Saturday, May 28, 2022

Florida Hemp, Luna Moth & IPM


Luna Moth & Hemp Entourage Effect #biodiversity

Luna, the moon moth is a member of Actias genus in the Saturniid family. We love caterpillars & moths in our #Hemp cultivation area as they contribute to our amazing hemp #entourage effect & actually are an important matrix member of our #nativeplant & #biodiversity based #IPM efforts. #ArendellHillNursery #CBD #FreshFromFlorida #Permaculture #Organic

Florida Hemp, Leaf Miner Damage & IPM

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

Friday, May 27, 2022

Green Heron Dawn Flight Calls, SMNWR

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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Florida Hemp, Spiders Ambush Pest Insects

Spiders love flowers in our pollinator section of #hemp cultivation area. So many lying in wait to surprise unsuspecting bugs. Spiders are great #IPM team members! #arendellhillnursery #permaculture #spiders #bugs #integratedpestmanagement #floridahemp #cbd #850hemp

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Florida Hemp, Controlling Glossy Winged Sharpshooters

 Do you know this sucking bug?  It’s a Glossy Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca sp., & is sucking on xylem of my #hemp crop. A green anole though is about to catch & eat it. GWSSs transmit Xylella bacterium damaging plants. Birds & anoles are good controls for this native bug who also leaves copious amounts of anal discharge. #floridahemp #freshfromflorida #ipm #permaculture #organic #cbd #arendellhillnursery #welovebugs #bugs 
 Do you know this sucking bug?  It’s a Glossy Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca sp., & is sucking on xylem of my #hemp crop. A green anole though is about to catch & eat it. GWSSs transmit Xylella bacterium damaging plants. Birds & anoles are good controls for this native bug who also leaves copious amounts of anal discharge. #floridahemp #freshfromflorida #ipm #permaculture #organic #cbd #arendellhillnursery #welovebugs #bugs 
 Do you know this sucking bug?  It’s a Glossy Winged Sharpshooter, Homalodisca sp., & is sucking on xylem of my #hemp crop. A green anole though is about to catch & eat it. GWSSs transmit Xylella bacterium damaging plants. Birds & anoles are good controls for this native bug who also leaves copious amounts of anal discharge. #floridahemp #freshfromflorida #ipm #permaculture #organic #cbd #arendellhillnursery #welovebugs #bugs 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Florida Hemp, Green Anoles for Hemp IPM

Green anole, Anolis carolinensis, on pest patrol duty in our #hemp cultivation area. The native green anole eats twice their weight in pesky bugs (we love most bugs!) every day. #Floridahemp #freshfromflorida #arendellhillnursery #ipm #anoles #pestcontrol #fiber #cbd

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Florida Hemp, Catnip Companion for IPM & Entourage Effect

Catnip growing in w our #hemp for #Entourage effect & #IPM. #terpenes #floridahemp #arendellhillnursery #cbd #cbg #catnip #permaculture #freshfromflorida #fiber

Friday, May 13, 2022

Florida Hemp BMPs, Black Soldier Flies

Happy to see Black Soldier Flies! Hermetia illucens, #stratiomyidae These insects work the soil as larvae as good as earthworms do & help decompose organic matter, making our soils even more productive. They make great chicken feed too!  #freshfromflorida #floridahemp #ipm

Florida Hemp & Afternoon Sunlight

One of our hemp plants in afternoon sunlight here at #arendellhillnursery #floridahemp #850hemp #freshfromflorida #fiber #cbd #cbg #organic #permaculture

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Florida Hemp and Spittle Bugs, How Bird Feeders Help IPM

Florida Hemp & Spittle Bug Damage

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.

