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  #21  
Old 01-30-2017, 06:14 PM
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OMG! Seeing this thread as often as I am is driving me crazy! Because I believe this to be easy. What type of soil are you using? As mentioned above you may very well have root rot?! Does the soil stink? Like funky laundry or rotting fruit! That a good hint to root rot. Do you have compost or something mixed in the soil that attracts the gnats? This really shouldn't be a perpetual problem and if it is there's a reason for it. If you set off a good bug bomb (6-9 bucks)it will kill any live gnats don't do it until it is time to water again. Next time they need water treat the water with either gnatanol, mosquito bits, azamax or any other reliable treatment for drenching. If you drench the soil throughly on ALL pots and the immediately set off the bomb. Now the larvae will be dead and gnats are dead. Stop over watering. Repeat the drench in a week and set off another bomb. This is absolute over kill but they'll be gone.

Since you've said this happens every time it would be worth figuring out what it is you're doing that is attracting them. Then STOP doing that. If you're using compost or something else that is a magnet for them that you for whatever reason don't want to discontinue. Then search google for mosquito bits and keep some on top of the soil at all times. Replacing as needed then each time you transplant sprinkle some more on top of the soil. If you use big pots and don't transplant then every 2 weeks or so add some more bits to the top of the soil. This way EVERYTIME you water you're doing preventative maintenance.

I only had these one time. I set off the bomb and drenched the soil with azamax. They were toast. I bought mosquito bits because I know they work and much cheaper than azamax. So I bought the mosquito bits and I've only had 1 plants in the 3 years since that got them again. The bits EASILY got rid of them and of course the cause was over watering. It was slightly smaller than the other and that led to it getting to much water. Like I said these silly things are easy to avoid. I don't even try anymore. Learning when the plants need water and only doing it then cures the problem by never allowing an environment for them the survive is full proof!

Last edited by goldberg71; 01-30-2017 at 06:18 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2017, 07:56 AM
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I think several plants have root rot by now but that must be from the gnats.

Or they are root aphids after all.

I transplanted yesterday and after over 2 months of veg, most of the plants were not able to root through their 1 gallon pot...

Some of them didn't protrude beyond half the pot ...

I also lost all but one out of 16 Ortega seeds germed. The one trooper is still alive but all the others fouled and withered away.

Here comes the kicker though:
I had 7 fabric pots (5 gallon) from last round left over that were still full. Meaning they still included the soil from last round (now dried out over a period of ~3 months). I also hadn't removed the stump from the harvested plants and the rootballs.
In order to transplant my newly vegged plants, I set out to pull the stump and rootballs out and did just so. For 6 of the 7 pots this went as expected.

When I got to the last fabric pot, I couldn't really believe my eyes:
It looked like there was something moving in there. I checked and sure enough, looks like a fungus gnat or maybe a winged root aphid hell I don't know anymore.

The top layer of this fabric pot was covered in fine sand... And it has been without water for almost 3 months...
Still there were "flyers" crawling around on the top...
I managed to catch one of them alive that couldn't really fly, was just able to make short jumps with its wings. I looked at it thoroughly but really can't say if it was a FG or RA...

Squished it and went along my business:
I removed the stump and to my surprise it came out REAL easy... I dug around the pot a bit and it was very dry overall and had pretty much no rootball/roots in there, period.
These buggers must have eaten them all...


I am really confused by all of this and it does not look easy to me, at all.

After finishing my transplanting session I had to accept that a good number of plants that were in veg for about 2 months were so crippled that I couldn't even take a clone off of them unless I decided to top them...
Some of the MedMans I popped a few weeks later are still alive but so friggin small. If I tug at them, they basically have no roots supporting them and that's what they look like. Tiny, weak, weird colors, ghostly.

Something is eating away at all of these roots for sure and I just about had it.

