Pest and Disease Control
As with soil-based gardens, hydroponic plants require
good pest and disease maintenance controls. Failure to do
so creates the same results as with 'ordinary' gardens (i.e. spindly
or dead plants). Since the majority of hydroponic plants are fruits
and vegetables, that means the plants are not worth eating.
However, managing the hydroponic garden is even
trickier, since disease and pests have it much easier in this
setting. Plants are continuously kept wet, either immersed in water
('true' hydroponics) or continually sprayed (aeroponics) or reside
in a permanently wet medium such as perlite or sand. Fortunately, as
with soil-based gardens, there is an large array of available
methods to manage the problem.
Control Pests and Disease
Using beneficial life forms
is one popular way to control unwanted pests, including certain
types of bacteria and fungi. These can help to control spider mites
and other invaders by crowding them out, eating them or releasing
compounds toxic to the pest. They're known as beneficial organisms
because they do all that without damaging the plants themselves.
types of pesticides are available, too. Pesticidal
soaps have been in use for centuries and still provide effective and
non-toxic ways to keep the pests down. One category called
botanicals are compounds released by plants themselves that have
been combined into an easy-to-use pest control method. Botanicals
break down naturally from exposure to air and water and are
brilliant because they leave no harmful chemicals behind.
oil can control over 400 different types of pests that commonly
invade gardens, including hydroponic ones. A simple
spray to the leaves can often eliminate common pests. The bugs
absorb the oil, which limits their ability to reproduce, leading to
a lower population. For more serious infestations, many commercial
pesticides continue to work well.
continues to be a safe and effective means of control.
Though it sounds man made it is actually derived from flowers. This
class of natural compounds released by plants are extracted and used
in many commercial insecticides. Dosage is low, so the compound is
very safe when used correctly (always read the label). Azatrol is a
broad spectrum insecticide that provides another easy control method
over most common pests.
White flies, aphids, mites and
other pests can be a problem in hydroponic settings, just as in
soil-based gardens. Powdery mildew is common. In fact, because of
the continual moisture bugs and pests have a 'friendly' environment.
Making it 'unfriendly' is straightforward enough, using fungicides
and organicides. Sulfur-based compounds can help control white
flies, mealy bugs, thrips and more.
Hydroponic gardeners have to
exercise additional care when using any disease or pest control
method, though. Since no soil is present to hold on to the roots,
it's easier to damage a plant when manipulating the leaves and
stems. That means that if you pick off pests by hand, an effective
method for low-number infestations, it's important to exercise
Since moisture is present, mildew and other fungi
are more common in hydroponic gardens. Keeping leaves dry and just
the roots wet will help. Any insecticide sprayed on to your plants
or vegetable should be allowed to dry under the grow lights. For
aeroponically grown plants, for example, that may require a
temporary relocation of the indoor garden.
Learn More From Us
To learn more about Pest and Disease come
in and talk to our knowledgeable staff and where you'll find more
information including an extensive range of Hydroponic Pesticides
Products. We will always stand behind your growing projects and
the biggest part of our success is your success.