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Hydro 101 with Deonna Marie: Pests & Disease, Part 2

If your hydroponics plants roots look unhealthy, you may have root rot. If your hydroponics plants roots look unhealthy, you may have root rot.

Last week I introduced you to some of the basics of battling pests & disease in your hydroponics indoor garden. We focused on methods of eliminating diseases like powdery mildew. This week, we’re going to look at some other factors hydroponics growers need to think about, like humidity and air flow in your indoor grow room.

This particular mold will usually show up in mid-late bloom if your humidity is not under control.

There are many environmental factors that contribute to disease. Make sure to keep your humidity levels around 50% while in veg phase and around 40-45% in bloom phase. You don't want your humidity too high because the higher the humidity, the more likely you are to run into a disease issue.

To that end, air movement is key! Get either an oscillating fan, inline fan or blower for your exhaust, and keep all your fans running 24-7. Remember, once your lights turn off, your humidity will rise. When your lights are off for a few hours, check your humidity. If fans aren’t doing the trick, you may need a de-humidifier to keep your room at optimum humidity levels.

Last week we talked about powdery mildew, but another common problem related to humidity is grey mold. This particular mold will usually show up in mid-late bloom if your humidity is not under control. If you spot this nasty stuff, it's probably too late to treat. The best thing to do is get rid of the plant that has grey mold and get your humidity under control before your entire crop gets sick.

There’s one more disease we’ll mention here - root rot. This is another common problem for hydroponics growers, especially if you’re using a hydroponics system instead of soil. Root rot can occur if your water or nutrient solution gets too warm (mid 80s) or if there’s severe stress to the root structure, such as occurs with under-watering. Your roots should be bright white. If they get slimy and dark brown you have a problem that is almost impossible to cure. If you catch it soon enough you can add a hydrogen peroxide mixture into your nutrient solution, which may fix the problem. If you don't catch it in time, it will spread throughout your entire crop and cause your plants to die. So try to keep your nutrient solution in the low 70s and make sure your roots are moist at all times.

Of course, using a true hydroponics system is getting a little advanced. As you know if you follow me here at RosebudMag.com, I recommend that novices cut their teeth in soil. Once you get the hang of growing in soil, then move on to a hydroponics system. Battling pests & disease in soil is a good proving ground, and every grower will have to cope with this stuff sooner or later. Good luck out there, growers!

Read Part 1 of Deonna Marie's series on Pests & Disease - click here.

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Last modified on Friday, 24 August 2012 18:56

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