Do you get more or less pests with coco when compared to soil?

Toscano

Toscano

95
18
Hi everyone!

I'm considering using coco for my second grow indoors in a couple of months.

Regarding pests, would you say you get more or less (aphids, spiders, fungus gnats, etc.) of them using coco as a substrate?

I put on yellow traps on every pot, I'm not overwatering (so, top of the soil isn't wet for long), and every week I soil drench with some Neem oil.
Still, every time I open my tent there's at least a couple of small gnats flying around.

Starting to think that either I'm doing something wrong, or maybe soil isn't my thing...

Thanks!
 
mrcrispy13

mrcrispy13

32
18
I dont think medium is your problem, IMHO.
Indoors I do two things that help. Once a week I pull everything out of the tent, wipe down the outsides of all containers, sweep or vacuum the tent, then turn off the fans, close all the vents and spray a Trifecta Crop control mist over the entire floor and on the top of the lights. I then zip up the tent tightly and let it sit for 30-60min. Once plants are starting to get crowded but before flipping into flower, I start using Spinosad spray. I have a horticultural sprayer that has a long extending arm and sprays up. It's critical to spray the undersides of leaves. I quit using neem oil and diatomaceous earth since they were just not effective for me. I grow organically and have found spider mites more a problem during cool temps, and in the summer, I have had huge invasions of fruit tree leafrollers from the nearby citrus trees and even found assassin bugs laying eggs on the bottom of big leaves.

My favorite brand is Captain Jack's deadbug and comes in concentrate, ready to spray, or dust forms.
 
2Bad

2Bad

2,344
263
In june will be 2 years for me. I've grown coco for most of that time. Switched to organic two months ago and haven't gotten any pests(yet). I make sure my drains are clean in my house (fungus gnats love nasty drains) and clean everything that's dirty before my next grow. I don't go wild but I get what I can. On top of that I just wait ten mins to go in my grow when coming from the outdoors.
 
mysticepipedon

mysticepipedon

3,864
263
If a couple of fungus gnats are the problem, don't go to great expense to get rid of them.

I've found that beneficial nematodes are very good, but they don't completely exterminate the brutes. There are predatory mites that live in soil that are also good at controlling them. Covering the surface of the soil with about 1/4-1/2 inch of diatomeceous earth works. I've also heard dry sand works as well.
 
Toscano

Toscano

95
18
Covering the surface of the soil with about 1/4-1/2 inch of diatomeceous earth works.
Do you mean cover the top 1/2inch of soil, then proceed to water as usual?
Or water first, then cover the soil?
Cover it after every water?
Or add the product to the feeding water?

What's the best way to go about using the diatomaceous earth?

Thanks.
 
mrcrispy13

mrcrispy13

32
18
Do you mean cover the top 1/2inch of soil, then proceed to water as usual?
Or water first, then cover the soil?
Cover it after every water?
Or add the product to the feeding water?

What's the best way to go about using the diatomaceous earth?

Thanks.
From what I understand, the way diatomaceous earth kills insects is through friction. The tiny particles get into the joints of the bugs and essentially grind them up.
Knowing the mechanism relies on the particle size and 'sharp edges' of the dust to kill the bugs, anytime it gets wet it stops working. The one insect I find it works well to kill is earwigs. Rather than leave it everywhere like bait to be eaten I found putting it in an empty mustard container and 'poofing it' like a fireplace bellows works best.

A better way to organically control fungus gnats is to use Hydrogen Peroxide. Mix one part 3% Hydrogen Peroxide with four parts water. Let your soil get pretty dry and then add the solution enough to soak the top 3-4 inches of soil. It will 'carbonate' for a few minutes which is what you want. The solution will kill the fungus gnat larvae on contact.

This is a great article on several other organic controls, including Chamomile Tea and Cinnamon which also prevents 'damping off'
 
Blastfact

Blastfact

659
143
Put the DE on the soil and work it in with your fingers, water don't water, do a DE dance. The DE, Soil and gnats don't give two shits what we think. Either way it's going to kill the gnats. And it's going to get watered in or your plants die. Just bust a move! You can't hurt your plants with DE. I put it in all my coco and soil grows right from the start and add DE when I do my feeding with Gaia Green. Water it in and never have a gnat problem. Over time it breaks down and your plants get some trace silica from it. It's a win no mater how you look at it. Pic is a pot I made up for a grow. Pots full of coco with worm castings. Jar has DE, Gaia Green, Recharge, Epsom Salt that got mixed in the pot. Every 3 to 4 weeks the pot will get another dose of the same stuff. Plant growing in DE 21 days from sprout.

Pot mix

21 days
 
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