PESTS - Weed Growing Guide
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
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.
Most fungicides 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.
Pyrethrum should 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.