By Veronica Castillo

“Everywhere we go, plants grow.” — Herbert Orlando Gonzalez

Crop management is defined as the set of agricultural practices performed to improve the growth, development, and yield of crops. How crop management looks in terms of action includes the following:

  • Appropriate crop genotypes for satisfactory yield under existing and predicted saline conditions
  • Appropriate planting procedures to minimize salinity near the vicinity of seed
  • Appropriate soil management such as tillage, plowing, sanding, and chemical amendments, mineral fertilizers, organic manures, and mulching to improve soil organic matter and increased soil percolation.
  • An efficient water distribution system and irrigation scheduling.

Crop management techniques may be different for indoor, outdoor, and greenhouse grown crops, but in all methods, a crop management technique is essential. An indoor grow may not need what an outdoor grow needs because it doesn’t face the same challenges. An outdoor grow may benefit from crop management techniques like:

  • Companion planting: a natural way to deter unwanted pests, and also good for adding other plant species to the garden which boosts diversity.
  • Building a fence: helpful for keeping animals away from the crops.
  • Netting: good for birds because, although birds in the presence of plants and flowers help deter some pests and insects, it’s important to remember that birds love seeds.

For more information on crop management, we asked Herbert Orlando Gonalez for his insight. Herbert, or Herb G., is the owner of Herb’s Cali Krush LLC, a company that holds a cultivation, distribution, and manufacturing license in the state of California.

What does crop management look like in your garden?

In the garden, we focus a lot on pest management. It’s one of the most crucial focuses in an outdoor garden. We apply a combination of steps and procedures to prevent, reduce, and maintain pest populations at non-damaging levels. We use a variety of physical and biological controls to keep a super healthy garden. The goal is never to get any pest in the garden and always have preventive measures.

If you had to start cultivating in a new way, for instance indoor versus sungrown, would your crop management technique change?

For indoor, it’s not that different. Keep the entire facility clean, and have beneficial plants and insects around — boom. The focus with growing crops is always the same: keeping plants healthy and pest-free. That is always the cultivator’s priority whether it’s inside or outside, in tents or greenhouse.

What do you believe new cultivators need to pay attention to the most when it comes to crop management?

Make sure to always get good genetic strains, and, if possible, do all your own cloning.

Quarantine new plants coming into your garden for a month, and watch them closely to avoid cross contamination.

What’s a tip that you can share for getting higher crop yields?

I recommend lollipopping* your plants and keeping them nice and manicured, allowing the air to flow through them. Temperature is extremely important to control right along with humidity levels. Power feed them on week three. I feed my plants the entire time the lights are on, and I use Pure Life Carbon as the medium. This allows you to power feed without overwhelming the plants and allows the plants to consume as much as they want—mega sonic boom!

*Lollipopping plants means to remove most growth from the bottom of the plant that isn’t getting light, while leaving all the vegetation and bud sites at the top of the plant untouched.

Technology or no technology for crop management . . . what are your thoughts?

Yes to everything that is going to help you. Technology is extremely helpful; however, you must always connect with your plants and get to know them intimately. As soon as you walk into a room, they will talk to you if you pay attention.