The number one enemy of the marijuana grower is the spider mite. These little insects feed off of the plants juices. The problem is that these things reproduce like you would not believe. The cycle from birth to reproductive maturity averages seven days in a temperature around 21-26 celcius. This cycle can either increase or decrease in speed in direct correlation with the temperature; the hotter, the faster. The devastation caused in a short period of time is remarkable. The first sign of the spider mite is the spotted leaf. These are feeding scars that lead to the death of the leaves, systematically working their way throughout the garden. Then , once they have established dominance in the garden they spin webs. These webs are a part of an intricate transportation method for the bugs to go from plant to plant, to feed and lay eggs. They must be controlled if not eliminated from the garden. Use pecticides carefully because they often burn the tissue of the plants. Use a soap insecticide to reduce the damage potential. Safer's Soap or End All are two wonderful products safe for your garden.
Spider mites can also be controlled naturally by a predator mite which feeds on spider mites: Phytoseiulus persimilis. These predators consume the spider mites, then die off from starvation once the pest is eradicated.
The white flie feed in a similar manner as the spider mite. The insect hides underneath the leaf and sucks out the plant juices. White flies are easy to see with the naked eye. These fly around the room, sometimes making it hard to eradicate by simply spraying the plants. The room should also be treated by applying the insecticide to the walls and floor.
Fungus causes complete destruction to your garden. In order to control the fungus, you must control the climate. Moulds and fungi thrive in high humidity. Without proper air ventilation and air circulation, fungi will thrive, eventually taking over your garden. If you notice any moulds of any sort on your plants, remove it ASAP. If you notice any type of root rotting, you should consider destroying the plants rather than treat the problem. If a mother plant is attacked, treat it by trimming away all of the rotten material and re-pot immediately in a well airated medium.
If a fungicide is needed to control the problem, use a sulfer based product for problems during vegetation(but not for flowering plants). During flowering, do not use any product that will alter the flavour of the marijuana. In the latter situation, i recomend removing the problem by hand. Fungicide should always be a last resort option. Fungicides are poisons to humans and animals; use in controlled environments.
Climate Control: Temperature and Humidity
Climate control is important in many ways. It creates the environment that is either terrible, or ideal for diseases and insects to thrive(for more info see bugs and fungus sections). It works for you or against you. Ventilating causes the humidity level to drop. Air intake ensures that the air is not stagnant. An oscillating fan should be used to ensure the air is always moving in the garden. If the humidity level elevates, more illnesses and disease can occur. The humidity level of the air influences the functioning of the stomata, the plants water respiration system.
Cannabis flourishes at around 45-70%, depending on the variety. At higher percentages, the stomata have problems getting rid of excess water. At a lower humidity level, the stoma keep releasing water until the plant dries out. At that moment, the stomata close. Intake of co2 stagnates, and plant growth is impaired visibly.
Don't do it. Do not fertilize your plants with more than the recommended garden rate. Many plants can take much more, but you should test the new rate on a few plants prior.
Signs of over fertilization:
- Burt yellow leaves and/or buds
- Curled up and crunchy discolored leaves
- Wilted and Dying
You can tell your plants limitations by increasing the rate until you notice an even yellowing around the extremeties of the fan leaves. If you see this, stop there!
If you do not give enough food to your plants, they will show signs of stress. Ther are many signs:
- Yellowing or pale color leaves
- Slow growth
- Seeing the veins through the leaf
- Too thin and weak
Too little is better that too much!
Be Paranoid. Do Not Trust Anyone!
Always be aware of your surroundings. Be sure that your garden is always tight from light leaks, smell from the exaust and be sure to keep equipment out of sight from those nosy neighbors. Put yourself (metaphorically) in their shoes. Do you see anything that can potentially arouse suspicion?
Even while enjoying the fruits of your labor, be aware. Just the wiff can offend a passerby enough to inform the authorities, which causes a unneeded hastles. Get your smoke on indoors or at least in the back yard.
Finally, do not show off grow. Bad karma. Jealous individuals that you least expect can attempt to rob your stash, or inform the authorities. Be Paranoid.