Most Valuable Tools for Harvesting Cannabis
For indoor and outdoor growers, harvest time is filled with both excitement and trepidation. When harvest finally arrives, you must pick flowers at just right time and then dry them to the perfect consistency. To produce the best cannabis flowers possible, you must utilize the best tools during harvest.
Modern cannabis growers have countless options for harvest tools and equipment. For example, commercial producers often utilize technologies like bucking and trim machines to reduce harvest labor. Conversely, home growers who cultivate craft strains often enjoy the process of harvesting and trimming flowers by hand.
Whatever your chosen method, there are a few tools that are essential to any cannabis harvest operation. The right harvest tools not only protect the integrity of your crop, but they also greatly lighten your workload.
Heavy-Duty Pruning Lopper
Heavy-duty pruning loppers are a critical part of any cannabis harvest operation. While smaller scissors work great for precision trimming, you need more heavy-duty tools for bucking down plants.
Heavy-duty loppers are used to cut branches directly off cannabis plants while they are still in the ground. By cutting directly above where the branch meets the stem, you create a “V” that is great for hanging branches on a line. If you are drying using a drying rack, you can use the lopper to break down plants for further processing.
Heavy-duty loppers work great for harvesting cannabis because they give you the leverage to cut through thick stalks and stems. Attempting to do this job with other equipment like scissors or a saw could prove quite dangerous.
Drying racks are essential for a streamlined cannabis harvest. Not only do racks save you space in your drying area, but they also space flowers the correct distance to optimize airflow. As such, drying racks help ensure that your hard work is not wasted on moldy flowers.
Many growers prefer drying racks to drying lines due to ease-of-use. Racks can be conveniently hung in out-of-the-way spaces and moved when necessary. Conversely, drying lines run the length of the drying room — rendering much of the space unusable.
AC Infinity makes high-quality drying racks that are both convenient and functional. The AC Infinity Herb Drying Rack is available in sizes from 2x2 ft. with 2 tiers, to 3x3 ft. with 8 tiers. These racks are made of mesh netting that preserves flowers by promoting even drying and curing.
Dehumidifiers give you unparalleled control over the climate when drying cannabis. Importantly, you don’t want your cannabis flowers to dry too quickly or too slowly. Dehumidifiers give you control over humidity levels in your drying room, which can then be adjusted as needed.
People who cultivate cannabis in wet climates understand the importance of dehumidifiers. Especially in places like the Pacific Northwest, flowers simply won’t dry without proper climate control. Too much moisture in a drying room can cause issues with mold and ruin an entire harvest. However, you must also be sure that your dehumidifier doesn’t dry out flowers too much.
Dehumidifiers are designed for use in both commercial and residential applications. You can get a basic dehumidifier for $100 that will remove about 500ml of moisture from the air per day. Looking to larger operations, commercial units can cost upwards of $1,500 and remove nearly 70,000ml of moisture each day.
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Once your cannabis is properly dried, it is time to trim. For serious growers and trimmers, there is no better tool for the trade than a good pair of pruning shears. Not only will a solid pair of scissors allow for precision trimming, but put they should also be comfortable to use day-after-day.
While commercial producers often opt for trimming machines, many craft growers swear by hand trimming. Sharp pruning shears allow you to remove small stems and leaves from delicate cannabis flowers. Even more, they give you the ability to properly shape buds for the best presentation possible.
AC Infinity developed Stainless Steel Pruning Shears that can handle even the most delicate trim work. These popular scissors feature stainless steel blades which remain sharp throughout the harvest season. AC Infinity pruning shears are spring-loaded and comfortable to hold, ensuring productivity in the trim room.
Anyone who has taken part in a cannabis harvest knows just how messy the job can be. While sticky flowers are a great thing concerning product quality, resin also makes it tough to work with fresh cannabis. All things considered, you need to have the right type of materials on hand to keep your hands and tools clean throughout harvesttime.
Key cleaning supplies include:
- Latex gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Vegetable oil
- Gritty soap
Using a combination of the above cleaning supplies is a great way to keep your hands and tools clean when harvesting fresh cannabis. With everything running in top shape, you will keep your harvest work efficient, smooth, and stress free.
Containers for Curing and Storage
When it comes to storing and curing cannabis flowers, the right containers can make or break your operation. Depending on the size of the garden in question, most growers opt with either mason jars or turkey bags for curing and storage.
After cannabis flowers have been dried and trimmed, they are ready to be cured. The curing process creates an even distribution of moisture throughout the flowers. Correct moisture levels will not only protect flowers from mold, but also keep them from crumbling into shake. Curing also brings out the finest scents of any cannabis flower.
The most widely used cannabis curing technique is known as “burping.” With this process, you place trimmed cannabis flowers into mason jars or turkey bags. Next, you close the containers air tight for 12 hours, followed by opening them another 12 hours. As the days progress, you slowly increase the amount of time that your container is closed. Once flowers are “springy” to the touch throughout the container, they are properly cured.
Growing cannabis is lots of fun. Even more, seeing your hard work come to fruition with a harvest is one of the most rewarding experiences for a cannabis grower. Nonetheless, a crop isn’t finished until your flowers are successfully harvested, dried, trimmed, and cured.
Having the right tools for the job is one of the most surefire ways to protect the integrity of your cannabis harvest. In taking the right precautions throughout harvesttime, you will protect your harvest against mold and mildew. In like fashion, proper harvest, drying, and curing techniques are essential in bringing out the full terpene profiles of cannabis flowers.
With so much time and energy invested in a crop, it pays to invest in the right tools for harvesting your cannabis plants.
AC Infinity is the foremost name in air delivery systems, designing and developing the latest innovations in cooling and ventilation technology. They offer a suite of quiet inline fans that automate the growing progress and track key metrics. Visit acinfinity.com or contact [email protected] to learn more.
Written by Kent Gruetzmacher | Writer, Owner of KCG Content
Kent Gruetzmacher MFA is a Colorado-based writer and owner of the writing and marketing firm KCG Content. Kent has been working in the cannabis and hydroponics space for over a decade. Beginning in California in 2009, he has held positions in cultivation, operations, marketing, and business development. Looking specifically to writing, Kent has worked with many of the leading publications and marketing agencies in the cannabis space. His writing has been recognized by such icons as Steve D’Angelo and Rick Simpson.