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Support Your Local Plants

Support Your Local Plants

Support Your Local Plants

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Today’s title of Support Your Local Plants is literal. It’s about plant support and stem weakness in general. Normally, this is a result of poor air movement that causes plant stems and/or axial branches to become weak. However, this can also be a result of the plant having trouble getting enough calcium. Lower pH can make calcium absorption difficult for the plant. In my all natural TLO gardens my plant water is closer to 8.0 pH in order to keep my pH balanced once it hits the soil. Using top dressings of crab meal can also help to keep your pH from creeping too low. Let’s rock and roll…

Plant Support—A Proactive Move, Air Movement

Indoors, and especially, I have found, in grow tents, it’s going to be a challenge to get the air movement needed to keep plants sturdy. Fans, obviously, are the way. I have seen plenty of grows with massive fans that still didn’t create the air movement needed for sturdy plants. The type of fans and the placement of those fans matters, bigtime.

Whenever I am placing fans in a grow room, I always imagine that the air in the room is liquid and what I want to do is create a flowing current. This altered perspective really helps me out and I’m quite good at this. Hopefully, you too may find it helps you. So, give the liquid/air perception a shot and see.  Let’s first look at tents, as I find these to be the toughest challenge when applying great air movement.

Grow Tent Air Movement

I have grown in tents for almost two decades now. During that time, I have used a lot of different methods to deal with structural shortcomings when it came to plants. I have used many types of fans, on the floor, clipped on the poles, and hanging from the roof of the tents. After all that time I have settled upon these small (pole-mounting) oscillating fans. Here are the exact ones I use: Small Powerful Oscillating Grow Tent Fans. While these are a bit spendy I think, I still use them because they work so well. These fans have a setting called “Real Wind” or something similar. I love this setting as the fan goes through all of the power settings continually. This keeps things really good for the plants. They don’t get the shit beat out of them, and they experience constant airflow/air movement.

My Own Small Oscillating Tent Fans That I Love Dearly
My Own Small Oscillating Tent Fans That I Love Dearly

These fans are powerful enough to keep my 2.5’ to 3’ tall plants sturdy enough to easily support themselves throughout the flowering period. I keep the fans about 8 inches above plant height. During the nighttime hours, I shut down the fans’ oscillating function. Time has taught me this move makes the fans last much longer. If you run them 24/7 oscillating, they will last about a year before the oscillation part fails. If you let the oscillators rest overnight, fans still on, they last twice as long.

Grow Room Air Movement

In a proper grow room/flowering room full of plants, you just need to know one thing regarding air movement/circulation. There is a HUGE difference between any fan meant for a household and fans meant for industrial usage. You want powerful (industrial power) oscillating fans, either wall-mounted or stand-alone on tripods. These larger fans can be set to oscillate 180 degrees, and just a couple of these mounted in a 10×10 foot room is plenty good. Just have them sweep back and forth hitting the plants and all will be well regarding structural heartiness.

I Almost Always Use the Plant Stakes Needed or Not Just in Case
I Almost Always Use the Plant Stakes Needed or Not, Just in Case

Avoid having fans that do not oscillate aimed right at plants. This is a bad idea and not only will hyper dehydrate the targeted plant(s) but because of the concentrated cooling, just a little humidity can lead to Powdery Mildew (PM) easily spawning on the targeted plant(s). Yup. Same goes for air conditioning units. Never aim the cool output at plants or PM will happen. Physics man, heh heh. Let’s have a look at some really good after-the-fact countermeasures against sagging plants.

Support Your Local Plants—Countermeasures

There are things that can cause your plants to be saggy with rubbery weak stems even with great air movement. Things like if your plants having an issue involving calcium. If your pH runs on the lower side down around mid 6ish or so, calcium absorption begins to be more difficult for the plant. As you may or may not know, overwatering can cause anaerobic activity in your containers and dives the pH, just FYI—wink. Running cooler daytime temps, like down around 75 degrees f. with higher humidity, north of 60% can encourage elongated stem growth. This can exacerbate a problem with rubbery stems.

