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Sylvia, my husband & I came to visit you a few months back.  We really enjoyed seeing your setup.  We are trying to make our system work but I keep having problems with the plants.  At first it was aphids so we bought some ladybugs and that seemed to help but they slowly all died.  Now I think it might be spider mites.  I have been spraying with neem oil and seems to help.  My plants just seem to die off before they finish producing.  I'm not very knowledgable about gardening yet.  I've attached some pics to see if you might have some input or advice.  Not sure if my problem is bugs, not enough light ( our system is inside), or something else??  The peppers seem to produce but then they just wither up before they are mature and the leaves are falling off.

I'm kinda frustrated at this point.  If I need more light, I'm just not sure the expense in electricity can be justified.  The fish seem to be fine.

 

Would appreciate any advice,

Michael & Elaine Sanders

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I would say yes, might need more light.  Is it only the single florescent fixture?  How big is the bed?

And perhaps an oscillating fan in the room might help.

 

Is it still a relatively new system?  A dose of Maxicrop (if you haven't already used a little of anything like that) might make for more robust plants that might have a better chance of fighting off bugs.  First season is always hard as the system isn't mature yet so the plants can sometimes struggle more and being indoors certain bugs seem to infest things and can be difficult to combat. 

Hi Elaine.  I've actually seen the same thing on a couple of my pepper plants lately and I honestly don't know what the problem is.  Sounds like you've had a lot of insect issues lately (as have I) and they can be disease vectors.  Do you have something circulating the air in there?  A fan sometimes does wonders for reducing insect pressure, which can stave off disease.

is maxicrop safe for tilapia?

 



TCLynx said:

I would say yes, might need more light.  Is it only the single florescent fixture?  How big is the bed?

And perhaps an oscillating fan in the room might help.

 

Is it still a relatively new system?  A dose of Maxicrop (if you haven't already used a little of anything like that) might make for more robust plants that might have a better chance of fighting off bugs.  First season is always hard as the system isn't mature yet so the plants can sometimes struggle more and being indoors certain bugs seem to infest things and can be difficult to combat. 

I have a ceiling fan - will that be enough?  How do I figure out if I have enough light? 

Sylvia Bernstein said:
Hi Elaine.  I've actually seen the same thing on a couple of my pepper plants lately and I honestly don't know what the problem is.  Sounds like you've had a lot of insect issues lately (as have I) and they can be disease vectors.  Do you have something circulating the air in there?  A fan sometimes does wonders for reducing insect pressure, which can stave off disease.

Provided it is the Maxicrop original or maxicrop plus iron it seems safe enough in reasonable doses.  NPK numbers of

0.1-0-1

 

I don't recommend the stuff with the added fish emulsion as it would be likely to overload your bio-filter.

 

don't know if the ceiling fan is enough or not, could try it and see if it helps.  The oscillating fans can help a lot because they are not constant to one direction so the plants get a little work out as if the breezes are gusting and changing like out in nature.
I have only opened the pic of the pepper plant (Cilantro over there?) and saw that you spray with neem oil in your post.  I have found that my pepper plants hate getting sprayed with any oily substance.  I have mixed beds and use a mix of garlic and canola oil, but have learnt to keep the spray away from the peppers - they eventually develop those brown marks and drop any leaf that got hit by oil.  Not sure if it is the only problem, but thought it is worth mentioning.

I m sorry to say this, but if you have webbing on your plants you are really in for it.   Once there are webs from the spider mites, the infestation is past the point of repair (normally). For spider mite you must nip things in the bud.  Webbing = mature/replicating colony.  I would pray to whichever god you believe in for help b/c you will need all the positive NRG you can get from physical and spiritual means. when i had a spider mite infestation it took 4-6 months to get rid of them and a complete shut down of my entire grow room.  Spider mites are the "Bane" of indoor growing.  I feel really bad saying this stuff, b/c when i had Spider mites i was personally devastated, i was really upset ( i did not get a harvest for months) :(    Get on this problem ASAP, every day u wait is 1 day further from when you are growing bug free again. Good luck, and i hope for the best! 

 

I just watched batman begins last night, lets c if i can remember this quote right, "Why did we fall down Bruce?  So that we can learn how to get back up."

What would you spray them with then?  Any suggestions?

 



Kobus Jooste said:

I have only opened the pic of the pepper plant (Cilantro over there?) and saw that you spray with neem oil in your post.  I have found that my pepper plants hate getting sprayed with any oily substance.  I have mixed beds and use a mix of garlic and canola oil, but have learnt to keep the spray away from the peppers - they eventually develop those brown marks and drop any leaf that got hit by oil.  Not sure if it is the only problem, but thought it is worth mentioning.
I avoid spraying anything in their bed.  A while back I ripped the plastic sides off the greenhouse and a whole lot of preying mantis moved in.  Since then I have little issues worth pest control chemicals :).  Perhaps another member of the group that is experienced with this issue can comment.  This is my first try with peppers in AP - in my soil garden they never got treated either.  I have heard people use molasses or small amounts of soap diluted in water, but I know to little about it to comment.

Elaine Sanders said:

What would you spray them with then?  Any suggestions?

 



Kobus Jooste said:

I have only opened the pic of the pepper plant (Cilantro over there?) and saw that you spray with neem oil in your post.  I have found that my pepper plants hate getting sprayed with any oily substance.  I have mixed beds and use a mix of garlic and canola oil, but have learnt to keep the spray away from the peppers - they eventually develop those brown marks and drop any leaf that got hit by oil.  Not sure if it is the only problem, but thought it is worth mentioning.

Sorry for not jumping back in here earlier, Elaine.  Busy day yesterday.  A ceiling fan won't do it because that is mainly pushing the air down, which doesn't really affect insects because they tend to live under the leaves.  What you are trying to do is emulate a constant breeze, which the insects find pretty annoying.  Needs to be a horizontal breeze.  I use a couple inexpensive oscilating fans from Target.  Good air circulation will also help with mildew and fungus.

 

I totally agree with AJ - if you are seeing spider webs you are screwed.  I just ripped out every strawberry plant in my greenhouse a couple weeks ago because of GD spider mites.  You have to go into pretty toxic territory to get rid of them once they are at that stage, and I'm not going there.

 

I use insecticidal soap for spot treatment and neem every other friday in the trouble spots, and beneficial insects as I think about it.  Generally works...except with spider mites    If you go to our website under Insect Control you can see some products that I'd recommend...and use.

I wonder how effective something like DE is against spider mites.  Really dusty to use inside the house though.

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