IPM, Companion Plants, Outdoor Gardening, and Enzyme Sprays, with Marybeth Sanchez
Posted on May 15th, 2023 to Transcripts
Jordan River 0:00
Greetings cultivators from around the world! Jordan River here back at you with more GrowCast, vacuum sealed and delivered fresh. Today, Marybeth Sanchez is back on the line, one of my favorite human beings. This episode is wonderful. We talk about IPM in springtime, we talk about nuances of pest management. We talk about pollinators and companion planting and so much more. I know you’re gonna love today’s episode, but before we jump into it with Mary Beth Sanchez, shout out to AC Infinity, baby. ACinfinity.com code GROWCAST15 to get your savings and keep the lights on here at GrowCast. We appreciate your support. And we love AC Infinity. They make the best grow tents around, extra thick poles. They’ve got nice durable, thick siding. Now that they have the new side ports, people have been asking for those in AC Infinity listened. Plus, they’ve got everything else you need to grow. They’ve got lights, and pots and fans, and their oscillating fans, the Cloudray system. Check out their humidifiers, the CloudForge. How nice is your humidifier, maybe it’s time to replace that. The Cloudrays are my favorite oscillators on the market. And of course their Cloud Line series, what they got it all started with all those years ago when we were partners with AC Infinity. All they made were those inline fans and they’re the best in the game. So shout out to the entire AC Infinity suite. They’ve got everything you need to get growing for fans to tents to lights. Code GROWCAST15 works at ACinfinity.com. You support us and you’re getting some badass durable grow gear while you’re doing it. So thank you to all your listeners using code GROWCAST15 and thank you to AC Infinity. Okay, let’s get into it with Mary Beth. Thank you for listening and enjoy the show.
Hello podcast listeners! You are now listening to GrowCast. I’m your host Jordan River and I want to thank you for tuning in again today. Before we get started as always, I tell you and I mean it, share this show, turn someone on to GrowCast, turn someone on to growing, we’ve got some big things in the works folks to help you turn other people into growers. So stay tuned and of course see everything we’re doing at growcastpodcast.com/action. You can see all the stuff, the classes, the membership, the seats, you can find it all there. Today we have a GrowCast team member back on the line, beloved team member, my mentor in so many ways. Organic Farming specialist, IPM specialist. Now a beekeeper, a bee farmer, Marybeth Sanchez is on the line. What’s up Marybeth?
Marybeth Sanchez 2:27
Hi, how are you? I love your intro. They’re fabulous.
Jordan River 2:30
It’s true. You are capturing hives. You sent me pictures?
Marybeth Sanchez 2:34
Oh, it is an interesting time.
Jordan River 2:36
Yeah. Or videos rather of like, it’ll be a tree branch and it is covered like a sweater.
Marybeth Sanchez 2:43
Jordan River 2:43
Why bees? It’s surreal, like something at a planet earth or you know, a nature documentary.
Marybeth Sanchez 2:50
Right? When they all you know, it’s called bivouacking when they all collect like that, waiting to go to their final destination where they’re going to try to create a new colony. So yeah, as the colony gets overpopulated, they all just one day decided, okay, you gotta go. And off they go. Now the one that I sent you yesterday, it was okay for a day. And then they were all gone this morning. So they decided they had elsewhere and they didn’t really want to stay. They didn’t want that spot. But sometimes they do that it’s okay. The other ones we’ve got, we have we still have quite a few hives right now. And there’s still one in the tree that may come down to the Lord that I think is going to be in the mail today. So Irresistible pheromone or
Jordan River 3:36
Oh wooh and you’re trying to get them to establish in your bee box, right? You gotta like make it just right, and you don’t know what’s gonna get them there. We’ll get them to stay exactly what they’re looking for in a place. You know, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms.
Marybeth Sanchez 3:49
Yeah, exactly. They, you know, they want to just so with the aircon and the smells like it’s a smell like bees that have already been there. But it is a fascinating hobby. But you know, it’s one of those things that you have to be careful of, because if you like us, it’s just a hobby, you don’t want to have too many. So it gets to a point where okay now if anything else forms. We’ll just waved goodbye to it because we just have all that we can handle.
Jordan River 4:15
Your full up. Sounds like me with my seeds. [Yeah.] It was supposed to be a hobby, right? [Yeah.] Plants are spilling out. No, that’s really really cool. I love it and your honey is on point. If I mean if you want to you could 100% turn that into your business because that honey is the best one I’ve ever tasted.
I tell you I’m hooked on it.
It’s liquid gold.
Marybeth Sanchez 4:38
It is. It’s the kind you know it’s on adulterated. So that gives you a comforting feeling because so much of the honey that you buy in a store is totally adulterated. So it’s really rare to find real honey on the store shelf. Most people don’t even know what real honey tastes like.
Jordan River 4:56
That’s why we have to keep producing this stuff at home. The same thing is going to happen to cannabis. Take a look at tobacco plant versus what’s in a cigarette. You know what I mean? That’s why we all need to grow our own. And also just understand, like, it’s really cool that you’re working with pollinators, it’s so important to protect the pollinators. And if we’re doing IPM practices, for instance, today’s subject, you want to keep in mind things like bees, because if you don’t, I didn’t know that spinosad, killed the shit out of bees, that’s like a bacterium. that’s like a bio control that I think a lot of people are like, Oh, that a lot of people consider that a semi safe product, a pretty benign product, but not to be.
