Jan 26

Questions about spider mites & fungus gnats


I bought trifecta 4 ounce bottle and was wondering if this a good product to use, ! It says it good for mold issues, pest, such as spider mites and fungus gnats, powdery mildew , it does it all. . anyone ever use this stuff ! I also bought yellow sticky cards to put in my 7 gallon pot for fungus gnats , when i started my plants I though my humidifier was able to put out enough humidity for my veg grow , I soon realized It wasn't doing the job so i bought a whole house humidifier which works great, now i noticed my leaves were turning brown on the ends , under the microscope I seen something that looked like a black dead bug it kind of looked like a dead gnat and i seen more than one , they were all dead,I looked closely at the soil and didn't see any larvae. I'm dumbfounded what do you think i should do use the trifecta or ?


What do you think Chef B or johnny cakes



Hmm you know @vedmondson12 I haven't actually looked at Luke's fertilizer line before simply because I'm not the biggest fan of his channel on YouTube, but I looked into it just now. You've included a good amount of info here for me to go off of, thanks. I will do my best to answer your question. First, a few notes on Trifecta. One, it doesn't have enough information, primarily the CFU's of microbes AKA colony forming units. A reliable product will contain guaranteed CFU's. This also means a reliable product will name the microbes in the mix, I don't know if it has the right microbes for your grow, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt though. Also, it has a high level of phosphorus combined with mycorrhizal fungi spores, which would inhibit any mycorrhyizae from forming, making them less effective initially. Another thing, his product contains very high levels of calcium, yet a low level of magnesium. When balancing the main cations (K, Mg, Ca), you need approximately equal levels, with higher magnesium and calcium I think (at least for me, I concentrate on calcium uptake more than anything). Also, his product offers only one source of potassium (K) and it's soluble, which leaches out of soil readily and will surely be depleted come fruit/flower. If you are having gnats and tip burn, it probably isn't the fertilizer being the main problem though, as a tip burn indicates a calcium deficiency and therefore a problem with the plant's transpiration stream (could be excess chlorine potentially as well depending on your water source). I mean, obviously Trifecta is definitely better than letting your plants starve. It doesn't sound like you have a shitstorm of gnats yet so you can probably save your grow, unless the storm is latent in the soil. You are definitely at risk though if you see some. The first thing is soil moisture/plant health, gnats will feast on sick plants' roots in overly moist soil. They actually lay larvae eggs which immediately start eating root hairs and attempt to crawl into plants root systems upon hatching (ew right). As much as I wish sticky mats would do the job, they'll do little in the end if gnats actually become a problem.


My question is, do you have well draining soil that dries out in a reasonable amount of time? If not, you might have to wait till next grow to correct the problem. My only other suspicion then would be indeed Trifecta (soil problem) as you mentioned or some other kind of environmental problem as you mentioned w/ the humidifier and tip burn note. Good notes by the way. Make sure to keep the rH between 40-70% and temps between 65-75f (unless using an LED, can go to 85f without significant stress on plant). Lower temps stimulate antioxidant production too, not a bad thing. If you have tip burn, it's either an environmental or soil problem (assuming your lighting and plant health is OK in the first place). Tip burn is a calcium deficiency, which can be caused by a multitude of things. My suspicion is too wet of soil choking the transpiration stream starting at the roots, considering your gnat problem (it's their favorite environment). High rH could also cause a calcium deficiency, if your humidifier is working too well now. For your soil for now at least, I'd suggest adding some epson salts for magnesium and sulfur, as plants can tolerate a lot of sulfur and you'll need some more magnesium in that mix eventually if you are growing high quality plants. Also, add in some potassium if you notice your plants "freezing" during heavy fruit/flower, it will allow them to continue bulking up. If you notice an overall deficiency other than tip burn, sure go ahead and use Trifecta if that's what you have, but I'd suggest inoculating with a fungally dominated compost tea next time to boost your mycorrhizal fungi again, if you want. You could just use a powdered CFU product to make it easy. I like Fungi.com's myco-blend. It's Paul Stamet's personal gardening boombox. And if you can and probably most important for your potential gnat problem, let your top soil dry out as much as you can before watering again. 1-2 inches is usually safe, I prefer to let them go as long as possible without wilting them, but it's practically a guessing game. Believe me, I get your struggles. Good luck. PS. In the near future I plant to try out more enzymes products (even mushrooms) to try and break down dead roots to prevent gnats. I will surely report back if I find any gold. Hope this helps. I know Chef could also offer a wealth of knowledge but he's probably said it all before. Here are a couple links to some videos he did that might help. Pest prevention in general: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Qx08Edg7U Fungus gnats own episode starring Chef lol:


