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General Hydroponics Growing and Disease Prevention

May 7, 2008
Though hydroponics has many advantages over traditional soil growing, plants grown hydroponically are still subject to the same kind of diseases of soil-based plants. One of the biggest factors that determine your success in general hydroponics growing may very well be what steps you take to make sure your plants stay uninfected. If you take the following measures, your odds of having to deal with an epidemic in your grow room will decrease dramatically.

Keep Your Grow Room Clean - Old trimmings that are lying on the floor or in the cracks of your growing medium can be an invitation to disease. Make sure you follow up every pruning session by clearing away all the removed foliage. You should also make sure to thoroughly clean out or completely replace your growing medium after every growing season.

Isopropyl alcohol should be a regular presence in your gardening closet. Regularly wipe down your tools, tubing, and containers. This will kill off any nasty bacterial or viral diseases before they get chance to ruin your plants.

Handle Plants With Care - Much like open wounds on a person can become easily infected because of the easier access that bacteria have to the body, cuts and scrapes on your plants can also make your plants more easily fall ill. Even very clean, intentional cuts that are conducted in general hydroponics growing can make your plants more prone to disease. Regularly examine your plants for cuts and cover them up with a pruning cleanup substance.

Contain small problems before they become large problems - If you notice one of your plants developing the symptoms of a bacterial or viral disease, quickly quarantine that plant. It may seem like a pain to have to go through the steps necessary to transfer that plant to a new grow area, but it will probably save you a lot of hassle if you can prevent the infection of the entire crop.

Keep all Soil Out - General hydroponics growing is typically more disease free than traditional growing, because many of the worst plant diseases lurk in the soil. But soil can sometimes still find its way into your grow trays, so make sure you take steps to eliminate all dirt. When transferring a plant from a soil garden to your hydroponic system, rinse the roots thoroughly. You should also perhaps use a bit of organic fungicide on all outside plants before introducing them to your garden to reduce the chances of fungal infection.

Keep an Eye on Bugs - Bugs don't just wreck your system by feeding off of your plants, they can also be carriers of nasty diseases. Learn to identify the signs of a bug infestation early, and handle it before it gets out of control.

Stick to the Basics - The things that you do to increase the size of you buds, improve the flavor of your vegetables, and increase your yields are the exact same thing that will help prevent disease. Keeping your nutrient solution's pH well regulated, making sure your plant receives optimal nutrients, and keeping an eye on the heat and humidity will not just be a boon come harvest time, they will also boost the collective immune system of your crop.
About the Author
Michael Straumietis is co-founder of Advanced Nutrients and an expert in hydroponics, plant nutrition & soil sciences. He markets, reviews and publishes his knowledge in short original papers with a focus on soil-plant interactions. If you need more information on general hydroponics growing, visit the website at http://www.advancednutrients.com.
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