Many times, I have been asked “what do I need to start growing my own?”
This is a complicated question but I feel like the Dude and Scotty have given a great baseline on what they recommend when it comes to nutes, media, lighting, equipment, temp/humidity settings, co2 vs air exchange ect,ect.
One area that I feel like they do not have nailed down for beginner growers is IPM. Whenever the subject is brought up, the obvious organic vs inorganic, predator mites and nematodes vs spray IPM conversation is brought up but a solid recommended IPM is never laid out.
What is an easy to follow, beginner IPM that will help prevent new grower headaches like spider mites, russet mites, root aphids, and PM?
I’d like to get the discussion going here, please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.
The main goal of IPM is prevention. A new grower needs a simple plan that will reduce the risk of crop failure, that will not compromise quality, or harm the end user, all the while budget is always a concern.
Here is what I would recommend to a new grower with no plan for IPM.
- Write down what you do. This is a must that almost all new growers skip. Remembering what you watered in, or what you sprayed on what day is key. Go to amazon and buy a day planner for 3 dollars or use the grow buddy app or whatever. It will save you tons of headaches.
- Stick to a scheduled IPM. I am recommending that every week to 10 days you should be doing something as “preventative IPM” in your garden, more if you already have a problem. Also, once you have stuck to a schedule you can figure out what works and what you might be missing, then start incorporating the use of predators/ladybugs/ nematodes etc.
- My recommendation: I spray once a week up until week 5-6 of flower rotating between, Green Cleaner, AZAMAX, and pyrethrum. I will also substitute the pyrethrum for botanigard to vary my mode of action. But for the sake of budget I would recommend at least green cleaner and azamax in the rotation.
- Azamax/ Neem is an antifeedant and frequently recommended by The dude. A staple of my IPM
- Green Cleaner is a horticultural oil mix, that is alcohol based, which also aids in preventing PM
- Pyrethrum spray is a natural pesticide. Found in many over the counter grow shop bug sprays. I like the one from Bonide.
This spray schedule is going to prevent almost all mites and plant eating pests, at the same time giving you some effective PM prevention.
- I also incorporate a root drenching IPM. Once a month I will water in azamax or Botanigard. Again this is done to vary the mode of action. This is effective IPM against root aphids and Fungus Gnats.
- I like to Use BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) every other to every 3rd I use a product called microbe lift at a rate of 2-3 drops per 10 gallons. This will help prevent fungus gnats.
- I also like to dump my CO2 tank about once a month and let the room get saturated. This seems to be an easy and effective way of controlling conditions to eliminate pests.
- I am not including predator mites/ lady bugs or nematodes in my IPM recommendation however I do use them. I would not recommend them to a new grower, until a baseline of knowledge is established. Also, if the grower is planning to harvest perpetually, these get much harder to use.
“BASIC IPM” Typical Rotation
Azamax- 1 oz per gallon
Botanigard root drench 5 ml/gal
Green cleaner- .5-1 ml per gallon
Bonide Pyrethrin 1.5 oz per gallon
Azamax- 1 0z per gallon foliar spray
Green cleaner 1 oz per gallon foliar spray
Azamax 1 oz per gallon root drench
Bonide Pyrethrin. 1.5 oz per gallon foliar spray.