All outdoor cannabis cultures can be destroyed by one or two of the various problems lurking in the wild, as opposed to indoor growing, where plants are protected. When inspecting the harvest, pay attention to the small details that can cause problems later. There are a couple of different things to look for:
An aphid infestation is an infestation that is difficult to eliminate. For most of us, chemical insecticide use is a breeze and they are right. Aphids are very difficult to kill. Chemicals can be used when the plant is still in the green foliage growth stage. If the planned harvest is only 2 or 3 weeks away, don’t use chemical insecticides as the chemicals will still be present in the finished product. Nobody wants to risk the dangerous side effects of smoking chemicals.
The natural way to get rid of an aphid infestation on a cannabis plant takes a few steps and a little work. Go out and buy some geraniums. Geraniums emit hormones that pests don’t like. Make a couple of palm-sized cloth bags full of geranium leaves and hang them on each plant. The hormones that the geraniums exude keep the aphids away. Now the remaining aphid eggs need to be treated.
Find a good thick, soft cloth and antibacterial / insecticidal soap. The aphid eggs are mainly found on the underside of the leaves of the marijuana plant. With a little care, run the soap towel under each sheet only once. You don’t want to scrub the sheets; Just one pass is enough if the cloth is good and soapy. With every aphid egg that you displace, you will feel a slight tug on the washcloth.
Depending on the level of infestation, the top coat may need to be replaced if you are using a growing medium such as a mixture of peat and perlite. The growth medium of peat and perlite gives the aphids plenty of crooks and crevasses in which to lay eggs. Dig out the first inch or two and replace it with a pH balanced mixture of peat and perlite. Be careful with the roots and everything will be fine.
Since antibacterial / insecticidal soap was used, spray the underside of the cannabis leaves for about a week to remove all traces of the chemicals in question. If there are buds, try not to spray the pH balanced water on them. A happy nug is a dry nug.
Mold & fungus
Since stagnant water is required for all cannabis cultivation, one must always be vigilant in the event of mold and fungal infestation. Both like to grow in standing water or on wet surfaces. Both molds and fungi can be made from some very nasty substances that can harm humans. If you suspect mold or fungus growth, wear rubber gloves when you check out.
The first sign of mold or fungus is the odor. It’s hard not to smell good on every plant as most stoners enjoy the scent of a marijuana plant. If you smell a damp and rotten smell while sniffing, you have a problem. It might be time to break out the chemicals.
The first place to look for mold is on the part of the main stem that protrudes from the roots. Check to see if there is any slimy residue on it. If so, then it’s time for the chemicals to come out. There’s just no getting around spraying fungicide on the stem when it’s moldy. This is because the base of the stem is where the plant supports itself and is the first part of the plant that allows the nutrients from the root to spread to the rest of the plant.
There may be an urge to wipe the now dead mold off the handle. Don’t try as the shape may have pierced the stem to the hollow core of the plant. If you wipe away the dead shape, it will also wipe the stem away when it’s dead. This leads to a stoppage of growth and possible loss of the entire plant. If the stem and dead mold are left intact, the stem will remain sealed. Exposing the hollow inner core is a death sentence for the plant.
Cannabis is a very hearty and strong plant. It can take some pretty major damage. While mold and fungal infection can kill other plants, the plant will live to maturity if the procedures outlined here are followed. It may have smaller buds than plants without infection, but it is still greedily harvested once the buds have matured.
Mammals & Rodents
Animals love to nibble on cannabis.Whether it’s just the smell or taste, or if they know they can get high is unknown. The culprit is mostly deer, as the first sign that a forage seeker is nibbling on your buds is on top of the plant.
The only way to stop this foraging is to slide a light mesh cover over your plants or hang geranium bags on your plants. Animals hate the smell of geraniums, so they stay away from your plants. Another scent-based solution is mothballs. Most animals shy away from mothballs because the scent doesn’t compare to what they eat in the wild.
When growing in the wild there are inevitably some deaths in the crop. Whether this is due to male culling or animals or mold or fungus, plant a few extra cannabis plants to make up for future losses and the harvest will be good.