Garden Planning Advice


Hi all, just seeing what some ideas are out there for next year's garden.

This year was probably my least successful. As previously stated, our Moth/Caterpillar problem is insane. Unlike most pests, the pillars pretty much destroy the whole plant. My yard requires improvisation and elevation of plants to get any light.

Neighbor is stoked I put some over there this year and is WAY into me doing more. That being said, he doesn't seem to want to do much of the hard work or digging/whatever....

His yard is nice and has space, there are some neighbor issues for sure where they see directly in if they wanted to. Year before this, I used a makeshift pvc tube with white bug netting... the moths still got in, hard to seal 100%

Looking for suggestions that are discreet/masked and bug-resistant? Buddy's dad back in the day used a corrugated fiberglass shed/lean-to type set up. Thoughts on that or mini-hoop houses? These barriers can also limit beneficial insects, so there's that. The fence I only like 6', so need to keep them smaller/compact if we do something.

In-ground vs. containers vs grow bags?

ps. his soil is like 99.9% clay and would need lots of amendments and being tilled.



Why not just spray with BT fairly regularly? Get the concentrate and mix it in a gallon sprayer. It'll take minutes to spray everything. BT is safe for same day harvest and good for organic gardening.

i did. i've tried that and captn jacks. i know to apply at night/eve. i think they are immune here. i feel it does nothing past the egg stage? 

you could have also told me to water them.

Turtle, if you need to keep your plants smaller, you should look into LST and/or mainlining. Those techniques tend to produce shorter, bushier plants instead of trees, although there are exceptions, like the Blueberry Kush I grew this year that topped out at just about seven feet. Anomalies happen.

Also, growing in containers, whether they're pots or bags, tends to keep things smaller, while roots in free soil tend to produce larger plants. i grew in bags for the first time this summer, and can say that they definitely dry up faster than plastic pots, but it also looks like they help the roots develop than plastic pots. My bags didn't get root bound, but the root mass is really, really dense. Like they're mostly roots and I'm having a hard time getting them broken up to recycle the soil for some of my flower beds.

I'm not really sure what to say about your caterpillar problem. A containment might help reduce the number of them, but like you said, it's hard to seal anything up 100%. I'm also curious about how far your buddy's place is from where you live because regularly monitoring your plants should definitely be part of whatever you decide to do. I'm fortunate to have a side yard that gets perfect sun from May to September, and I can easily check my plants multiple times a day. Whatever you do, I would definitely recommend trying to monitor things on a daily basis at least.

I believe BT's mechanism of action is that it's toxic to caterpillars, and when the caterpillars eat it they starve. It kills the critters, but not the eggs that are already laid. I had a pretty big outbreak in July, and I sprayed once a week for 5 weeks and it definitely killed them all, but it took that long. I also sprayed the shit out of all the greenery anywhere near my girls to create a perimeter. Otherwise, they just jump back on.

I wasn't putting you down, Turts, or just giving shit advice. I know that BT works very, very well. Like anything with growing, it just takes some tweaking to achieve results.

I don't know why, but that Cap'n Jack's stuff scares me.

Buy some praying mantis eggs. Mow the grass around your structure. 

It has been documented that praying mantis can eat humming birds. 

Article with images.



I love hummingbirds.

friend did suggest a bird bath


turts what bt product have you used, how frequently did you spray, did you spray heavily, and during which weeks of flower did you spray?

BT usually keeps budworms at bay for me, but i tend to avoid the more consumer focused products like Safer brand. by far the best BT product is DiPel DF. it needs to be sprayed on super heavy, especially early in flower. i usually start it right as the plants start looking like they will flip and ill do around 3 applications between week 1 and week 4-5, assuming the strain finishes in 8 weeks.

hoop houses can be nice, but its important to have straight walls so you have space to walk and the canopy does not touch the plastic. however in a hoop you will need ventilation, lack of ventilation will lead to all kinds of issues like bud rot, pm, stem/stalk rot, and pockets of stale air can cause plants to just be unhealthy in general. usually most hoops have doors on either end and the sides roll up...this provides plenty of ventilation but of course lets any bugs come in so a plastic hoop is not ideal for preventing insects unless you seal it up and put fans for ventilation - but then if its sealed and you live somewhere hot you will need some kind of AC to cool it - either evaporative or just a standard window AC mounted into one of the end walls. however having the gh closed at night and opened first thing in the morn will reduce caterpillars to some degree since moths are mostly active at night, but it wont solve your problems by itself.

bug netting or shade cloth could be closed all day and still have plenty of ventilation. if you overlap the cloth that covers the hoop with the cloth that covers the end walls, attach them with these clips - you can get a pretty good seal against bugs on that seam, and then for the sides you want to dig a small trench, attach a base board to the bottoms of the pvc set into the trench, staple the bottom of the fabric to the base board, and fill the trench back in to cover the bottom of the base board and the edge of the fabric.

thanks for the reply daylight!

i did use a safer brand BT, think I had also tried one other. I thought I sprayed heavily but maybe not frequently enough. will try your recs!

2 seasons ago I did use bug netting as a hoop cover. long story but had to adjust it and the buggers got in there. this year neighbor wants to do something again but i don't want to waste my time and $$ if the shit will be 95% fucked again....i posed some hoop house type of ideas, he said he wanted something more permenant, and i don't quite know what that means yet. also, there is high visiblity into his yard from an apt. 2 houses away so wanted to use the netting as somewhat of a screen as well. we shall see what happens.

back when we were kids, my buddy's dad used corrugated fiberglass for his grow shed with great results....giant bannanna buds as groms back before the days of readily availble kgb was pretty cool. not sure what he did for ventaliation.