Growing cannabis in an outdoor garden is fun, but the 24/7 bug threat can take a toll on your nerves. If you’re a pro-gardener, you might already know how dreadful these attacks are. These pesky bugs don’t leave anything behind for restoration!
Bugs come in varying sizes and shapes, each targeting specific parts of the plants at different stages. So, you can’t use the same protection techniques for all types of bugs and pests. Instead, develop a comprehensive action plan that includes various tricks to tackle all sorts of insects.
Remember, you can’t be a successful cannabis grower without protecting your outdoor grow from bugs. Here are some easy yet effective tips to prevent these annoying creatures from destroying your beloved cultivation:
1. Sterilize Your Garden’s Soil
Soil sterilization is another effective way to protect your outdoor grow from insects. There is a chance that your garden’s soil already hosts many bugs and pests waiting to destroy your crops.
Thus, you must use steam solarization at high temperatures on the soil you intend to cultivate to eliminate all the potential threats. But if you don’t want to get into the hassle, you can easily buy commercially sterilized soil from your nearest gardening store.
2. Improve the Soil Quality
Sterilization isn’t the only way to improve the soil quality. Instead, it’s a long-going process, requiring you to monitor your plants and make necessary soil changes for optimal growth.
Soil needs essential nutrients like phosphorus to promote healthy plant growth. It also strengthens the cannabis plant’s ability to fight against harsh weather, diseases, pests, bugs, and stress.
Fortunately, you can find many ready-made, nutritious mixtures that perform different functions for the soil. For instance, neem seed meal contains a great blend of macro and micronutrients that enhance soil’s microbial activity and repel pests side by side.
Typically, cannabis-destroying bugs don’t like the strong scent of neem seeds, so they prefer staying away from the crop. Not only that, but this mixture can also control the widespread fungi, pathogens, and nematodes.
You can also use aloe vera, crustacean, silica, and crab meal as the soil substitute.
3. Grow Companion Plants
Companion planting is an old-school technique to boost plants’ growth and ensure their healthy development. To protect your grow from bugs, you must choose pest-repellant plants that also get along with cannabis.
Yes, THC in cannabis is a natural bug-repellant, but it may not work for all bugs. That’s especially the case when the plant is in its early growth stage.
The best options for companion planting for marijuana crops are:
Of course, you don’t have to grow all these plants with your cannabis crops. Opt for two or three of them, and they will do the job!
4. Use Natural Predators
How about turning those pesky bugs into prey? You can introduce some natural predators to your garden that eat up insects right away. Ladybugs, ground beetles, and spiders are excellent examples of such predators. You can also resort to:
- Praying mantises
- Big-eyed bugs
- Green lacewings
- Tachinid flies
- Minute pirate bugs
- Damsel bugs
- Assassin bugs
- Predatory mites
Note: Natural predators can be a potential risk to the environment. Also, they may only work against some types of pests. You should consider all these things before opting for this option.
5. Install Nets
You can also install nets around your garden to protect your cannabis grow from bugs. It can prevent not only large predators from destroying your crops, but also keep small insects at bay.
However, ensure the net has tiny holes, or little bugs may penetrate it.
Pesticides are the most effective and easiest way to protect your outdoor grow from bugs, insects, and pests. However, these chemicals can harm the environment, soil, and the plant. So, be wary of their potential risks and read the instructions before using them in your garden.
7. Use DIY Bug-Repellents
If you don’t prefer using chemicals on your beloved cannabis, you can resort to some DIY bug repellants made of natural ingredients. These sprays repel bugs without damaging the crop.
Here are some effective tricks you can try:
You only need two ingredients to make this bug-repellent oil spray: mild soap and vegetable oil. Simply mix one cup of oil and one tablespoon of soap, and add two tablespoons of the mixture to one quart of water.
Spray this solution on your cannabis plants to kill all the hidden thrips, mites, and bugs in your garden. The oil and the soap block the pores of these bugs, suffocating them to death.
This spray is similar to the oil spray but doesn’t contain the oil. Just mix 1 ½ teaspoons of mild soap in one quart of water to prepare the solution and spray it on your cannabis grow. It works wonders in keeping bugs, mites, and beetles away from the garden.
Neem Oil Spray
As you know, bugs hate the smell of neem. While you can use the neem seed soil mixture for better yield, you can also spray the neem oil insecticide on your plants for protection against bugs.
All you have to do is combine one teaspoon of liquid soap, two teaspoons of neem oil, and one quart of water to prepare the solution. Spray it directly on your cannabis plant to ward off bugs and prevent the growth of powdery mildew.
Garlic is a popular ingredient used to repel insects and bugs from gardens. It also slows down pest infestations to let you cope with them instantly. To make this insecticide, mix two bulbs of garlic with some teaspoons of water.
Let the mixture rest overnight. Then, add one teaspoon of mild soap, ½ cup of vegetable oil, and water to make the solution about one quart. Finally, combine a cup of this mixture with another quart of water. Your garlic spray is ready!
Maintaining different crops in a garden requires plenty of effort, time, and resources. So, there is no way you can leave your beloved plants for pesky bugs and pets to invade and destroy.
You can protect your outdoor grow by installing nets, growing companion plants, and improving soil quality.
Pesticides are also a great way to cope with destructive bugs, but they can harm your plants and the environment. So, you can make a DIY insect-repellant from any of the above methods to keep your cannabis growth safe from these tiny, annoying creatures.