For saving space and soil, this method also has several
other benefits, including no soil-borne diseases, no
weeds to pull and no soil to till, run-of-the-mill side
benefits of soil-less gardening.

Defining and Preventing Root Rot in your Hydroponic Garden

Root rot is a common yet unwelcome pest in any hydroponic garden. This fungus-like organism Pythium has many species. The three mostcommon species of this organism are Pythium irregulare, Pythiumaphanidermatum, and Pythium ultimum. These species of Pythium canbe found in water sources as well as in soil. Pythiumaphanidermatum is most commonly found in Poinsettia plants and fewother plants.

Pythium aphanidermatum and Pythium irregulare cause the most damagein ebb and flow systems because the organism has a swimming sporestage that can attack your plants quickly. Pythium ultimum is mostclosely associated with soil and sand though it is not as prevalentas the other species of this organism.

The Pythium organism is found in pond and stream water as well asthe sediment from these sources. The organism can also be found insoil and sand as well as in the dead roots of plants. Pythium canalso be introduced to your plants through dirty gardening tools,can be carried by pets walking into your growing room and by beingcarried by the fungus gnat and shorefly.

Symptoms of root rot include stunted plant growth, plants that turnyellow and die, wilted plants that recover at night, root tips thatare brown and brown tissue on the outer portion of the root thatcan be pulled away exposing plant tissue.

Treating the disease is harder than preventing it. Preventionmethods include treating pond or other untreated water before youuse it to irrigate your plants. It is especially important tofilter untreated water to avoid getting sediment into yourirrigation system.

Slow sand filtration systems have been shown effective incontrolling this organism. Other water treatment plans includeheating the water, the use of ultraviolet light, ozonation orchlorination, all of which can stop the organism before it attacksyour plants.

It is important to keep all things within a grow room clean toprevent infection from this organism. Benches, tools, equipment,reservoirs and floors should all be cleaned periodically to avoidcontamination.

Keep pets out of your grow room to prevent contamination as theycan track the organism in on their paws and leave it on your floorsand benches where it can be carried to other items in your growroom.

Biological agents may be applied to containers prior to planting ingrow rooms and green houses that have a history of the Pythiumorganism invading the water supply. Biological agents andfungicides will have to be applied more than once to contain thisorganism.

Common chemicals that can help treat this organism includeetridiazole, etridiazole + thiophanate methyl, fosetyl-Al,mefenoxam, metalaxyl and propamocarb. Biological agents that canhelp control this organism include Gliocladium, Trichoderma,Bacillus and Streptomyces.

Many hydroponic gardeners never have to deal with root rot in theirgrow rooms or greenhouses, especially if the water to their plantsis already chlorinated. Those gardeners that collect water fromother sources or have untreated well water should have their waterchecked or treat it themselves before they use it to irrigate theirplants. Many plants will be lost if they are infected through anirrigation system.

After a greenhouse or grow room has been infected, the plants willneed to be destroyed. Affected plants cannot be composted becausethe organism lives within the roots of the dead plants. Greenhouses and grow rooms will have to be treated chemically toremove any traces of the organism, especially in all areas that thewater came in contact with. Garden tools can be cleaned with alcohol.

Before any new plantsare introduced to your treated hydroponic garden, the watertreatment plan should be changed accordingly to a system that willprevent the organism from entering the irritation system at anytime in the future.

from: homemade-hydroponics


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More