Hey hey hey everyone out there in the SKUNK realm! I will make anyone reading this article a bet that if you listen to my advice in this article, any Powdery Mildew (PM) persistent problems in your gardens will no longer bother you again, unless you break the “rules”. I know, your thinking yeah, that would be cool but that’s a bold claim Revski; fair point. Today’s article about subtle growing skills will involve the subject of Powdery Mildew and removing it forever from your garden. Especially gardens that may suffer this problem chronically.
When you read my stuff, you are getting my experience of 45 years of growing cannabis, and growing it very well, every way you can possibly grow it. I am an all-natural grower using living soil and no bottles these days (TLO) and doing that for the last decade, almost. Start listening to me now, and trust me, the art of learning many small moves that have a gigantic positive effect on your crop is well worth the effort. My first subtle Anti-Powdery Mildew advice is to grow all naturally/organics style, using living soil. This is huge, in case you didn’t already know; and if you lose value in your crops often via PM damage, like yields and quality, and you grow using synthetic nutrients, you should seriously consider switching styles. Read on peeps…
Let the Subtle Advice Begin
This time of year (cooler winter months) I tend to visit some gardens experiencing Powdery Mildew, and so far, I have always solved that problem for any grow I visit, and it’s really not all that complicated of a problem. Remember during this article, that when I mention products etc. it means I personally use and dig these products. I don’t represent any interests other than handing out some of my experience to help my fellow grower. Basically, I am not trying to “sell you anything” here, than a solution to your problems, from me to you. Unlike a ton of shit out there actually trying to sell you extraneous stuff you don’t need—you savvy?
I will be testing the 86 product in the photo in an upcoming article
ENVIRONMENT LEADS TO CHRONIC PM PROBLEMS FULL STOP
Specifically, I am talking about your air exchange and air circulation situation. Understand that Powdery Mildew spores are floating around all the time in the air during the end of summer and into the winter. So, if your environment is off by enough, regarding your air movement and/or air exchange, you will simply “summon” the PM to your gardens, because it’s always in the air waiting to happen basically. If you “cure” a case of your PM and it simply comes back again fairly soon, your problem is not that you brought PM into your garden somehow, it’s that you likely “summon” it out of the air with your environment, one that PM loves … weak air movement and weak air exchange.
The CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating of your out-venting fan(s) should be able to totally exchange all the air in your room every 3 to 5 minutes, in my experience. So, if you have a 10×10 room that is 8 feet tall, you have 800 cubic feet of space. Your best option here would be a fan rated at 300 CFM—always use some overkill here.
For anyone that doesn’t get the difference in those terms, your air exchange is the actual out-venting of your garden air and sucking in fresh air at an adequate rate. Your air movement is keeping all the air in your garden moving around adequately; and always.
Another little thing that will bring on PM like gangbusters is if you run an A/C unit in your grow and the cool air output is aimed towards any plants at all—boom, PM comes on fast right where that A/C cooler air output is aimed. Cold attracts moisture, just like a cool beverage at the pool does. PM loves it!
POWDERY MILDEW SUBSPECIES
Just like Spider Mites, Powdery Mildew also seems to me to have many subspecies and variants. Some kinds of PM can be obliterated easily when you spray your plants with a mixture of 1-part whole milk to 9 parts (chlorine free) water. The popular treatment called Serenade works well to keep PM under control almost always, except with some kinds of PM where it barely even puts a dent in it. I have used vaporized bleach water to eliminate PM and 80% of the time I have used that method it has wiped it out utterly … but then … there are subspecies that are able to handle even the bleach treatment—yikes!
Different Powdery Mildew strains can be Affected by different treatments more or less effectively. So, giving a few different methods a try if the first one doesn’t work always makes sense to me.
How you get PM is also very important when using countermeasures, if it is just some regular garden variety PM you brought in from your vegetable garden or whatever, it is normally very easy to eliminate using the milk spray, tea sprays, or the bleach method (described in previous articles). But if you have brought powdery mildew into your garden via a clone you brought in from a shop or a friend, you could be in big trouble here and have a super hard time dealing with it and here’s why…
The Borg—is a name I have given to PM (and Spider Mites) that arrive in your garden via clones you bring in. I call these particular parasites “The Borg” because it is very likely these parasites have been alive a very long time, passing through many (many) gardens and being attacked my many kinds of countermeasures, and The Borg versions of these have literally evolved major defenses (resistances) to just about anything you can throw at them.
