Marijuana Business Magazine July 2018

W hile water does not consume nearly as much of a cultivation facility’s budget as electricity, it is an area where growers can still save cash – and be mindful of Mother Earth. Poor water management – for exam- ple, allowing nutrient-filled water to go down drains and into waterways – can do serious environmental damage. Sustainable water practices essentially boil down to limiting water usage, man- aging runoff and recycling water. Here are five ways to be smart about your water use: Measure Your Water Consumption As with electricity, the best place to start saving water is knowing how much WATER Water Wise From recycling runoff to capturing condensation – five ways to curb your grow’s appetite for H 2 0 By Omar Sacirbey Rivero, the strain 9 Pound Hammer is especially susceptible to mildew, while root aphids prefer darker, waxier leaves, like those on OG and Cookie variety cultivars, as opposed to lighter green strains. Strains that are more susceptible to problems should also be spaced farther apart from one another than sturdier strains, which reduces the risk of prob- lems and makes them easier to spot if they occur. 4 Deploy Bug Assassins Another pesticide- free way to combat pests are predatorial bugs and insects. But they aren’t all the same. “You have to know what you’re fighting and how to fight it,”Rivero said. For example, the best defense against spider mites are varieties of predatory mites such as Amblyseius andersoni mites and Phytoseiulus persimilis mites.There are also specific predators for soilborne pests like root aphids and fungus gnats, such as predatory nematodes and rove beetles of the genus Acidota. You also must consider your nasty pests’ life cycles and when they might lay eggs. Just because you can’t see those spider mites anymore doesn’t mean they won’t return later in the cycle, when new eggs hatch. 5 Discard Problematic Plants Another good solu- tion is culling a plant that exhibits problems before it spreads trouble throughout your crop, said Oregon-based consultant Eli McLean. Too few growers are willing to take that step, however, because they’re worried about losing a plant that could produce a crop worth a few thousand dollars.That strategy is penny-wise and pound-foolish, according to McLean. “If people had crop insurance, that would also help. But they don’t,” he added. 1 you use. Flow meters are instruments that measure water use; some varieties also gauge certain water-quality measurements such as temperature, pH levels and electri- cal conductivity. (The latter tells you the level of contaminants in the water.) Despite the availability of instru- ments that allow growers to know how much water their plants have and need, as well as drip-irrigation systems that enable growers to dial in how much water their plants receive, many growers SUSTAINABLE CULTIVATION 74 • Marijuana Business Magazine • July 2018