At Around This Stage Plants Can Become Very Weak Stemmed Without Great Air Movement
At Around This Stage, Plants Can Become Very Weak Stemmed Without Great Air Movement

Sometimes, plants in closer proximity to each other will actually be supporting each other. Removing one for some reason can cause other plants to sag or even tip over. Let me show you guys some cool stuffs for manually supporting your plants if you are caught off guard by stem or branch weaknesses.

Fuzzy Sticks are Like Soft Pipe Cleaners and Can Be Found in Craft Sections of Stores
Fuzzy Sticks are Like Soft Pipe Cleaners and Can Be Found in Craft Sections of Stores
Plant Support—Fuzzy Sticks and Good Ol’ Plant Stakes

Oh yeah! My very favorite countermeasure for when you need to prop up your plant branches, Fuzzy Sticks. These are fast and simple to apply, and just as easy to remove, or adjust. Plus, huge bonus, they are totally reusable—and we love that. Used in combination with plant stakes this works fantastic. You can see in the photo below some great little plant stakes for smaller plants. You need to keep good air movement on them from the time they sprout until harvest to avoid weak stems and branches.

Plant Stakes for Smaller Plants
Plant Stakes for Smaller Plants

A couple of photos above of those Fuzzy Sticks I use. See how I have that one bent into a double-hook? This is the way you hook them from an axial branch to the plant stake. If the mainstem of the plant is sturdy you can use them without stakes just hooking them from axial branches to the mainstem. Hooking two Fuzzy Sticks together can give you longer reach with them, easily.

See Also
The Final Four Weeks for the Win

Your Basic Plastic Plant Stakes Available in All Sizes
Your Basic Plastic Plant Stakes Available in All Sizes

In the photo above, you can see some basic green and plastic plant stakes about 3 feet in length. When entire plants begin to tip it’s a simple matter to just snake these stakes through the plant then sticking them into the soil to get perfect support. If I ever notice any plant even starting to tip, like when they tend to lean towards the light source, I use one of these stakes.

Plant Support—Floral, and Stretchy “Tapes”

If you are an indoor grower or a gardening enthusiast, you have likely used that standard-issue green stretchy tape made for gardening. Well, that stuff works fine, and it’s just way more of a hassle than using Fuzzy Sticks. Another little tool in your growers’ toolbox here is called Floral Tape. It, like the Fuzzy Sticks, is also available in the craft sections of stores. It’s strong enough to support your plant branches, and it’s fairly easy to remove at harvest time. This Floral Tape is unique. You simply take a piece of the tape and lightly stretch it out a little bit. Once you do this, the Floral Tape will stick to itself. This feature makes it way easier to apply than the standard issue green stretchy type garden tape. There are certain situations where I have found this Floral Tape to be an easy fix. Having a roll of this lying around is wise.

Left to Right—Green Stretchy Tape and Floral Tape
Left to Right—Green Stretchy Tape and Floral Tape

Afterword

Alrightythen good peeps, that’s about it for today. I hope you found this article informative. Some great options for supporting your local plants for reals. Speaking of plants, go have a look over at Kingdom Organic Seeds and see what’s shakin’ baybee! Some awesome varieties of very healthy and potent stock indeed. Make sure to have a look in the Gamblers’ Section. Wanna read some more Rev? Here ya go: Fat Tuesday, an Exotic Cannabis Variety.

Lastly, I want to tell you guys that may not know, bigger more powerful industrial type fans draw some decent watts/amps. Make sure and figure this into your overall wattage/amp requirements to stay safe. Outdoors, the wind keeps plants sturdy, but indoors, or otherwise removed from any wind, you need to add support. I’m outty for now, but may I suggest you grab a copy of my newest book? True Living Organics Druid’s Edition by Rev. Yup. Good stuffs Maynard. It’s a buffet man, take what you want and leave the rest. From simple to more complex. Check it out. Thank you for your support. L8r G8rs…

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True Living Organics Druid's Edition by The Rev
True Living Organics Druid’s Edition by The Rev

 

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