THE ULTIMATE COUNTERMEASURE
If you get through a harvest by controlling the PM along the way using something like Serenade, make sure when all the plants are gone you spray down the room with an alcohol or bleach solution. You can also use a cool water vaporizer in your room using one of these solutions, just make sure to keep the out-venting ON if doing this, and it’s best to keep the vaporizer on a lower setting and letting it run for 24 hours, making sure to check the room every couple hours at first, to make sure you aren’t making the walls drip. Keep the vaporizer set pretty low, like at 25% output power.
STAY FREE OF PM: REV’S EMPIRACLE ADVICE
- Take off your shoes before entering your garden zones. Shoes can import a shit-ton of parasitic micro-hitchhikers into your garden. It’s easy to forget to do this, so post yourself a note/sign at the entrance to your garden. I have slippers I step into when I enter my gardens.
- Duh! No importing clones, full stop. Get your seed germinating skillz on, clone your own selections. This is not only way more rewarding in my experience, it is some wicked fun having bad-ass varieties no one else has; like Thai, or old African, Bhutanese, Hawaiian, South East Asian, etc. Very often I can see parasitic micro-hitchhikers (molds/mites) arrive this way very likely. Parasites are master hitchhikers.
- Plant spacing—C’mon—ya gotta stop your own ass from cramming too many plants into too little space. This attracts PM as well as screws you on yields … seriously. Also, try and always “lollypop” trim your plants, just a little is fine. Make sure at least 20% of your plant’s height is bare naked stem from the soil line to the first growing node. Super important during flowering. The enhanced circulation (air movement) is huge—always a good thing.
- If you are a home grower consider drawing in (passively) indoor household air rather than drawing air in from outside; this can be problematic if directly venting lights. A great move if you can do it. I draw in household air and my output air exhaust goes outdoors. I read that Subcool used to even heat his house using warm growroom exhaust air—awesome and efficient idea.
- No pets that go outside allowed in the garden areas. Likewise, be aware of giving like your dog pets after he just came in from outside, then going directly in to mess with your plants—see what I mean by subtle advice? Heh heh.
- A simple countermeasure like using Serenade, or milk-water, as a controlling spray managing until harvest. Then sterilize your room with a vaporizer (cool water style) and a mild bleach solution. If you suffer from hitchhiker style PM from a clone (The Borg) this will be difficult but still doable. I have never seen PM adapt to Serenade and it’s a good control. Also, can be used like the day of harvest, I have never tasted anything leftover when I have tried this in the past.
- For sure do not let “infested” friends come from their gardens to visit yours, also depending on where you have been, like outside in your veggie gardens or at “infested” friends’ houses, make sure to shower and change clothes before entering your gardens. I like doing all garden work in the morning first thing, before I go anywhere.
Many small moves have a huge move impact, this is certain. Roll this stuff around in your melons, implement it, and see what happens? You’ll like what you see. L8r G8rs … REvski out.
I'm The Rev, and I have been with SKUNK for about a decade now. I hail from Southern California, spent mucho time in Northern California, and now reside in Southern Oregon; always coastal. I am an all natural style cannabis grower and I have written a couple books on the subject - check out True Living Organics 2nd Edition on Amazon - I have been growing for over 45 years, and I have been breeding cannabis for over 30 years. Check out kingdomorganicseeds.com to see some exotic selections. Growing connoisseur cannabis is what I teach mostly, growing it in living soil without using liquid organic nutrients to feed the plant. I am also a highly skilled synthetics grower, hydroponics, aeroponics, DWC/SWC/NFT, Ebb and Flow, and soilless, but I cringe when smoking synthetic grown herbs, so for the last 15 years or so I preach the artisan style of all natural growing, specializing in container growing. Cheers and welcome aboard.