Marybeth Sanchez 5:35
Exactly. So if you are going to use that, you have to be really careful when you’re going to apply it. So we have used it successfully here. But I wouldn’t ever, like apply it to a tree while it’s flowering, because bees would be attracted to that tree. And you wouldn’t want them to be attracted to it. Now, once the flowering is over, then that’s an okay time because they’re not going to go back to it, they don’t have any reason to be bothered. If you had some pests that was being harbored in there that you didn’t want to improve, the bees aren’t going to really be attracted to the developing fruit.
Jordan River 6:08
That’s a good point.
Marybeth Sanchez 6:08
If you have overripe fruit, you know, that’s a sweet on the vine, they might go for that triggerings, but that’s pretty rare. And that, you know, you hopefully you’ve harvested before that happens. But you can use it that way. And you never ever would spray that during the hours of the day that bees are flying anywhere. You know, until morning time, yeah, yeah, you would definitely wait because they do go to bed, sun goes down. If you had to spray something like that, that’s when you would apply it and you definitely like I say wouldn’t put it near things where the bees are, they have flowers they’d be attracted to.
Jordan River 6:42
Okay, so this is a perfect lead in because little things like that, right? You can just spray and not think about what you’re doing. Or you can really think about how your IPM practice is going into your garden, how it’s integrating with nature. And you get into these little nuances. And that’s really what we’re getting into today. It’s a spring IPM overview, and let’s call it IPM nuances, some subjects that I think everybody would find interesting and may change the way that you employ IPM in your garden. There’s a lot of indoor growers that listen to our show, but a lot of outdoor growers too. And I think that really changes a lot of different applications. And we’re going to go over all of it today, starting with these sprays, whether they’re bio controls, oil based sprays, whatever, what have you, how do you recommend people approach choosing the sprays in their arsenal or choosing a spray to defeat a specific foe?
Marybeth Sanchez 7:36
Well, part of it is you have to think about what you’re spraying it onto, you know, different plants have different kinds of leaf structures, and some are more delicate and tender and fragile. And you know, paper and others are more hardened, leathery and tough and they can take more tougher, abusive thing than the delicate ones can. You know, for instance, if you’re spraying a succulent, it’s gonna be a whole different thing than if you’re spraying a cannabis leaf, for instance, where the texture of the leaf is so different. And so kind of is it going to be an ornamental thing is, is what you’re going to spray on it going to really make an unsightly, is this going to be for sale in a nursery where things have to look prettier is it just in my garden, I have a serious issue, I have to kill this thing or is gonna kill my plants. So you know, sometimes you can deal with a little cosmetic damage, sometimes it’s a very important thing that you have to avoid. So you know, those factors keep in mind. So for instance, if you have a product that you’re going to spray, that leaves a lot of residue, you don’t want to do that in a situation where you don’t want to see that residue, or in certain situations where it may be harmful to the plant if it’s going to be causing problems with photosynthesis,
Jordan River 8:47
oils and things of that nature might.
Marybeth Sanchez 8:49
Yeah and dusts and you know, such like that you can squirt you can put out diatomaceous earth on a lot of things, but it’s also going to block a lot of sunlight.
Jordan River 8:58
Right. Oh, that makes a lot of sense. Yeah, the dust and things of that nature.
Marybeth Sanchez 9:01
And it looks, it looks kind of, you know, what can I say?
Jordan River 9:04
Right? That’s true. That is absolutely true.
Marybeth Sanchez 9:06
But sometimes that looks isn’t the issue. So sometimes you got to do what you got. So and you know, weigh what is the fact that it’s most important, sometimes what’s most important is that you got to get something that’s going to knock it down now, and at least get the majority of the population. So you might use something more intense for that period. And then after you get a huge part of the population down, even back up to something more gentle, a little less. You know, a lot of the things that we do to kill pests are also stressing the plant to some degree. So keep that in mind. You don’t want to overdo.
Jordan River 9:41
Yeah, you don’t want to over stress the plant.
Marybeth Sanchez 9:43
Yeah, and certainly if you intend to rely on biologicals, like you know, certain bacterias and things that you can put up to your environment that will hopefully keep down populations of targeted pests. Those can be really effective but you can never apply those when you see an outbreak. You can only apply them well before the growing season really, they need to get their population established as your plants, you know, are being put into the ground or before, because otherwise they aren’t going to be there for you when you need them. They can only work as a preventative measure.
Jordan River 10:17
That’s not going to cause the knock down, as you said. Okay, so let’s get into specifics. You mentioned pulling out the big guns, I would like to know, what are the kinds of nuclear options in your arsenal? When you know, let’s say you, you’re recommending somebody has to knock out a deep infestation. Obviously, we’re never reaching for the harmful chemicals, your avonds, your pylons, all that nasty stuff.
Marybeth Sanchez 10:39
Jordan River 10:39
But what’s the big guns in your garden?
Marybeth Sanchez 10:42
Probably the thing I would use as my last resort is something like sulfur as a pesticide, because it is, it is, you know, something you don’t want to inhale too much of and you can’t, so you kind of got to be careful in your application rate. And it can have such a long lasting effect in the soil. If you get too much build up, you know, do your plants, of course, need some in your biology needs some but it can easily be too much if you’re using it in such a way that because you had to kill a pest, you’re going to need to apply more than the normal amount that you would have as a nutrient supplement, for instance. Okay, so it can just be a little bit much in that regard. But if I had to do it, I have recommended it to people and as their last resort, it has worked. But usually something else will work first, you know if you can get on it in time. Part of the problem is some of the worst pests, you know, you just don’t see him till the right way out. [Yep.] And you know, if you had a russet mite infection and then you said I gotta get you some ground devils something to do when you’re good at that point, you could put it out and it might be good for your next year’s prevention, but this year, it’s too late.
