“Oh, it’s just a Fly! Don’t let the name fool you – unlike regular black flies, whiteflies can quickly take over your grow room and damage your plants! Whiteflies are more like spider-mites, in that they have tiny sharp, needle like mouth parts. They suck the sap out of your leaves! They also leave behind a stick residue known as honeydew. (EW, Insect Poop!) This honeydew attracts sooty mold.

The life cycle of a White Fly consists of four stages:

  1. Egg
  2. Crawler
  3. Nymph
  4. Adult

Crawlers hatch from the eggs. Much like their name suggest they move around the plant for a few hours before finding a place to settle. Crawlers take 20 days to become an adult, during which time it will grow through its different nymph stages. During this entire process the Nymph will feed on your plant, sucking its sap! (And in the process producing Honeydew!) A by-product of the White Fly morphing into each further stage of its life cycle leaves behind an exo-skeleton.

Identifying An Adult?

As soon as a White Fly emerges from its last Nymph stage it will begin to secrete a wax over its entire body. They will start to feed on your plants right away. They look like tiny white flies. They are 1 to 3mm in length with tiny black bodies covered in a white wax. You may see them flying around your garden. They also like to get together on the under-side of the plants leaves.Check underneath your plants leaves for White Flies or Eggs. You can also try vigorously shaking your plant, causing the White Flies to fly around the room.

Oh No! I Have White Flies!

All hope is not lost! The sooner you catch them, the better! Before moving any further, carefully prune any heavily infested areas of the plant. Put them in a bag, tie it off, and throw it in the garbage.Then proceed to treating your plants. You have two options…To fight this like a natural, organic gardener would. Or to go all out nuclear and pull out the chemicals.

Let’s consider the natural options first.

A Natural Solution – Mix 1 Gallon of Water, 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil, 2 Tablespoons Soap (Not detergent. Ivory seems to work well). Spray this solution thoroughly on plants, remembering to get the bottoms of the leaves as well. Repeat every 3 days (or twice a week) until problem subsides. In addition to spraying them down, also make sure to hang some yellow stick traps. That will show those flying buggers who’s boss! A second known organic method for controlling White Flies is Lady Bugs. They will thrive and feed off the White Flies. Three additional options for natural predators include; Cales Noacki, Encarsia Formosa, Macrolophus Caliginosus.

Bringing out the Nukes (NOTE FROM KATSU – I’m not inclined to resort to the nukes – if shit’s that bad, I just throw in the towel and start from scratch)

Before trying Insecticidal Soap, a slightly less invasive option would be Garden Dust. These products can contain Pyrethrin which is known to kill White Flies. (It can also be used to control other insects).

Insecticidal Soap or Spinosad are both known to kill White Flies. Here is an “OMRI” Listed product that is vegetable safe. Keep in mind, when working with any chemicals, it is advised against spraying any chemicals on Buds close to harvest.

Remember, catch them quick, stay on top of them, and your plants will make it out alright!”

A special thanks to guest author Danny Terpintine for providing this excellent information!

White Powdery Mildew

White Powdery Mildew, WPM or PM for short, can destroy an entire crop if not caught and treated in time. Here I’ll tell you what you can do to prevent, recognize, and lastly treat this menace of growers across the world.

As a wise person once said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. I could not agree with this more and in my opinion the best step to take is to make your grow room a place that PM does not want to live. The four major factors I’ve found that will put your room in danger:

  • Cool night time temperatures
  • Stagnant or non-circulating air
  • Generally wet/humid conditions
  • Heavy contact between leaves

Removing these factors will greatly reduce the chance of your plants contracting PM in the first place. Although these are what I would consider the major risk factors, there are a few other good practices in avoiding PM. One thing that can be done is asking your staff to change into a uniform or a Tyvek-type suit when entering the grow room. This will prevent any staff from accidentally carrying in mold spores or any other contaminants. Also installing a UVC light can be beneficial as it can kill airborne spores. By implementing some or all of these preventative measures you will hopefully be saving yourself a headache further down the road.

The second key factor in protecting your plants from Powdery Mildew is going to be identification. The earlier, the better being the most important part of identification. PM can be had to spot in its earliest manifestations so a personal recommendation is to get yourself a jeweler’s loupe or some other type of portable magnifying device in order to be able to see the Mildew much sooner than with the naked eye. Although PM is invasive, it is not particularly hard to recognize. With the eye alone, PM looks like small dots or patches of flour and should not be hard to recognize. In earlier stages the patches will simply be much fainter and under magnification look like bright white or greyish strands. These white strands should be highly distinguishable from trichomes. Once you’ve made a positive diagnosis and had a good cry, then it’s time to move onto treatment.

So you’ve established that you have Powdery Mildew. Now what? Generally there are two routes to go when ridding your grow of PM. The first being home remedies, which can be very effective for some, whereas others will choose the second route, products designed to treat PM.

Here are a few home remedies that a large number of growers swear by:

  • Milk (1:9 ratio of milk to water)
  • Baking soda (2 tablespoons per gallon of water)
  • Neem Oil (4 teaspoons per gallon of water)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (1 teaspoon of 35% H202 per gallon of water)
  • SM-90 (1:5 ratio of SM-90 to water)

If you choose to go the pesticide route here are some products that have proven to be useful:

  • Bergman’s Plant Protector
  • Lost Coast Plant Therapy
  • GrowSafe
  • Bush Doctor

Armed with this knowledge, it is my hope that you are all now a little more prepared in your grow room venture or gardening adventure. Powdery Mildew is a pest that master growers and beginners alike have to be wary of. However it is not necessarily a death sentence for your plants. I hope you found this helpful in answering any questions you may have had regarding this issue and I wish you all a happy harvest!

