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Mad Scientist Grow

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I have been growing out Mad Scientist (feminized) since June of 2016, and am pretty happy with her so far.

 

I have a beautiful mother, or had, until the fungus gnat problem in my veg room became obvious. I think / hope I'm winning now. So far my flowering room is clear, but I'm going hardcore preventive in there. (Five gnats on the fly ribbon in five days does not worry me, but she's still getting BT with eqch watering.)

 

When I put my first plant into flower in mid-August, it eventually was clear that she had been exposed to too much nitrogen, given the dark green and the clawing leaves. My flowering nutes had caused her pH to drift down, too. (Note to self: check water pH after adding nutes, not before.) Both of those are fixed now and the plant is finishing well enough: modest anticipated yield of dense, frosty buds, though smaller than her sister a few weeks younger. Her lower leaves are finally yellowing after two good flushes and no more nutes. (She's already into overtime, at 11+ weeks, but the pistils keep emerging and the trichs are still clear.)

 

Now my sea of green, four Mad Scientist in one 5 gallon pot, has shown the clawed leaf tips, too. She does not have the intense green. I am sure: she has had little added nitrogen; she never had a pH problem; and I don't believe I have over-watered her (though the gnats in my veg room might suggest I have a heavy hand at times). In fact, I have been so sparing with nitrogen that these plants have claws on the upper leaves while the lower leaves are yellowing.

 

My questions for any who have grown this strain: Is Mad Scientist oversensitive to nitrogen? Does she just claw naturally? I'm using a good soil recommended at the shop (Malibu composted potting soil), but perhaps it can be a little hot?

 

https://www.opengrow.com/uploads/gallery/album_5744/gallery_6227_5744_86331.jpeg

https://www.opengrow.com/uploads/gallery/album_5744/gallery_6227_5744_45856.jpg

https://www.opengrow.com/uploads/gallery/album_5744/gallery_6227_5744_684415.jpeg

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I've never had any clawing issues with my Mad Scientist at all, nor do I feel that it is sensitive to N.

 

At first glance at your pictures it appears to be overwatered. A closer look at the second picture will show that it isn't just overwatering but a stressed-mutation (note the single bladed fan leaf poking out the top-middle of the bud). I've seen this most commonly occur when pests are introduced into the grow setting, or loss of vigor in a mother/clone.

 

I am not familiar with the media in which you're using so I cannot comment on whether or not that is the culprit... Aside from most shop purchased potting soil will come with fungus gnats or other pests free of charge.

 

What is the average relative humidity and temperature during lights on/off in your environment?

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to get rid of the fungus gnats:

 

 

1-take a stock pot and fill it up 3/4 with spring/mineral water.

2-Add to that a whole onion, quartered and then peeled by hand, including the skins.

3-Also add to that a couple of hot peppers (jalapeno, habeneros...whatever you have around that is hot but be careful and wear gloves, wash your hands and keep them away from your eyes...a don't go to the bathroom without washing your hands. seriously) with all the seeds etc... just cut the pepper into little rings.

4-What you want to do then is to bring the mixture to a boil at a medium temperature. Say 4-5 out of 10 on the dial. Once it is mildly boiling turn it down to low and place a lid on it.

5-1 hr later remove from low heat.

6-Let sit for 2 hrs or so and then strain out the onion, its skins, the pepper rings and their seeds.

 

You can now use this as a drench, you can foliar with it (once again its hot peppers so wear a mask and keep it out of your eyes if you are spraying it as a mist around the room i.e. turn off your oscillating fan for a few minutes while the mist is flying around) or you can simply add this solution to your regular nutrient regime.

 

Do this 2-3 waterings in a row and you will successfully kill the larvae in the soil by drenching and the gnat population itself above the soil will be knocked back tremendously and will be controlled in a few foliar sessions.

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I agree with Mordanius with over watering and the gnats munching.

