Hydroponics can be time consuming and expensive, you may spend days, weeks, months and years perfecting your hydroponic system. Yet all it can take is one little pest or disease to take hold and all your hard work can crumble around you.
There are four main disease types that occur:
The first on this list is the most likely to occur in regards to hydroponics.
With disease in general prevention is much better than trying to find a cure, but what causes disease to breakout in hydroponics?
- A host
- A suitable environment
- A pathogen
Like with fire there is three main ingredients (heat, fuel and oxygen), take away any one of these ingredients and the fire will not happen. This is the case with disease, prevent one or more of the ingredients and disease should not occur in your hydroponics.
So how do you prevent these ingredients?
- Hygiene – This is the simplest method, a clean environment ensures a clean system. Keeping your floor clean means dirt and bugs aren’t drifting around your hydroponic area.
- Nutrient Solution – This is where your plants get the food they need to grow, so this is the place to add protection from disease and pests. There are several boosts and extras you can add to your nutrient solution to give you added protection, micro-organisms are very beneficial against disease.
- Climate control – As with humans the temperature and humidity can both prevent and encourage disease to grow. Many plants require a high humidity to encourage growth but this humidity is also helpful to the spread of disease. Finding a good compromise in humidity is advisable.
- Happy plants – It may sound too obvious but keep your plants happy and healthy. A good diet and good environment are highly beneficial to a healthy future. With hydroponics a healthy plant life requires the right pH and nutrient concentration, correct air and water temperature, and the right light intensity.
By following these simple steps and maintaining a high hygiene standard you can ensure that your plants and hydroponic system have a long and healthy life. Remember the cost of a few preventative measures far outweighs the cost of replacing your entire hydroponic system due to disease.