Jordan River 11:52
Hit him with the sulfur and veg, especially because, you know, depending on your plant, you know, cannabis, you’re not going to want to use anything on those flowers except for maybe like an enzyme product. So if you’re too far along, maybe that’s the only time where you’re going to have some sort of crop loss. Otherwise, if you’re in veg, nail them with that sulfur. Now a couple of nuances about sulfur. You can’t mix oil and sulfur, right?
Marybeth Sanchez 12:15
Exactly. You don’t want to put that in rotation together.
Jordan River 12:18
They’re going to burn. It can cause some sort of burning on the plant right?
Marybeth Sanchez 12:21
It can actually kill the plant and if it doesn’t kill it, I mean, they just makes it look like you put it below torture something. It’s really looks awful.
Jordan River 12:30
No mixing of oil and sulfur. They don’t play nicely. You know, what else doesn’t play nicely is your LED light, or I imagine any light and that sulfur. The light manufacturers, Dr. Cocoa told us this they’re they’re obsessed with keeping sulfur off these diodes because if you get some sulfur on there will ruin those diodes, it’ll make them less effective, and eventually it’ll shut them off and corrode them. So that’s another little nuance when it comes to spraying sulfur in a tent.
Marybeth Sanchez 12:54
So yeah, if you’re indoors, you’re actually recommended to take your lights out if you’re going to scrape.
Jordan River 13:00
That’s what they say. At least raise them up get them out of the line of fire. Extracting the light from the tent is a pretty big ask but that’s why I like, that’s why I like the photon Tex.
Marybeth Sanchez 13:10
Oh, it is but you know what the old technology was to put a vaporizer so as sulfur vaporize, So pellets and so that would be completely filling utensil that you would want to have your lights out for that situation.
Jordan River 13:24
Holy shit, I didn’t even think about that. And I’d imagined you know, there’s not an exposed diode with HIDs. But I imagine it’s not great for those bulbs either. What about the sulfur burner? Yeah, really good point. Yeah, that’s a nice elemental solution.
Marybeth Sanchez 13:41
Yeah, it’s like if all else fails it that will usually do it. But you know, sometimes there’s a trade off.
Jordan River 13:48
The sulfur is, you know, same thing with the oils, it’s maybe not the plants favorite thing in the world, but it’ll be fine. It’s really not too harmful on the plant and you’ll get a nice result on both soft bodied and hard bodied insects., right? That’s another nuance I want to highlight, is you talk about this all the time, Marybeth, which is like, you know, some examples of the more soft bodied insects like mites right spider mites, or. They’re so easy to kill. Whereas the hard bodies is a different game.
Marybeth Sanchez 14:17
Yeah, just spray something on him is not you pretty much have to have some kind of toxic poison or a biological thing that’s going to make them sick.
Jordan River 14:27
How would sulfur fare against like a beetle or something that’s really hard bodied?
Marybeth Sanchez 14:32
You know, it would probably work more on the grubs, I’m thinking. Maybe if it got into their respiratory you know, little little holes. That could probably cause some trouble because you know, you just nobody should be taking an excessive amounts of sulfur. That’s probably what couldn’t get almost any insect. You know, if you clog up their breathing holes, that’ll do it but the bigger the bug and the bigger the breathing hole.
Jordan River 15:01
Yeah but the sulfur, I know, is super effective versus most to your cannabis pests, which is why cannabis growers love it right? And oils, I would put in that same category. Like you said that smothering process. You don’t need guns bigger than that. Let’s be honest, like..
Marybeth Sanchez 15:15
Jordan River 15:16
Those are going to do the trick.
Marybeth Sanchez 15:16
It’s kind of an either or things.
Jordan River 15:19
Yeah, now outdoors, it’s a different game. Outdoors, you might run into some grasshoppers. Outdoors, you’re going to be able to introduce like you said, beneficials before you even have a problem, and they’re going to be easier to keep around in that outdoor garden than they are to keep around in your indoor garden. It’s just much less applicable to have those beneficial insects inside versus outside. I mean some people still get away with it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anybody but if you’re outdoors, definitely be considering implementing those beneficials. What do you like Marybeth? What are you going to release in your garden? If you have a brand new outdoor garden space, what have you thrown out there as far as beneficials?
Marybeth Sanchez 15:55
Right now, I got a pretty good population going in my yard just because over the years, I’ve put out things like predatory wasps and nematodes. But I’m thinking, what else would I put up? Probably I would get more predatory wasps. The reason is that, especially outdoors, they go for so many different targets, they will go for almost everything that you consider a pest.
Jordan River 16:26
Kill everything, that’s what happens.
Marybeth Sanchez 16:28
Almost everything that you consider a pest. I mean, they’re super tiny. They’re like the size of mosquito basically. But they go in they parasitized things and they are pretty good at getting around to just about every kind of thing that you consider a pest in your outdoor garden.
Jordan River 16:44
Yeah, if I was born with a poison sword on my acid probably want to use it on everything too.
