We get it. You want to see if this stuff works with your own eyes, but what are some good (and easy) ways to objectively assess product performance?
The amount of surface area you want to treat will dictate the amount of material you need to buy and use. If you're just wanting to "spot test" or treat a very small plant multiple times, a 2 oz sample will do the trick. However, if you want to get a more "scientific" result, treating multiple plants is recommended.
Suggestion #1: every test needs a control. While we aren't gong to go all triplicate lab-protocol on you, you do need to identify and monitor the target condition in a similar plant (or section of plant) that you're NOT going to treat. There are many easy ways to do this which we'll outline below.
Suggestion #2: take pictures to capture true before/during/after results. This is especially important if you happen to ignore suggestion number 1! When you're looking at something every single day, it can sometimes be difficult to notice changes, particularly in otherwise "healthy" plants. And when treating infected or infested plants, we tend to forget just how "bad" the plant was before treatment. Taking pictures takes out the guesswork.
Big insider tip: If your plants have already been sprayed/coated with neem oil, waxes or other barrier products, you may not get the results you're after. Barrier products such as these tend to interfere with Hedge's ability to perform. If your test results don't go the way you want, ask yourself, "Have my plants been treated/coated in the past with barrier products?" If the answer is "yes", that is the most likely explanation. Try Hedge on the new growth, and you'll be happier. And before you ask, "How do I get neem oil off my plants?", we'll save you the trouble and tell you the honest truth: we have no idea.
A note on spraying technique: You can spray Hedge Natural Defense with any type of sprayer and get great results. However, once you start using Hedge on the regular, you'll want to upgrade your applicator to get the most bang for your buck. For small jobs, we recommend using the 24 oz fine mist sprayer. For large jobs, you can use a pump-up sprayer, but be sure you have your spray nozzle set to the finest mist you can get. Pump up sprayers and traditional handheld sprayers can waste a LOT of material. For the ultimate application and product performance, an electrostatic applicator (handheld or backpack) is always recommended. We'll have them for sale soon!
How to test for Powdery Mildew Resistance (or whatever plant disease you're dealing with):
Resistance in this case is the ability to avoid getting infected. You can test this in one of two ways. If you already have plants that are suffering from Powdery Mildew, you'll need to acquire a new, healthy plant for testing (two plants if you want to get extra credit). Treat one entire plant with Hedge Natural Defense and let dry completely. Be sure to get the undersides of leaves, as molds and mildews especially love to set up shop in those areas! Introduce your dry, treated plant (and your untreated plant if you got two) into the same room & in close proximity to plants infected with Powdery Mildew. Wait and watch. We recommend treating plants weekly to keep Powdery Mildew at bay, so you should do that for your first test to avoid introducing additional variables. If the test is successful, you should observe the untreated plant become sick, and the treated plant standing loud and proud and remaining free from infection. Continue to spray Hedge weekly for continued preventative maintenance.
How to test for Powdery Mildew Cure (or whatever plant disease you're dealing with):
This one's easy and shouldn't require you to acquire additional plants. (We say "shouldn't" because if you've already coated your plants with neem oil or wax or other barrier products, you're probably going to have to catch us on the new growth). Simply select a plant (or portion of plant) that is already infected that you want to treat. Evenly spray Hedge Natural Defense on the affected area (underside of leaves too!) and let dry. The application cycle for sick plants is day 1, day 3 and day 7 - and then weekly after that. Wait and watch. If the test is successful, you should observe the reversal of Powdery Mildew symptoms in the treated plant (or treated area of plant). Continue to spray Hedge weekly for continued preventative maintenance.
How to test infestation prevention of mites, whiteflies, aphids (or whatever small nuisance insect(s) you're dealing with):
Again, you're testing the ability of the plant to avoid getting infested, so you'll need to start the test with a healthy, bug-free plant. Evenly spray Hedge Natural Defense on the new, healthy plant and allow to dry. Introduce the treated plant into the same room and in close proximity to infested plants. Wait and watch. If the test is a success, the bugs will avoid the treated plant. Continue to spray Hedge weekly for continued preventative maintenance.
How to test ability to deter existing mites, whiteflies, aphids (or whatever small, nuisance insect(s) you're dealing with):
This one is perhaps the easiest of them all - except for the one caveat we already mentioned, (if your plants have already been coated with neem oil, waxes or barrier products, you may have to catch us on the new growth.) Evenly spray the infested plant and allow to dry. The application cycle for infested plants is day 1, day 3 and day 7 - and then weekly after that. Wait and watch. If the test is a success, the bugs will leave the treated plant and begin avoiding it in the future. NOTE: while Hedge Natural Defense is not toxic to bugs, sometimes they get "stuck" in the application process and dry to the plant, and die. After three applications, if you're still seeing bugs on the plant, they're possibly stuck and dead. Sorry bugs! Continue to spray Hedge weekly for continued preventative maintenance.