: "In Switzerland they leave the plants to hang for two or three days before they set to work with the trim machine, but you shouldn't leave them to dry for any longer than that. Working with dried plants, you tend to suck away too many resin glands, and you therefore lose some of the potency of your weed." The eye-catching design of the Canna Cutter has further advantages: the three-legged apparatus makes less noise than the machines that are connected up to a vacuum cleaner. What's more, it can more or less be used independently without it being necessary for a trimmer to be stood behind it the whole time.

He can then be busy with the rough trim work and throwing the prepared buds into the drum, whereupon the Canna Cutter quickly and automatically does its trimming job. The apparatus is fitted with a rotating knife that is under a grid. The distance between the grid and the knife is precisely the same as the distance the leaves stick. Trimming is not always necessary straight after the harvest. For those growers who just raise small quantities for their own consumption, it is perhaps even better to not do so. Instead, hand the whole plant upside down in a drying space and just clean up buds as and when you want them. Do make sure that the plants are not touching each other and that there is enough ventilation, otherwise mould can easily take hold. In this way you can store your buds for longer because the leaves have not been damaged and the resinous bits actually improve due to their exposure to light and oxygen, which according to connoisseurs improves the flavour of the weed. Around the grid is an open drum with a Plexiglas lid.

Since the whole thing vibrates, the pre-trimmed buds bobble around over each other, so that all the buds get a turn having their rough leaves removed. The waste is left behind in a tub under the machine. The Aardvark is also a machine that makes use of a vacuum cleaner. With this apparatus, with which according to the distributor 'trimming is once again FUN,' liveliness is the key word. The cutting head with a built-in motor is housed in a separate handle that can be fixed directly to the vacuum cleaner hose. Thanks to the loose cutting head there is no fixed place where the buds have to be inserted, and this gives the trimmer a greater degree of freedom of movement and allows more flexible movements to be used for the manicuring. Here again, the trimmer can vary the suction power in order to be able to carefully trim even the smallest buds. The trim waste is sucked away and caught in the vacuum cleaner's bag. Napoleon stays closer to the old-fashioned scissors with its two models of electric trimming shears: the Testarossa, designed for small-scale hobby growers, and the Bonsai Hero, that with its Swiss precision motor is manufactured to indestructible, industrial-quality. The most important advantages of electric trimming shears are their cheaper price, the greater precision with which they can be wielded (comparable to that of hand scissors) and the care with which the delicate, pollen-rich material can be processed. Users praise the moderate decibel production, thanks to which if necessary they can even be used in the evenings in a domestic home. What is noticeable is the flexibility of Napoleon's products: they can be use a whole range of energy sources, including a set of penlight batteries for when you're engaged in a little guerrilla trimming out in the woods. Starting with something new is always difficult, and that goes for trim machines too. No-one should expect to be working at his best after just five minutes if he has just made acquaintance with the trimming machine. But the phenomenal speed with which an experienced (!) machine trimmer can finish the harvest off does mean they stand head and shoulders above the old methods. Exactly which trimming machine should earn your preference really depends on a number of factors. Besides the price sticker and the noise volume, other factors include the speed of the trimming work, the quality of the end product and the usability of the trim waste that is produced. An important question to ask can be whether the existing trimming team can be convinced that it can get on with working with a trim machine, or whether they will be so against it you need to find yourself a new team. Even the plant being grown can be factored in to your eventual choice: Haze varieties, with their often capricious buds are a bit more difficult to trim than commercial varieties with more regularly- Wet or dry trimming? "I advise people always to go to a grow shop and hire every model of trimmer they stock for a whole weekend and do a comparative test on them," says Napoleon. Look at the quality of the trimmed buds, smoke some end product and see that not too much foliage sits in your trim waste, and also don't forget to check how much pollen is left on the buds after they have been trimmed. If you use the same variety of plant, then it will very quickly become clear which choice is best for you." If you do use a trim machine, you are best off using it on wet weed. Using simple electrical shears you can trim wet or dry, though most growers do prefer to trim wet with these too.

The advantage of trimming dry is that the buds keep their shape better if they have been thoroughly dried out. The drawback is that the resin glands are more easily shaken free from dry material than from wet plants. Before starting to trim you should remove the large finger leaves, and trim the buds as neatly as you can. You can safely leave bits of the small shoot leaves (partly) intact, since these are usually covered in resin. Info on The Aardvark: Hydroponic Wholesale, Unit 16, Derby Trading Estate, Stores Road, Derby DE21 4BE, Tel. +44 (0) 133 285 1640 Web site: www.toppensneller.com.

Info on the Canna Cutter: Indoor Garden Trading, Rietbaan 11, 2908 LP Capelle a/d IJssel Tel: +31 (0) 10 209 96 65, Fax: +31 (0) 10 209 73 09 Web site: www.indoorgardentradingbv.com. Info on the Kermit: Glawill Commerce, Postbus 6116, 5700 EV Helmond, The Netherlands. You Might Just End Up Spending More Time In Planning Your Greenhouse Than Your Home Don’t Blame Us If Your Wife Gets Mad. Come Out Of The Mould, Build Your Own And Let Your Greenhouse Give A Better Yield Than Any Other In Town!

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