By Michelle Pugle
As any gardener knows, our crops are always at risk. At any given time, our hard work can fall victim to a host of common dangers including poor weather conditions, pests, disease, and even theft.
Fortunately, we can take an active and preventative role in protecting our organic cannabis plants and preserving our harvest.
Safeguarding against common issues provides immediate insurance for your plants. Any organic cannabis cultivator should consider implementing these necessary precautions before problems appear. After all, it’s much easier to circumvent a crisis than try to recover losses later on.
Follow these tips to protect your organic cannabis plants from common crop dangers:
Poor Weather Conditions
Climate change has an undeniable impact on global weather systems, and is consequently changing the way we garden. In particular, it’s increasingly difficult to determine sowing and bloom times and harvest yields with any level of accuracy. While we can’t predict what any given season will bring, we can build our organic cannabis gardens with these potential problems in mind.
Depending on where you live, you may be up against longer, hotter seasons and drought, wetter, cooler seasons and flooding, wildfires, extreme wind conditions, and destructive storms.
Protecting your plants against poor weather conditions means devising a plan that works with nature.
Here are a few tips:
If your gardening zone is plagued by drought, you will need to modify your watering habits. Be sure to water less often, but more thoroughly to encourage deeper root systems that can better survive dry spells. You can also add organic mulch to your organic cannabis garden to help retain moisture.
If you’re worried about flooding, consider keeping your organic cannabis plants in large pots, rather than planting them directly into the ground. You can also add an overhead shelter to prevent damage from heavy rainfalls. A greenhouse or similar setup works well in such conditions.
Your organic cannabis plants can fall victim to insects and animals alike. From fungus gnats to spider mites and aphids, all the way to rabbits, deer, and bears, there’s a whole host of pests to protect against.
While indoor growing offers some solutions to larger pests, it alone does not prevent pest problems.
What you need is preventative organic pest control. One of the best strategies for this is to develop a diverse ecosystem in which your organic cannabis plants can thrive. Plant pungent, terpene-rich herbs like lavender, rosemary, and basil in your organic cannabis garden or greenhouse to deter pests before they become a problem.
If you’re growing out in the open, take due diligence to shelter your plants from predators. Mesh netting or a similar enclosure keeps curious critters from reaping the rewards of your hard work.
If you notice pests becoming a problem, act immediately. If you have an infestation, you may need to incorporate some predator mites, an organic pest control spray solution, or remove the affected plant before the problem spreads. If your crop has been damaged by wildlife, you should consider reinforcing the boundaries around your garden or, if necessary, moving your crop to a new, safer location.
Cannabis plant diseases develop and flourish when the growing conditions are not ideal. For instance, overwatering can easily lead to root rot and excess fertilizing can easily lead to root burning and leaf damage.
The best way to prevent disease is to focus on health. Ensure you have adequate growing conditions and some basic knowledge before getting started. Examine your plants for early signs of nutrient deficiencies or excess, and act accordingly.
Theft is a less common occurrence, but is still something to be aware of when planning ways to protect your organic cannabis plants.
If you’re growing your plants outdoors, you need to consider visibility. Are your plants front and center in your yard, or have you placed your organic cannabis garden strategically in the backyard with some crop coverage? It’s important to remember that the less obvious your plants are, the less likely they are to catch any unwanted attention.
Indoor organic cannabis cultivation adds a layer of protection for your plants, but it’s still a good idea to keep your green thumb to yourself if you’re worried about theft.