|Luna Moth & Hemp Entourage Effect #biodiversity|
|Luna Moth & Hemp Entourage Effect #biodiversity|Florida Hemp exhibiting leaf miner damage
Leaf miner damage in #hemp leaves. Leaf miners are collectively a group of insects whose larvae 'mine' interior of leaves where minimal cellulose is encountered & where larvae are protected from predators. Many leaf miner species we see in our #hemp cultivation area are members of the moth, Lepidoptera, order. Leaf miner damage to hemp occurs via reduced overall plant photosynthesis & also from fungal & viral infections introduced into the plant through the leaf miner tunnels inside leaves. We use a combination of #IPM methods to control leaf miners including; bird feeding stations, yellow sticky cards with solar night lights, native plant companion plantings, lure plantings and occasional Neem or Spinosad spray applications (both organic approved). #integratedpestmanagement absolutely works best for our #FloridaHemp growing. #ArendellHillNursery #CBD #CBG #Fiber #FreshFromFlorida #Permaculture #Organic
One minute May 2022 sunrise heron, most likely green heron, Butorides spp., flight calls from out of the sawgrass marsh area east of Lighthouse Road and north of Headquarters Pond in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Other birds include the mourning dove and red-winged blackbirds. Pig frogs, southern field crickets and wrens may also be heard. Sony PCM D100 recorder, LOM Mikro Usi microphones, windbubbles and drybags.
We love bugs but manage Two-lined Spittle bugs, Prosapia bicincta, as they can devastate #hemp plants by injecting toxins into leaves & stems, producing white spittle looking bubbles across leaves, turning plants brown, eventually killing them. We use Neem oil spray & sticky cards at first sign of spittle bugs. Bird feeders in cultivation area are an excellent #IPM approach as birds usually eat Spittle bugs.
|Florida Organic Hemp Pest Management, Earwigs have 'pinchers' also called 'cerci' attached to the rear of their abdomen|
Henbit, Lamium amplexicaule, is a purple flowered non-native groundcover with an aggressive growing habit renown for taking away native plants growing space.
|Lamium amplexicaule, Henbit and Organic Hemp Cultivation|
Once established, henbit is difficult to eradicate.
There are two main species of Lamium in Florida, henbit and purple deadnettle, L. purpureum. Purple deadnettle differs from henbit visually with purple hued leaved near the plant top, or apex. Henbit also can be usually recognized by the way it's leaves directly clasp the stem.
Although diminutive, lacy in appearance and a rather pretty groundcover, henbit might be thought of as harmless yet the opposite is true. It is estimated by many ecological experts that almost half of all native plant species are in population decline due to loss of habitat as a result of competition from non-native species.
Lamium competes with native groundcovers for water, growing space, nutrients and importantly can be a host for hemp or other crop damaging pest insects, including a number of nematode species such as Ditylenchus spp., Heterodera spp., and Meloidogyne spp. along with a number of viruses (including Arabis mosaic virus) and fungal pathogens.
Controlling Lamium spp. in rowcrop cultivation settings can be difficult. This weedy plant is often thought of as an annual species however it may often behave as a biennial in Florida climates.
I prefer to help establish lyre-leaf sage, Salvia lyrata or turkey tangled frog fruit, Phyla nodiflora along with a host of much better suited native groundcovers that support beneficial predatory insects, beneficial pollinators and positive biological pest management.
Personally, if I see henbit growing in the hemp cultivation areas the plant quickly becomes a candidate for pulling and mechanical eradication/composting. Better safe than sorry when growing hemp.
Blue oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus sp., are an important part of our Integrated Pest Management program here across Arendell Hill nursery.
|Oyster mushrooms are an integral part of Organic Hemp IPM program here at Arendell Hill|
Oyster mushrooms help clean stormwater and detoxify any contaminants that find their way via wind, rain or drift into the garden.
Interestingly, many fungi are capable of absorbing complex carbon chains found in the environment and converting them into carbohydrates for their own growth.
Mycoremediation, as the mushroom's decon process is commonly referred to, has been shown to be an effective way to support hemp cultivation area cleanliness while helping to ensure pure surface water.
