Collected Q&A from Readers’ Emails, Part 1

Spider Mites

Hi Read.

Last night I noticed spider mites on a plant that I’m 1 week away from harvesting. I know there’s a lot of info on the internet and I already have a plan. I just wanted to see if you might have any further suggestions. I pulled the plant that had webbing on it and sprayed it with AZAMAX. I know I’m not supposed to spray that stuff on a flowering plant but I had no choice. I checked the other plants and was surprised to notice little to no mites on the remaining plants. I know better than to dismiss the fact that all the mites are gone (This is my second run in with the bastards). After the lights were out I sprayed the remaining plants with AZAMAX as well.

My plan is to spray the remaining plants again tonight and again in 5 days. I just thought you may have a better solution to this. Thanks for your time and I’ll be in touch in the next week or two. Enjoy your weekend!

Sorry to hear this! The Azamax is an oil and its going to end up in your smoke, which is why that was a mistake. Since you are only a week away, I suggest you just take them early. The infestation will triple in size in one week. One thing you can do is vacuum them off or use a piece of duct tape to pull them off. Another thing you can do is tie the plants to a stake that is taller than the plants–the mites will climb the stake in about an hour and there you can wipe them off with a paper towel every so often. You will need a complete break in the cycle to stop this from recurring. You will have to 10%-bleach the room and equipment and let the room sit for a week or two to ensure they are gone. At that point you can reintroduce plants.

Good luck!

R

Three plants are 1 week out. I did pull them early as you instructed. I still have 5 plants left that range from 3-5 weeks out. 3 plants have no visible signs while the other 2 have the starting stages. I know it’s just a matter of time.

I’m going to trim most of the fan leaves and do my best to wipe down the remaining leaves with a paper towel sprayed with azamax. One plant just started to bud so I think I’ll drench it in the azamax.

As for the clones I have in veg I will drench them all in azamax a number times. My veg has a T5. Is it possible to start the flower stage with a T5 while I wait for the tainted plants to finish and clean flower room? I would guess 2 weeks flowering under the T5.

Thanks for all your help. There’s so much info out there – it’s hard to know who and what to believe….as you stated in your book. I’ll be in touch after this nightmare is done. Thanks again for your help!

Ok, good on the three you pulled. You are absolutely correct about the ones not affected becoming infested eventually. That’s why I say if you want to get rid of them, you need to break the continuity of having plants (mite food). I understand though–you just don’t want to toss all the babies. You’re going to have to watch them like a hawk. The problem then becomes one of having to manage them–all the time. When I step back and look at management forever vs just tossing the plants and getting new in a couple weeks (and it’s not an enterprise situation), I usually just bite that bullet.

Wiping all the leaves is good. If you have the patience for that, you might beat them back. For a while anyway.

You sure can flower under T5. I can see that you’re intent on finishing them! I really don’t blame you.

GOOD LUCK with those little bastards!

R

Temperature and Humidity

Hey Read. The ‘girls’ are looking really good and I plan to transplant tonight or tomorrow. Was taking some temp/humidity readings in my tent and wanted to run by you.

Averaging low temp of 70 and high temp of 82. *I can easily up the low end of the temp with a small heater. Nothing I can do about the upper end.

Averaging low humidity of 20 and high humidity of 39. *I plan on hooking up my humidity controller and a 220 cfm fan on the top of my tent so should be able to drop the 39% down when the lights go off. Bigger concern is once I go to flower the humidity will go higher when the lights are off for 12 hours.

Your temp and humidity is all good. The plants don’t respire in the dark. Just keep the air moving at all times.

R

Cuttings/Clones

Is there anything special I need to do for a cutting? I’ve only seen pics where it looks like the lead is cut, the lower part of the stem is scraped, Clonex or something similar rubbed on it and then put into rockwool. I don’t have any Clonex or rockwool. Can it be just back into soil?

The principles at work with cloning are as follows: 1) Cut cleanly near a callous if you can, if not, no big deal (callous is easily transformed into root because the plant tissue is already high in stored carbohydrate there); 2) Crop the leaf surface area to reduce transpiration (by trimming the large fan leaves–see photo); 3) Keep the cut end wet, dark and oxygenated. A cloning product containing indole-3-butyric acid (my favorite is Dip N Grow) will speed things along. Many people maximize exposed area by cutting diagonally, scraping or splitting the stem. I agree that these things help. Use a piece of rock wool or a brown starter plug (see my post on this) to hold the moisture and darken the rooting area. If you aren’t in a hurry and don’t want to mess with all this, you can clip the portion of the plant you want to root and just put it in a dark beer bottle with some water. It will root in about 2 weeks that way.

R

cuttings cropped leaf

Rooted! A bit of algae growing on the cube. Algae is harmless.

Coconut Coir

One quick question. Coco is my medium. I have used a trash can for a reservoir in the past. Can I water my plants right from the tap or should I let the water sit for 24 hrs?

Not a big deal either way if you have good tap water. Waiting will blow off whatever’s left of the chlorine after filling the trash can, but I don’t see this is a big deal either way. Coco will retain salts, though–so keep that in mind as you progress through your cycle. It might be a good idea to flush periodically. The leaves will tell you.

R

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