 

I believe you have over fed and over watered with secondary root damage from the gnats together causing problems. I suspect you might be getting some high ec in the dirt if you are adding nutrients but likely from reduce transpiration in the leaves is the cause and makes sense for the plant not adding nitrogen to it.

 

I suspect your temperature and humidity is whacky as the leaves look a bit leathery. You want to get that under control in a good range and then you will be able to grow better. I feel your environment is your biggest factor holding back.

 

I do not really see the fungus gnats as a big factor but you likely got root munchers. Take a piece of potatoe put on top of media and cover so its dark, any fungus gnat larva will head for it. A good way to get an idea of infection. Your BTI will handle them but may take a minute but I do not see much gnat issue but I do see it.

 

When you give nutrients and the PH drops, this can be a sign the plant is using potassium and entered the flowering stage all things correct week 3-5 depending. This is not always true as it depends on "type" of nutrient but is common.

 

 

to get rid of the fungus gnats:

 

 

1-take a stock pot and fill it up 3/4 with spring/mineral water.

2-Add to that a whole onion, quartered and then peeled by hand, including the skins.

3-Also add to that a couple of hot peppers (jalapeno, habeneros...whatever you have around that is hot but be careful and wear gloves, wash your hands and keep them away from your eyes...a don't go to the bathroom without washing your hands. seriously) with all the seeds etc... just cut the pepper into little rings.

4-What you want to do then is to bring the mixture to a boil at a medium temperature. Say 4-5 out of 10 on the dial. Once it is mildly boiling turn it down to low and place a lid on it.

5-1 hr later remove from low heat.

6-Let sit for 2 hrs or so and then strain out the onion, its skins, the pepper rings and their seeds.

 

You can now use this as a drench, you can foliar with it (once again its hot peppers so wear a mask and keep it out of your eyes if you are spraying it as a mist around the room i.e. turn off your oscillating fan for a few minutes while the mist is flying around) or you can simply add this solution to your regular nutrient regime.

 

Do this 2-3 waterings in a row and you will successfully kill the larvae in the soil by drenching and the gnat population itself above the soil will be knocked back tremendously and will be controlled in a few foliar sessions.

 

Only thing different I would do, change mineral water to sea water, not equal amounts but like 3 fingers per gallon of water and use that mix. Better water soluble but not even sure if the difference is physically noticeable. I state for brix aspects.

 

Add wetting agent (soap/yucca)

I am aware of addition of sulfur to these mixes but I have no experience with that.

 

FYI, hot peppers can flare up the house if you over do it!

 

 

I would knock down the population via with some type of spray and drench but that is also friendly to the next step.

 

Release the horde! in two strategies. BTI, nemotodes for in media and predator bugs for above media such as assassin bugs, predator mites and lady bugs as example. This is like releases a plague on the babies and monsters on the rest but can take a minute to get fixed.

 

You must knock population down prior to releasing beneficial insects as the pest will out breed them.

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Mordanius, what are you seeing that says over-watering, except for the clawed leaf tips? None of these plants have ever had the over-broad leaves I usually see from over-watering, and I often wait to water until the plant is drooping a tiny bit. (And dry for two inches or so in the large pots. It's a little harder with new clones to let them dry out quite that much.)

 

The mother was a gorgeous and lush plant until it started showing sort of rumpled, slightly twisted leaves. (All of these flowering plants were taken from her at least three months ago when she was flourishing.) Shortly after, I realized I was seeing too many gnats and went to school on that problem. I've had a couple gnats now and then, but never an infestation. Her roots are clearly in bad shape, but foliar spray with plain water is keeping her alive and actually producing some growth while I get the adults and larvae killed off. (I started off with a liquid BT, bacillus thurengiensis, than switched to ground up Mosquito Dunks after reading comments saying they work better than the liquid.)

