ALOHA EVERYONE, I’m The Rev, and today I am going to give you guys the rundown, albeit a very hard-core method, that works great for becoming a pest-free grower. This info is all based on indoor growing all-natural/organic style. I will say, that outdoors staying pest free is actually pretty basic. The healthier and happier your plants are, the less likely they will come under attack. Remove nearby vegetation that has any issues like mildew etc. and you run high odds of no pests. Plant Dill, as a companion plant here and there near your cannabis; Hover Flies (especially their larva stage) are a good thing—wink.
Now, as I said, this method is hard core and involves a serious shut-down of your growing areas for 10 days—yikes, I know. I know many of you cannot even consider doing this, but for some of you guys, especially the artisans out there in growing-land, and of course true connoisseurs will revel in the added elegance to the final product, this method is very doable. This method also requires hyper-attention to specific details in order to keep it working perfectly. I haven’t had any pests in many years, at least 3 now, and I usually go about 5 years between small infestations—usually local garden variety Spider Mites. So, without further ado, let’s break this radical move down…
This Works for Any Above Ground Indoor Infestation
I don’t have any killer pest photos for you because I don’t have pests—this, is what I am trying to share with you, a pest free cannabis growing experience. I used to almost constantly battle with Spider Mites and/or Powdery Mildew until about 13 years ago, and we always just accepted that as part of the gig. It’s not, and growing without pests is a magical experience, to say the least; if you are just used to pest-infected growing, you need to think about this, heh heh. Anyways, you can get cool photos of any pest you are dealing with using a fast google search; and, feel good about advice from a pest free grower, you savvy?
About once every 4 or 5 years I make a small mistake, I have made the same mistake 2 out of 3 times I have had pests, since I went with the Nuclear Method the first time. How I usually mess up is, I go outside and work in my outdoor veggie garden, then come directly soon thereafter into my indoor cannabis gardens, and I am carrying “hitchhikers” in the form of garden Spider Mites, local pests. This is, of course one of the rules you will need to follow to keep your indoor gardens clean and pest free. And you have to be kind of OCD about these rules—it’s a discipline, but one well worth its weight in gold, in my opinion.
Preparation for Going Nuclear
Once you have spotted mite parasites in your garden it is time to get ready to go nuke on them relatively soon, within a few months max. Now you only need to use the nuclear method with hard core parasites that you cannot eradicate with “safe” methods, like Spider Mites, or Russet Mites. I have been able to successfully eradicate things like Powdery Mildew (which I showed you in a previous article); and when dealing with something like White Flies, using safe methods basically; using Safer’s End All II for White Flies to totally remove them from my garden permanently. Spider Mites or Russet Mites, on the other hand, can be controlled for a while with something like Safer’s End All II, but I have never been able to, nor have I ever seen anyone eradicate mites totally from an indoor garden unless they use serious toxic poisons. We don’t want any of that stuff in our cannabis. Here we go…
#1: You will need to get something to control the mites while you finish a final harvest to stock up, or make some seeds. You are going to need to start up fresh from seeds after this move in order to stay pest free. As I have said a million times before, 95% of all parasites come into your gardens on clones you have sourced from clubs or friends. I like using End All II for control, it’s pretty safe and works well to keep them under control for a few months, before they become highly tolerant to it.
Bringing in parasites from imported clones will bring in super-parasites I call “The Borg” because these parasites have been riding around from clone to clone and garden to garden being attacked with every kind of poison, evolving, and so are wickedly adapted to treatments, so they will be much harder to control than your basic garden variety pests. This applies to “bugs” and mold. Assume all clones are infested.
#2: Next move is to kill all your plants, all of them. Don’t try and sneak some clones out and back in to your gardens or you will end up with mites again and all this will have been for naught. You will need to keep your garden(s) plant free for 10 days, and during this 10 days it will be important to keep temperatures above 66 deg. F. in the gardens. Wash all your pots/containers during this time as well
#3: In a separate location, like a closet or something, not connected to the garden room(s) start up some seeds now. Also at this point you will want to get some fans into your grow-room(s) to keep all the air moving around really well. Also keep any venting (out venting) ON as well, in the grow-room(s). Make sure you aren’t using anything from your garden room(s) in your seed sprouting zone unless you have done a thorough cleaning with bleach-water mixture of 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water.
#4: Next you will want to get yourself a cool water vaporizer like shown in the photo. One of these will cost you about $25.00 USD and well worth it. Mine holds ½ gallon of water at a time. Make a solution of 2 teaspoons of liquid bleach per half gallon of water to fill your vaporizer. You can see on the photo a small yellow arrow indicating the power setting I use controlling how much vapor gets released, you must be careful not to set this too high otherwise you can actually cause your walls and everything else in the garden room to be dripping with bleach water, and this is not good or needed. Place the vaporizer in the garden room and turn it on; at the low setting it will run for a couple or a few days before it needs refilled, and you don’t need to refill it even once, because ½ gallon over two or three days works perfectly.
#5: After the vaporizer is done (2-3 days) keep your garden room empty of plants for another 7 days, still keeping it warm, and keeping air circulating and venting. After that you are all good to go with a pest free garden zone and you can move your sprouts in without fear.
The nuclear method is not to be done half-assed, this requires a whole-ass commitment. Get good at sprouting and cloning cannabis if you aren’t already. It is time, no? Keeping your head wrapped around methods to stay pest free, is imperative. It takes practice to gain a true skill. Don’t fear making mistakes, usually the very best learning can be found there. True Skills.
Staying Pest Free
Here are some of the rules you will need to be on top of to stay pest free:
- No importing clones; get a cloner and start cloning your own plants for better turnaround times between harvests.
- No pets that go outside can be allowed into your gardens.
- No friends that have come from their infested gardens can be allowed into yours unless they have showered and changed clothes before coming over.
- You cannot come from your friends’ infested gardens back into your gardens unless you have showered and changed clothes.
- You cannot do things outside like trimming shrubs or tending veggie gardens or mowing the lawn, and then go into your gardens, without showering and fresh clothes first. This is the one I have messed up on twice.
- You need to make sure your intake venting is filtered so you aren’t sucking in any pests; the way I deal with this one is I suck in fresh air from my household and not directly from outside. If you vent your lights directly you don’t need to worry about this
Final Thoughts from Rev
I know that many of you can’t even consider doing this for various reasons. But even though it puts a burp into your production levels, in the bigger picture it will be well worth it to be able to grow your cannabis totally pest free; it’s truly an amazing experience when you have been used to basically always battling pests at some level.
I have changed my plant-tending schedule so that I take care of all my gardens everyday I have to, first thing after I wake up in the morning, so I don’t have to go back in my gardens for the rest of the day, allowing me to work in the outdoor garden or whatever during the day. You will need to come up with methodologies that allow you to stay pest free, like that one. Also, these days I basically don’t allow anyone visiting into my gardens unless they have sworn to me they are fresh out of a shower with new clothes on, seriously, it sounds extreme but the rewards are amazing. You have to be a “Soup-Nazi” about this one for sure!
In previous articles here for The Highway I have shown you how to handle PM and Root Aphids without going nuclear; however, Spider Mites and Russet Mites are much more invasive and are super hard to totally eradicate from your gardens. This way works like a charm for me and for many others I have shared it with, so good luck on your mission mis amigos, and until next time, L8r G8rs—REvski out!