yesterday I noticed a cob web between my two fabric pots , so I used my trifecta hope this does the trick , those sticky card didn't pick up anything yet ! I use a pur water filter on my kitchen faucet and keep my P.H at 6,5 when watering I use a moisture gauge and will not water until it reads low . so I'm not over watering , I use cannazym to break down the roots from my last grow and use yucca for better water penetration I also noticed some white fungus on the leaves . I have two fan blowing on them, and also use baking soda & water to spray them , no succes ! They say to use trifecta 3 time a week until the problem gone ! this grow been going on since oct. 15th getting real close to flowering . hope this stuff works !!!! I've got to think positive , No negative waves !!!!!!

Jan 30Edited: Jan 30

@vedmondson12 Alright you got this! You got a lot going for you. Especially the yucca. I love what yucca can do. It's good for foliar sprays too, apply it there. I donno if you're subbed to Chef's Craft Grower series, but in S2 E15 he includes a recipe to spray plants with for powdery mildew. Maybe it could help. I'm sure he wouldn't mind me sharing, it's not really proprietary lol and he wants people to get their medicine!

Chef B's basic powdery mildew treatment:

He put 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 2 gallons of water. He also added 5 tablespoons of castille soap (75 ml). If using an oil like neem oil you'll need to emulsify it, add 10 ml Neem to 60 ml castille soap and stir it with a hippy stick and pour into 2 gallons o water. It seemed to work for him. I recall an experiment with orange extract as well that worked out for him. He put like 10-15 drops in w/ apple cider and castille soap i think It'd be good to begin getting it under control before flower! Wanted to add:

1. Chef got really good results w/ his recent outdoor harvest even though he had to apply PM treatment. It worked for his more sensitive plants like kush strains I think. 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Qx08Edg7U&t=76s At about 11:30 or so Chef offers another PM solution, a sulfur burner. An excellent gardening tool! 3. Chef says he doesn't want anything decaying in his medium in the vid^. However, note that he now grows in cow shit LOL. So, I donno. I grew indoors w/ fish fertilizer banded into my soil in a ball beneath my plants, and all kinds of organics, and they turned out great. I'll have to upload pics for reference sometime. But yeah times might be changing with that one!

4. Neem works for gnats, so maybe that should be your spray of choice. You can rotate sprays too. From what I know, you can use neem spray every 3 days. 5. Some notes from Harley Smith head scientist at NPK Industries on spraying (because I know a product he recommends) "[He] turns off the lights except overhead lights to see, turn off the fans, then he does thorough coverage, top to the bottom of the leaves until they are dripping. Then he waits until he sees no drops, then turns his fans back on until he doesn't see any more moisture AT ALL, and then he turns the lights back on as well. Prevents stress, as spraying can cause stomata to close up and stress the plant." He also says PM is easiest to catch early on, so good thing you're on it. You can give em a good "leaf wash" and the PM spores basically can't germinate on the water surface and are washed off. His "PM Wash:" http://npk-industries.com/pm_wash.html

6. Bugs make "saponins" on the leaf surface and prevent fungus from germinating. Some beneficial insects to attack the gnats might benefit you too w/ the fungus. From my notes, predatory nematodes are excellent for killing the larvae in the soil. I think lady bugs might help too w/ gnats and they definitely hunt spider mites and they'll get them saponins on your plants too. I'd concentrate on spraying before moving onto bugs though for the PM.

