Caterpillars, Mold, and Rain - my technique to weathering the storm

Discussion in 'Growing Marijuana Outdoors' started by m477, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. #1 m477, Oct 10, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2011
    Well, It's about mid October and the big buds are 90% done. This is where it gets scary for us because the rains are coming. I HATE chopping my ladies down early, its sad. I like seeing a fully ripened bud... but with that comes risk of mold! I'm no expert but over the past three years of outdoor growing I've learned how to deal with rain/mold.

    My plants get lots of sunlight and wind (CA medicinal) and usually don't mold (even during heavy downpours) BUT if caterpillars eat through a stem/bud, its game over after it rains. This makes sense because once a caterpillar fully eats through a stem and cuts off the buds water supply, the bud dies and dries while on the plant. If you don't notice and it rains on the dead dry bud, it ROTS INSTANTLY!

    Here is what I'm talking about:

    You can see where the scissors are pointing, that the bud has died and started molding (upturned twisted leaves and ugly brownish bud).

    Simply pinch off this section and it literally falls apart. Nasty bud rot:

    Now here is where you can see the damage done by caterpillars: See how the stem is all gnawed up (and poop down below)


    Now, I simply dispose of the moldy buds and snip off the rest of the good bud to save and dry. If you keep a close eye (check every other day or every day) you can save A LOT of good bud and throw away moldy areas so the mold doesn't spread. If you fail to check every bud, you may very well lose half the plant (or more).

    So, now that I've removed as much dead bud as possible, I'm confident enough to leave them out in the upcoming rains to finish up (with an umbrella).


    I try not to stress about the rain because once the sun comes out, they dry within a few hours (YMMV). And plants LOVE rain. Hell, the past two years I didn't cover them at all during multiple days of heavy downpour last late October, buds soaked to the max. Once the sun came out, they fully dried with no issue. However, if the sun doesn't come out in force, it gets risky!

    This may be common knowledge but I figured I'd address my findings.

    If I had no caterpillars, I'm 99% sure I would have no mold issue (greenhouse next season should fix that).
  2. 3 years running, and I have never had a mold issue. I have never had a caterpillar issue either. But then again, I live in Arkansas, and the sun shines all day, every day, this time of year(Except today.)

    Grasshoppers are my bane, but at least they don't eat the buds.

    Thanks for the info though. Might be our turn for caterpillars next year.
  3. Whats a heavy rainfall for you guys?
  4. Yeah its relative to everyone but I consider heavy rain to be raining all day non stop.

  5. Usually doesn't happen in NJ
  6. The caterpillars hit CA hard this year. Little bastards. I've grown 3 crops before this year without any problems with bugs, then this years they hit full force. I lost a bit to mold so far because of them, and I know they ate a big chunk of my crop too. At least I know how to keep them at bay next season. BT is awesome. I used SAFER brand caterpillar killer and it nuked the fuckers, lol. Too bad I found the stuff so late in the season.
  7. #7 m477, Oct 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2011
    ^^Yep, I've had caterpillars every year. Personally I don't use pesticides, I just deal with them. But I'm lucky to be able to watch them every day and pick them out, so they don't wreak too much havoc. Plus, it's fairly easy to keep eye with relatively small plants. I've thought about growing some monsters but smaller ones are much more manageable.

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