June 3, 2020
A day on the farm is exciting and filled with life, but not all life on the farm is good for the plants. That’s right we’re talking pests, bugs and critters and other diseases that attack our cannabis. If you’ve been around as long as the farms and cultivators in our co-op you’ve pretty much seen it all, from thrips and mites to caterpillars and gophers. When you make a thriving living space in your garden everybody wants to come to the party. Hive Mendocino member farms are in different climates within Mendocino County and we all have unique cultivation styles, which means we all require different Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans to handle the different stresses and pressures nature presents us.
What is an Integrated Pest Management plan? An Integrated Pest Management plan, or IPM, is a broad-based approach to handling pests on the farm that integrates various methods of control with environmental, economic and social concerns. A good IPM uses common sense practices to mitigate and reduce the effects of pests on the crops that are growing with minimal effects to the flora and fauna not directly under cultivation. A good IPM should be easy, cost-effective and combine knowledge of the life cycle of pests, the land and the growing seasons with observation and action.
Prevention is always the first and most important step, allowing for an equilibrium between the bugs, plants and inevitable small creatures on a farm to exist. Healthy soil, clean cultivation spaces, and beneficial bugs are some of our favorite methods of prevention. Once we figure out what pest pressures may exist within a cultivation area we can begin to target our practices of prevention. Giving Tree Farms in Philo combines preventative spraying of rosemary and garlic oils with monthly releases of ladybugs on the plants, as well as soil nematodes between planting to keep soils free of unwanted pests. Sweet Sisters in Comptche begins releasing a range of beneficial bugs and predators on immature plants and follows that up with multiple early-season releases to build up a lasting environmental defense and does scouting and monitoring all season to track the beneficial populations. Fire Flower Farm in Willits loves assassin bugs and predatory mites for early and mid-season releases and has also employed physical buffers zones keeping cultivation areas clean and mowed often. Some other favorite methods with Hive Mendocino member farms include:
- Mulching with straw or compost, to keep soil protected and healthy as well as to conserve water.
- Companion plantings of clover, lemon balm, and yarrow among others helps repel certain pests.
Knowing your plants also means knowing your pests, and we know our plants here at Hive Mendocino Co-op.
If you’re looking for cannabis that’s free of pests and harmful pesticides you’ve found it with us. Contact Hive Mendocino to set up your wholesale account today.
Photo by: Chris Butler