Marybeth Sanchez 16:49
Yeah, well, if I start seeing cucumber beetles, I will spray dinocide, but like I say that would be after the sun’s gone down and not during the time when flowers are blossoming. And right now flowers are blossoming that doesn’t last very long. The next thing you know, the fruit starts forming. And then you can it’s safe to do that after it was to be subcontracted. But that would be only if I saw them. If I don’t see them, I’m not going to just put it out if I don’t because it works fairly quickly. Once you do, you know and and I usually only we’ll see very few. I haven’t had like a really what I call an infestation, it’s you know, here and there there’s a cucumber beetle. Those ones with the little four lines down on and they also come with a blue spots down the barrel, which is two versions of those. Yeah, they’re and they’re like, you know, quarter of an inch or half an inch long. They’re really visible but they go around the hole using veggies. Nobody holes in your cannabis only holes in every leaf that’s tender and lovely. And you’re just like, Oh, stop it. So a lot of times I just go around and smash them with my hand. But if I noticed there’s a few then I will think about Okay I mean that’s pretty something.
Spinosad. Okay, so I want to ask, because the spinosad is a bacterium, correct?
Jordan River 18:09
I think it was discovered, a member told me that it was discovered at some broken down rum distillery or something that somebody discovered.
Marybeth Sanchez 18:16
No, actually, it was what they were mining bauxite in Jamaica, because that’s what they need to make aluminum. And bauxite is one of those vitals for making aluminum. And they had a mine there. And for some reason it was found in that mine and nowhere else.
Jordan River 18:31
Oh, that’s fascinating.
That anyone’s ever found on Earth. And so all that they’ve cultured since then is from that original string, but it seemed to have this effect where it would get into an insect and make it sick. And now it kind of give it a flu or some sort.
Why certain insects and not others, like an or more specifically, what does it work on, right? Because I’ve used it for thrips with great success and that was indoors where I don’t really worry about bees. You know what I mean? I don’t hear it for I don’t hear it being used for things like spider mites. It’s just interesting how it affects some things and not others.
Marybeth Sanchez 19:04
Well, you know, that’s true, most almost all pesticides, if you look at the labels that tell you these are the targeted insects that they you know, none of them are going to tell you that it takes care of 100% of everything. Well yeah, because they have you know, something in their biology, something that makes them immune to it or whatever, or super susceptible you know, in the case of the ones that are being killed. But yeah, they all have something, something going on and there’s different systems so yeah, if there’s something you can use and Beauveria bassiana is another one that if I feel I need to I will use it but that’s really rare because it is so broad spectrum and I want more diversity and outdoor gardens specially because we’ve got like three acres and we’re in the woods so diversity is usually not hard to achieve. I just don’t want to be killing off absolutely everything but we are susceptible to all kinds of things coming in.
Jordan River 20:04
Yeah, absolutely. So that Beauveria’s broad spectrum really good bio control if you want to keep that diversity.
Marybeth Sanchez 20:09
They say it doesn’t kill the bees but I’m always a little precocious and you know I can say you wait till the sun goes down to spray anything really just because of the moisture in the droplets if nothing else. We don’t want to do that magnifying burnings or something.
Jordan River 20:27
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On the subject of diversity, let’s talk about companion planting. I would love to get a quick rundown. We are outdoors in this scenario and we want to attract beneficials, we want to repel pests. What are some great tips for other plants to grow alongside our cannabis?
Marybeth Sanchez 22:08
Well, there’s always the I want to say the salvia groups that the ones that are commonly known, the rosemary and the lavender, it’s nice super aromatic things. Those are really good for attracting and attracting them one to one and repelling ones that you don’t want. But there’s a plant called tansy. And it is known for repelling ants. But you’ve got to use plant plenty of it don’t plant just a little bit if you’ve got an ant issue somewhere somewhere that you really want to keep ants away plant a lot of it. And mint is another one that’s known to be really repellent to a lot of pests. And this is especially known to be repellent to rodents. But it’s another thing where you’ve got a plant plenty of it to expect to see noticeable results. When you plant meant you may know whoever planted it will grow everywhere and you easily get plenty of it if you don’t just pull it all up. But if you’re trying to like plant something to particularly repel something, put in a lot initially, just so that you can really have that strong aroma.
Jordan River 23:16
Now that’s a good point. If it’s just one little like, you know, rinky dink patch, the gopher isn’t going to be repelled. But if it’s a goddamn, you know, wall of mint, then it’s going to avoid that area. That makes a lot of sense.
Marybeth Sanchez 23:30
And you can put things in your potted plants, like garlic and onion, put them in along with whatever else you’re planting and that will repel a lot of insects from the soil area a little bit because of these strong aromas say that a lot of pests just don’t like it. Now, under the soil, like we talked about the other day, meem is a good thing to put in the soil but just to have those aromas going out in to the world of the onion and garlic all around your plants, helps a little bit to keep things away and it doesn’t harm wherever you’re growing. It’s just part of that thing’s growing. You know, all in the same pot can even grow a lot of things on the same pot but you’re not gonna get an infestation of anything on your own so whatever. I’ve never seen it happen.
Jordan River 24:18
A lot of the aromatic plants you’re saying rosemary, lavender, mint, these are all super aromatic herbs essentially.
Marybeth Sanchez 24:26
One thing I’ve heard it’s as a repellent for gophers is you can like kind of rot a bunch of onions and things and put them in your gopher holes and they eat smelts so probably just dam up the hole behind it. Every time you see another hole you go harass him was rotten. Chase him yeah chase them out to the neighbors. [Oh, I like that.] Castor Oil is another thing that is really repellent to gophers where and it’s kind of repellent to to ever have spread it around. It doesn’t smell really great. It’s just kind of I don’t know how to describe it but there’s a product called Mole Max, which is what they recommend for you to put into gopher and mole holes to repel them. It just filled them but we’ve had people tell us it worked really great for them. The most of their neighbors, the neighbors. If you get all your neighbors to use it, you might chase them out of town.
