Matt LaScala is a botanist for Adakai, a producer/processor in Phoenix, Arizona.
In an indoor growing environment, one of the biggest advantages we have over other propagation techniques is the ability to not only clean and sanitize on a regular interval, but to also verify that sanitation did in fact occur and to quickly identify any contaminant source.
A master cleaning/sanitation schedule is a pillar of any good Good Agricultural Practices/Good Manufacturing Practices/Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program because, when adhered to, it provides the ability to train, carry out, log and drill back any anomalies specific to that facility.
We set aside time each day for cleaning and have created sanitation checklists for supervisors to verify all tasks are being completed on a regular interval (daily/weekly). To verify sanitation, we utilize ATP (adenosine triphosphate) swab testing, as well as ambient air sampling for colony-forming units and spore counts.
After each harvest and before the next load of plants is moved into a flower bay, the growing environment is thoroughly cleaned to remove larger physical contaminants (soil/organic material/trash) and sanitized using ProKure1 (chlorine dioxide) in both gas and liquid forms to ensure no transference of pathogens, disease, mildew or mold takes place.
Having this ability to “reset” the ever-so-delicate flowing environments in between crops has been hugely advantageous. So far, plant health is high and pest levels are down!