I have 9 plants in flower now, no clue how many will be male. I have maybe 5 more that I could flower out but that don't even have 1 solid side branch that I could take as a clone, only the main stem and some fan leafs...
The rest... I don't even know if they will ever veg out, looking at some of the Black Widows I just transplanted that had rooted through just the top 5 cm of soil in a 1 gallon pot ...


I really don't see any way to combat anything anymore and I doubt it is just fungus gnats.
My guess at this juncture would be it is both gnats and aphids. Something I had feared and though before but discarded after catching and looking at some bug corpses that looked decidedly like gnats.

But I can't explain the massive impact they have on my plants if it is just gnats. Which are being combated by BTI, lower amount of watering, diatom. earth, nematodes, etc. etc.


Must be a combination of gnats and aphids. Maybe something else to top it off.

I had this "light fuzz" and "tiny white dots/specks" appearing on growth that died off and withered on small plants... A lot of yellowing then browning and completely dying off overall.

The roots are getting eaten, the top is getting infested/molded over, eggs laid in there or whatever.

It's time to burn it all down and start again.

Pretty sure after transplanting yesterday that I will throw my organic soil out in the yard, grow some tomatoes with it. A shame since I put about 300 bucks in there.

Gonna spend another 300 to make a fresh batch of organic soil after the summer and try again with more cleanliness and better control of ingredients.


Have 3 Malawi and 2 Mango Haze that look pretty decent and had (mostly) rooted through their 1 gallon pots.
Hope to find something nice in those 5. The rest looks damning. Only 1 White OG is still alive and it's one of the plants without nodes that I can't even clone (same with the Blueberry).

Yeah, gonna finish this up without high hopes and then burn it all down and reset.

Have some clones in another room, let's see if they can survive and root when they aren't being attacked/eaten by gnats/aphids...


This is a lot of work, sure hope the end product will be a bit more rewarding than from my first round. Which was interesting and "alright" but nothing eye opening.
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2017, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broseidon View Post
I also lost all but one out of 16 Ortega seeds germed.
sorry to hear about that loss, but that should kinda mark the point for a reset as you already mentioned.
Better luck next time with all new soil.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2017, 04:00 PM
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Here is a tip. When you put the cuttings/seedlings in the 1 gallon pot you water good afterwards. After that you have to think of them as if they are still in the smaller pot for a short period of time. By this I mean you should be watering just as often as you were before the transplant and with as much water as before. Not more water because of the larger pot. It's not until the roots start finding their way lower in the pot do you increase the amount of water. Over watering can do as much damage as the worst pests! You can actually drown the plant. That's no joke.

If this happens again ---> as soon as you see the signs. Remove the plant from the pot and cut off the bottom 1/2 or 1/3 of the soil roots and all. Trim down the sides a little as well. Then repot them in the same size pot and once again water less and only as needed. By cutting of the bad soiland roots most times the plants will take off again. At this point you'll have to water a little more because there's less root mass to provide life to the plants. That will pass as well once new roots develope.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2017, 09:59 AM
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Those are good tips goldberg and I no doubt make mistakes with the watering, particularly because I will water with Blumats in the future and already have everything to automate my watering, just haven't installed it yet since my plans got derailed by the gnats or aphids or whatever.

So I haven't really looked too much into optimizing my watering behavior. This second round was supposed to be automated (watering with Blumats) already. Only still hand watering because I was busy battling the pests instead of looking towards the Blumat installation.


Anyway, after the disappointing transplanting and clone taking session I thought back to the first round and wondered why they were suffering so much and why the plants were so shitty overall and I remembered how they grew in the first round and before the pest (which I discovered later in flower), they grew insanely well. I mean great and fast growth and development, full of vigor, roots galore.
The soil mix drained VERY well by the way, I was very pleased with the result of using buckwheat hulls instead of perlite. Right until flower, the soil mix performed up to or even beyond expectation. Plants looked great. It was about the middle of flower that the first problems appeared and they looked like magnesium deficiencies or the like first and I was looking into adjusting the soil mix for the next round. That's when I started noticing the flyers and started to read up on gnats and aphids and it all made sense.