Jordan River 25:30
The Mole Max. Hit them with the castor oil. What does castor oil not do? I hear all these you know, old wives tale. Hit it with some castor oil.
Marybeth Sanchez 25:38
Well, it’s such a strong aroma, that it definitely can be repellent to things. But yeah, it has all kinds of medicinal qualities. It’s trippy stuff, man.
Jordan River 25:49
Yeah, I know those rodents can be a huge problem, too.
Marybeth Sanchez 25:53
Yes, a lot of people have to plant with a wire around the stem. Just put some kind of chicken wire or say steel wool or something where you put it around your sounds just keep the dang thing from chewing your stand. Because they will come and do this.
Jordan River 26:12
It’s a whole different ballgame. What do you need to get like a BB gun? You know what I mean? Like you said physical physical barriers at that point. Yeah. Which you can’t use on smaller insects and pests, obviously. But once you get to the size of rodents, it’s like you’re trying to keep them out. I like the wall of mint. That’s a good, like druidic approach to attacking. And yeah, that’s just really tough because they’ll f*ck up your garden really, really bad. I had some success with garlic barrier. Frasner, good friend of the show, Steve Frasner, there was like get some garlic barrier, which pros and cons. Pros, the stuff really worked like it seemed to really repel a broad spectrum of things, even the scorpions. Not to the degree that I wanted to but it helped. It was clearly helping keep away all sorts of different pests. The downside is, this stuff was essentially just pressed garlic and it was expensive. It was like $80 for the f*cking jug. So I’m thinking, press my own garlic for $80 you know what I mean? Start my own garlic barrier business maybe because it was really expensive for what amounted to something that I could have grown and press myself. So maybe if you if you have the money or if you have a garlic press, you might want to look into a garlic barrier. It’s a very cool product. And I think they also threw in capsaicin, I think was this kind of secret ingredient. So it’s hot and you spray it around the yard and your yard smells delicious. Steve said in your whole yard smells like Thai food, which is kind of true.
Marybeth Sanchez 27:43
Really nice. The stronger the smells, the more repellent it’s going to be to the various pests. And if you want to attract beneficial insects, you’re looking for most plants with the tiny kind of flowers or with the disk flowers like the sunflowers or the yarrow things like that with a flat surface.
Jordan River 27:43
Marybeth Sanchez 27:48
They love to walk in there and just falling falling. Oh, and I tell you poppies are super attractive.
Jordan River 28:13
Oh, I’ve never heard that. I love that. Smaller flowers and ones that are shaped like discs.
Marybeth Sanchez 28:21
Yeah, yeah, the flowers that are going to attract the most little tiny predators, you know things like the wasp and things. They especially love the little tiny ones because they can access those with the the pollen and nectar.
Jordan River 28:36
Super easily, one after another.
Marybeth Sanchez 28:38
So they’re very, very attractive to them. They’ve got a lot of long term food source in there. And if you know as they’re cruising around your garden, they’ll see little things up close that you don’t see at all.
Jordan River 28:56
That’s crazy. I like that.
Marybeth Sanchez 28:58
Now go parasitize various insects that you are not wanting in your garden.
Jordan River 29:05
What other flowers do you recommend planting for attracting or repelling or just because?
Marybeth Sanchez 29:13
Just because. Well just like things that have a lot of pollen nectar are really nice, but a lot of the, you know things that are just like pollen and nectar things were like the apple trees or fruit trees, things like that. They’ll have a really short duration of flowering. And so you want to have something that’s flowering at all times of the year. Some things will flower early spring, some things are late spring, early summer that you want to always have something going on. So there’s never a period of time where there’s nothing flowering. Because you know, even if it isn’t their favorite flower, they might go to their months of power just so long as there’s some flowers.
Jordan River 29:56
Is that why like milkweed, is milkweed one of those flowers? Is that why they recommend you plant those?
Marybeth Sanchez 30:01
Well, that’s especially beneficial for the monarch butterfly, the only thing that they eat and we’ve wiped out so much of it across the United States, really one of their main migration routes, because we’ve had these people planting mono crops of, you know, corn, wheat and soybeans and things for just miles, miles, miles, miles, miles, as far as the eye can see in every direction. And they wipe out the milkweed because they put down their Monsanto or their whatever, their glyphosate before they plant. And so where does the monarch get any food, I mean, for miles and miles and miles, it’s really, really hard. So the monarchs have suffered. And so they do encourage you to plant milkweed everywhere you can, it does become somewhat invasive, but it’s also really easy to pull out if you are getting too much of it. So, you know, you can keep a balance there so that there’s some food for this port as well, monarch, and you can still enjoy your garden and other things too.
Jordan River 31:01
Exactly. At this point, little left turn from IPM into gardening tips. Marybeth is, you know, she’s she’s a treasure trove of knowledge. So I gotta get some troubleshooting here. Because last year, I moved down to Oklahoma, planted outside record heatwave. It was very hot summer. It was not the best growing season. But this year, my garden looks good. But I’m still like, just basically going with what works. For instance, I got the butterfly milkweed out there, and I couldn’t keep it alive. So here’s my first question to you. I have had, we’re just going in blind. I’m just your average grower. I have had trouble keeping ornamental flowers alive. What do you think my problem is sight unseen? What are some common problems?
