E-mail - Soil Gnats, Sand and Nutrients

Hi Doc,
   My question concerns a method i used hastly to get rid of fungus gnats. have already been using azamax with minimal results for awhile. yesterday i got foxfarms dont bug me and sprayed the crap out of the top of soil and the sides and bottoms of the pot. i also put about an inch layer of play sand on the top so they wont want to come back. This seems to be working pretty good actually but what should i do about feeding. I use house and gardens soil an b line. Will the sand filter out my nutrients??

Thanks for your question.   You can check out a previous post on soil grant remedies.
No, the sand should not affect nutrients if it is play sand. Some sands have calcium or other minerals that might alter your fertilizer uptake. I used Perilite for the same purpose. You have the right idea, you want to keep the gnats away from their food source and breeding area, damp soil. Try to let the top of the soil/sand in your container dry out 100% before watering again. The more dry the soil the less successful the gnats will be.

One other thing to consider is watering from the bottom. If you are able to, water your plants from the bottom for a week or so in order for the top of the containers to remain dry. Be mindful that your little friends the soil gnats might also figure out they can get to soil from the bottom too. I grew in 5 gallon buckets with lids for trays and it was not possible for the gnats to get to the 3-5 holes I had drilled in the bottom of the buckets for water drainage. I put several inches of perilite on top of the soil after I watered the plants with water I soaked a few cigars (philly blunts) in for a couple days. Nicotine is a natural organic insecticide. You could try that too if you like. I watered the plants with normal fertilizer, then used the nicotine water to just get the top of the soil saturated, I did not want the nicotine to go all the way through the soil, just to stay on top where the gnats are.
Good Growing,
Dr. E.R. Myers

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