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Maximum Yield: Stopping Pythium in Your Hydroponics Urban Garden

Pythium root rot can break your hydroponics heart Pythium root rot can break your hydroponics heart

Getting maximum yield in your hydroponics urban garden means stopping pythium. It’s one of those dreaded hydroponics urban garden “microscopic monsters” that attack your hydroponics plants when they’re young, stressed or otherwise vulnerable.

There’s a lot of confusion about pythium, starting with the issue of whether it’s a fungi, a mold or some other kind of invader. The same goes for fusarium, another microscopic invader that attacks your hydroponics root zone.

When you hear about pythium, it’s usually phrased as “pythium root rot,” and is said to cause “damping off.” But what does that mean for you?

The simplest way to explain pythium is not by focusing on microbiology, but on what it actually does to your plants’ roots- it attacks them, turns them into mush, and then your hydroponics plants show leaf symptoms that look like nutrient problems, sometimes your stems rot at the soil line, or your plants just fall over dead.

This is far more likely to happen when your plants are seedlings or newly-rooted cuttings, but if you’re very unlucky (or if you’re running an unhealthy root environment in your hydroponic garden), pythium and related pathogens can even take down a mature plant.

As with most pathogenic hydroponics garden problems, the best ways to deal with pythium is to employ barrier techniques that prevent it from entering your root zone, and to strengthen your root zone so pathogens have a very hard time taking hold.

You also defeat pythium and similar pathogens by strengthening and armoring your hydroponics roots. The good news is the steps you take to prevent and/or defeat pythium overlap with hydroponics gardening techniques that contribute to you getting the biggest yields from your garden. So here they are:

  • Use reverse osmosis to filter your water
  • Don’t overwater, especially when plants are young
  • Use well-drained root zone materials and maintain them in the 5.8-6.3 pH sweet spot
  • Give your plants the right ppm of quality base nutrients and supplements
  • Use liquid beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungi formulas to install competing microbes that fight pythium and other root pathogens
  • Build yourself a sealed garden and use microfilters on air intakes
  • Use clean and sanitized hydroponics equipment, especially for irrigation, plant pots, etc.
  • Don’t bring diseased or weakened seeds, cuttings or seedlings into your hydroponics garden
  • Aerate/oxygenate your hydroponics nutrients reservoir and root zone
  • Caution: Do not use hydrogen peroxide in hydroponics systems where  you’ve installed beneficial bacteria and beneficial fungi in your root zone because it will kill the beneficials.
  • Wash your hands with anti-microbial soap and wear surgical gloves when cloning, working with seeds or otherwise handling plants near their root zone
  • Don’t disturb hydroponic plant roots with visual inspections, probes, etc.

Sad to say you may hear the occasional horror story about pythium hanging on to reinfest for months or even years…even when growers used commercial fungicides/bleaches or completely tore down and reinstalled their hydroponics grow room!

Protect Your Hydroponics Urban Garden Today!!

But if you implement the tactics cited above, and unless you live in a doomed area that’s ripe with an overabundance of pythium spores, you’ll likely never have to worry about pythium in your hydroponics urban garden and you’ll be far more likely to get maximum yield from your plants.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 09 November 2010 18:45

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