Assassin & minute pirate bugs &spiders devour SB nymphs too, so plant beneficial insect friendly native plants for an optimum Integrated Pest Management approach.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Florida Hemp, Pokeberry & Integrated Pest Management

Awesome bug eaten native plant Phytolacca americana, Poke, is one of our BEST pest control lure plants. Pest bugs love poke’s tender leaves & birds live poke’s berries. Plant a poke & crops are safe. #IPM #Floridahemp #850hemp #arendellhillnursery #freshfromflorida

Monday, May 2, 2022

Florida Hemp, Attracting Pollinators

We spread FDOT type wildflower seeds along roadside here last fall. Despite drought they are blooming beautifully. The yellow Coreopsis is a Florida native species (and the state wildflower). Phlox (Phlox drummondii) are naturalized here. Wildflowers attract pollinators, increase biodiversity and add to our hemp's entourage effect. This wildflower mix is the same type FDOT used along highway rights of ways and is low maintenance & drought tolerant.  #pollinator #arendellhillnursery #tallahassee #fdotwildflowers #wildflowers

Florida Hemp, Seedlings Planted with Zucchini & Squash

This weekend planted zucchini, yellow squash & #fdacs approved pilot xHepius #hemp seedlings #floridahemp #850hemp #organic #permaculture #arendellhillnursery #cbd #cbg #freshfromflorida

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Florida Hemp, Pilot Seedlings Ready for Transplanting

#hemp seedlings, pilot varieties just over 30 days since planting (a couple sages too). Will transplant to field soon. #freshfromflorida #floridahemp #850hemp #cbd #fiber #arendellhillnursery #famu #ipm #organic #permaculture

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Florida Hemp, Leaf-footed Bugs & IPM

Giant leaf-footed bug, Acanthocephala terminalis, a plant eater (loves devouring #hemp plants in our garden) A few are good for biodiversity but too many & yikes. Sunflowers are a great lure plant for distracting these bugs. #floridahemp #organic #pests #bugs #ipm

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Florida Hemp, Genetic Diversity in Seed Supply

Genetic diversity is so interesting. #Hemp seedlings can be short, tall, skinny, fat, darker colored, pale and exhibit so much more variation- all from the same seed source. #FAMU pilot genetics, Early Abacus planted 3-22-22. #Floridahemp #cbd #850hemp #freshfromflorida #organic

Florida Hemp, Assassin Bugs IPM Team Members

Good luck!!! Assassin Bug, Arilus sp., in the laundry room means there are plenty in the #hemp garden working on Integrated Pest Management #IPM. #arendellhillnursery #bugs #floridahemp #850hemp #teamIPM #matrix #freshfromflorida

Florida Hemp, Planting FAMU Early Abacus sprouts.

x Early Abacus #hemp seedlings ready to pot up into 4” pots. #FAMU pilot genetics. We are finding 4” starts produce high in-ground success rate. Direct field seeding can be iffy. #floridahemp #850hemp #cbd #freshfromflorida #organic #arendellhillnursery #permaculture

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Florida Hemp, Spider Houses in the Grow Area, IPM at Work

Our solar spider houses. The banana spiders are back! At night, plant damaging moths fly to solar light where they become food for Phoneutria spp. #permaculture #permaculturedesign #organic #floridahemp #hemp #cbd #arendellhillnursery #ipm #850ipm #spiders

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Florida Hemp, Controlling Moth Caterpillars

So many moths everywhere. Can’t kill them all nor do we want to. Looks like hungry Spodoptera sp. moth caterpillars. We don’t get too concerned when they begin eating plants. First caterpillars trigger unique photochemical responses in our #hemp & then neem oil keeps them under control

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Carolina Wolf Spider, a Burrowing IPM Asset on Florida Hemp Farm

Female Hogna carolinensis, Carolina wolf spider carrying egg sack. These spiders are awesome help with grasshopper & pest control. They live in underground burrows. I’m always happy to see them around our garden & #hemp cultivation areas. #Spiders are amazing!

xHepius Florida Hemp Genetics, IPM & UV Light

Florida Hemp pilot genetics x Hepius, 28 days, in 4” pot with chlorophyll fluorescing red under low wavelength UV light. I use different light spectrums to check growth efficiency & for presence of pests. Often times plant diseases or injuries will be readily visible under UV light, much more so than under normal daylight  #IPM #FloridaHemp #hemp #freshfromflorida #permaculture #organic

