Why I never spray for pests

Thread starter #1

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
In my ragged corner of the continent, we usually have little problem with spider mites in normal summers, but we had a hot & dry one & in came the mites, not only on the cannabis, but just about everything else in the garden, too.

I did my usual, hosing down on plants w/ water, which knocks the bastid mites back a bit & cutting out leaves, but that was barely holding 'em in check this year. For the first time ever, I thought about taking other means, but while I was pondering this while spraying the entire garden down, I noticed that a lot of small, webless leaf spiders had moved in & they almost exclusively feed on mites, plus a few ladybugs & 2 praying mantis had moved in.

In less than 2 days, the mites were gone.

If I'd taken other action, it would have taken out the spiders, ladybugs, and mantis, too.

Why I never spray!
 
Thread starter #3

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
No need to wait for me to get back to you, especially since a russet mite infestation might not ever affect my simple outdoor grows. If that did happen though, I wouldn’t spray, because I’m more committed to maintaining a healthy garden, including insect communities, than I am to overreacting to losing a coupla cannabis plants.

I don’t think russet mite infestation would happen because in 30 yrs of gardening many things, including weed, in many locations in the West, I’ve never had bugs wipe out any of my crops, partially because I don’t do things that’ll knock out beneficial insects, including not only predators, but also pollinators. The approach works.

On the other hand, treating infestations inevitably knocks out mite predators, leading to an endless spiral of infestations & treatments.

To be sure, if there was some sort of relatively benign treatment that only targeted the mites, I’d consider it, but virtually all treatments are broad spectrum & also knock out predatory spiders, wasps. Even diatomaceous earth, which is pretty benign, has broad spectrum effects.

This is not an arcane approach, there’s now companies in OR that provide mite control for commercial ops via the use of natural predators, which can be found quite easily via an internet search.

& though it’s probably heresy here, I wouldn’t be that crushed if I lost a crop. I grow outside with minimal fiscal investment, relying on my own compost & taking care of the soil, so I’m never really out much. Plus, every year, I grow enough for about two years of use, now that it’s legal. But, again, losing a crop to mites or other critters hasn’t ever happened…yet.

I also use other strategies, including not growing the same plants, including weed, in the same plots every year. Well-documented that monoculture contributes to infestation problems. I’ve also found that “companion” plants seem to work quite well (something I was initially quite dubious about before I started doing it decades ago).

We all have our own priorities, but main is trying to maintain/improve the garden ecosystem.

I started growing weed decades ago, because it was the best & cheapest way to get quality product. But over the past decade, I’ve done it so that I’m not party to inflicting unnecessary harm, which lots of grows, including some monocultural agrobiz production certainly do.

As a gardening amigo once told me: “Every garden ends up being a reflection of the gardener.”
 

4Dutchess

Well-Known Member
AndIhelped, great post. I did trash some plants but not soon enough. I also tried to save some. I shouldent of. Ive got enough meds also. Im learning. I wont try to save them from Russets in flower again. The D.Earth is my preventive measure inside and out. A Rosemary spray too. Im sure Ive had a Russet infestation before outside just dident know why the plant was shit. Next year I plan to plant allot of mint outside. My goal today is to keep them from the tent. Ive got one more plant outside that has Russets and Harvest whats left soon. I should of pulled her too. Two of the outdoor plants with Russets had nothing left at harvest and were trashed anyways. The one thats left looks ok. All that work for nothing seems like. However I did make my own ISO wash and its great!! So we did have a ying to the yang. Im building an enclosed green house in November for next year. The Russets also got me good with my scope. I scope messed up leafs from now on inside and out. Get them early.
My trim buddy and his brother say my growing is awesome inside and out. Best theyve seen. They are impressed with the professional tent set up I got going. "A reflection of the grower" I grow great weed!!
Happy Sunday!
 
Thread starter #5

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
Happy Sunday 2 U 2, 4Duchess!

Growing can be challenging, but we're all navigating in our own way.

Very sorry to hear 'bout the mite problems, but Qwiso hash is an xlnt salvage approach. I've had to go that route a coupla times due to mold/mildew (once because I completely screwed up the drying curing, very badly!).
Funny you bring up the hash, because last nite I broke out some of last yrs Qwiso hash that I made from trim & it got me very buzzzzzzzzzzzed.

I've got no doubts that you grow great weed. Stay at it & enjoy. Growing's a lot more fun now that it's legal!
 
Thread starter #6

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
Next year I plan to plant allot of mint outside.
I've had really good luck with mint as a companion plant for keeping bugs away, but also marigolds, which are a long-time gardening go-to. Rosemary & oregano seem to also be good, as are various hot peppers--jalepenos & serranos seem to work best. Chiles are the only thing in my garden that never get hit by anything, except, godammit, slugs. I can't believe those slimy bastids chomp on my peppers!
 

4Dutchess

Well-Known Member
I've had really good luck with mint as a companion plant for keeping bugs away, but also marigolds, which are a long-time gardening go-to. Rosemary & oregano seem to also be good, as are various hot peppers--jalepenos & serranos seem to work best. Chiles are the only thing in my garden that never get hit by anything, except, godammit, slugs. I can't believe those slimy bastids chomp on my peppers!
Ive also thought of Marigolds. I thought grow all that companion stuff and throw the trash/dead stuff in a bucket as they grow and crush and sprinkle when dry all over. Since Rosemary is going to be my essential oil Im using I wont plant that one. Maybe some peppers. Im going to take pics today of what I got going now. Great Day!!