Thank you Billy for the lowdown on PM – as with most garden related issues an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so maintain good ventilation, watch nighttime temperatures, keep your plants well defoliated, and appropriate humidity.

Food and Weed

I’ll take a great home cooked meal over an expensive restaurant meal any day of the week. The love that a skilled home cook brings to the table and the attention to the details that matter almost always makes the dining experience amazing. Coincidentally, the same is true of the skilled home grower, throwing down fire that would put most dispensary top shelf gear to shame.

Neither the home chef nor the home grower are limited in what they choose to make and this key distinction opens up a whole world of possibilities to explore. In the 80’s I moved from California to a decidedly less green state and good weed was really hard to come by with the exception of a small grower I managed to hook up with who would drop a run of flower called “The Chrome” every couple of months. The Chrome was beautiful and some of the strongest weed I had ever had – hard green nugs coated with crystals (hence “the chrome”) with a really harsh, unflushed flavor with no real taste. This was as good as it got and people were fighting over Z’s every 2 months and they were gone in minutes.

Then I went to Amsterdam and my whole perspective changed. I spent a whole week smoking at every coffee shop in the city, with pockets stuffed with small baggies of nugs from all the different shops. This trip was repeated every year or two until the late 90’s when I finally bit the bullet and started growing my own – and then shit got next level…

Once you start growing your own, you become an immediate pot snob, especially when it comes to new genetics – seeds or clones. Stuff that would have been coveted and hidden from your freeloading smoker friends in the past was now “shit” freely given to anyone without your newly elevated definition of “top shelf”

But along with this new depth of understanding comes the passion to try new shit – the problem is that most of us have certain space and/or plant count limitations that prevent us from trying more than a pack or two at a time, and now that we are hard core pot snobs we are way too picky to use up the space for anything but the best of the best. So how do you choose?

Like food, great weed starts with great ingredients – the genetics. If you’ve got great genetics that went into the seeds you are thinking of growing you are more than likely to have excellent results when you grow them out (not always, but more often than not this is as a result of one of the parents being an outlier and not similar to it’s siblings). So what does this mean for you? It means that if you get a bag of weed that’s killer and it has a few seeds you may want to consider popping them. Or if your friend who has been growing for 20 years makes some seeds of his two favorite plants you may want to pay attention. Or if you’ve got nothing but fire in your garden and you end up with some seeds in your nugs… – I think you get the idea. If you want to purchase seeds, I suggest sticking with vendors that have either been around for a while or whose gear you’ve already had a chance to try – because you’re a pot snob now and you deserve the very best. I’ve paid over $1,000 for seeds that were just okay and I’ve paid $20 for seeds that were absolute FIRE. Try not to buy into the hype. If you find some breeders you like and you get tired of their shit, ask them which breeders THEY like. There’s so much to try, so many different flavors, so many different types of highs and effects – this is the greatest hobby in the world.

Thanks to everyone that tags me in pics of Katsu gear – I love seeing it – keep it coming! Stay green, stay safe, and keep those nug jars filled with sticky goodness!

How to send clones the Katsu KISS way

Today I’m going to share Katsu’s KISS method for sending clones to friends. I get cuts from people all the time and I’m often surprised how difficult they make it. Anyways, this is the fastest, easiest, cheapest, and safest way to send cuts in the mail.

  1. Take nice, healthy cuttings (dry, don’t spray them with anything)
  2. Stick them in a ziplock sandwich bag
  3. Gently press out the air and seal
  4. Label the bag
  5. Stick the baggie in something that will protect it in transit, I like DVD cases without the inserts.
  6. Send. I usually use Priority Mail. Barring extreme heat or cold, the cuts will comfortably last 5+ days and the recipient can recut the stems and root as normal.

That’s it! I have virtually 100% success using this method and I assure you there’s nothing easier or cheaper. Best of all, since it is unrooted it is technically not yet a plant 🙂

How to save and store pollen

Have you ever wanted to save pollen so you could use it to make seeds with it later? It’s not very difficult (although it becomes significantly less potent over time). I’ve saved pollen for months in a fridge and for well over a year in the freezer.

The key to storing it is to prevent any moisture from coming in contact with it. Here’s what I do:

  1. Collect your pollen on a piece of parchment paper (or another container to your liking).
  2. Add some flour to the pollen so it’s about 10:1 flour to pollen – if you live in a humid area you may want to “dry” your flour in an oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes (and let cool) before mixing. You add flour so it’s easier to apply the pollen later without wasting it (a little goes a really long way).
  3. Fold up your paper and toss it into a heavy duty freezer ziplock, add some rice to the bag (as a desiccant), and date/label the bag.
  4. Stick it in the fridge or freezer. If you think you’re going to need access to the pollen on multiple occasions separate it into smaller batches so you only need to remove a batch at a time without removing your entire container from the fridge or freezer.
  5. When you have that perfect female (or harem of ladies) that you want to knock up with your saved pollen, simply pull out the batch of pollen and use a paintbrush to paint the pistils of the buds you want to seed – remember, a little goes a long way. Most females that finish in 8 weeks are ready to be pollinated between weeks 3 and 4 (lots of white hairs), longer flowering strains may need another 2-3 weeks.

This is a great way to make seeds without pollinating your entire garden. Just make sure to do all of your “painting” away from the other ladies 🙂

If you start with great genetics, your own seeds can be as good as anything you spend top dollar on and it’s a whole new obsession you can deep dive into 🙂