I've met quite a few of these new growers who have taken cannabis college classes. There is a wide bridge of learning that must happen that takes place from the classroom to the real grow room. Unfortunately, sometimes new growers aren't always prepared for this.
I was sent a private message from someone in my linkedIN connections. I won't divulge who they are, as they are a lead grower. This young man came out of the college and met me at the MJ Expo. I can't help myself. If people ask for help, I sorta feel compelled to do it, especially if they are about to wreak havoc on plants.
He was hired by an investor to grow. He reached out to me when they got the building. He gave me information about the grow and then asked how I would set up the building. I took the info back to my office and wrote him a full set of plans, all the way down to how many pots he would need (This was a hint to him.. I invented pots that save money, time and labor during transplant, and you are gonna need them.. so.....).
I heard nothing for a few weeks. Then I got another text profusely thanking me for the information and that "his investors loved it and they were going to use his plan." Ok, he took credit for the plans, ok. He sent photos of the build. He was so proud. I asked him when he would be ready to order pots? He orders pots from another company. He said his investor refused to buy something that he had never heard of.
This doesn't surprise me much. His investor wanted a certified grower. Keep reading. This gets funny soon.
I haven't heard from him in a while. I see updates and his grow looks like its going nicely. I feel good. I'm a mother chick. Even when the chicks don't do what I want them to do, if they do well, I am terribly proud. I can't help it. lol. Yesterday I made a post in LinkedIN and he read it and sent me a private message. He wants to call me.
While on the phone, he tells me he has a "really bad bug problem" and has no idea what to do. He has tried several things, but he keeps getting infected by, in his words "Monster spider mites. Bigger than anything I have ever seen!"
Me: Well.. how big are they?
Him: Massive! A half dozen on the leaf fills the whole blade! They are as big as the lead of a pencil!
Me: Are you sure you have Spider mites? Do they have wings? Did you look under the leaves? Are they under the leaves too?
Him: Nope! No wings! These are monster spider mites! They are on the plant, on the stalk, everywhere! What do I mix to kill them?
A few more questions later... I can't stand it. I'm scratching my head. There are no such thing as "Monster" spider mites, millions, yes, zillions, probably, but not "Monster" in size mites. He tells me all his plants have this pest. He thinks they came in because someone had not put a filter screen on the outside vents.
I asked him what sort of plants were outside the building. He said.. "nothing but a bunch of old roses." I have a hunch that he doesn't have spider mites at all. I ask him to send photos. I have to know what sort of spider mites are as "big as a pencil lead."
I have been growing cannabis since 1973. I have NEVER seen "Monster Spider Mites." Maybe the college does know something? I can't help it. I have to see this.
He sends the photos and I look at the photos.. and was so glad I wasn't still on the phone with him. I start giggling. It's the kind of giggle that makes everyone else laugh, even when they don't know what's funny. I'm instantly torn between sending this image to all my old grow friends so they can have a giggle too, or calling him up to tell him he needs to call his college and show them the new breed of Monster Spider Mite."
Wait. I am mother chick. He called to get help. I deleted the photo, called him up and walked him through how to solve his "Monster Spider Mites" problem. He was so embarrassed. I promised him I would never use his real name, but I would probably write about his story. You can't learn what all pests look like if you are learning from a book and have never seen a real live..
The plants were stock full of aphids. Fat, happy aphids, feeding on MJ... probably stoned-as-heck aphids, but not "Monster Spider Mites."
His birthday is coming up soon. He's getting a copy of Rosenthal's "Grower's Guide" and origami folding instructions to make that certificate into a bookmark ...