Marybeth Sanchez 31:44
Oh, you just got black thumbs.
Jordan River 31:47
Yeah, right. That’s true. I mean, I know how to grow cannabis real well, I struggle with the flowers. I think it might be too much light. I don’t know. You tell me what, like common problems are with ornamental?
Marybeth Sanchez 31:57
No, it’s gonna depend on the species and things they all have different needs. So often, if you’re trying to plant directly into the soil, and you haven’t really been there a long time, so you don’t know how things are going to behave in that soil. And a lot of times you find out that there’s something really toxic going on in the soil if you haven’t had it tested. There could be sometimes, be often be the case. Well, especially if somebody has been lining it for year after year after year after year consistently, which often people do. It will collect it a little ways down and make a hard pan that roots can’t grow through and which will die on the touch that. So that often happens. So you think what am I doing wrong, but it’s really something that’s happening down in his lower root zone where the drainage suddenly stops.
Jordan River 32:48
I’ll take shitty soil for 200, what else do we got?
Marybeth Sanchez 32:51
It’s a possibility.
Jordan River 32:53
It is a possibility. Yeah.
Marybeth Sanchez 32:54
The other thing is, you know, did your mulch, mulch, mulch, you know, six to eight inches is not an absurd level for mulch, you just don’t want it to actually touch the plant. You want to make sure that the mulch is just like so you can still put your finger around because you don’t want when you wet your mulch. You don’t want the wet mulch against the stem of a plant, keeping it wet and causing a stem rot. So you want to mulch healthy soil to make sure that it stays cool and that the biology in the soil has a chance to really try. But literally you can go six to eight inches of mulch with no weirdness because it keeps breaking down, breaking down, breaking down so you know you’d have to replenish it as time goes by.
Jordan River 33:36
your perfect mulch scenario looks different than mine. You’re saying first of all thicker than mine and then also around the base of the plant you have just a little bit of exposed bare soil because you don’t want it directly coming. That’s beautiful.
Marybeth Sanchez 33:50
I like to I’d like so at least I gotta you know the size of my finger. I want to at least have the space to just a little so yeah, you got a little air in there.
Jordan River 34:00
That’s good for indoor mulchers too. Holy shit. That is, that is dope. And I like, you know what I like, is I like that real thick layer of rice holes and then even outdoors I just laid a few wood chips on top of the rice holes to weight them down from the wind and I am loving it now. Here’s my one complaint, when I need to go add seeds to my bed. I just need to dig through that mulch, right? You don’t plant them into the mulch?
Marybeth Sanchez 34:28
No, no you actually have to pull it back if you’re planting seeds or seedlings you know and when when they get a little bit more established then you put it up around them but you know like I say not actually touching but as close as you can get without touching. And that should do the trick. You know, you want them to have that soil temperature to a happy place for the roots and so often it’s the soil temperatures what really throws them. I say if you have a good mulch, your soil temperature will stay usually pretty consistent at a level at a temperature that’s comfortable and happy for the plants, whereas if you’re just a really thin mulch, or no mulch at all, Oh, God, I mean, you literally the roots just get baked.
Jordan River 35:12
Yeah, I know right. And remember guys that you you talked about this before Marybeth, I don’t, I don’t remember what episode it was on most recently, but shade those roots. You know, my raised beds are like fabric raised beds and rain science pots, and they’re made of a dark material. And so I need to put something over those on the sun side to make sure that the sun isn’t just beating into that bed and heating it up and cooking the root zone.
Marybeth Sanchez 35:37
Oh, especially if you’re in a plastic pot, they really literally you can take your plants out of a plastic pot that’s been sitting in like a fork sun on the afternoon. If they’re black, they’re boiled alive in there. So you definitely have to cover them on something. And if you’re even fabric pots, it can get so freakin hot. It’s really good to kind to your plan to just at least on the sunny side, where the afternoons on the morning sun’s not usually so brutal, it’s the afternoon sun that just gets so harsh. If you can put some kind of a skirt, some kind of a clock, anything, just give it that little bit of shade makes the difference between tolerable and just, I can’t take this and that’s part of why things will get stunted. Because, you know, root pruning is one thing, but just frying the roots. Lord, that’s it that much.
Jordan River 36:32
Yep. And you know, I just threw up a 30% shade cloth and some of the plants just started taking off because it was too sunny for them, it’s too warm for them. And I just put a shade over the whole thing. So constant learning process. And I love how, I love how deep you go on the nuances as something as, quote, simple as mulching, that’s really really cool. Super, super cool. Okay, but let’s see here, back to back to the IPM talk. Let’s bring it back around. I liked what you said about your hierarchy of you know, power, your power rankings of sprays, the sulfur at the top. And you know, the oil kind of up near there. And you know, maybe some of the more natural products beneath that, like your ferments and stuff like that. And then the most gentle, most effective, the only one that I’ll use in flower, the Doctor Zymes enzyme formula. This is the one that’s like my go to that I’m using all the time. And you know, it leaves no residue. As I said, it’s the only one that I will spray in flower. And you work with these people, you you found out about this product. And I know you just jumped on board as part of the team. Is that your go to spray? I mean, we know it is.