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Florida Hemp, Soil Temperature for Hemp Seed Germination

8:00pm EST 66.6F/19.2C air temp, but soil is absorbing radiant sunlight & is a perfect #hemp seed sprouting temperature of 75.6F/24.2C. Time to direct sow x Early Abacus, #FAMU pilot genetics #floridahemp #hemp #cbd #fiber #freshfromflorida #organic #permaculture

Florida Hemp, Ginko biloba & Entourage Effect

We have a mature Ginkgo biloba tree, one of the few non-native trees here. Ginkgo contributes unique qualities to our plot’s #entourage effect, not to mention amazing beauty. Ginkgo is a prehistoric species. #floridahemp #cbd #arendellhillnursery #organic #matrix #biodiversity

xHepius Developing Mature Leaves, FAMU Hemp Genetics

xHepius seedling #FAMU pilot genetics 3 weeks & developing 3rd & 4th leaf sets #arendellhillnursery #floridahemp #hemp #850hemp #organic #permaculture #fiber #cbd

Integrated Pest Management, Calendula & root knot nematode suppression

Calendula from Judy’s #organic garden plot. Calendula is part of the fresh cut flower, soap & lotion & pest control efforts arendellhillnursery. Calendula has been shown in a number of studies to suppress root knot nematodes presence. Calendula is an important plant part of the biodiversity forming our IPM based hemp cultivation efforts.  #permaculture #ipm #freshfromflorida #floridahemp #hemp #cbd #flowersoftwitter

Wild Garlic, Allium canadense, Organic Spider Mite Control for Florida Hemp Cultivation

Our Allium canadense, #nativeplants wild garlic patch is another #entourage effect & #IPM team member here in #arendellhillnursery. Those pesky spider mites run away from wild garlic as fast as they can! Don’t mow wild garlic down! #hemp #floridahemp #850hemp #freshfromflorida

Florida Hemp, Morus rubra, Red Mulberry makes excellent fertilizer & provides so much fruit!

Our #nativeplants red mulberry is leafing out! Morus rubra important #IPM team member & fruit source. Composted & burned pruned mulberry limbs are a great fertilizer for our #hemp plants! #floridahemp #freshfromflorida #organic #permaculture #arendellhillnursery

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Florida Hemp, Native Wildflowers & Integrated Pest Management, Asclepias Seedlings

The Asclepias x unknown seedlings are growing. Not sure what #native plants species of A. they are but will plant them out in #hemp cultivation area where they will become an #IPM team member #asclepias #floridahemp #freshfromflorida #permaculture #arendellhillnursery

Florida Hemp, Bigleaf Magnolia an Important IPM Team Member

#nativeplants Bigleaf magnolia is planted throughout #arendellhillnursery & serves as important #IPM team member. With amazing, huge tender leaves caterpillars choose Magnolia macrophylla v. ashei for forage rather than food & #hemp plants. #teamipm #freshfromflorida #floridahemp

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Florida Hemp, Growing X Hepius, FAMU pilot project genetics

Industrial hemp seedling, 2 weeks from planting. ‘X Hepius’ #FAMU pilot genetics. This #hemp plant us bred for #CBG with almost no THC. #arendellhillnursery #freshfromflorida #ipm #organic #floridahemp #850hemp @apalacheerpc

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Florida Hemp, Condylostylus, Long-legged Fly a Beneficial IPM Team Member

Beneficial longlegged flies!, Condylostylus sp. #IPM team member #arendellhillnursery

This small fly forages mites, aphids, thrips & #hemp plant pests. Presence of many Condylostylus may be a indicator of pests. 

Long-legged flies are welcome in our #hemp grow area #floridahemp

Friday, April 8, 2022

Florida Hemp, Direct Sow for High Germination Rates

Just like “a watched pot never boils, an eyed seed never sprouts”; how many times daily do I go check to see if direct sown #hemp seeds have sprouted? It seems like forever but we have higher germination rates from direct sown seed than from tray sprouted

Florida Hemp Cultivation Area Soil Temperature Rising!