7. As a last minute resort, you can use harsh chemicals. Just make sure they're rated for food products not just ornamental plants.

Donno why I numbered these

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  • Hi all. Below is a recipe for a homemade organic pro-mix taken from SF Gate. I know Chef has passed but I think this is still an excellent forum to gather on and spread research with. I do think someone should comment on if this web page will exist for long though as well just in case so this valuable research is not deleted! I have back ups just in case but I'll make a seperate post for that. Onto the pro-mix recipe: 1/3 peat moss 1/3 perlite 1/3 organic gardening soil 1/4 cup garden lime per gallon of mix I have tried it and it works. Be careful if you have hard water, you will need to add intermediate chelators (AKA L-Amino Acids) to chelate the calcium, magnesium, etc in your water to prevent transpiration issues etc general salt issues that occur with mixing hard water and this fairly sweet and calcium and magnesium rich soil mix. I recommend going easy on the dolomite lime in general and also go easy on the peat moss, peaty soil is known to compact. If you are gonna be moving plants in pots add more perlite than peat moss because this will help with transpiration issues that come from compaction when moving potted plants around. You'll notice how good this mix smells and works for plants! You'll get very fast growing plants because this mix is focused on high porosity for a very high rate of transpiration and therefore plant mass production! Also note that this mix only feeds plants for a couple weeks and then you will need to add some salts for the plant and soil health. Adding a bit of organic matter to the soil eventually will be a good idea as well to continue feeding your organic base in the soil. I personally have a food web with springtails being consumed by a certain antonymous fungi in my soil I try to keep going. The springtails don't leave the pot and the fungi and springtails provide a ton of nitrogen to the plant, potentially CO2 as well! This cycle has successfully infected all the pots in my house interestingly. Sources: SF Gate Guide for peat moss pH balancing: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/balance-ph-lime-peat-potting-33867.html Peat moss to perlite ratio (Also SF Gate): https://homeguides.sfgate.com/recommended-ratio-peat-moss-perlite-46321.html SF Gate's article on the disadvantages of soil-less media (similar to this growing medium (pro-mix) minus the organic gardening soil): https://homeguides.sfgate.com/disadvantages-soilless-mixes-92328.html SF Gate article on composition of potting soil (good place to start to understand potting soils which are often replaced by soil-less pro-mixes). Also ratios of stuff: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/composition-potting-soil-75052.html On the springtail and fungi note, that is harder to source. The certain springtail eating and red hued mushroom producing fungi comes from Host Defence's Myco-Blend all purpose microbial and biostimulant inoculant and I think the springtails followed me via transporting the same compost over a long period of time. On the transpiration topic: Dr. B.C. Wolverton's book "How to Grow Fresh Air" explains that there is an equation that dictates how much air a plant is filtering dependent upon how much mass the plant produces. This has a lot to do w/ the soil medium. High porosity soil makes for the fastest mass production in plants. PS. If you have your own high porosity pro-mix or something similar please post it here. Of particular interest are environmentally friendly mixes, which the above mentioned mix is not due to the unsustainable peat moss component. Coco coir can be used to replace it (and is more environmentally friendly) but then potassium salts should be added at some point although I am less experienced with that mix so I don't know how soon potassium would be essential. I imagine co co coir may cause issues w/ pH because it may not be super acidic and so dolomite lime may need to be adjusted to lesser quantity per gallon. Also this mix may have too much calcium and magnesium due to coco coir and dolomite lime having so much of these elements. Maybe it'd be fine though. A good pH, texture, and an organic base, and magical things can happen with any soil mix basically.

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