So while my watering and soil mix etc. etc. etc. might not be "perfect", they were more than enough to grow awesome organic plants.

It is these pests, nothing else, that are the issue here.

I had to eradicate them and I tried with everything at my disposal, safe for chemicals. I forgot about it because it is already several months in the past but I actually had a several week window where nothing at all grew in my garden safe for the 3 revegging plants from the first round.

Might be that's what cost me the second round as the buggers may have survived in those pots.

But it all doesn't matter honestly. There are too many unknown factors and too much time and money already invested without a result.

High time to cut my losses and reset and since I don't want to go through this shit again, my reset will include a fresh batch of soil as well.

I just hope I will have at least something worthy to harvest from this round (looks likely though) because round 1 will not last me until the end of the year.

And with the current situation shaping up as it does, it won't be before the end of the year until I can even start round 3.

At least it will be winter again and I can pop the 25 blueberry and 10 C99xBB beans I have remaining and probably get some of them to purple then.

Also will probably have enough time without having to tend the plants to finish the build out (still have about a week or two of work to finish it all up which kept getting delayed since last october when I started battling the critters).

I will still be around lurking but likely won't have much to show or post in the foreseeable future.

Hopefully after the reset, I won't run into this crap any more. I will definitely be more serious about cleanliness and more mindful about bringing in stuff from outside.

Last edited by Broseidon; 02-01-2017 at 10:03 AM.
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2017, 10:06 PM
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I wasn't trying to say your soil was bad. I use pro mix HIGH POROSITY then I add perlite at a 1:1 ratio (basically). The mix itself is about 80/85% peat moss and the other 15/20% is mostly perlite it comes in 3.8 cf bales. Then I mix each bale with a 4 cf bag of extra course perlite. The reason I do this is because I do NOT want my medium to hold water for long periods of time. THIS BRINGS BUGS AND/OR DISEASE. With this mix when the plants are well established they need water every other day at 12/12 lighting and even less than that at 18/6 lighting. Since my medium dries at the rate it does it has many benefits. First off the roots get plenty of fresh air. Watering more frequently allows me to notice any dificiencies and QUICKLY correct it with the next feeding which is no further away then tomorrow. Third is this mix only has lime, and some macro and micro nutrients. So basically this is a blank slate. Meaning there is NOTHING in my soil until I put it there. This allows me to put in as much or as little as needed only when it's needed. So I'm in control of my soil and it's nutrients on a daily basis from start to finish. This mix is also PH neutral.

The reason I asked what type of soil you use is because if you're using organics weather it's in the bag or mixing your own. This method is popular but I stay away from it. There are so many factors to take in to account. What will the PH of this mix be in the end? Or a month later? But what I do know is once something is in the soil you can't get it out. So if there is something in there in excess you're in trouble. On the other hand if you're deficient now you've got to add something and many times in order to do that you've also got to add things that you might not be deficient in. Most nutrients don't come in a stand alone fashion. Then when you add this to organic soil how do you know what the reaction will be in the soil. Assuming your mix is holding the proper PH what will that PH be after you added the additional nutrients? I've read some weird things some people put in their organic soil. I have no idea if they are good or not. But if anything added attracts bugs during decomp that's not a good thing. Possible easily controllable by those who use this method. And they might be able to help you.

As far as automated watering and soil goes I say be careful. Even if you are growing a single strian from the same mother plant each pot will not use the same amount of water during the same period of time. So the possibility to have some plants under watered and others over watered is a very real possibility. I hand water and look at each pot closely before watering and when in doubt I still lift the plant to see how heavy it is.
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  #27  
Old 02-02-2017, 12:48 AM
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ahhhh , buckwheat hulls could be the culprit i'm guessing. They aren't composted and are probably starting to rot in the middle of your flowering cycle. I'd get the basics down before you go all mad scientist
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Last edited by PlantManBee; 02-02-2017 at 12:52 AM.
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  #28  
Old 02-02-2017, 09:38 AM
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I can't say I tried buckwheat hulls before but I did thorough research and it was suggested by several experienced growers and farmers.