 

I don't doubt the single leaves in the bud are due to stress. That small plant clearly did experience excess nitrogen, just not for as long as her older sister. Nothing in my flower room has any indication of pests, though, and before I understood the clawing I was all over the leaves with a magnifier. (More recently the soil, as well, at least in the veg room.) Though it does not show well in that picture, the cola is approaching 3 inches in diameter, 6 inches in length, and going strong with lots of new pistils. Honestly she should be wicked pot bound by now: she's a way better plant than I deserve, especially as I almost tossed her to make room in my veg space.

 

Relative humidity here by the beach is typically 55 to 65. My new hygrometer read 56 straight from the package a few days ago. Temperatures are pretty comfortable in the grow room, since about half my lighting is LED's. Probably high 70's during the day, maybe 80 within a few inches of the fluorescent tubes, but absolutely comfortable on the hand. Nights are just starting to go into the high 60's sometimes, but mostly it's about 70 when I wake up. Fresh air circulates constantly from a fan. I only worry about heat stress during the summer, but this summer was mostly mild so these plants have seen no more than 3-5 days of heat stress in their lives.

 

Medipuffs, I have to respect your status as a "Super Grower," but I'm also about 10 days into the BT for larvae and fly ribbons for flying adults. I think the flyers are slowing down, but I also know more will keep emerging if they were past Stage 1 larvae when I started the BT. I'll have to keep up the BT for several weeks. Do you have any insight about how your drench compares? I'm hesitant to switch approaches now, but if I ever let things get this far out of hand again, I'll keep yours in mind.

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The orientation of the leaves on your plants (petioles pointing downwards) are indicative of overwatering. This can happen easy, and is a common occurrence, if you allow your media to dry out too much. With the media being too dry you have to water it very, very gently (small doses, multiple times a day) to bring them back or you will easily overwater them. The overwatering leads to lockout/deficiencies and also weakens plants innate defenses to pests.

 

Anything messing with your roots will cause stress induced mutation. Many growers that have the tell tale signs of mutation (single bladed fan leaves, non-hereditary) are experiencing this because of root eating pests or a weak clone.

 

That macro shot you have posted (3rd picture) actually looks ripe given the resolution of the picture. I can see some amber and most of the trichromes look milky. Mad Scientist is some powerful smoke, I hope you're enjoying it.

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Mordanius, what are you seeing that says over-watering, except for the clawed leaf tips? None of these plants have ever had the over-broad leaves I usually see from over-watering, and I often wait to water until the plant is drooping a tiny bit. (And dry for two inches or so in the large pots. It's a little harder with new clones to let them dry out quite that much.)

 

The mother was a gorgeous and lush plant until it started showing sort of rumpled, slightly twisted leaves. (All of these flowering plants were taken from her at least three months ago when she was flourishing.) Shortly after, I realized I was seeing too many gnats and went to school on that problem. I've had a couple gnats now and then, but never an infestation. Her roots are clearly in bad shape, but foliar spray with plain water is keeping her alive and actually producing some growth while I get the adults and larvae killed off. (I started off with a liquid BT, bacillus thurengiensis, than switched to ground up Mosquito Dunks after reading comments saying they work better than the liquid.)

 

I don't doubt the single leaves in the bud are due to stress. That small plant clearly did experience excess nitrogen, just not for as long as her older sister. Nothing in my flower room has any indication of pests, though, and before I understood the clawing I was all over the leaves with a magnifier. (More recently the soil, as well, at least in the veg room.) Though it does not show well in that picture, the cola is approaching 3 inches in diameter, 6 inches in length, and going strong with lots of new pistils. Honestly she should be wicked pot bound by now: she's a way better plant than I deserve, especially as I almost tossed her to make room in my veg space.

