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Hydroponics Roots, Part 3: Stop The Problems Now!

Hydroponics roots should be strong and healthy. Hydroponics roots should be strong and healthy.

In Part 1 and Part 2 of my series on hydroponics roots, we noted that hydroponics roots are the foundation of your crops, and there are a troublingly high number of root problems that can stunt hydroponics plant growth, decrease yields and even kill your hydroponics plants!

In the previous articles, I shared with you how something as simple as having your plants in pots that are too small for their roots can cause severe problems for your plants.

You may already be familiar with how Pythium damping off and other pathogens can wack your seedlings and cuttings.

We also discussed how your daily hydroponics duties should include examining your plants’ roots, along with your hydroponics nutrients reservoir, pump, aerator and water to see if roots are healthy white and to see if your root support system (irrigation, reservoir, etc.) are free of scum and foam.

I also advised something that professional growers already do: examine your hydroponics leaves to look for root-related symptoms that often masquerade as nutrients issues. These include leaves that are curling, yellowing, drying, have large brown areas or other problems.

If your leaves are showing those kinds of problems, check for insects, diseases, nutrient issues, and root issues such as Pythium root rot and other bad stuff.

If you examine your roots and root apparatus and see brown roots, rotting roots, the interior of your reservoir coated with scum, or similar problems, you have to remediate fast or you will lose your crop.

The first thing to do if your roots are in trouble is to drain and flush your reservoir and anything else in the water system for your crops. Dump the old water, scrub all surfaces, replace irrigation tubing and emitters, replace air stones, and replace the pump.

Anything not replaced must be thoroughly flushed with professional-grade concentrate hydrogen peroxide at least twice using a ratio of three tablespoons per gallon of fresh water.

Before you reconnect your system to your plants, it’s a good idea to run another hydrogen peroxide rinse (this one through the entire system including the root zone) and then rinse again with fresh, clean water.

If you don’t already have one, get yourself a water purification system and hook it inline so that all water that touches your plants is purified before it gets to them.

If your roots are able to sustain it, you could try root pruning the most obviously diseased areas. Carefully sequester any diseased or rotted roots so they do not recontaminate your system.

When your system is thoroughly retrofitted and cleansed, add a Vitamin B formula, potassium silicate, a plant immune booster, beneficial microbes, and Roots Excelurator to your feed program for a few days.

Your damaged roots may or may not be so far gone that they can heal themselves; these aforementioned additives will help them recover if they can.

Continue with everything except the Roots Excelurator for the rest of your grow cycle, following the hydroponics nutrients manufacturer’s directions for use.

Please be aware that if you have been adding beneficial microbes to your root zone, it might be that you have to pay more attention to how much you are dosing because even beneficial microbes can sometimes become a problem.

Again, consult the beneficial microbes product manufacturer for specific details on application of those products. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide during the time you’re adding beneficial microbes, or you will kill them.

Ensure that you keep your reservoir water below 74F, preferably around 65-68F, especially if your ambient air temperature is higher than 74F. Root diseases love high water temperatures. And remember: don’t overwater.

As  you may discover, in some cases (such as aeroponics or when root damage is too severe and you didn’t catch it in time), it’s best to tear out the plants and start over with a cleansed, retrofitted system and a new set of hydroponics plants.

Now you have a comprehensive program of inspection, interdiction and remediation to protect and enhance your hydroponics roots so you virtually eliminate the possibility of root problems. Thanks for staying tuned to RosebudMag.com!

Read Part 1 of this series – click here.

Read Part 2 of this series – click here.

Stay Connected:

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What’s the deal with alternative lighting? We’ll tell you – click here.

What new albums are rocking in the Rosebud Magazine offices this week? Check it out here.

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An interesting take on root problems
Last modified on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 16:15

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