11pm EST April 7th & #hemp cultivation area soil is holding good heat! Outside air is 74f/23c while soil is 76f/24c. We like to see soil temps around mid 70s! #floridahemp #850hemp #permaculture #organic #cbd #cbg #freshfromflorida #arendellhillnursery

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Florida Hemp IPM, Beautyberry Organic Pest Control

Callicarpa americana cuttings after one month. Beautyberry is an extremely important integrated pest management #ipm #nativeplants team member here. Mosquitoes & pests flee BB. #floridahemp #hemp #850hemp #arendellhillnursery #freshfromflorida

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Spring Equinox is Here!

Soil temp in the organic sunny hemp bed is 68F/20C.  Needs to warm up a bit. #hemp #floridahemp #freshfromflorida #organic #cannabis

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Earwigs (Dermaptera) and Florida Organic Hemp Cultivation

Are earwigs friend or foe in the hemp cultivation area?
Florida Organic Hemp Pest Management, Earwigs belong to the insect order Dermaptera

The answer may be both!  Earwigs can be a friend but also a foe to the organic hemp farmer and crop.

Florida Organic Hemp Pest Management, Earwigs have 'pinchers' also called 'cerci' attached to the rear of their abdomen
Earwigs are omnivores, and they are usually hungry.  From my observations across Arendell Hill Nursery, earwigs prefer aphids and other small insects.

However earwigs will also eat young, tender plant shoots, buds and leaves if there are not enough aphids, mites, insect eggs or small prey to satisfy their voracious appetites.

There are a number of earwig species and importantly, many are primarily carnivores.  The earwig preference for pest insects can be beneficial to the hemp farmer and as long as there are adequate numbers of small insects for forage. 

The key to integrating Dermaptera successfully into an organic hemp integrated pest management program lies in developing an understanding of earwig life cycle requirements.  The hemp farmer should know what environmental conditions favor earwig population growth. 

Once the hemp farmer recognizes favorable earwig growth conditions, the grower can adjust many of those factors to maintain earwig population stability, effectively avoiding population explosions while ensuring an adequate number of earwigs exist to help manage aphid issues.

Interestingly, the insect's common name 'earwig' is rumored to have been derived from a fear this bug could crawl into a sleeping person's ear at night resulting in all sorts of painful pinching.  This rumor is unfounded though and earwigs generally do not bite or pinch humans.

So are earwigs desirable as an integrated pest control partner for hemp cultivation?  I'd have to say a definitive yes.  

As with all partnerships, successful relationships require active management of interactions and the same holds true with earwigs.  An overpopulation of earwigs with not enough aphids for food will result in hemp plant bud and new growth damage as the earwigs seek out alternative food sources.

Earwig population numbers can be managed with straight forward mechanical and environmental pest control measures such as moisture control, good housekeeping and sanitary practices and regular surveillance.

The key is to have just enough earwig pest control partners.

Smart hemp cultivation site pest management can employ earwigs to hunt down and eat pesky aphids and mites.  

Employing native insects and native plants as partners in organic farming can be the safest, most effective and sustainable growing approach for Florida hemp and most all organically farmed crops.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Organic Hemp Cultivation Pest Plant Alert, Lamium amplexicaule aka Henbit

 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.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Florida Organic Hemp Cultivation and Fungi Based Integrated Pest Management

 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.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Millipedes, A Beneficial Integrated Pest Management Partner for Florida Hemp Cultivation

 Millipedes are an important #IPM partner for our #hemp cultivation plot. 

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.

#millipedes #IPM #beneficialinsects #organic #floridahemp

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Sow Thistle & Hemp Cultivation

 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. 

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Surinam Cockroach and Organic Hemp Cultivation

 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

Though preferring tropical or subtropical climates, the Surinam cockroach is now recognized to thrive in temperate zones also.