Marybeth Sanchez 37:49
Oh yeah, yeah, well, what happened, I was fortunate to get involved in the beta testing of that product when they were first trying to get it out. And so before that, I had been going through the routine of rotating this and that of the product. Did you my IPM in the nursery where I worked. And so what I loved about that Doctor Zymes when I got it was the I didn’t have to rotate anymore, I pretty much rely on just doing that all every week. And it was yeah, like I said it was really the way that it treated the plants, you know, and this is part of what we worked on was what are the right ratios to use. So you know, you have to just be careful when you’re measuring and you know, the effect of the of the pH and the effect of the temperature does matter with that because it works much better if you get those things in the optimal position. But the plants just seem to respond so beautifully because they came out so clean looking and so happy looking and just it really took care of the issues and took care of a broad range of issues such as the russet mites, and the aphids and spider mites and rod mites and powdery mildew. Oh, yeah, and all of those little rotty diseases, not to mention botrytis. But there’s certain sorts of stem rotting diseases that just was sprayed on that it would be gone dead and the plant that survived. It was very encouraging the way it seemed to respect the biology as well. If you’re interested in keeping your soil biology healthy and thriving, you know, people who are worried is this going to kill my soil biology, I was able to tell from my own experience that it actually doesn’t. It will knock it back for a day or so but it bounces back so quickly because it’s the soil biology is actually strong enough to survive. Even the drenching with Doctor Zymes if it’s beneficial biology, the beneficial thing about the non beneficial biology is that it’s easier to kill. It is able to be wiped out and not return. There’s the beneficial biology will return in just like I said a day or two it bounced right back even I was applying Doctor Zymes directly to my compost heap.
Jordan River 40:08
So equivalent to like a soil drench type of situation.
Marybeth Sanchez 40:11
It really drenched in direct. So it’s like, Hey, that’s pretty neat for me to discover and really see for myself.
Jordan River 40:21
So let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about using Doctor Zymes optimally, this is not a partner of ours. Doctor Zymes has never been an advertiser, they’ve never been a sponsor, I’ve literally been a big fan of this product because of its natural applications. And its ability to be used with. I mean, I don’t know if you guys recommend this, but I spray it with the lights on. It’s so f*cking benign. It’s super effective and super, super gentle. Like I said, this is not a paid sponsorship by any means. This is just tips on using this product, because you want to use it optimally to get the best out of it and make sure that it is completely gentle and safe for your plants. So I wanted to take time on this podcast, because I’ve been answering so many questions, I want to record it out here on the main RSS feed and say you should be using it at a certain temperature, you should be using it at a certain pH there’s optimal ways to use it. So can we go over those now, Marybeth?
Marybeth Sanchez 41:15
Yeah, because it is really different from other products. And so you do have to kind of make a special point of telling people how it works optimally. And that is just that the ingredients in it need, they work best at a pH of between six and seven, just straight, somewhere in there is fine. And they work best at a temperature of approximately 90 Fahrenheit, which is I think 32 In centigrade. And it will work okay at a lower temperature. But it will work so much better at that temperature that I tried to keep it as close to that as I can possibly keep it during my process of spraying and keep my whole pH at that point while I’m in the process of spraying. And I just use it really thoroughly and it has just made all the difference. If I had a thing that was stubborn, it usually turned out that as I looked back, I went oh yeah, I was using cold water, the warm water, that’s probably where I went wrong. So then you get the water warmed up and try it again. And you know everything works fine. And let’s stress some people out that they have to go to that extra effort. But for me, it’s worth it because the plants just seem so beautiful afterwards. And other people that I’ve heard give me feedback about it were just positive all the way. So it was encouraging to me that I wasn’t just imagining it. It could really did seem to do the job.
Jordan River 42:45
The enzyme products are the best because what they just do their job breaking down soft bodied insects, mildews and things like that, and then just dissipate. Once it’s not a living being right. It’s just it literally a chemical reaction that’s taking place on the surface of the leaf.
Marybeth Sanchez 43:03
Right. It’s kind of like, well, when water evaporates, what do you have left when water evaporates. If you don’t have water, it’s just not, it’s not there. So that’s kind of the thing that I liked about that is when it evaporates, it’s really gone. Whereas certain other oil type sprays, they’ll stay on the leaf with some residue for up to 10 days. Sometimes, you know, it’ll dissipate more quickly, maybe between five and seven days even. But it can be up to 10 days before the oil is really dissipated. So it’s just not quite as clean, it doesn’t look as happy to me and they have more of a tendency to develop phototoxicity whereas with the Doctor Zymes, the only time I’ve had any phototoxicity was when I just very cavalierly in the middle of afternoon sprayed it on some of the stereo ones that one I don’t know what I was thinking I was in another zone or something but then I noticed the next day Oh, I probably shouldn’t have done that right at that hour. They should. I mean, they didn’t look awful. But you could tell they were a little bit yellowed out. Yeah. They were said hey, you know, don’t do that, though.
Jordan River 44:14
You know, I like to get a little bit outside of the recommendations. But speaking of recommendations for the dosages, two ounce per gallon preventative, right and then four ounce per gallon with an infestation.
Marybeth Sanchez 44:27
Exactly. That’s cannabis plants. There are maybe some plants where you could go stronger like a philodendron or something with a big fat leathery leaf. You could maybe go stronger if you had to, but cannabis is a tenderly plant. So four ounces two gallon is maximum, to be kind to that leaf. You don’t want to dissolve your leaf. You just want to dissolve the pest.
Jordan River 44:53
And just a drop of unscented odorless soap for an extra kicking power in veg?