 

Relative humidity here by the beach is typically 55 to 65. My new hygrometer read 56 straight from the package a few days ago. Temperatures are pretty comfortable in the grow room, since about half my lighting is LED's. Probably high 70's during the day, maybe 80 within a few inches of the fluorescent tubes, but absolutely comfortable on the hand. Nights are just starting to go into the high 60's sometimes, but mostly it's about 70 when I wake up. Fresh air circulates constantly from a fan. I only worry about heat stress during the summer, but this summer was mostly mild so these plants have seen no more than 3-5 days of heat stress in their lives.

 

Medipuffs, I have to respect your status as a "Super Grower," but I'm also about 10 days into the BT for larvae and fly ribbons for flying adults. I think the flyers are slowing down, but I also know more will keep emerging if they were past Stage 1 larvae when I started the BT. I'll have to keep up the BT for several weeks. Do you have any insight about how your drench compares? I'm hesitant to switch approaches now, but if I ever let things get this far out of hand again, I'll keep yours in mind.

 

Hey buddy,

 

I have used bti and my drench recipe and to be honest I had to find my drench recipe because bti was expensive and wasn't relieving me of the problem. As soon as I started with the drench and foliar, they all died/were supressed and then the beneficial organisms cleaned them out.

 

It sounds like a hassle but it takes 5 minutes to prepare and you can even make a large enough batch to get you through 10 days or so, plus you can dilute it to make it go further and its natural/organic and it costs mere pennies to make your environment stabilize.

 

Keep up with your program and in a few weeks if you are still having to fight with them, give my recipe a go. We all want you to enjoy a nice harvest and it will be nice to see your progress, keep us updated :)

 

P.S: to save some money on the sticky traps, go to and buy a pack of those colourful sticky pads you write notes on and smear vaseline on them. They work the same as the ones you pay a large amount of money for and you can make them any size you want. Once again, its about doing this with the most cost effective measurements possible.

 

Good luck!

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I have fungus gnats for over 10 years. Sometimes there's a lot sometimes only a few. They have never caused any problems. And from what I can gather they are already present in a native sense. I grow 100% organic so maybe there is some self regulation in the soil/ rhizosphere.

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These are by far not the first gnats I have had in a grow, but in the past it was usually one or two at a time. This reinforced my misperception that they were harmless. This is the first time I have diagnosed an infestation killing a plant, and the first time I have seen them flying in larger numbers for many days. I suspect, however, that I have missed less severe infestations in the past, mistaking them for a nutrient or pH issue. The clones that were effected showed damage I will now recognize in the future: I probably had four with light infestations, but the good news with clones is you can see very clearly when they turn around. They green up, firm up, and their vigor returns much more quickly.

 

As I searched away for various natural and on-hand remedies, I have now also sprinkled cinnamon and cayenne on the soil, so when I stir up the top layer few if any gnats fly out. They seemed to hang out at the ceiling, not having anywhere to reproduce, and then found the fly ribbons overnight. I also tried the vinegar jar trap, but screwed that up. I only had white vinegar on hand, where the usual recommendation is cider vinegar. Then I had the brainstorm of adding a spoonfull of apple butter from the far back of my fridge. Should have read the label first to see the cinnamon.

 

My fallback now is the partial bottle of EcoSmart Garden Insect Killer that I forgot I had, but I may not need it. It worked very nicely in spider mites a couple years ago, and my reading says the combination of oils both repels adults and kills larvae. Long term I think I'll plan to include distomaceous earth in future grows. That sounds like a great, safe preventative for any insect infestation of soil... As long as you don't use beneficial insects, which the stuff will shred just as easily as it does gnats.

 

Mordanius, that macro photo is just blurred, making the trichs look cloudy. I just do not have a steady hand for max enlargement iPhone shots. They are still almost 100% clear under a loupe. Even the oldest generations of buds I crammed my head into. Soon I face the choice of chopping her in time to be dry enough for curing jars, letting her hang drying a week extra, or letting her keep going while I am away for Thanksgiving. With such dense buds, and beach humidity, they should not get crunchy from hanging a solid 10 days. At least the leaves are finally yellowing after two flushes in two weeks.

