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Old 10-11-2011, 05:00 PM #1
Capt Cannabis
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Adding top layer of sand - some concerns...

Hey guys,

I have been battling pests for the first time during this grow, I believe they are fungus gnats. I have been using neem oil with no improvement. When the plants were younger I put a 1/2" layer of sand on the top of the soil on each plant and the bugs were gone within 48 hours. I was experiencing some issues with yellowing at the time, and I wanted to see what your experiences were when adding sand to your soil. The sand is not from the beach, from a local hardware store.

A few questions regaurding the use of sand:

1) What does sand do to the PH of my soil? Since the sand is on the top, the water and nutrients I give them go through the sand first. How does the top layer of sand affect the PH?

2) Should I do anything to the sand before using? It's coming from a huge pile outside the hardware store.

Any other issues or concerns I should be aware of?

Thanks very much,

The Captain
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:05 PM #2
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diotomacious earth will do a great job at killing soil born pests that need air to reproduce. Sorry, don't know about sand....
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:17 PM #3
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Id be careful about adding in sand, if you don't get the ratios right you'll end up with a poor mans cement, not very good for root growth. Diatomaceous earth which has been mentioned previously, I think would do the job, it works by speeding up the insects evaporation levels and basically dries em out. I read also that it will kill larvae by cutting them as they pass almost like rubbing against shards of glass.

Pyrethum bombs and or gnatrol(Bacillus Thuringiensis bacteria) works as well, maybe could consider a rotation of different applications. You could also look into IPM(integrated pest management) beneficial nematodes as well as predatory mites are available however I have no idea if it they were meant for treatments in cannabis. Could end up trading one pest for another. Good luck!-basket
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:23 PM #4
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Originally Posted by Cappy View Post
diotomacious earth will do a great job at killing soil born pests that need air to reproduce. Sorry, don't know about sand....

^^ This....
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:28 PM #5
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Sand works just fine, but what you want to do is determine whether or not it's calcareous, which will definitely change pH. Just take a small container of vinegar with you and pour some on the sand in question. If it bubbles, it's calcareous and will change pH. If not, you should be golden.

Use the sand.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:33 PM #6
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i used sand once that was for kids sandboxes with no issues
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:34 PM #7
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stick w/ the DE.... got silica too booot.......best bet
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:36 PM #8
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de does nothing when wet. i suggest both.
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:37 PM #9
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Me too....So far no problems....makes the plant/pot heavy though, so get used to the new weight...
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Old 10-11-2011, 06:48 PM #10
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Play sand, which is typically Si-based anyway, can also provide some Si. So do rice hulls. I find DE gets washed down through the soil pretty quickly.

How about adding some yellow sticky traps to your decorating scheme?
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