Marybeth Sanchez 45:00
You can if you’ve got some really tough like adult spider mites, that’s one of the things that helps to break down their wax because they can get really like, you know, crusty old farts and they’re really hard to kill. So and they keep having babies. So then, you know, sometimes that’s all the extra little kick you need, the one thing that is fine to add to that if you really need to, otherwise, you don’t really necessarily need it. It can be helpful though, under those tough conditions if that is the case, then I will definitely, you know, want to be not really spring, much in the light if I was using the soap additive at all, because soap tends to be the primary burner of plants if you’re getting that into the lights, so do it in the evenings or do it in the lights out period. I mean, it’s okay to spray it with the lights on if you’re about to turn them off. It’s okay to see what you’re doing. And then turn them off. Just don’t have the light burning on for time while the wet because just the potential to burn your leaves.
Jordan River 46:02
Yeah, I mean, you get kind of brazen with it, because the product is so gentle. Like, that’s why I kind of pushed the limits on that.
Marybeth Sanchez 46:10
I have done it myself. And you know, I usually doesn’t backfire. It’s like I said, We’ll do that one time when I was in the really it was the peak of the heat of the day and I was just being careless.
Jordan River 46:22
I washed my hands in the stuff, I use it as a cleaner. It’s a really interesting product. And if you use it properly and to the specifications that Marybeth has outlined, I think you’ll like it too. So yeah, we just we support them here.
Marybeth Sanchez 46:35
Yeah, it doesn’t give you any skin irritation. It doesn’t have any weird toxic odors. It’s like really nice if you accidentally get it on your skin, it’s actually not an okay thing to wash with debate with even. It’s safer, you know, skin contact and all that kind of thing. The bottle, of course has to label to be precautious because it’s sold as a pesticide and that sort of legal requirements. But in reality, you can actually bathe in it and I have.
Jordan River 47:02
I’m not joking. I do. I do wash my hands and it works well. It works well for.. Yeah, yep. 100%. I’ve heard all sorts of stuff. So shout out to Doctor Zymes. Again, no paid sponsor, nothing like that. We do love them. And we’ve been talking about them for years. And they’re also helping out with Pesta Palooza sending samples out. But yeah, we’ve been supporting them for years. And we’re going to continue because the IPM field is so toxic. And it’s such a big part of the damage that’s being done by farming, that when a product like that can come out. That’s you know, virtually harmless. It’s so cool. Like that’s what we need to talk about on shows like mine. So I just want to shout them out.
Marybeth Sanchez 47:45
Yeah, thank you. No toxic stuff in there. And yes, surprisingly, I don’t get any money from Doctor Zymes. Just I have been a devoted fan since I got to use it. And I don’t think I’d be saying it if I didn’t believe it. It would bugged me too much, you know what I mean. It would offend my sensibilities.
Jordan River 48:07
We’re going to have them on the show as soon as possible. Maybe we can work something like that out where, where we can do a Mary Beth interview or we’ll talk about that for sure. Because, yeah, I just I love talking about these types of products and the producers out there. Thank you, Mary Beth, this was a lovely episode. Thank you for spending this time with me today.
Marybeth Sanchez 48:26
It has been my pleasure, sir. And we can do it again one day. And hopefully it’ll be a glorious day today.
Jordan River 48:35
Well, you are just the best Mary Beth we appreciate you so much. You’re such a great member of the community. And I just want to say thank you on air. We love you. We love everything you’re about, all your education, again, helping in the Order of Cultivation. Seriously, appreciate you so much.
Marybeth Sanchez 48:51
All right back at you, Mr. Appreciate everything about you. And thank you for having that community there, really has been a pleasure for me being involved.
Jordan River 48:58
No, you’re the best. You’re the best. All right, go enjoy your lovely day and good luck with the swarms.
Marybeth Sanchez 49:05
All right, take care.
Jordan River 49:06
Bye Mary Beth,
Mary Beth everybody and you can find Mary Beth in our membership program every single day. Get some free access right now go to growcastpodcast.com/membership. Join today, Monday and you will get refunded your join fee so you can check out three days free and hanging out with Mary Beth and I where we are every single day but I just appreciate you guys listening so much. That is all for now. This is Marybeth Sanchez and Jordan River signing off. Wishing you an extraordinary day out there. Bye bye everybody be safe and grow smarter.
That’s our show. Thank you so much for tuning in. And thank you to Mary Beth Sanchez. If you like this pest exploration, I know you’re gonna love Pesta Palooza That’s right, me and Matthew Gates, the one and only Synchangel from Zenthanol Consulting. We are going to be putting out on a Pesta Palooza, it is a masterclass in pest management and identification. It is a long form q&a and it is a catered after party. We are in Long Island on June 3rd. Come and see us Long Island, June 3rd. Get your tickets at growcastpodcast.com/classes, code GROWCAST will save you $20 on Pesta Palooza. Don’t miss this one. It comes with a massive goodie bag. I actually mentioned it in this episode, Doctor Zymes is just pitching in on that. But that’s just the beginning folks. We have magnifying glasses that you can use to spot critters in your garden, we’re going to have bio controls, custom stickers of pests, quick reference ID card. You’re gonna love the Pesta Palooza class and the gift bag and the after party. Come and see us. LI Hydro, thank you to Long Island Hydro for hosting us. That is Saturday, June 3rd in Bethpage, New York. Get your tickets everybody code GROWCAST at growcastpodcast.com/classes. I can’t wait to see you there, so we can burn one together and hang out with Matthew Gates. All right everybody, that’s it for today. Thank you so much. We have more GrowCast coming at you. Yeah, I’m gonna go burn down the rest of this joint and call it a day. Thank you for tuning in. Stay tuned, we got more you know it. Love you all. Bye bye!