You really have to
watch pests, or all your efforts could result in little or
nothing in return. Mites and Aphids are the worst; whiteflies,
caterpillar and fungi are the ones to watch out for long term.
Pyrethrum bombs can start you with a clean slate in the room,
and then homemade or commercial soap sprays will do most of the
rest. When bringing in plants from outside, pyrethrum every
broad leaf top and bottom and the soil too. Then watch them
closely for a week or two, and soap down any remaining bug life
you find from eggs being hatched. This should do the trick for a
month or two, long enough it won not be an issue before
Fungus is another
obstacle in the path of a successful growing season. When the
flowers are roughly half developed they become susceptible to a
fungus or bud rot. It appears that growing conditions for the
fungus are best when temperatures are between 60 and 80 degrees
and the humidity is high. The fungus is very destructive and
spreads quickly. It is a spore type of fungus that travels to
other buds via the wind so it is impossible to prevent or stop
if weather conditions permit it to grow. If things should go
badly and the fungus starts to attack your plants, you must
remove it immediately or it will spread to other areas of the
plant or plants.
Some growers will
remove just the section of the bud that is infected whereas
other growers will remove the entire branch. Removal of the
entire branch better insures that the fungus is totally re-
moved, and also enables the grower to sample the crop a few
weeks ahead of time.
Fungi can wipe
your crop quick, so invest in some SAFE fungicide and spray down
the plants just before flowering if you think fungus may be a
problem. Don not spray the plants if you have never had problems
with fungus before. Keep humidity down, circulate air like crazy
in the grow space and keep unquarantined outdoor plants out of
the indoor space. Don not wait until after flowering, since it
is not a good idea to apply the fungicide directly to flowers.
Instead, flowers must be cut off when they are infected.
are very nasty, and you won not want to ingest them, so it is
necessary to use one that is safe for vegetables. Safer makes a
suitable product that is available at most nurseries; it
contains only sulfer in solution.
Use soap solution
like Safer Insecticidal Soap to get rid of most aphid problems.
Use some tobacco juice and chili pepper powder added to this for
mites. Dr. Bronnars Soap can be used with some dish detergent in
a spray bottle if you want to save money.
only be used in extream circumstances directly on plants, but
can be used in a closet or greenhouse in the corners to get rid
of spiders and such. It breaks down within a week to non-toxic
elements, and can be washed from a plant with detergent
solutions and then clear water. I find Pyrethrum to be the best
solution for spider mites, if it is sprayed on young plants up
to early flowering. Into later flowering, the tobacco and
pepper/soap solution is your best bet, on a daily basis, on the
under-sides of all infected leaves.
Spider mites are
by far the worst offender in my garden. I have finally learned
not to bring plants from outside into the indoor space. They are
always infected with pests and threaten to infect the entire
indoor grow space. It is much more practical to work WITH the
seasons and regenerate plants outdoors in the Summer, rather
than bringing them indoors to regenerate under constant light.
Start a plant indoors, take it outside in Spring to flower. Take
a harvest or two, feed it nitrogen all Summer and it will
regenerate naturally, to be flowered again in the Fall.
Once a plant has
been taken outside, leave it outside