Surinam cockroach is often considered an economic risk pest especially in greenhouse settings. This roach is susceptible to solar desiccation and usually ventures out at night, where in the greenhouse it has been documented to eat tender buds and plant tips.

Surinam cockroach is one of the few insects that can commonly reproduce through female cloning without male sperm. This process is referred to as parthenogenesis. Studies have shown that multiple generations of the Surinam cockroach exist in the same location without the presence of even one male.
Surinam Cockroach in the hemp garden

Because the Surinam cockroach can damage tender buds and plant tips, any roach favorable habitat such as piles of wood, trash or stacks of nursery pots should be cleaned and either disposed of or organized appropriately.

I try and encourage bird presence in areas where I've identified this pest insect as birds will prey on this insect.

Understanding the preferred habitat and taking steps to integrate predatory management approaches in the hemp cultivation plan can lead to a successful Surinam cockroach control program.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Organic Florida Hemp Cultivation, Identifying Crop Pests with UV Light

Evolution has equipped many insects with a sublime ability to camouflage themselves. 
Pest Insects may remain hidden under most light wavelengths as shown here on a greenhouse lemon balm plant.

Insects may stay hidden under daylight wavelengths too.
Evolution has equipped many insects with effective camouflage appearances

Interestingly and importantly for the grower, ultraviolet lights used at night that produce illumination in the wave range between 300nm and 400 nm can often illuminate otherwise camouflaged pest insects.

UVb light can assist in identifying the presence of crop pests

Pest reconnaissance of crops in cultivation areas including those in row plantings and in the greenhouses can be conducted at night often with successful results for insect identification efforts.

Insects, plant damage, and even chlorophyll containing algae and cyanobacteria can be identified at night by examining plant stems, leaves and flowers using UVa and UVb lights. Many insects react to UV light through florescence of phosphors in their exoskeletons. Chlorophyll on the other hand under UVb absorbs all light waves except for 'red' wavelengths which are reflected back.  Algae growing across cultivation areas can easily be identified using UVb light.

Not all insects that glow under UV light are considered pests.  Potentially beneficial organisms such as stick insects, millipedes and even anoles can be easily spotted using UVa and UVb flashlights.

My personal favorite light for night insect surveillance are lithium rechargable, well built LED units with UVb filters.

Though the grower may not spot all pest insects on their greenhouse or row crop plants, chances are any key pest infestation can be quickly identified.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Warrior Beetles and Organic Hemp Cultivation

 Warrior beetle.  Good insect for hemp cultivation.

Warrior beetles are excellent predatory pests to have in the Florida organic hemp cultivation area.

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. 

#IPM #organic #hemp #Florida #Floridahemp

Florida Hemp Cultivation Bed Preparation

 Hay arrived yesterday for spring gardens.

Hemp cultivation is made easier with a quality mulch such as organic hay.

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.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Planting Bed Prep for Spring Organic Hemp Crop

We began breaking soil and adding mulched organic matter from the Arendell Hill site in preparation for spring hemp planting.

In addition to the mulched organic leaf litter bird feeder platforms are now added to the cultivation area. Arendell Hill is a favorite foraging location for all types of birds, from large raptors to small songbirds. 

We enlist the birds to protect our hemp plants. Songbirds work efficiently in eating certain pest insects such as caterpillars, beetles and bugs. 

Planted around the base of the bird feeders are native plants and wildflowers such as spotted bee balm, Monarda punctate. M. punctate attracts predatory wasps and other beneficial insects such as the assassin bug. Predatory wasps and assassin bugs control many cannabis crop pests through a variety of methods.

Arendell Hill Nursery employs a complex and highly integrated matrix of natural and organic pest control approaches. An understanding how the cultivation site's ecosystematics function allows the grower to take advantage of each and every biological, meteorological and geological variable for growing amazing quality CBD and CBG rich flowers. 

Friday, February 4, 2022

Asian Lady Beetles and Organic Hemp (Cannabis) Cultivation

 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.