Any grower who has dealt with a pest infestation in their cannabis garden will tell you that recovering from it is an uphill battle. Cleaning a grow space mid-cycle is painstaking, requiring hours of additional labor alongside increased costs all for a damaged crop.
Once a pest outbreak has occurred in your garden, plants are much less likely to produce to their full potential as they have been spending excessive amounts of energy protecting themselves. The stress will stunt a plant’s growth and vigor, resulting in lower yields and damaged buds.
However, pest-proofing your garden from the start is simple and easy. Below are a few strategies that will help give you the upper hand against pests.
Securing Your Grow Space
Building a secure grow space is imperative to protecting your crop from pests. A well-built grow room will provide a impenetrable barrier between your plants and the outside world.
When constructing your grow space, the two most important questions to consider are:
- Is the room is sealed off from the outside environment?
- How easy the room is to clean?
Mylar is an excellent option for both of these needs. The white or silver reflective material is easy to clean and apply around the walls of your room. Just be sure to take accurate measurements and overlap the edges. When considering a doorway, you can either build a frame for an actual door or buy a zipper that can attach to the mylar walls.
While constructing your own space allows room for customization, grow tents are increasingly popular and available in numerous dimensions. A quality grow tent offers no loose ends and gives you protection from the start without any guesswork.
Sanitizing Your Garden
If your grow room is successfully sealed from the outside environment, the only thing that can contaminate the space is what you bring into the room. Pests are experts when it comes to attaching to clothing and traveling with their host. For this reason, keeping yourself and your equipment sanitized is crucial to pest control.
Many growers will change their clothes before entering their garden. Keep a pair of pants, shoes, and shirt in a closet next to your room to reduce the risk of any pests hitching a ride into the garden with you.
Sterilize your garden tools with a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. A few minutes spent preparing your equipment can go a long way in preventing contamination.
Clones vs. Seeds
Growing cannabis from seed provides the best chance of keeping pests out of your garden because you are raising the plants from birth.
With clones, you may not know the environment they came from. With large scale production, pests can make their way into clones and turn up in your grown room later on. If working with clones, make sure you can trust that their source is clean and pest-free.
Many grow mediums are relatively safe when it comes to pests, especially hydroponic mediums. Clay pellets, rockwool, and other sterile mediums will likely cause no issues when it comes to transporting pests.
Soils are generally where you need to be careful as they can host an array of pests. To best avoid this, buy soil from a reliable source with a good reputation. The soil shouldn’t have any non-composted plant material that could contain pests or diseases.
Fly strips can be used to detect pest infestations early on before they get out of hand. By hanging fly strips around your garden, you can check in on them on a daily basis and look for unwanted pests. Once you see bugs appear on the fly strips, you can act quickly before an outbreak occurs.
A little bit of effort goes a long way when it comes to protecting your indoor garden space. Without the natural predators that are native to the outdoors, it is imperative to keep your garden free of devastating pests. Keep your garden clean and happy, and your plants will follow suit.