Additionally, mycobooms, which are a mixture of hay and fungal spores can be used to contain and cleanup most types of contamination spills and can be an effective pollution control management tool.
Because our cultivation areas are organically managed and free of pesticides and herbicides, the oysters in our garden are usually free of contamination and may also end up in our kitchen for dinnertime sauteing.
For decades, fungi have been successfully used in many organic-focused integrated pest management programs. Additionally, mushrooms are fun to grow. Cultivating oyster mushrooms as a companion species to hemp is just one, but an important part, of Arendell Hill's organic hemp integrated pest management program.
These scavengers prefer to eat moist leaves and plant litter.
They do a marvelous cleanup job here at Arendell Hill, mulching up leaf litter and then fertilizing the soils with plenty of organic droppings.
Millipedes help control fungal and algal explosions by keeping damp leaf debris accumulation to a minimum amount. These small arthropods are constantly foraging here. I see them occasionally during the day but at night they are visible (with a UV light) almost everywhere across the ground.
Millipedes have 2 legs per segment side while centipedes have one.
Consider your cultivation area lucky if you are fortunate enough to have a substantial population of these beneficial arthropods.
Pest plant (weed) alert!
|Sow Thistle, Sonchus sp., an invasive weed in the hemp cultivation area|
Sow thistle, Sonchus sp., is native to Eurasia and Africa but can be found across Florida in yards, farms and in the woods.
Each plant can produce up to 10,000 seeds and each seed can last many years, laying dormant until the right conditions come along. The young leaves can also be cooked as potherb greens.
The problem with sow thistle is that the plant is so prolific and hardy with it's fat tap root that sow thistle takes away habitat from native flora (botanical adverse possession) and can crowd out hemp plants in the cultivation area.
I just mow or weed eat sow thistle down before flowers form, preventing the plants from reproducing, keeping them out of the garden.
Often mistaken for dandelion, sow thistle is in the aster family. Both have basal rosettes yet the leaves are considerably different. Aphids are often attracted to sow thistle.
These photos are of the Surinam burrowing cockroach, Pycnoscelus surinamensis, also known as the greenhouse cockroach, an exotic pest insect originally found in south to southeast Asia.
|Surinam Cockroach, a potential key pest for hemp plants|
|Pest Insects may remain hidden under most light wavelengths as shown here on a greenhouse lemon balm plant.|
|UVb light can assist in identifying the presence of crop pests|
Warrior beetle. Good insect for hemp cultivation.
Pasimachus sp., plays an important role in our organic integrated pest management program.
Pasimachus has a never ending appetite for pest insects in the garden! What a great predatory beetle.
Hay arrived yesterday for spring gardens.
Excellent quality organic hay is useful as a mulch in the hemp garden, usually a bit more pest free than our mulched leaves.
We do mulch and reuse our leaves too however we find hay to be a favorite for maintaining soil moisture, keeping soils less compacted and not as hot, for buffering pH and contributing to overall organic matter content.
Hay is easily to spread, lightweight and readily & sustainably available on a local basis.
I've been seeing Asian lady beetles, Harmonia axyridis, almost everywhere lately (early February 2022).
|Asian Lady Beeetle, Harmonia axyridis, exotic insect and Organic Hemp Cultivation|
Though they do little direct harm to cultivation (they do eat aphids) these exotics can cause serious nuisance issues around plants and especially in buildings. They certainly are not my preference for natural IPM across the hemp farm as they compete with native lady beetles.
|Asian Lady Beetles on pepper plants at a local Tallahassee Nursery|
Mostly, I tend to ignore them because they do not rise to the nuisance level of a 'key pest'. Beware though the Asian lady beetles can bite humans and they do leave a yellowish staining, foul smelling excretion when congregating in and around building windows.
|Asian Lady Beetles should be monitored however across the hemp farm for potential damage|
All in all, I'd rank them as a low species of concern, one worth notation (I certainly would not want too many of these insects foraging in plant flowers and buds) but not worth immediate worry over, across the hemp farm.