What do you look for when your getting clones? Mites, mold, and roots? Am i missing anything? if i am or not can people post pictures of what it looks like? thank you
I don't know whether you are referring to buying, or taking cuttings for, clones, but I'll try to answer your latest question, as it applies to both.
Of course if you're buying clones with roots already established, you would want to get the healthiest looking clones that you can find i.e. no little (and I mean little) yellow spots on the leaves which would indicate mites, and you don't want to bring these little buggers into your grow. The roots should be pure white and look somewhat fuzzy as they reach out for water/nutrients.
I cannot address the mold/mildew problem as I have only had this happen once, with large buds that had been harvested and the humidity was high. I learned something there, and now chop up my larger buds for drying.
If you're planing on taking cuttings from an established plant in vegetation, before you do so, look, with a magnifying glass, loop, etc., at the underside of the leafs for very small dots, slowly moving around. Under a microscope, you will see that these little dots are actually little eight legged critters, thus spider mites. The little yellow spots on the leafs, will only get larger as the mites feed on your plant and if you notice webs at the junction of the leafs or, even worse, at the nodes, you're in deep do-do and need to treat the plant for several weeks prior to taking the clones.
I spray the plant, that I'm going to clone, once a week for three weeks before I take the cuttings with a broad spectrum insecticide, fungicide, and miticide, found in a fruit tree spray from my local Homer Depot. It contains 0.25% pyrethrins and 70% extract of neem oil, and does an excellent job of killing of the little buggers quickly but you must follow up, as the eggs hatch.
... my1952hd thats some good advice on spraying the plants. Spraying the plants like that wont put chemicals on the bud when you smoke it? or are those pesticides safe?
The short answer is, IMO, cuttings are only cuttings for a couple of weeks, then they are clones. Do not spray at all during this time. When you transplant the fresh clones into vegetation, spray once a week for three weeks, skip two, then repeat, until ready to flower. If you need to spray in flowering, follow the same schedule, but stop and do not apply four weeks before harvest. Now, for the longer answer...
The label on the fruit tree spray that I use states that it can be used up to the day of harvest, however this applies to apples, peaches, pears, etc., which are eaten, not smoked, so your question is a valid one.
Pyrethrins or Pyrethrum, is extracted from the flowers of the pyrethrum chrysanthemum and is one of the best known botanical pesticides as it kills insects on contact. It dissipates within a few hours in the presence of air, HID lighting, and sunlight and thus should be applied just before lights and fans turn off. It is not toxic when eaten but can be toxic when inhaled (while applying), so wear a mask.
Neem Oil is extracted from neem seeds and is effective against spider mites, fungus gnats and aphids. It is a fungistat and prevents mildew. Neem Oil can stay on a plant for up to a month and in the plant system for the same length of time when absorbed through the roots, thus I will not use it four weeks before harvest. It is not toxic to humans though my reference is to ingestion and not smoking, but I have read a reference that stated "Avoid spraying the last few days before harvest. Some growers report a foul taste when applied just before harvest."
Funny thing, in this same reference, there is a statement, "Caution: Neem oil is very effective against spider mites." If we growers are trying to get rid of this pest, then who is this caution addressed to? Can spider mites read? LOL.
The stuff I buy is a one pint concentrate that makes sixteen gallons, which should last for quite awhile as I use one half tsp per thirty-two ounces, the size of my spray bottle, and I add a small amount of dish washing detergent as a spreader-sticker. (Note: I am currently using one third tsp as one half seems to burn the leaf tips.)
I spray the under side of leafs, intersections of leaf blades, intersection of leaf stem and nodes as well as around the base of the plants in vegetation, once a week for three weeks before taking cuttings. I try to skip a couple of weeks and then repeat, throughout vegetation.
After the cuttings are clones, i.e. have roots, I spray them again before transplanting into vegetation, and I do the same for purchased clones.
I thoroughly apply again before transplanting into flowering but try not to apply once there. Sometimes I will have to spray in flowering, and do so at the same rate, but definitely stop four weeks before harvest, so as not to actually smoke the stuff.
BTW, There are many threads on pest control as well as home brew recipes to be found here on CC Forums such as this one named how to kill spider mites,
and I know that Doobie_Brother will be including a section on Pests and Problems in his latest thread How to Grow on a Budget.
Also, the spray that I use may have come from Lowe's and not Homer Depot as stated above.
And finally, a lot of this information came from a reference book that I've used for years, Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible.
If you don't have a copy, I suggest you get one as a picture is worth a thousand words, or so I'm told.
I hope this helps and good luck... 52.