Root rot can stunt your plant’s growth greatly affecting its potential. It doesn’t stay with one plant and can spread to the other plants in your hydroponic garden. As with most issues, it’s easier to prevent root rot then it is to treat the issue.
Where Does Root Rot Come From?
Fungus gnats and other pests that are carriers of pathogens that affect the root system.
Transplants that are infected with pests diseases and pathogens being brought into the garden.
Dormant spores can remain on contaminated equipment, grow media, and tools.
Ways To Prevent Root Rot
Keep a sterile working environment. Clean and disinfect tools your tools and area after each use. This will prevent spreading pathogens and disease throughout your garden.
Keep a tidy garden. Plants and bacteria are attracted stuff they can feed on. Keep dead plant matter and debris cleaned up around your garden. Don’t allow debris to fall into your nutrient solution.
Keep the roots dark. Light promotes the growth of bacteria and algae. Use dark colors and/or thick materials for your grow bed to keep out the light from reaching the root system
Provide good aeration levels. Making sure your nutrient solution has enough aeration is probably the most important step you can take to prevent root rot from occurring in your hydroponic garden. Adding additional air stones or hoses will only help.
Plan out your system. If your growing on a larger scale, it is a good idea to set up portions to run off different nutrient reservoirs. This will prevent root problems spreading to your whole garden making it easier to contain
Keep Proper Temperature. Temperature plays a big role in hydroponics and gardening in general. Too hot and the available oxygen in the nutrient solution goes down. Warmer temperatures are also better for bacteria and pathogens to live and reproduce in. Keep your hydroponic nutrient solution under 75 degrees to help prevent root rot in your garden.
Monitor pests. Pests like fungus gnats are vectors for pathogens that can cause root rot. Put down sticky traps and make sure vents are filtered to keep out pests.
Healthy Transplants. Transplants can be transporters for pest and diseases into your hydroponic garden. Look over plants carefully before introducing them into your garden to reduce the risk of root rot.
Add beneficial bacteria to your nutrient solution. Adding beneficial bacteria to your nutrient regimen is a great way to produce healthier, fuller roots that take in more oxygen. In addition to increased oxygen levels, a healthier root system is less susceptible to disease like root rot.
Prune back the roots. Just as in pruning the top of the plant, pruning the root mass can be beneficial as well. As a plants root mass grows it can block aeration to the rest of the roots. Trimming back the roots will cause them to shoot laterally, making it easier oxygen to reach the whole root system.