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 than it is to treat the issue.
Where Does Root Rot Come From?
Fungus gnats and other pests are carriers of pathogens that affect the root system.
Transplants that are infected with pests diseases and pathogens are brought into the garden.
Dormant spores can remain on contaminated equipment, grow media, and tools.
Ways To Prevent Root Rot In Your Hydroponic Garden
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.
Keep a sterile working environment
Clean and disinfect tools your tools after each use. This will prevent the spreading of pathogens and diseases throughout your garden.
Add beneficial bacteria to your nutrient solution
Adding beneficial bacteria, like Hydrogaurd, 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 diseases like root rot.
Keep a tidy garden
Plants and bacteria are attracted to 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 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 systems
If you’re 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 from spreading to your whole garden making it easier to contain
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.
Use healthy transplants
Transplants can be transporters for pests and diseases into your hydroponic garden. Look over plants carefully before introducing them into your garden to reduce the risk of 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 plant’s 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 for oxygen to reach the whole root system.
As a hydroponic gardener, especially gardening outdoors, you’re bound to experience a case of root rot. Taking preventive measures will decrease the chances of an occurrence and save you time, money, and headache in the long run.
Fortunately, there are ways to save a hydroponic plant from root rot if the disease is not too far advanced.