Happy New Year A-Graders! We hope you all had the chance to catch up with family and friends over the break, and enjoy some time outdoors.
The hot, wet summer weather has seen an unusual explosion of pests causing headaches for both indoor and outdoor gardeners. We have seen a significant increase in spider mites and fungus gnats over the last few weeks, and that has inspired this week's tutorial: Crop Protection.
Know Your Pests:
Knowing in advance what type of pests are attracted to your particular plants, what they look like and what damage they can cause will make easy work of any treatment plan you will have to implement.
These insects are going to interact with your plants at some point, doing a little bit of research on each of these insects and their family groups will help you identify them in the future and then also find out what gets rid of them:
- Cabbage moth
- Spider Mites
- Fungus Gnats
A-Grade Tip: The Cannabis Encyclopedia has a great chapter on identifying pests and how to treat them.
Strong & Healthy Plants:
The best defence against a pest infestation is a strong and healthy plant. Simply put, adequate nutrition and hydration creates stronger cells; which are harder for pests to penetrate and feed from.
Feeding your plants using a quality nutrient range will pay dividends. A reputable product range will use high-grade ingredients that are carefully formulated to include most, if not all, of the fundamental elements a plant needs to thrive.
The next line of defence is prevention. A preventative approach is almost always more cost-effective than solving a problem.
Some gardeners perform a weekly foliar spray using a light pyrethrum solution. Others swear by a weekly Neem oil drenching to kill any invisible larvae in their grow medium.
The hydro-gardeners use a few drops of a Chitin-based larvicide in their tank or reservoir to ward off fungus gnats.
The use of predatory insects is becoming more common, with more gardeners looking for natural ways to protect their gardens and crops.
Non-Toxic Pest Control:
These commonly found ingredients are non-toxic and short withholding periods.
- Sticky traps (A great way to ID pests)
- Neem Oil
- Soya-bean Oil
A-Grade Tip: A high-pressure spray bottle will take 1L of pest-control solution exponentially further than a standard spray bottle will. We are addicted to the Wurth 360° 1L Pump Spray Bottle with Lance Extension. The spray bottle creates a fine mist for even distribution, even when using it upside down. The lance makes it easy to treat those hard-to reach-places.
Whether you are growing indoors or outdoors, if you have to foliar spray your plants do it when the lights go off or when the sun goes down. This will prevent any leaf scorching.
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