Maybe you also missed it but:
The bugs were introduced by bringing in several vegetables in pots that were filled with generic gardening soil from the diy store and had previously been grown in the hallway/yard with sunlight. Wanted to give them a boost in veg with the MH and then flower them along the canna.
That's where the bugs came from (the vegetables looked infested long before the canna plants and once the bugs were noticed, it was clear that the veggies were "further along" in terms of infestation).

I have since battled them in various forms but it is either a different kind of fungus gnat or the fungus gnats are not alone but accompanied by root aphids. I don't have another explanation at this juncture.


I don't want to derail this thread into an organic soil vs. other grow methods discussion but let it suffice to say that we have widely differing philosophical views on the whole topic.
Quality was and remains my highest priority and even though my plants from round 1 were infested since late veg and throughout flower, the herb they produced is by far the most pronounced in both taste/flavor and smell/aroma I have consumed in a loooong time. I have since had several opportunities to compare it to stuff grown with average methods such as hydro or soilless mix and bottled nutes and it doesn't compare.
Even though I didn't get the most potent phenotypes and definitely have lots of room for improvement, I would never go back to growing in soilless mix or even hydro, although both systems have advantages that are important to me. Just not as important as quality.

Going back to bottled nutes and soilless mix or something similar would be like asking me to go from PC gaming back to consoles. Just ain't happening.

Regarding the automated watering:
I don't know what gives rise to the idea that I have somehow no idea what I am doing but to calm you down: Blumats are unlike other watering systems. They don't run on a timer or anything like that. They are passively fed with water and have a clay cone inserted into the pot they are going to feed.

When the pot dries out, the clay cone will too and create suction as a result which will start the drip-feeding of water until the medium is satiated.


Anyway, it seems that one of the disadvantages of organic soil seems to be indeed that once infested, it seems much harder to get rid of an infestation as everybody keeps telling me how easy it is to get rid of gnats and even though I followed all suggestions (which were sometimes a real pain in the ass, such as top-dressing sand/diatom earth...), I couldn't eradicate them.
So might be the medium. Or I am indeed too dense to apply water conservatively (keep the top dry etc.), apply some top-dressing and water in some BTI and nematodes. Like I said, the only thing suggested that I did not do was making a "bed" out of diatom. earth/sand.


But the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages and I just have to learn and adapt. Meaning I will not make the mistake of introducing different soils to my space again and put a higher premium on cleanliness.


I mean it has crossed my mind to switch to coco or something but seriously, after the first round I honestly have no reason to switch up. The organic soil works and it works great, gives far better results than are possible in other systems (at least terp-wise, meaning smell, taste, etc.) and is much easier and cheaper to boot.


The caveat of "if you fuck up and introduce pests, it will be much harder to get rid of them" is fine by me. Just gotta take better care in the future. Nobody forced me to bring those veggies in shitty soil into my space. Won't happen again.
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  #29  
Old 02-02-2017, 03:06 PM
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you may be shooting yourself in the foot with your reasoning. Use methods that WORK until you get that down. THEN experiment. I am very glad to help. The gladness evaporates when reasonable suggestions get thrown out, out of hand. Good luck.
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Last edited by PlantManBee; 02-02-2017 at 03:41 PM.
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  #30  
Old 02-02-2017, 03:09 PM
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BTW, RICE hulls I've heard of being used. I also know that rice is, in general, a much less bacterial prone grain than almost all others. It doesn't have the numbers of endospores that other grains have. That is Why Brown Rice Flour is the most common media for magic mushrooms. .
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