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Letters to Rev – Outdoor Growing Problems

Letters to Rev – Outdoor Growing Problems

Outdoor Growing Problems

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Greetings earthlings. Welcome to another edition of Letters to Rev. Outdoor growing problems are today’s focus. I have always thought how much easier it is to grow weeds outdoors than indoors. The growing part anyways. Sunshine is your light, and Mother Earth is your bed. As long as your conditions are good your plants will rock. Just add (good) water baybee! Outdoors presents different problems than indoors though. So, let’s have a looksee at a few of these.

Outdoor Growing Problems

Letters to Rev is just a Q&A where I choose correspondences to answer. I base my choices on things I am pretty sure I can help with, and the most popular questions. Alright then, homeskillets, let’s rock and/or roll with today’s “Letters” to Rev…

Outdoor Growing Problems, Question #1: Caterpillars and Mold?

FROM: Bradly

“Hello there, Rev! Congrats on your new book release; I get my copy tomorrow. I do indoor and outdoor plants every year. Last year, I lost some of my best buds to mold. This mold was like Botrytis mold, deep in the larger buds. For many years I have never had this problem because my plants are exposed to a lot of wind where I live and I am not on the coast proper. When I dug into the decayed buds, I found these green caterpillars in there, all fat with poop and decayed matter in like little nests at the center of my buds.

Caterpillars are a Huge Vector for Mold Like Botrytis
Caterpillars are a Huge Vector for Mold Like Botrytis

I don’t know what to do here. Some friends recommended different pesticide-type solutions, but no, thank you. I don’t want to resort to any kind of toxin on plants I smoke. Figured you might have some helpful advice here. Help! Thanks for all you do, Rev.”

The Moths are Your Real Target in Caterpillar Wars
The Moths are Your Real Target in Caterpillar Wars
Rev’s Answer to Q1

Hey Bradley. Yup, I am familiar with this. The biggest problem with caterpillars is that they start out as moths. Moths that come out at night only, and lay eggs on your plants, and those eggs become caterpillars. When I used to grow guerilla style, we would actually import those orb web weaving spiders into our gardens. Those spiders can stop a lot of moths.

Orb Web Weaving Spiders Catch and Kill a Lot of Moths Every Night
Orb Web Weaving Spiders Catch and Kill a Lot of Moths Every Night

Another one of the apex caterpillar predators is Yellow Jackets (and many wasps and hornets). You can actually get on friendly terms with hives/homes of Yellow Jackets. So, if they are present, try to keep them around. Once they are used to you not being a threat, they remember you. These guys will actually go into the buds to get the caterpillars. If they find a caterpillar-rich environment, they tell their friends.

You Can Live and Let Live With Yellowjackets and They Loves Them Some Caterpillars
You Can Live and Let Live With Yellowjackets, and They Loves Them Some Caterpillars

Last but not least, you may need to consider a BT (Bacillus Thuringiensis) type product. If you do go this route, make sure to read all the warnings thoroughly. It’s uber low toxicity to peeps and pets but kills caterpillars well. It can pose risks to local moths and butterflies. It’s basically a bacterial strain. Good luck amigo!

Outdoor Growing Problems, Question #2: Hermaphrodites Suddenly?

FROM: Fran’s Farm

“We got hermaphrodites out of nowhere last season Rev. Our stock is sexually healthy, we know this for a fact. Last season a couple of our plants got infested with hermaphrodites and we killed them just in time before they pollinated our other plants. We are all organic and grow in our large backyard and we’ve been doing this for many years without any issues. We had some very hot days a couple of weeks before we saw the hermaphrodites. Could this do it? We’re scratching our heads over here and hope you may have some advice.”

Rev’s Answer to Q2

Well. FF, I don’t think it was the heat. Possibly, but not likely unless they experienced severe drought stress during that time also. That might do it to very old clones. More likely, you have some kind of new source of unwanted light on your plants at night. When you say a couple plants experienced this. If these plants were all next to each other, you can assume the unwanted light source came from that side/direction. Maybe a new motion detection light you installed recently? Or maybe a neighbor’s light that’s new? Any new streetlights? Don’t ever smoke or light lighters near your plants at night.

Cannabis Hermaphrodite Expression
Cannabis Hermaphrodite Expression

It could be like a neighbor’s headlights that come and go late at night. Searchlights from police helicopters can do it. I think it goes without saying but, no flash photography of plants at night.