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Is there some kind of mulch that can stop knats from breeding in the soil? Say greensand or perlite?

 

Yes, sand is another recommended approach, a layer of 1/4" or so. It dries out quickly so is a poor host medium, and it provides a barrier that prevents adults from burrowing into the moist soil below to lay eggs. I even saw someone mention to use colored aquarium sand just for fun.

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Another remedy is DE mixed into a top layer of pearlite.

 

Embarrassing when you have a grow buddy over and they inhale a gnat when they are peeking @ ur grow... Or when you're friend scopes some buds and sees the gnat carcasses stuck in the trich of the cured buds.

 

I don't like gnats either. :)

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Another remedy is DE mixed into a top layer of pearlite.

 

Embarrassing when you have a grow buddy over and they inhale a gnat when they are peeking @ ur grow... Or when you're friend scopes some buds and sees the gnat carcasses stuck in the trich of the cured buds.

 

I don't like gnats either. :)

 

Oh crap, I didn't know they would go after buds like that. Is this when they are still growing or later when they're drying?

 

Lots of gnat management errands tomorrow....

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No worries. Fungus gnats don't go after buds. They just get stuck to them and sometimes buds will grow around their bodies as the flowers build. Fungus gnats have an erratic way of flying and dangling legs. They sometimes take a chill to sit in a leaf or bud and get trapped by the gooeyness.

 

You could smoke gnat covered buds for years and maybe not notice it if you didn't know better. Sure in the past I smoke a few thousand bugs from OD crops especially. But I prefer bug free meds given a choice ya know. Hehe

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Finally just went to my hydro store when I couldn't find food grade DE listed in stock anywhere local.

 

The clerk, good guy who always helps me out, walked me around and we couldn't find any. (The shop just moved, so he's still learning where everything is now, too.) Then he suggested I try Gnat Nix and even cut me a deal on it.

 

The Gnat Nix is just a top dressing that acts as a barrier to females laying eggs and to pupae emerging. It's not actively shredding both adults and young like DE does. But it also does not stay wet and it stays on top of the soil as long as you water gently through it.

 

Not wanting to wait for an online shipment of DE, I'm trying the Gnat Nix. But the DE is also cheap, so I'll add it on Amazon when I need to round out an order for free shipping.

 

I've probably already knocked out most of the infestation with the other things I've done. Mostly I'm just sad to see my mother plant, the worst infestation, not yet turning around.

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I get DE from agro stores. It is used to treat barns for livestock. It's every where in Maine. I see you are in the US so check rural areas. Even Walmart has it around here.

 

And it's cheap a 10 dollar bag might last you for years.

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Did a bit of jeepin for a day in Maine a month or so ago. Love Maine and is one favorite places in America.

 

FYI, DE is ineffective wet and use "food grade". You can put in like a baby powder bottle and use that sprinkle on plants.

 

Gnats fliers are no longer directly harmful to your points. They hurt your plants by eating your roots.

 

BTI and predatory nematodes are best organic wise. If you have a big infestation, which is often by the time it is detected, get 2x the recommend amount of nematodes as the gnats will out breed them.

 

BTI effects baby larva so they cannot mature and thus you may see several generations in play at various stages that bti does not infect.

 

If heavily infested, do a drench as was recommended earlier or use any effective drench as to knock the population down first. If you follow up with nematodes ensure that what you drenched with is not harmful to them or did nothing but buy a bit of time. Drenches on their own will not typically stop an infestation.

 

Clean all area, they are living and hanging out in areas outside of the plant containers as well if they cant.

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I get DE from agro stores. It is used to treat barns for livestock. It's every where in Maine. I see you are in the US so check rural areas. Even Walmart has it around here.

 

And it's cheap a 10 dollar bag might last you for years.

 

Yeah, not a lot of call for it in coastal SoCal, apparently. I could drive 20 miles inland, where there's more farming.

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