Q&A with Jorge
A small hand-held 5 to 10X loupe is a great tool to help see these little pests. I use mine to inspect the garden regularly.
How do I tell when to harvest and if I have something eating my plants or a fungus or something. There are little spots on the leaves and the plants grow slow. ‘What do I do?
The help of a 10X, 30X loupe or a hand-held video microscope will make identifying resin glands and pests much easier. First look at how many days your plants have been flowering. Most strains should be at peak ripeness 7-9 weeks after inducing flowering with a 12/12 day/night light schedule. Start checking them closely after 7 weeks. The color of the pistils which turn from white to brown or brownish-red as the flower tops ripen. The ratio of darker pistils is also an indicator of peak ripeness, but not as accurate as looking at actual resin glands with a magnifying glass or microscope. Look for well-formed resin glands with a small post and a ball on the top. There are several different stages: Early harvest is when trichomes start to turn milky white to amber for the most potent THC. At peak harvest resin glands can stay translucent but often start to turn creamy white after trichomes are fully formed. At late harvest the ball on some glands is not intact or deformed. Other glands remain intact – mild to noticeable darkening of resin.
With pests, first identify the problem, then take action. Spot spider mites and other insects with the help of a 10X loupe. Inspect leaf undersides and look for movement and damage. Most often the problem is spider mites that can be found on leaf undersides.
Once the pest is identified, spray the leaf undersides with a good miticide/insecticide such as pyrethrum in aerosol form. My favorite is Widmire’s Exclude.Turn plants to the side and apply aerosol 12 inches from leaf undersides. Repeat at 5-10 day intervals.
Encapsulated pyrethrum in an aerosol can is the best safe Miticide to apply. It will give the quick knock out effect!
My new favorite way to identify little mites is to use a microscope that you can hook up to your computer and see the minute mites or insects big time on your computer monitor. You can video the pests that are eating your plants. You can use this clip and others to help eradicate and monitor pest populations. It also works for discerning peak harvest! You can take still shots or videos of trichomes on your buds and flash it magnified onto the computer screen. The graphic files can be saved and used over and over. This is a great way to look at the trichome glands on buds to tell they are in perfect condition to pick. Definitely a site worth hitting!
Spider mites are one of the worst pests in a grow room and greenhouses. They are difficult to see with the naked eye and often go unnoticed until an infestation breaks out.
Spider mites have taken over this unsmokable bud! Once they start spinning webs, they have set up a colony. My favorite form of control is to use a butane torch!