You gotta be like Columbo, man. You need to investigate. Hard stress of any kind can cause hermies (hermaphrodites) to show up for sure. Light poisoning stress is severe. The older your clones are, the more susceptible they become to stress. A ten-year-old clone can’t handle stress that well anymore. That’s my advice. I hope it helps.

Outdoor Growing Problems, Question #3: Flowering, Not Flowering, Flowering?

FROM: Bulldog

“Hey, Rev., Can you help me out with taking my clones from indoors to outdoors? I put them outdoors, and they start out by kind of starting to flower. Then they go back into vegetative mode again eventually flowering again when they’re supposed to. These start and stop plants grow kind of weird and they tend to be pretty dense deeper into the plant. Not really in buds but just compacted growth. This makes them more likely to get mold issues. It also seems to me like my yields should be larger and denser based on my indoor versions of these same clones. Any help would be appreciated.”

Rev’s Answer to Q3

Yo Bulldog. Um… Yeah… This is a “thing” that happens to a lot of peeps that flower clones outdoors that start them indoors. It’s really easy to fix man, don’t worry. But first, I want to tell you that if you don’t know already. Plants from seed do MUCH better outdoors (in the ground) than clones do. Like, much-much better. You can also start seedlings indoors the same way you do clones. It’s all about your photoperiod indoors at the time you place them outdoors. Keep in mind that older clones really “want to” flower, badly. They will be triggered into flowering much easier than seedling plants.

Placing Clones Out Later in the Season is Great for Producing Smaller Stealth Plants
Placing Clones Out Later in the Season is Great for Producing Smaller Stealth Plants

Okay, first thing is you want to place your plants outdoors later than you may think. The first couple of weeks of June or even later. Another thing that is super important is that your clones or seedling plants are running on a 16/8 photoperiod, not 18/6. For sure NOT a 24/0 photoperiod, ever! Wait until your daylight hours outdoors are near 15 hours. Because of the dusk and dawn light, this is actually 16 hours+ of daylight, as far as your plants are concerned. Sunup until sundown, plus 60 minutes, is your outdoor photoperiod. As long as your photoperiods are close enough (within a half hour or so), you’re all good.

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Tweak Your Photoperiod from the Start

It’s almost impossible to get clones used to a lesser photoperiod without starting them to flower to some degree, but it is possible. However, with your seedlings, if you want to place them outdoors sooner rather than later in June, etc., check this out…

Seedling Plants Sprouted Under Proper Photoperiod Do Fantastic When Moved Outdoors
Seedling Plants Sprouted Under Proper Photoperiod Do Fantastic When Moved Outdoors

Sprout your seeds on a 12/12 photoperiod. Keep them under this photoperiod for ten days after they sprout. Then, change their photoperiod to 15/9. This will do two awesome things for you. First, you will be able to sex these plants easily when they are just about 30 days of age above ground. Second, you will be able to place your seedlings out much earlier in the season so you can get those Jack and the Beanstalk-type plants, heh heh.

Afterword

Well, we’ve reached the end of today’s article, my green friends. Let me say, be very careful making friends with wasps or hornets. They are super cool to you once you have become familiar to them as a non-threat. I have had them let me pass but bigtime harass my friend who was right behind me, heh heh. Never blow on them or swat at them. You can kind of bump them away no worries, they don’t get pissed over that. Here’s some cool links man…

LINKS:

True Living Organics 3.0 Druid’s Edition Book – My latest book on Amazon. It’s a buffet of methodologies, take what you want and leave the rest. Recycling your soil, how to start a worm farm, many soil recipes and advice to customize them using alternate additions. Many strategies abound! You’ll love it so get you some, now baybee!

Rev’s True Living Organics Video Series – Episode 01 – My first video in a new True Living Organics series that shadows my new book. I’ll show you various aspects of the growing style and how to apply them in your environment. So, shoot over there and subscribe to my channel to get notified when new videos get published.

Kingdom Organic Seeds – Stop by over at KOS to check out some seriously exotic cannabis varieties available. Don’t forget to have a look at the Gambler’s Section while you’re there for awesome deals on many F1 hybrids.  Want more Rev? Check this out, Weird Growing Problems with Rev.

Hope this article helps with any outdoor growing problems. See ya all back here soon. L8r G8rs!

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